18 November, 2016
I am married for 12 years hamdulillah and have 3 kids. For the past years, my husband has been addicted to porn and chatting. He had told me once about wife swapping some years ago, and I was against it. I explained to him that this was against Islam and our culture. He convinced me saying that he was not interested in it; he was just sharing this topic with me. Although he stopped talking about it in front of me, he was in constant touch with such sites. He was having chats with many couples, but I did not know about this.One day when I caught him doing that, we had a heated argument. He told me that there was no seriousness in his chats; he was just fantasizing. He said he knew his limits, and he would not cross them for sure. But he continued to do the same. We had many arguments on this after that whenever I saw him chatting late at night. But nothing changed. He was very stubborn and never accepted his mistakes, and always blamed me for suspecting him. I tried to send him many articles about that porn was haram which I had found on your site, but all in vain.Once I also saw many pictures of nude ladies on his laptop which he had downloaded. I was also shocked seeing his own nude picture on his laptop. When I questioned him about this, he told me that the picture was not his, and it was downloaded from a site. Again, he convinced me that there was no seriousness in this. He always convinced me about that he knows his limits and that he is not going to meet any ladies in real life. That is just net contact and nothing more than that. I trusted him. I was really frustrated after 3 long years during which I was trying hard to pull him out of this habit, but I couldn't.I thought of creating a fake profile and check out what he was chatting about with the ladies or couples. I invited him to chat using another fake name. On the first chat, he asked me to meet him and told me that he had met a lady before, who was a non-Muslim, in a hotel room and had spent the night with her. This aroused my curiosity, and I agreed to meet him. He also told me that he had enjoyed it very much the last time with the lady, and he really wanted to try this again with me. As I was becoming more curious, I made 4 other chats with him during which he shared every detail about his wife with me as a stranger. He was telling that he was not satisfied with his wife and wanted fun and excitement outside. I asked him many times if he did not think that he was cheating his wife, but he felt he was not doing anything wrong, and he didn't think much about it; he just wanted to meet, have fun, and forget. He promised there would be no emotional strings. He sent me his nude picture and was talking about sex and all rubbish stuff. lipstick_collarI wanted to know whether he would go to the end or he was just chatting as he had said to me. I asked him to book a room. The next day we planned a meeting in the hotel room. I went to the hotel wearing a burqa’ in which he could not recognize me. He was so much excited about this that he had done everything to satisfy that woman. He had shaved his chest which he has not done in the last 10 years of our married life and carried everything possible to satisfy that woman whom he was going to meet. We met at the hotel room, and I was shocked as I was still not sure that he would come, but he came there. As he saw me there, he started convincing me that it was the whispering of Satan, and he came for such meeting for the first time. He has not done anything like this before. He cried, begged and did everything to convince me. He sweared that he had not done this before and would never repeat it again in his life. He told me that he learnt the lesson and that I brought him to the right path at the right time.I was again convinced. I didn't have any other option; I had to think of my children's future, too. I thought of forgiving him and asked him to start a new life altogether. Then he started blaming me that I was the only one who had provoked him for this because he had not done anything wrong previously, except chatting. He said that I had actually wanted to make him feel guilty and that is why I had planned all this. Instead of feeling guilty for his acts, he was making me feel guilty that I had done something wrong! I told him that whatever I did was to save my marriage. 3 more years have passed, and he still continues to chat, but may be less than before. I see it many times, but now I don’t confront him because this would just cause fight between us.He has this habit of fantasizing, and he even asks me whether I fantasize about anybody. It seems he gets excited thinking that someone wants to **** me. I am really shocked with my husband’s fantasies which I am really ashamed of, but I don’t want to divorce him. I pray to Allah for my husband, but I am really confused what can be done to improve my marriage. How can I help my husband out of these fantasies without harming our relationship because he avoids talking about this. He just closes the discussion. I am really worried and have become very insecure. Please help me out.
As-Salamu `Alaikum Sister,
Thank you for sending us your question. No doubt, you are going through a very difficult time in your marriage, and I ask Allah to help you through this and for your husband to overcome this terrible habit.
There are a lot of untold issues between the both of you. You both need to start being open and honest with each other. There has been damage done due to the fact that your husband was addicted to pornography and hiding this from you. That naturally caused you to be suspicious.
I’m sure you probably felt hurt, confused, frustrated, let down, etc. after you found out of his addiction because it is expected that in a marriage both spouses should be happy and content with each other and should not look elsewhere for their needs to be fulfilled.
Since it raised a lot of suspicion within you that led you to ask questions, and you demanded answers (which you are certainly entitled to). Your husband wasn’t giving you any answers naturally because he wants to continue to hide this terrible habit that he is ashamed of; but at the same time, he does not really want to stop.
Subhan Allah, one dysfunction leads to another, and that lead you to spy on your husband and even trick him into thinking that you were another woman who was interested in having sexual relations with him. Normally spying is considered haram, but since your husband was not being honest with you, you felt the need to spy on him to get answers to your questions.
No doubt your situation is a difficult one. Thirteen years of marriage and three children is a huge investment that you don’t want to leave behind so easily. The question now is what are you going to do? It seems like you may have two options:
Your first option is what you have been doing thus far. For that last thirteen years, you have shown your husband that you do not approve of his behavior both verbally and non-verbally, but you unfortunately, have had minimal results. That is somewhat expected since in human nature, seldom do people do as they are told! This resulted in your constant suspicion, dissatisfaction, and even feelings of insecurity. If you continue on this route, you will most likely become bitter and resentful since your marriage will stay the way it is, and Allah knows best.
Your second option is to be proactive and assertive. Since the tactics that you have been using for the last thirteen years have not been working, you must find another way to connect with your husband and to have him understand that he has been hurting you. For him to empathize with you is your goal – you want him to know how much you are hurting from his behavior. Subsequently, you would want him to feel guilty for his actions and that he has been doing something wrong.
The first step for him to stop his addiction is to first have him admit that he has a problem and needs to seek help for it. I highly recommend for the both of you to undergo marriage counseling as well as individual counseling for both of you.
Counseling will help both of you overcome your weaknesses and reach you goals. Individual counseling for your husband should focus on overcoming his pornography and chatting addiction once he is ready and determined to do so.
After you have tried all options to support your husband to overcome his addiction, keep in mind that things might not work out the way you want them to be. That is because at the end of the day, we are only responsible for our own actions and we cannot force a person to change if they do not want to.
At that point, you will be faced to make a decision on the future of your marriage. But at that time you must know that if you decide to stay married than you will have to accept your husband the way he is. The choice is yours, and I ask Allah to give you contentment in whatever you decide.
May Allah give your husband the insight and strength to overcome his addiction and improve his marriage. I also ask Allah to give you the courage to make the right decision.
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