My Husband Abuses Me Emotionally, Should I Divorce Him?

24 August, 2017
Q Salam alaikum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh. I got married last year. This man had been married before and has 3 kids. I don't have any problems with that. Although I don't have any relationship with them. When I ask him about them he says he doesn't want me to know because he feels I don't like them. Before he married me he said he wanted to marry because I would good to help in his business (literally) due to my educational background and that he saw I was a good girl trying to get better on the Deen. So many times before marriage he would pressure me on why I should marry him. I was reluctant but I prayed to Allah through isthkhara and I got convinced to an extent but not 100%. I assumed I couldn't get it all right. More so after I refused him the first time he asked me, he sent someone who I respected to ask me. But after the marriage, things changed he had hidden some information from me and when I asked he said he didn't want to hurt me. He met me as a virgin and I struggled with intimacy because of the pain and the inexperience. We lived in two different towns when we did our aqdu nikkah( this is all we have done he married his other wife legally and yet to complete the divorce.) So I visited him only weekends. The weekends I couldn't visit he would be so upset and say hurtful things to me. He once didn't talk to me for one whole week because I couldn't come to his place a particular weekend. He made our entire relationship about sex. We eventually moved to the same town in April 2017 and since then it has gone done the hill. I have never been 100% happy with him. I have a health condition that makes me exhausted every time. Whenever he helps me out with any chore in the house, he keeps reminding me and telling me he is doing me a favor and these chores are duties for women and that I am so ungrateful. I feel as if all the things I tried to do were not appreciated just because I was struggling with sexual Intercourse. He gets so angry and is mean to me. He doesn't trust me, it is so bad that when I say I am off salah he snoops around so he is sure I am not just making it up to avoid sex. Because of all these and more, I am now emotionally detached, I don't want him to touch me, I hate sex, I resent this man and I am so unhappy in my marriage. I cry every time, I recently cried for 3 hours straight. He has never given me money. I pay some bills in the house because I work. I paid half of our house rent. He tells me, after all, he gives me food and he shelters me. I pay for our medical insurance, I take care of myself, I buy everything I need. I never ask him for money and anytime I mention anything that has to do with finances he always says he doesn't have money. I feel used by him. Even when I cook and serve him he never appreciates it. He doesn't say nice things about women. He tells me I am not even good on the Deen. He always condemns women. I have gotten ill and I have to be in the hospital every month so I am even more emotionally and physically exhausted. He always checks my phone and says he needs to know all the people I am talking to and what I am saying to them. He isn't comfortable with my relationship with my 2 brothers and my mum. He checks my bank notifications, emails and SMS but I don't have access to his phone. He has a password on all his gadgets. I wanted to further my education abroad he said he can't allow his wife live far from him. I feel empty and used. All these is too much for me. What do I do? I don't think I can be happy with him ever. I want a divorce. What does Islam say about such situations? Thank you so much.

Answer

In this counseling answer:

“Sister, from all that you have said, it appears your husband is an angry, controlling man who really does not like women. The fact that you initially stated he wanted to marry you so you could help with his business is a big red flag. I don’t know what it is that was good that inspired you to marry him, but nonetheless, you did marry him.  You have a few choices.  The first one is to remain married to him on the condition that he provides a marriage that is based on Islamic principles. You would have to get this in writing and put it in the form of a contract.  This may be difficult to do at this point, but the first goal is to save marriages.”


As salamu alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us.  I am so sorry to hear about what you are going through with your marriage.  As I understand from what you have written, he basically married you because he needed help with his business.  He also is upset with you when he helps with chores, stating it is a women’s duty.

Additionally, he doesn’t trust you, he lied to you, kept things secret,  checks your cell phone, bank accounts,  tries to keep you away from your brothers and mom and he says condemning things about women. He does not support you and is mean and verbally abusive towards you as well as trying to keep you isolated and under his watch.

Sister, from all that you have said, it appears your husband is an angry, controlling man who really does not like women. The fact that you initially stated he wanted to marry you so you could help with his business is a big red flag.

I don’t know what it is that was good that inspired you to marry him, but nonetheless, you did marry him.  You have a few choices.  The first one is to remain married to him on the condition that he provides a marriage that is based on Islamic principles. You would have to get this in writing and put it in the form of a contract.  This may be difficult to do at this point, but the first goal is to save marriages.

I would highlight a few points insha’Allah such as it is his responsibility to support you and provide for your needs.  Also, marriage is a union that Allah created to instill love, kindness, mercy, and respect among two people.  It seems your husband is severely lacking in these qualities and at this point, I am not sure if he can change or would even be willing to try.  Allah knows best.

There are many things backed up by the Sunnah and Qur’an that you could bring to him as proofs as to his poor treatment of you.  One being how the Prophet treated his wives.  The Prophet (PBUH) use to help clean, do chores and mend his own socks!  It is a blessing and in no way are you required to do the household chores, in fact, if you wanted, you could ask him to hire someone to do that.  However, wives usually are happy to keep house, and usually, husband’s do not mind helping.

It is a partnership, one that should be joyous. Another point is his demeaning attitude towards women.  Does he not know that paradise lies beneath the feet of the mother and does he not know that in Islam women are help up in the highest of esteem?  Sister, it appears that he either does not know Islamic values and principles, especially regarding marriage or he does and is choosing to live a selfish, angry, controlling life.

Therefore, you can propose a contract to hold him accountable to Islamic standards and principles to try to save the marriage, however, I am not sure he would take it seriously or regard it in a kind way as he does not respect women, and you are a woman-his wife whom he thinks he owns.  Should you chose this path sister, I would insha’Allah engage the help of a trusted imam to help you draft your rights in the contract.  If he agree sister, I would highly;y suggests that you both seek marriage counseling as well.

Your second option is a separation.  While it does not appear that he will let you leave as he thinks he owns you and appears to be watching your every move, you may again, need to reach out to a trusted imam for assistance as well as your family.  Given his controlling and verbally abusive history with you (and probably his other wife), I would proceed with caution so he does not lash out at you.  Insha’Allah, if you chose to separate, possibly go to your family’s home or rent an apartment and take some time to heal from all of the trauma you have been going through.

I would kindly suggest sister that you get counseling to help you along the way.  If you separate, you would still need some form of an agreement (contract) and marriage counseling to ensure insha’Allah that when and if you do get back together, things will be different.

The third option, of course, is divorce.  With all that you have gone through and given the fact that he gone against Islamic rulings and principles for a loving, safe and merciful marriage, you have every right to divorce.   Please do think about your options carefully dear sister. You know him best.  You know if he would be willing to change and treat you with loving kindness and mercy, protect you and treat you with dignity.

If he will not comply with trying to save the marriage or if you think he will not, I would kindly suggest that you consult a trusted imam regarding divorce.  I would caution you on how you leave if you decide to, as based on his actions with you know, it could be dangerous.  Please do plan well in advance and set up a safety plan.

You are a beautiful, young pious sister.  May Allah swt grant you ease in this situation.  You do not deserve to be treated like this sister.  You deserve a husband who will cherish you, love you, take care of you and show you mercy and kindness.

Most of all you need a husband who loves and fears Allah.  Insha’Allah you will have that one day soon-either with him or without him.  There are many good brothers who would feel blessed to have a loving, good wife such as you.  Please do decide soon sister, there is no reason to drag out an abusive, unhappy situation.  You deserve to be happy.

You are in our prayers, please let us know how you are doing.

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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 be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

 

Read more:

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.