In this counseling answer:
• There are things you can do to reignite this spark once more. Do something nice together and talk about old times, reminisce and laugh about things you have done together.
• Begin by talking about old times without dragging in present issues regarding his behavior as this will only spoil the mood of the evening.
• If he truly is committing wrong, then he will come to feel it and make efforts to change. If he doesn’t, then you need to consider what steps are best for you to take next in moving forward if he doesn’t change.
Wa Alaikum Salaam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh sister,
This situation must cause you great distress, made especially worse by the fact that you don’t live together. Marriage provides us with the means to have needs met that cannot be met in an acceptable way otherwise.
When couples are apart, the temptation can be increased significantly as the spouse is not available and, therefore, they seek other means to meet such needs met that are not acceptable in Islam.
Your husband has denied any such acts and has told you that you should trust him and not worry but considering what you have found on his phone, this is difficult for you to believe.
It seems that there is a general issue of trust here. The fact that you are even searching through his phone implies that you don’t trust him. By going through his phone, you are also breaching his trust and that’s unfair on him. It’s not good to be suspicious of people and go searching for things behind their back.
On top of this, you have also found evidence to suggest that he is not being faithful to you which has shaken your trust in him. Without trust from either of you, your marriage will face difficulties if not managed appropriately. There are issues that are important for you both to tackle together.
It’s clear that you have tried to tackle such issues by raising them with him, but since he denies it, it becomes a little trickier to approach. If he is, indeed, committing adultery, then, of course, he is wrong. But since he denies it, without proof, you cannot be sure. So, to dwell in this issue at this point will do little to move your relationship forward.
Instead, try focusing on what the potential causes of all present issues are. Also, consider some of the following things; how would you feel if he was going through your own phone? Is it the fact that you live apart that causes marital difficulties?
It seems like the spark between you has been lost as you state that he does not reciprocate with you. After 8 years of marriage, this is not uncommon.
There are things you can do to reignite this spark once more. Firstly, remembering all the things you both loved about each other from the start. Try to organize a date night together, just the two of you and ask your in-laws, or someone else you trust to take care of your children for the evening.
Do something nice together and talk about old times, reminisce and laugh about things you have done together. Things that easily become forgotten as life moves on and you settle into new routines, especially when children arrive. This will help to reestablish old feelings that may have dwindled by this point, as well as giving the two of you time alone together which probably doesn’t happen so often anymore.
Try and make this a regular thing, something to look forward to, even if it is only once a month. Begin by talking about old times without dragging in present issues regarding his behavior as this will only spoil the mood of the evening. They certainly do need to be discussed, but you might first focus on repairing your relationship so that it is in a better place to be able to discuss them properly and in-depth in an open and honest manner. This will enable you to develop the trust necessary for a successful marriage.
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If he truly is committing wrong, then he will come to feel it and make efforts to change. If he doesn’t, then you need to consider what steps are best for you to take next in moving forward if he doesn’t change.
Trust is something that takes some time to establish, so you will both need to be patient in the process. But if successful, the results will be profound.
Essentially, the best way to start is to go back to before things started getting rocky and work from there in both uncovering where the problems started and why they arose. From here, you can reestablish a strong relationship between yourselves which will pave the way to better tackle and overcome the present issues and move forward successfully with established trust.
May Allah guide you both and bring you happiness and contentment in your marriage in this life and the next.
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