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Husband Is Abusive, but I’m Ashamed to Divorce Again

04 February, 2017
Q I am 39 years old, and this is my second marriage. I have a son from a previous marriage and one from this marriage. My husband and I have been fighting since the first year we were married. He is verbally abusive to me and my children, and now he hits his son from time to time. I have left him 4 years ago and moved with his sister, then he followed us since he can not support himself.The issue is that I have no desire for him; I can not let him touch me. I feel dirty when he does so. He keeps telling me it is over between us and he is with me just for our son! Do I sin when I feel this way? Allah knows that in every rak`ah and prostration I ask Allah to open my heart for him and make me love him and desire him. Then he starts putting me down and bringing up my past marriage and how my ex is happy that he does not have a woman like me.Please help. I want a divorce, but I am ashamed to divorce again and have two kids from two different men. Allah knows I’ve been trying my best. I am scared of the punishment of the Hellfire.



As-Salaam `Alaikum sister,

You appear to be going through hell in your relationship. Your husband has behaved in ways that have caused you psychological and emotional distress, which is probably the reason you now feel repulsed from him. Feelings cannot be switched on and off when and whenever we wish. You are entitled to the way you feel.

It may be your responsibility to make the marriage work and try to create harmony within your household, but the responsibility is not yours alone. If your husband is telling you the marriage is over, and he is only there because of your son, then he is not entitled to having sexual relations with you because he does not come to you with the respect he should give to a wife.

It is not helpful for you to berate yourself and torture yourself about being sinful for not wanting to have sex with him or for wanting a divorce because you have to think what is best for both you and your children as it is also your Islamic duty to protect them. Ultimately, divorce and marital breakdown is abhorrent to Allah (swt) and society, but in conditions where you and your children are suffering from emotional and physical abuse, you have to make firm and strong decisions about what is important. Your children may grow up with longstanding emotional problems because they had to witness the type of abuse you describe. In such circumstances, your priority lies with their welfare and not what people may think of you.

Ultimately, Allah (swt) knows what is in your heart, and you should ask him for guidance and not punish yourself for wanting to escape the mental torture you are suffering.

May Allah (swt) help you,

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About Hwaa Irfan
Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.