Husband Emotionally Supports Distressed Women

01 October, 2017
Q Salams. I am a 33-year-old female married for 10 years. I have a very close relationship with my husband, and we have a strong marriage. He is a very special man who loves me dearly.However, he is a supporter of polygamy, and even though he does not choose to take another wife, he loves to help and be an emotional support to other women who have been divorced or are in predicaments. He communicates with them on Facebook and has some flirty conversations in the process. I am very uncomfortable and feel a sense of betrayal as he obviously shares a bond with some of them. He is always open with me about his friendships and says that I should trust that he will never hurt me.I don't want to have fear in my heart about the future, and I know whatever happens is Allah’s will. I just can't help feeling that I'm not enough for him because he can share his thoughts and fears with other females. What happens if they fall for him - which happened once before? Please help me gain clarity on my feelings and let me know if I am being unreasonable in my feelings.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“Communicate with your husband exactly how you feel about his numerous contacts with these other women. Tell him that you feel uncomfortable, emotionally betrayed, and fearful of these conversations to go much further than they were intended.”


Wa ‘Alaikum As-Salaam dear sister,

Thank you for sending us your question. To start off, I would like to let you know that you are not unreasonable when you say that you feel uncomfortable with your husband’s behavior. On the contrary, your feelings are normal. When two people are married, the deep emotional connection between them should stay there and not be extended to other individuals, especially those of the opposite sex. Of course, this is a general expectation amongst married people, but it may be that your husband has different expectations than your own.

You have mentioned that your husband has been open and honest with you about the women whom he has been in contact with. The fact that he is open and honest and keeps you informed of his actions and doings is a blessing in itself, and this should be maintained between the both of you, not just him!

Since he has been open and honest with you about his feelings, you should also be open and honest about yours. Communicate with your husband exactly how you feel about his numerous contacts with these other women. Tell him that you feel uncomfortable, emotionally betrayed, and fearful of these conversations to go much further than they were intended.

He may or may not continue to tell you to trust him and to inform you that you should not be afraid. Respond honestly by telling him that not only you are fearful of the unknown happening in the future, but that you have a moral problem with what he is doing.

The fact that you feel betrayed is enough to let him know that this is not about how he feels about the situation, but it’s about how you feel about it, and that you have a legitimate problem with it.

In other words, communicate with your husband in order for him to hear you and understand you. Let him know that his communication with these women may make him feel happy and content that he is helping them through difficulties, but that you are not feeling that same way in return. This is the time in which the both of you come together and make a decision about how you both are going to handle difficulties in your marriage. It’s not a one-way street, rather it is a collaboration of two people coming together and making a mutual decision.

In sha’ Allah, this experience will help the both of you view your marriage differently and will be the start of a healthier and stronger marriage in which both parties feel valued and comfortable to express their feelings openly.

May Allah (swt) keep your marriage strong.

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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.

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About Aliah F. Azmeh
Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.