Kids & I Are Scared of My Abusive Husband

24 November, 2016
Q Salam Alaykum. I am depressed, tired, scared, and lonely. I just had a major c-section on Saturday because of my baby. Alhamdulillah everything went great, but I feel since last Ramadan I have been living a hellish life because of my parents and my husband. My parents have been married for 22+ years ma sha’ Allah, but it's not as good as it seems. They argue in front of us all the time, even though I got married. Last year my dad lied to us; he went to Kenya to visit my stepsister, but the truth was that he went there to get married secretly. My father says my mother knew, but she says she didn't. We also found out that he kept money hidden from us while my mother was struggling when he was away. She wanted a divorce, but I told her to stay. They keep fighting about everything. He always promises but never keeps it; he threatens us and says we are not good kids or he doesn't have kids; he always curses us and yells a lot. He even talks bad about me and mom in front of my husband and loves to blame everything on me. He didn't even show up at my graduation. Mom told me horrifying stories about him trying to throw me once. Regarding my husband, he is abusive toward me in front my kids (we have 3), and he kept treating me to take my kids from me while I was pregnant. I am at my parents’ home now due to this. He doesn't give me anything as support; he doesn't buy food or anything. He didn’t even come to the hospital when I gave birth, and his family supports him on doing this to me and my kids. And even this is going on, my father remains in friendly terms with him. I even had to quit my job for the baby. Now he wants to come back into my life after he heard I had the baby, but he is still the same. He does not help me anything; he also cheats and lies to me. I have given him lots of chance in the last 3 years, but his behavior toward me affects my kids as well. For example, my 2-year-old keeps distance from him, and I don’t want my kids to have a bad relationship with their father, but he brings this to himself. My mother advices to forgive him, but I just can't because my heart and mid got damaged so much that he scares me every time I see him, and my parents’ fighting keeps making me more depressed. I need some advice on what to do with both my family and my husband because I am tired of it.

Answer

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

First of all, you need to realize that your children are your priority and not your parents. But let’s talk about your problems separately.

Your parents: Sister, I understand that we all want the best for our families, but unfortunately it is not in our hands to try to change or solve everything. You already have enough problems with your own family, and right now, you should step back from your parent’s relationship. Depression is a state to be in, especially right after having a baby, and right now what concerns me the most is your well-being. Remember you have three children and need to stay healthy in order to provide for them. It MUST be your priority.

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The fact that your father lied to your mother and got secretly married should be a matter discussed between both of them. Considering the abusive relationship that your mother is in, if it is her desire to get a divorce, you should not stop her from doing it. Divorce is never desirable, but if it is necessary, it is your mother’s right to ask. But again, even though you live with them, you need to be practical and let them decide.

I recognize the stigma around a divorced woman, and it is also understandable that you are seeking your parent’s protection ever since your husband left the family, but what I am reading is that they don’t seem to be supportive right now. As a daughter, you have to respect your parents and be grateful for being able to stay with them, but if their home makes you emotionally instable, you should consider and prepare to leave their house with your kids. Fortunately, in the United States there are many social aid programs for single mothers offered by the government. You should research program availability in your state and utilize this in order to establish a safe home with your children.

Your Husband: From what I understood, he left you pregnant with your two children and you decided to give up. You also mentioned that you were physically abused.  I understand your mother’s concerns and why she advised you to go back to him. Your mother has been married for 25 years; her generation is not quick to divorce, even if it has been an unhealthy relationship. Furthermore, you grew up in this environment. But it is time for you to ask yourself: Do you want the same life she had for you? Do you want your kids to grow up like you did, watching their parents fighting and being aggressive? Listen to your own words: “Nothing changed”, “he pushed me”, “he cheats and lies”, “and he does not help”.

I know that fear can stop us from taking risks, and most of the time fear is the only reason some couples stay together. Fear Allah sister, just Him. Your husband could have harmed you and your baby, and you said he did not change or repent. You are a mother of 3 young children; you need to be responsible for their well-being, too. Please, it is clear that you don’t want to stay married to this man, therefore don’t go back to him because of his threats. We all try to live according to the Sunnah, we all try to follow Islam, but many times we ignore the Quran and focus on what our family traditions and culture tells us to do. If divorce leads you to an opportunity to raise your kids in a healthy home, it is your right. Empower yourself and seek Allah’s guidance.

You don’t have to live under your father or husband’s abuse. Look for your options through your legal rights. You are in the USA, your husband has very little chance to take your kids from you, especially because he has been abusive and abandoned you. Your husband will be forced by the state to provide for the kids, if he continues to neglect you. This will give you the provision and protection any mother needs to raise children properly. If people do not fear Allah in their dealings, corruption and oppression spreads, sometimes we have to find recourse outside to live according to Islamic ideals. And Allah knows best.

Salam,

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About Karim Serageldin
Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting