Alhamdulillah we seemed to match very well, so soon after meeting him I was ready and eager to marry him, he seemed to be the personification of the dua I made to Allah swt.
However, he didn’t seem to be as much into me as I was into him. Although we got very well along, I felt some kind of distance, which I thought was normal since we were indeed complete strangers seeking marriage from another country and another culture.
It took him 2 years to finally ask my hand. We married in august 2019 (nikah) and started living together in March 2020 Alhamdulillah. Everything seemed OK until the day I made a mistake by using his laptop, I discovered pictures and videos of him being intimate with another woman.
These were taken during the courtship phase (from November 2017 to early 2018 – while we were visiting and getting to know each other). I was devastated, completely shocked. I lost trust in my husband as I feel like he lied and hid this aspect of his life while we were in this crucial step of getting to know each other.
I confronted him and he told me it was the biggest mistake in his life, it is the past and he changed and moved on since. The problem for me is not the sin itself as he made tawbah and it’s between him and Allah. My ego is deeply hurt knowing he loved another woman but I think I can heal and move on from that.
However, the main issue for me is knowing that he was in a relationship while we were planning to get married. We chatted/FaceTimed/called very regularly, my feelings developed quickly so I kept telling him I was ready to proceed to the next step (nikah) but he kept postponing it so I waited thinking he needed more time to make a decision not knowing it was because he was in an relationship!
We discussed it several times, he explained to me his reasons and how he fell in this trap. I really feel sorry for him as he went through harsh times which made him weak. However, he doesn’t understand I feel betrayed, played with and disrespected.
He was not truthful but he said he never lied nor disrespected me. I found many things he said to me during the courtship were untrue or slightly different.
When I ask him to explain it seems like he’s playing with words to not cause himself to lie. He says he stopped the affair but it seems she broke up with him and he wanted her back.
He said he terminated this relationship before marrying me and he wanted to approach marriage with me correctly. But he still has these pictures, he kept contact with her till the last moment (right before nikah- June 2019), he still regularly checks her social media. I cannot trust him anymore, I’m not sure who is the person I married.
I feel completely unsafe and vulnerable. Driven by these feelings, I became extremely suspicious, I searched his laptop and phone, I know I shouldn’t have. I found out he still has several active dating/matrimonial profiles, he talked to many other women during our courtship, he created new ones 1 month before nikah and he used them even after!
When I ask him about it, he either gives me the silent treatment or tells me it’s to help a friend. He doesn’t understand why it hurts so bad.
My husband feels disrespected with me trying to find his whereabouts and it’s building a wall between us. He says he cannot trust me anymore with what I understand and apologized for.
I told him I need transparency because my trust has been shattered. He refuses stating he has the right to have his privacy, he changed his password and kept his belongings away from me, which makes me feel he’s hiding something even though he says it is to protect me from myself.
The irony if i lose his trust trying to build over mine.
I love my husband, I don’t want to draw a bad picture of him as he’s a good man, he has great qualities, he’s really good to me, very caring and loving which makes me feel even more confused and guilty.
I noticed he became even more affectionate after this big blow up and he told me it’s because he feels guilty to put me through this.
I feel very depressed, my self esteem is very low, I try to keep on living as if nothing happened, but it’s always on the back of my mind, I randomly feel like crying with no explanation, I wish I could disappear and stop feeling anything.
I avoid talking about it, I fear bringing up that topic again because our discussion leads to nowhere, I’ll keep hearing hurtful things like, I’m addicted to drama, It’s not even my problem in the first place, it’s not my business.
And I know I keep hurting him by bring this story over and over. We don’t seem to understand each other at all. I feel deeply hurt and unheard. I also feel guilty because other than that i have nothing else to complain about, he’s a good person and i think i’m ruining our marriage.
I don’t want to be suspicious, I don’t want to track him or watch every step he makes, I feel extremely guilty for my behavior but I can’t take it anymore. I don’t know what to do.
In this counseling answer:
It is sad that trust has been lost from the very beginning. But if you are both willing to work on this. Then there is a way out to a successful and even stronger marriage, insha’Allah.
Whilst it might feel like he is the one who was the one who started these difficulties this shouldn’t stop you from approaching him with an apology for your part.
This does not take away the blame from your husband for his actions, because they are also of concern too and he should be doing the same.
