In-Laws Say “I Should Kiss My Husband’s Feet!”

21 November, 2020
Q My husband wants a divorce and has left me 3 times these past 2 months. We have been married a little over a year. When we first met he was great, I was a single mum of two children, who he and his family accepted right away.

After we married I had found out he had lied about a lot of things, which I forgave him for. We immediately tried for our own baby and at first we were struggling. He pushed for us to attend a fertility clinic soon as it reached a year of trying to conceive. But during that year 6 months of our marriage was great. I was on cloud 9.

6 months after he changed. He became physically and mentally abusive. He blamed my past as an excuse for him always being angry. He was even doing illegal activities which led to him being arrested and currently under investigation with the police, he blamed me for this. Anything that doesn’t go right for him I get the blame.

I have changed a lot about my life for him, and no matter what I do I feel I could give this man the world and it would never be enough. The second time he had left me I found out I was pregnant, I immediately told him and he returned home. He was happy, we spoke of names and where we would be living as his family lives abroad. He wants us to join his family once the baby is born, I accepted.

Fast forward three weeks later he has left me again, I couldn’t tell you why, he stated Talāq three times then blocked me from every way of contacting him and has left to go to another city. I feel so broken, he has damaged me mentally and physically but I still want my marriage to work. I feel a failure for him leaving like this.

I don’t have anyone I can turn to, his family don’t speak the same language as me and they always take his side even if I do say anything. Their words I should ‘kiss his feet’ for him marrying me with 2 children. I am now pregnant with a child that we both planned, but he seems to not care anymore. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Answer


In this counseling session:

  • See the mercy and protection Allah (swt) is extending by getting you out of this dangerous situation now
  • Remember this is not your fault and you are not to blame
  • Please consider professional counseling
  • Seek out local support options
  • Take action to ensure the divorce and protections are legal 
  • Engage in more self-care
  • Always seek solace in prayer

Assalamu alaikum. 

Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your concerns with us. 

It is my understanding you have been married for less than a year and during that short period of time he has been mentally and physically abusive, gotten you pregnant, stated Talaq, blocked you while moving to another city and his family still claims you should “kiss his feet”.

My dear Sister, often in marriage situations I will state you have a choice to make and show both sides of the story. The side that stays and the side that goes. For the sake of your safety and the safety of your children, I will not do this with your situation. I know this will be hard to hear, but it is a needed truth. Run as far away from this man as you can and do it now.

It is a blessing alhamdulillah that Allah (swt) is showing you so early on how dangerous and horrible of a husband this man is and that his family is no better. You are being protected right now alhamdulillah and given a chance to escape before you get in even deeper. 

You stated, “I feel like a failure”, no my dear Sister no. He wants you to feel that way and I deduce he will come back and blame you for all that happened and say he wants to stay. You will have to be strong and refuse him and in that moment he will get angry. His behavior patterns are like those of many abusive spouses. 

Gaslighting

Your husband has you under the impression all that has happened is somehow your fault. That is because he manipulated your perception of situations into believing he is not at fault.

When a spouse purposefully manipulates your perception and alters it to a false reality, it is a form of gaslighting. This is manipulation aimed at reducing your self-worth and keeping you submissive despite all of the abusive things he does. 

Accountability

You mention he is mentally and physically abusive, yet he blamed you for this using your past. Sister, you have no reason to be ashamed of your past and any Muslim man or family or shames a woman for having children is not following Islam rather they are following culture. He is accountable for his actions, but he is using manipulation to blame it on you. 

“And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative….”

[Quran 35:18]

You also mentioned he was committing illegal activities and once again blamed you for his choices and put that burden on you. According to your question, “anything that doesn’t go right for him I get the blame”. This is all a form of manipulation Sister; he is slowly whittling you down so you always blame yourself and see him as some glorious husband who should be praised. 

It was also mentioned he lied about many things going into the marriage, so the marriage was entered into with a base of lies. He is displaying a lack of accountability and a lot of narcissistic behavior sister. 


Check out this counseling video:


Family

I understand his family told you that due to having prior children you should be kissing his feet and you agreed to move to this family for the birth of the baby. Sister, I strongly urge you to NEVER go to this family for they may try to keep the child and this can become a legal battle in their country since it is not your country of citizenship. The fact they display this type of attitude is dangerous and against Islam. 

Divorce

Sister, this man has already abandoned you, blocked you, and stated he was divorcing you. Alhamdulillah, he did the hard part for you already! Take action to make the divorce legally binding. Dependent on where you are currently this will vary, contact your local court system to ensure you know exactly what to do and make this happen right away.

During this time, also ensure the children are listed under your custody. I encourage you to ask about protective orders to not allow him near you without an escort, as this man has already been abusive to you it is possible he will get worse and present a viable threat to the safety of you and your children once he realizes you are no longer bowing to him.

 You need to find out how to take legal action against him that does not allow him to come near you and the baby with a police or social services escort. File paperwork now regarding his physical abuse so it is on file.

As the Father of your unborn baby, he may take actions to have visitation, but those visitations can be supervised by appointed professionals to ensure the safety of all parties involved. I know this sounds scary and hard Sister, but please remember it is not just your safety it is the safety of your children. This man has already proven himself to be dangerous. I need to reiterate this is NOT your fault, it is on him. 

Counseling

Sister, I encourage you to consider professional counseling services to help you heal from this traumatic marriage. You can do this online if you feel more comfortable and it is easier for you. If you want to engage in Islamic counseling, you can consider options like Noor Human Consulting or Eeman Therapy Clinic.

In-Laws Say "I Should Kiss My Husband's Feet!" - About Islam

Take some time to look up varying counseling services and find one that feels comfortable for you. If financial concerns make you wary of this, please be aware many counseling services will work with your unique situation and have sliding scale fees or when applicable no fees. 

Find Support

Sister, seek out social support such as any family or trusted friends that can give you emotional support during all of this. You can look for local divorce groups to find women with similar situations or even look online for social media groups that align with your situation. 

If you need assistance with where you will live and finances, reach out to your local social services and family centers. Inshallah they will help direct you to resources that help single mothers and pregnant women. 

You are not alone in this Sister; resources do exist that can help you inshallah. 

Self-Care

It is important for your own health as well as your babies that you exercise self-care. As you heal, engaging in acts of self-care will help you de-stress and provide a healthier body for the baby to grow in. Think about activities that give you relaxation and make you feel good while also taking care of yourself. 

Here are a few examples to consider:

  • Relaxing bubble baths
  • Eating healthier
  • Walks in nature
  • Drinking relaxing herbal teas such as chamomile and lavender 
  • Getting to bed earlier
  • Time at the mosque 
  • Ensuring you take breaks during the day 
  • Practicing mindfulness meditation (focus on slow deep breathing and you can use dhikr during this)

Final Thoughts

Here is a summary of your next steps forward as you strive for a happier and safer life inshallah. 

  • See the mercy and protection Allah (swt) is extending by getting you out of this dangerous situation now
  • Remember this is not your fault and you are not to blame
  • Please consider professional counseling
  • Seek out local support options
  • Take action to ensure the divorce and protections are legal 
  • Engage in more self-care
  • Always seek solace in prayer

I know this is a difficult situation and awfully hard on you, but inshallah you can heal and move forward. May Allah (swt) heal your heart, guide your actions, and protect you, ameen. 

Salam,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"