As-salamu `alaykum, My husband and I have a disturbed relationship, we have got 3 children who suffer from it. During our relations of 7 years, I have done everything to please my husband, but he was never satisfied.After wearing the hijab he wasn’t interested in me anymore, but he likes to look at naked woman. I feel awful after giving birth, my body has changed – I became very thin, everything is floppy. Sometimes shaytan tells me to have an operation – I can’t stand my body, I don’t mean it, but knowing that my husband looks at perfect woman I feel so sick. I really do feel sick. I also feel very insecure.My husband divorced me once before, just like that. I am very depressed, and I don’t know what to do. My children suffer from it, I feel nervous, and afraid all the time.In Turkey a woman should do anything to keep her husband. I am not that type of woman. If you love me, you love me. If you don’t, you don’t. You can’t control someone. I am so tired from feeling like this. I also don’t have a job or money to support myself if he leaves again. I am so desperate… Hope to find answers insha Allah
As salamu `alaykum my dear sister…
I am sorry know how you feel about yourself as a result of your marriage, and it is most disturbing to know that all your children are affected by the imbalance in your marital relationship. As one approaches marriage, there is a temptation to have all these ideas in ones head; when one should go into a marriage to learn about each other, and ultimately ones self. Marriage is where one learns to listen to the other, to learn genuine compassion, to make sacrifices, to be patient, and to be receptive to the other.
Marriage is a process of becoming more whole, not a magic button one pushes hoping not to make any effort. When none of these qualities are nurtured, the marriage stagnates, and one or both spouses develop a feeling of mistrust, low self esteem, and dejection, and when children grow up in this environment, they develop a distorted sense of self worth in relation to themselves and others, which in turn can influence the type of relationship they have with the opposite gender.
One can not speak of your husband here, because what he is actually doing, and what you observe is influenced by how you feel. For instance, if you feel insecure with him, then you will pay unusual attention to how he is with others, especially as you measure yourself worth through him. At the same time, if he is truly looking at “perfect women” unfortunately the media has very much to do with this. He is reaching out for the unreal, the unavailable, but alhamdu Lillah, he has not acted upon these objects.
What is important here is you, you are real, and not one of those objects your husband stares at, but he does not know that his wife, and the mother of his children has much more to offer. Even though you say – “I am not that type of woman. If you love me, you love me,” your actions, and your feelings betray those thoughts. If you respect yourself, your husband would respect you too, and so would your children. It is because you have allowed yourself to feel less those objects why your husband feels that he can treat you as you please, so sister, be the woman that you are, and you can start by taking care of the physical through fitness, and good body care.
It does not require money either. If you use olive oil for cooking, a few drops in the lukewarm water that rinse your hair with, makes a good hair conditioner, and in bath water, moistens and softens your skin. Drops of lavender in a bowl of hot water to steam your face, stimulates your blood circulation, raises your spirits, clears the mind, and scent your hair, because you would only be wearing hijab if a non-mahram visits, or when going out.
By the time your husband returns from work, you can be wearing something fresh, i.e. you have not been cooking and cleaning in the same clothes all day. If he visibly notices something different, just smile to yourself, but do not smother him. If he does not notice visibly, he has noticed, don’t you worry sister, but just keep it up, along with some exercises.
The children will notice, and they might be a bit more responsive, because what matter is that you have made yourself feel good inside. How are you going to do all of this with the children around? Because you will feel more positive about yourself, you will be more active, and more able to organize the children with activities, chores, and mealtimes.
As you know sister, it is not all about physical appearances at the end of the day, but it helps. It will also help you to pray on time because; you will begin to feel a little better about yourself. It would also be useful, until your children go to school to have some activity outside the home. Being at home all the time, feeling the way that you do, can make you feel worse – trapped in a world that is isolated from rejuvenating aspect of life.
Take time to take the children out to a local garden or park, and use the time to discover if there is any good Muslim mother’s group that you can attend at least once-a-week. In this way you can meet other sisters of faith, and share in the learning experience of what it is to be a Muslim wife, and mother. When your children are all at school, you might want to consider doing home voluntary work, where you could help others, and gain some valuable work experience as well.
Whenever you feel lost or confused, just pick up the Qur`an, our Book of Guidance, and let Allah (SWT) guide you as to where you should read, for in everything in the Qur`an, there I a lesson. As you grow more confident about yourself, your husband, in sha Allah, will begin to pay more attention, and in sha Allah, rather than the “objects of love” he has been looking at, his heart will realize that he has someone to love, in sha Allah, and then you will both become good role models for your children, in sha Allah.