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My Husband and His Drinking Partners

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Sep 23, 2017

Question

My husband for 20 years drinks alcohol. When we got married, he promised that within 2 years he would kick the habit. However, he has not done so – he leaves at night on weekends to drink and have fun with his friends till the early hours of the morning.I am not happy. We have different bedrooms because his job is demanding, and I have to take care of the kids. I feel he makes work an excuse to keep me out. I don't like it, and I have already asked him to move back, but he says he can't. He has done nothing to make me feel wanted. He reserves the right to go out whenever he feels like it without informing me previously so that I know as his partner. I feel that because his work is demaning, I and his children are more deserving of his "free time".I have 5 children, and I am seriously having doubts about the continuity of this relationship. Please help.

Counselor

Answer


My Husband and His Drinking Partners

Answer:

As Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

We are sorry to hear about the circumstances of your marriage. As your husband was driking before you married him, one wonders on what basis you chose him as your life time partner. The habit of drinking alcohol is not an easy one to break, especilly if one is an alcoholic, and something says that there is more to the problem than meets the eye. By this, I am not referring to you, but to the fact that somoen who spend his life drinking, and avoiding loved ones is running away from something, as a alcohol acts as a depressant. If your husband is an alcoholic you would observe:

  • That he has a strong desire to drink
  • He cannot stop drinking once he starts
  • Will suffer withdrawal (nausea, sweating, anxiety, shakiness) symptoms if he is deprived of alcohol

For any hope in change of lifestyle, the focus should not be your rights, but your husband’s welfare. Firstly, what he is doing is haram, and secondly he is putting his health at risk – he might be aware of this, and he might not, but through compassion, you might be able to help him comes to terms with the fact that he has a problem. While aiming to do so, ask him again about sleeping in the same bedroom. What is important here is not whether he means it or not if he agrees, but that you seond some time with him, for in this way you can observe what is going on with him. Alcohol afffects his sleeping pattern so be mindful of this. What matters is that you see how much is it a problem. If there is a real problem, then you will need help  – you cannot do it on your own. You will need to find out if there are any resources in your country of residence that can help your husband stop, followed with therapy or counseling.

Of course, all of this assumes that you are up to being there for him psychologically and emotionally. Raising 5 children is no mean feat. Yet considering that you are not in your home country, you have to consider whether or not you are able to take care of the children on your own, and if so, what would be his roles as a father. These are no easy issues, for to face, especially as Islam goes beyond the issue of personal rights, as each right as an obligation, and each obligation requires some sacrifice.

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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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