Husband Treats Me Badly, But Afraid of Khul`

23 November, 2016
Q Assalam Alaikum, I have a very long question about marriage, family and in-laws. I am married for 1 1/2 year now. My husband is the eldest in his family and is a resident in the US he earns okay and we have food, shelter, clothing but not a very extravagant living, his parents always keep asking for some amount of money every month as they say that we spent on you when you needed it and now it’s your responsibility to take care of the younger brother and pay his fees. He has a lot of loan on him which he hasn’t paid back but he never says NO when they ask him for money. He never gives me any pocket money saying that I don’t have any money. I had a job for 6 months and I stopped asking for money from him so instead he said that now you are earning so you should contribute in the bills and rent, I said it’s my money and I will save it to myself but he used to say "no it’s OUR money". I showed him the saying from hadiths and Qur’an about this, but he says I have never violated any rights, you have food, a place to live, you are not dying of hunger, well then his father is there too to give the family food and shelter then why does he send money to them? I want to know the rights of siblings and parents after the guy is married in details. Please help me. Also my husband complains like a little kid about everything that I say to him or when I disobey him to his mother saying that "you don’t listen to me, but you will listen to my mom" so she calls me or my mother and then gives a long list of things I did wrong, and when or if my mom tries to defend me by saying you should ask your son to give his wife her rights and some respect from her in-laws, then she would call back my husband only to tell on my mother that she misbehaved with me and then my husband shouts at me and disses me. I have asked for divorce a lot of times because I don’t have the patience to bear with these liars even though they all pray five times a day and recite the Qur’an. Just recently I left home and went to stay with my brother and so my husband called his home and told all little things about me to his mother like I don’t respect him, I don’t cook food for him, and keep asking him for money, so she calls my mom and shouts at her for that. Now I’m back home but I have stopped talking to my in-laws because of the things she said about me to my mother I just can’t bring myself up to talk to them because I don’t have any respect left for them but my husband is insistent on me calling his mom and talking to her, he was mad at me for not calling them on Eid so he didn’t talk to me that whole day and up till now I tried to explain to him not to ruin his Eid because of them but he didn’t listen then after a day I got so mad at him that I started shouting and dissing and using abusive language for him and his family but I regret it now. He doesn’t let me talk to my family especially my brothers; neither does he talk to them. He shut the international dialing for me so that I can’t make calls to Pakistan or talk to my family there. Sometimes I feel there is no point of dragging this marriage so I decided to get Khula but I am scared of the aftermath, there are loads of other things which I need help on, but I will write about them later. Please help me what to do. Thanks.



Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salaam dear sister,

I’m sorry to hear that you are going through such a troubled marriage.

Before I begin to respond to your question, I’d like to make clear that I am not a religious scholar or Imam; therefore,I won’t be able to quote you exact laws and hadith about the rights of siblings and family members. I advise you to send your questions to our Ask the Scholar section. However, I can certainly provide with some general information that will help you make the right decision that would be in your best interest.

As a married man, your husband’s primary obligation and responsibility is towards his wife and children, then certainly his parents and siblings. If one is depriving his immediate family (wife and children) of their needs (both basic and reasonable needs), but providing his parents and siblings more, then he is doing injustice to them and will be held accountable.

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You husband’s parents and siblings perhaps need money, and it is okay to give them money – as long as your needs are also being met. But if he gives them all his money and does not give you anything but food, water, and shelter, then surely he is missing the point.

When it comes to your mother-in-law and her complaining about you; unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to change that. I say this only because it seems you’ve tried different avenues already and nothing has worked. Your mother-in-law’s complaints about you to your husband or your parents or your brother is unacceptable. It is also unacceptable for your husband to complain about you to his mother.

A marital relationship should be one of privacy and intimacy. If your husband has an issue with you, this should be discussed in private with you, and if there is still no success, then a third person, who is completely unbiased, should be brought in to the picture. The reason I say unbiased is because neither of you want to be judged. This third person who is not related to you and only has a professional relationship with you would be able to provide you with an unbiased opinion. Examples of an unbiased person would be an Imam or a counselor.

It seems like your husband plays every argument he can in his favor. First, it was his money that he could not give to you because he was supporting his parents. Then, it was your money that now has become OUR money which needs to be contributing to home expenses. It appears that you don’t have a very healthy relationship with your husband, and it also seems like his parents have some strong influence over him.

The bottom line here is that it is okay for your husband to financially help his parents and siblings, as long as your needs are also being met within reasonable limits. Desiring Eidi for yourself is reasonable. Wanting to shop for yourself is reasonable. Wanting to go out with your husband for a dinner is reasonable. I don’t think any of your requests are unreasonable. There are numerous hadith and verses in the Qur’an that talk about a husband’s obligation towards his wife and children.

If you can, try having a conversation with your husband about your distress in this marriage and encourage him to go to marital counseling with you. I know counseling is considered to be a very big stigma in the Muslim community, but I think you need to worry about what is it going to take to get this marriage back on track more than what other people are going to say if you go for marital therapy. This is after all your life not theirs. If you are able to convince him, this will provide both of you a person who is completely unbiased and will be able to guide in the right direction.

If you are unable to convince him and nothing else works, divorce might be in your best interest. I understand that divorce has a lot of implications and stigma both in your family and in society. But again, you need to think about what is best for you, this is your life.

You mentioned that you fear the aftermath. Let me just say here, the more fearful you are, the more people will scare you. If you appear confident and state what your needs are and take actions when they are not met, you are standing up for yourself. For example, you chose to go live with your brother, you took action. However, I’m sure you were made to feel guilty and, of course, there were complains. Unfortunately, you can’t change other people’s behaviors and actions, but you can certainly change your own behaviors and actions.

If you feel that you have tried to make this relationship work and it’s not going anywhere, your husband has cut off all ties from your family, you are not able to reach out to your family, then a move out and then a divorce may be the best option here.

I know you must be worried about getting remarried, but again, are you willing to live like this with this man and his family for the rest of your life? Or would you rather make a change now so you can find a man who is more considerate, loving, and caring to live within the future. You need to ask yourself what is important to you.

You live in the USA, you have rights. If you choose to divorce your husband and he refuses to give you a divorce, you could consider moving out and filing for divorce on your own. Have a conversation with your family about your plans. Your husband should not limit you from contacting your family and you can take several measures to make sure this doesn’t happen. Perhaps, your brother who lives here can help you.

And if you ever fear for your safety, you can always go to a domestic abuse shelter. Find out the nearest shelter to your home: http://www.thehotline.org/



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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.