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Classic Signs of an Abusive Husband



Reply Date

Apr 05, 2017


As-Salamu `Alaykum. My problem is that I started to believe that my husband is a sadist. He is not physically abusive but rather emotionally and verbally. I mean I know he loves me, we have 4 kids, but for some reasons, he can’t stand seeing me happy for few days. He makes up an issue for me to feel bad and cry. I feel that he enjoys my stress and tears. I keep thinking why. I might be doing better than him career wise; maybe that’s affecting him? This is my analysis. But he is also supporting me to go along with higher studies and work. He always likes to blame me for everything though I am the one doing everything. Even if one of the kids got sick, I am blamed. I’m responsible 90% for my and my kids’ expenses as I do financially better. We married out of love, but now I am not happy. I would say I'm depressed in medical terms. He keeps on making issues every 2 days and is always angry. This is only with me, but with others, he is a very nice respectful person that no one would believe me if I say this about him. The only time that he would stop shouting and accuse me is after seeing my tears and I get a nervous breakdown. He is a control freak. I started hating him as his presence for me means stress because I get so cautious in my acts and words so that I don’t end up in trouble. Things like even not picking his calls would be a problem for me for a couple of days. He shouts a lot, and I think he feels powerful when he shouts and attacks people with words. He doesn’t even give you a chance to express yourself, and even if you did so, he would never accept that. I tried to ask for a divorce, but he threatens me that he is going to take the kids from me. When I ask for a divorce, he asks me to forgive him and admits that he is mistaken and that he loves me. This happened maybe 10 times in the past 6 years. He can’t stand the idea that I am talking to a friend or a family member. He will make a problem that he should be more important to me that the other person. I can’t go out with friends, and even if he allowed me, I know that I will go back home and find him prepared a problem to ruin my day. Please, advise me as I feel that I lost that sparkle between us. His name and his presence is a worry for me. I enjoy more when he is away and traveling. I hate Skype because it means that he can speak for a longer time with me and monitor us 24\7. I am not happy though I am not a demanding or complaining wife. I do everything alone just to avoid problems. Kindly advise me.



Classic Signs of an Abusive Husband


As-Salamu `Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for your question. First, let me say that I am very sorry to hear that you have experiencing such pain in your life. You sound like a very giving, caring, kindhearted, and competent lady. It is a shame that your husband is too insecure of a man to realize that he is lucky to have you in his life.

What you are describing here are classic signs of domestic violence. Your analysis is spot on.

He appears to not like your successes. Why else would he stress you to the point where you are in tears? Yes, he says he supports you and may even tangibly provide support and assistance, but his behavior toward you appears to indicate that he is not sincere. His need to provoke, accuse, shout and fight with you is his way of attempting to gain power and control over you.

He seems to be isolating you from family and friends, yet another classic sign of abusers.

Be careful, he is working ferociously on breaking your spirit. Do not succumb to his attempts to break you down mentally and spiritually. He is exerting his power to control you. Since you say you are more successful than him, especially financially and professionally, his deepest insecurities have arisen. He must now do what it takes to make himself superior to you. If he is such a man, why is he not able to carry the household financially? Why is he not able to care for the children himself?

And just like a classic abuser, he is apologizing after he hurts you. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that he brings you flowers and gifts to make up with after he fights with you. Maybe he does, but you didn’t mention it. Do not fall for any of it.

My advice to you is to hurry up and go see a qualified mental health professional. Talk to someone about what you have been experiencing and Google “domestic violence” so that you can better understand the cycle of abuse. The choice of how you move ahead on this issue is yours, of course. But I would urge you to seek help. Be strong, do not doubt yourself; remain grounded in prayer and seek Allah’s guidance and support.

It is rather unfortunate that many men do not value and appreciate the strength and independence of their wives. Instead of following Allah (swt) and the Sunnah, they let their fragile ego lead them into the horrors of creating disharmony and havoc at home against their wives so that they can feel like men. Cowards, not real men hurt, negate, and devalue women.

Your husband needs intervention if you are to save your marriage. If you have a trusted family friend, ask this person to talk to your husband and advise him to seek assistance from a counselor. Your husband needs to seek assistance so that he can overcome his insecurities and jealousy. If he refuses, you must still do what is best for you and your children.

You, sister, carry the burden for your family like so many women worldwide. If you have any sons, I hope you will teach them how to be better men and to treat women with love, respect and honor as Allah (swt) intended, not as patriarchy has dictated.



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About Najma M. Adam

Najma M. Adam, Ph.D., L.C.S.W. is the Director of Adam & Associates Counseling Services, Inc. Dr. Adam has many years of experience and has taught at several universities in the Chicagoland area. She actively conducts research and publishes. She received her Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Jane Addams College of Social Work and her Master’s Degree from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. Further information about her can be found at

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