I am a girl from the Netherlands and me and someone from France want to get married. I am from Moroccan heritage (24 years old) and he is Algerian (25 years old).
I am scared of something that he said and that I might end up in an abusive marriage. He asked me the following; what do you think about a man hitting his wife if she is not listening to him or disrespecting him.
When I asked him to clarify, he said when I tell her to dress modest and she slips or when she talks bad to me or without respect.
I told him that I am against any sort of violence and that it should be communicated. He said that he already communicated it but if she still does not listen he will hit her and if she then again still doesn't listen he will bring her back to her parents.
For me this is scary because why would you already think about hitting your wife when u are not married yet.
Of course I will listen to my husband and respect him, but what if I raise my voice one day because of frustration?
On the other hand he said a wife should support her husband, in case he gets addicted to alcohol or drugs.
For me it sounds strange.. a wife needs to support her husband when he fails but when a wife fails she should be hit?
I am really in doubt as to whether continuing this path with him or ending it.
Other then that he seems very respectful and religious. He is sweet, but this made me doubt the whole situation considering that I am raised in an abusive family and that I don't want my children to experience the same.
I am looking forward to your answer both your opinion as well as how the Islamic perspective is on this issue. Thank you so much in advance!
In this counseling answer:
It is your decision whether to proceed in this marriage, but my genuine response is to get away from him now.
The Prophet Mohamed (PBUH) did not beat his wives or talk to them in mean ways.
Reflect on the idea of breaking the cycle.
Reflect on what the Quran and Prophetic example show us regarding marital treatment.
If you end this relationship, cut him off completely. If you decide to pursue this marriage, ensure you are close to family support.
It is my understanding you are seeking advice regarding the potential marriage to a man who has made it known he supports the idea of hitting a woman for her clothing or perceived attitude. At the same time he expects a woman to be merciful and take care of her husband if he starts to use drugs or has an attitude with her.
My dear Sister, this is a huge red flag. It is your decision whether to proceed in this marriage, but my genuine response is to get away from him now. He has already shown you that he is going to be aggressive and controlling, likely in a physical manner.
You mentioned having a history of abuse in your family. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for people who come from abuse to end up in a domestic abuse situations in their adult life. It is what they know. It became their norm and as such part of their subconscious sees familiarity within others who might behave that way.
This concept of trends repeating themselves is often referred to when talk about breaking the cycle or how some people seemed destined to repeat history.
Human beings like ritual and repetition, our brains are hardwired to put things on autopilot when able. If you have a history of domestic abuse, I urge you to consider how important it is for you to break that cycle.
Religious and Sweet
You are seeing his best side right now; he is showing you only the golden parts of his personality. Once married, he will become more realistic.
You claim he is religious; would a pious man talk about hitting his wife before even married? We can look to the example of the Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him), surely this is the best example to determine if a husband is behaving in line with his faith.
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that:
the Prophet said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.”
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We know the Prophet’s (saws) character towards his wives was one of mercy, kindness, being helpful and overall healthy relationship dynamics. I do not know of any verses or text that allude to anything other than the most kind and loving treatment.
The Prophet Mohamed (saws) did not beat his wives or talk to them in mean ways. I ask you how a man who claims to be religious can advocate for beating his wife before he has even married her?
Furthermore, is it not hypocritical for him to ask the wife to show mercy and care yet the man does not have to in his perspective. Let us look at what the Quran says about our spouses.
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.”
Here we see that Al-Wadud, the Most Loving, The Most Affectionate, The Beloved, The Loving-Kindness, is telling us our spouses are meant to be sources of affection, mercy and peace. Think about this Sister, Allah (The most Honored and Revered) is telling us to find tranquility within our spouses.
The Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) is telling us that the best men are the ones who are good to their wife. The Quran has a whole surah named after mercy, Ar-Rahman Surah 55. And the Quran begins with Bismillah, Ar-Rahman, Ar-Rahim (In the name of God, The All-Compassionate and All-Merciful).
All of this together paints a beautiful image of what a marriage should be. Mercy, compassion, forgiveness, patience, and overall tranquility.
That does not mean marriage is easy, it requires compromise and work. But a marriage should be entered into from this type of religious perspective, not a perspective of aggression and control.
I ask you to sit for a moment and ask yourself this question. Is he truly a religious and sweet man? I also encourage you to pray istikhara about this situation. Praying istikhara helps you to not only listen to your own instincts, but to reach out to your Lord and ask for guidance.
This answer can give you strength and motivation. If you need assistance understanding istikhara, here is a link that explains how to pray istikhara as well as how to interpret the answer.
Stay or leave
As mentioned previously, it is your decision if you decide to pursue this marriage or end it. If you do decide to end it then I suggest making a clean cut. That looks like blocking all social media, phone contacts and overall removing him from your life.
At first this will be difficult, and it will hurt, but the sooner you do this the sooner you can heal and get over him. He may try to convince you otherwise, just remember he already showed you a red flag.
Remember that you know what abusers are like, they tend to be great at sweet-talking when necessary. When you block all access to you, it ensures he cannot manipulate you with his words.
Also If you decide to pursue this marriage despite your reservations, I encourage you to stay close to your family. If anything happens and he becomes aggressive, you need a support system nearby that you can quickly go to.
While we never enter marriages expecting aggression or divorce, it is safer to be prepared how you would handle such a situation since you know this is something he believes in.
Here is a summary of your next steps forward Sister.
- Reflect on the idea of breaking the cycle
- Reflect on what the Quran and Prophetic example show us regarding marital treatment
- Pray Isikhara
- If you end this relationship, cut him off completely. If you decide to pursue this marriage, ensure you are close to family support
Marriage is a big decision Sister, one that will shape the future of your life. Please consider what I have said to you today. Reflect, pray, and make the best decision for your happiness inshallah. May Allah (Swt) guide your choices and protect you, ameen.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.