I feel so depressed and so confused because of my marriage. I have been married for a little over two years and my husband and I were friends for 4 years prior to that. I was so in love with him and I was willing to anything for him.
He was from another country and I learned his language and his culture, but he never seemed to appreciate it. He would always talk to me in a condescending manner and would tell me that he did me a favor by marrying me and that no one else would have ever married me.
He would also talk very badly about my family and my mother, which I blame myself for because I confided in him about my family issues, but he never hesitated to insult and humiliate me. I was able to handle it until my brother-in-law got married and his wife lived with us.
Things got very complicated and the situation got very stressful and tense. My sister-in-law would instigate problems between my husband, her husband, and everyone else. I trusted her and I thought we were friends but recently I found out that she was just fooling me.
My husband’s father was always involved in every little aspect of our marriage. He was also forcing us all to live together and later he and my mother-in-law would come and live with us. He would tell his sons that if we didn’t want to live together to find another wife.
His father was always criticizing us and told me I must forget about my family and just focus on his family because I changed my last name, so I am not a part of my old family anymore, and that I only belong and serve them.
My husband was very mean but there were also times when he did show affection. My husband has a very big ego; he put his business before everything and never made time for me. I tried my very best to keep him satisfied but he was never happy. I really loved him and that’s why I tolerated everything.
My husband really abused me psychologically; I lost my personality and I lost myself. He and his father manipulated me into thinking what they said was true Islam and how marriage is supposed to be. However, something in my gut always told me that wasn’t the case.
Recently, I became pregnant. We went to his home country and he and his family completely bullied me, talked very badly about my family, and humiliated me. They said that I am just exaggerating everything and that I am a liar because I would tell them how stuck and alone I felt.
My husband has been abused and humiliated me too many times. Regardless of these problems, I really love my husband, but I know that he doesn’t deserve my devotion and love. I have sought refuge at my parents’ home, and they have tried to talk with my husband’s family, but my husband seemed to be indifferently pushing for a divorce.
I have hope that my husband and I can work things out, but he doesn’t want to, and he hasn’t even contacted me even though he knew I was pregnant. I have recently lost the baby but because he hasn’t contacted me, he doesn’t even know.
My parents are so disappointed and are telling me to proceed with the divorce, but what can I do if still love him very much? Everything between the families is ruined, and this is why I believe there is no point in trying. I believe my husband loved me but as soon as I started to question why he treated me so badly and as soon as I began to question their ideas, I became the evil woman.
I would just like advice on what to do. I am very confused, hurt, angry, and regretful.
In this counseling answer:
• Maybe he doesn’t realize the extent to which his behavior upsets you. Sometimes people just don’t realize, and it takes for the victim to speak up.
• If you feel more comfortable, then perhaps you could invite a mutual party to be present, such as the local Imam.
• Spend some time apart.
• Take time to consider all your options and what the consequences will be. Also, consider what path will be most pleasing to Allah.
• Ask yourself if you are willing to endure the way he and his family treat you for the sake of your love for him. Keep in mind that Islamically he is obliged to treat you well.
Wa Alaikum salaam wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh sister,
You are in a very disturbing situation where it seems like you are faced with what appears to be verbal abuse from many angles. Not only is your husband verbally abusing and humiliating you, but his family appears to also be doing the same. Despite all this, you still love him, and this makes it difficult for you to decide what to do next.
In this type of scenario, I couldn’t advise you to stay under the abusive circumstances and nor could I advise you to get a divorce. These are things you need to consider carefully yourself. Here I can provide you with some things to think about that might help make the decision easier, inshaAllah.
If he is willing, it is highly advisable that you seek counseling together. This will give you both the space to express your feelings in a neutral environment. It will allow you to let him know how his behavior affects you. Perhaps you may even be able to involve his family as well.
Perhaps they are not aware of how their actions hurt you so. If he is not agreeable to this, if you can, talk to him alone. Maybe he doesn’t realize the extent to which his behavior upsets you. Sometimes people just don’t realize, and it takes for the victim to speak up.
If you feel more comfortable, then perhaps you could invite a mutual party to be present, such as the local Imam. This may be less intimidating than a counselor if he refuses to attend counseling.
Spend time apart
In situations like this, it is often advisable to take some time away from each other. This enables both partners to spend some time reflecting alone. Often this can lead to refreshing the pleasant feelings one has for the other due to the absence.
However, your husband’s family have made it clear that if you do this then he should divorce you. If you would still like to pursue this option regardless, then you could perhaps discuss it ahead of time and come to an agreement that you will stay with them for a certain period. This will allow him to be a part of it and have some say in the matter.
Contemplate your options
Your two extreme options are to either stay and bear the situation or to leave and divorce him. There are also some routes you can consider that fall somewhere between the two or lead on a gentler path to the same result. Take time to consider all your options and what the consequences will be. Also, consider what path will be most pleasing to Allah.
If you choose to divorce him, remember that of course, you will still feel that love for him to some extent. You married him, you have shared memories together, so inevitably love will have developed.
Just because you still love him, however, does not mean that you cannot or should not get a divorce.
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However, if you choose to stay you may be able to fix things and rekindle a healthy relationship. This may be in part depends on how willing he is to make changes to the way he treats you. Ask yourself if you are willing to endure the way he and his family treat you for the sake of your love for him. Keep in mind that Islamically he is obliged to treat you well:
It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas that: The Prophet (PBUH) said: “The best of you is the one who is best to his wife, and I am the best of you to my wives.” (Vol. 3, Book 9, Hadith 1977)
As a couple you should be a comfort to one another:
‘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.’ (Qur’an, 30:21)
Alternatively, perhaps you are able to make some compromises together regarding the involvement of his family and their treatment of you. Perhaps you might agree to a brief period apart or some counseling as mentioned above.
You may then give the relationship some time to improve before considering the situation once. You may find yourself considering all these options again depending on how things have changed. Parapsychology, it will be clearer that things can improve. Or, perhaps it will become clear that the emotional abuse will not end however hard you try.
Either way, you will have more clarity and confidence in the decision you make have tried all you can to make things work.
Pray Istikhara (a prayer asking for guidance)
Once you have considered these options, continue to pray to Allah. Make Istikhara for Allah to guide you to what is best for you. If the relationship is meant to be, He will facilitate it. If it is not, then He will take your heart from it. Once you have done so, have faith and conviction in Allah’s plan for you.
‘…And when you have decided, then rely upon Allah. Indeed, Allah loves those who rely [upon Him]. ‘(Qur’an, 3:159)
‘…And Allah is the best of planners.’ (Qur’an, 8:30)
Get support from your family
If you do choose to seek a divorce, don’t be ashamed to seek full support from your family. In difficult experiences like divorce, having support from others is crucial in getting through successfully. They will be able to provide you with the emotional, psychological, and physical support that you will need during these testing times.
At present, you are living under abusive circumstances with your husband and his family. This is becoming very distressing to you as you contemplate divorce despite being in love with him. This is a difficult choice to make and requires much careful contemplation.
You should take time to carefully consider your options and their consequences. These might include staying without conditions, divorcing him, or taking some middle options such as formal or informal counseling. Take time away as a means to try everything to be sure things can or cannot be fixed.
Having faith in Allah’s plan and praying Istikhara will make this path even clearer.
May Allah guide you to make the choice that is best for you and most pleasing to Him. May He grant you happiness in this life and the next.