You both need to realize that building mutual trust is a long process that will take time.
An open and honest discussion between you about your feelings could be useful right now.
In the meantime, you can be working on other things together aside from this to strengthen your marriage.
Nurture the love between you by doing things together such as going out for dinner or walks together, pray together, read Quran together.. Etc.
After a good start to your relationship keeping things in line with Islamic values by meeting together amongst the 2 families with mahrams present and then finally making the nikkah, your marriage has unfortunately gotten off to a bad start.
Breach of trust
It must have been a huge shock for you to find these images in his laptop indicating what had been happening in the gap between your marriage to him. Naturally you feel that your trust has been betrayed and you are feeling deeply distressed by this situation.
As a result of his actions you felt suspicious of him and searched through his phone and laptop. This then made him feel like his trust in you had also been breached and now you are both in a situation where you lack trust.
Trust is a greatly important component of a successful marriage and without it there can be ongoing problems. It is a shame in this case that trust has been lost from the very beginning. But if you are both willing to work on this. Then there is a way out to a successful and even stronger marriage, in sha’Allah.
Whilst you are both feeling hurt by each other’s actions right now there is clear hope since you are both feeling remorseful for your actions. That feeling of remorse will surely be a motivating factor to not slip into such betrayal again.
Also to avoid the uncomfortable feeling that comes with betrayal. Not only this, but with a focus on what Allah says about the same, the motivation to avoid such will be heightened even further. This goes for both of you.
Whilst it might feel like he was the one who started these difficulties, this shouldn’t stop you from approaching him with an apology for your part.
This will be easier for you if he is also making a sincere apology to you too. But even if he doesn’t you will feel a sense of lightness and relief in yourself to know that you have done your part.
Also repent to Allah for your part in the scenario too. This will humble you in the presence of Allah and will contribute to making it easier for you to avoid betraying your husband again.
Now, just because you are being the one to actively apologize and seek forgiveness from him and Allah this does not take away the blame from your husband for his actions, because they are also of concern too and he should be doing the same.
But only you can be responsible for your actions and you will be accountable for the same, as will he for his actions. As you rightly mentioned earlier, the matter of his actions is between him and Allah.
Apologizing and seeking forgiveness on both parts deals with the matter of any sins committed, but you have mentioned that even with this aside, your ego has been damaged as a result.
It is this damage that is the factor that would be more likely to lead you to fall into suspicion again. So as part of the process of moving on, you can help yourself by managing this aspect of the situation.
Check out this counseling video:
Think about it
Perhaps one of the most useful ways to manage this is to consider your thought processes and the facts of the situation. For example, his actions occurred before you were married at a time when you were not yet committed to each other.
Whilst this might not be comfortable for you to think about because it felt like you were but he wasn’t actually committing a sin against you. But against himself and Allah and this should give you less reason to feel offended by his actions.
Additionally he has been a good husband to you otherwise which is clearly a sign of his love for you. You say he is remorseful and he says he has stopped such actions since you have been married and although his actions of setting passwords is making you suspicious. You also need to understand that he is justifying this action as being a result of feeling betrayed by you.
You say that he is otherwise a good man and you do want things to work and in which case if he is a good man he will also be willing to work together with you to overcome this difficult start.
You both need to realize that this is something that will take time, especially when it comes to matters of trust, but it is so important to nip things in the bud with this before they reach a point where it is no longer possible to fix.
An open and honest discussion between you about your feelings could be useful right now, with or without a mutual this party present such as a counselor or imam. It sounds like as it is you are both comfortable with each other despite difficulties to do this.
The next step in this discussion is to decide where to go from here. For example, it may be that you agree to be accepting of him to have a password for now until the situation has eased a bit and then he will promise to remove it but he must understand and appreciate that that makes you feel uneasy.
Another option is to put these things aside and for him to remove his passwords and for you to make a vow not to look through his phone and laptop. This is a big step to take, but if successful can go a long way in repairing your relationship.
In the meantime, you can be working on other things together aside from this to strengthen your marriage. Nurture the love between you by doing things together such as going out for dinner or walks together, pray together, read Quran together.. Etc. These are all things that will also have a secondary effect of building the trust between you.
May Allah make things easy for you during this difficult time and may He make you and your husband the coolness of each other’s eyes in this life and the next.
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