A Newlywed: “I Can’t Believe What My Husband Did in His Past”

14 July, 2021
Q Assalamu aleikom. I’m a newlywed. In the first month of my marriage, I’ve discovered my husband’s disturbing past with women while looking through his phone. Old messages and pictures with women he never deleted. These were a year or more before he completed pilgrimage.

My discovery is literally driving me crazy. It makes me feel like he is not the pure and pious man I thought he was. It also makes me think of him as a hypocrite who only went to Hajj to cleanse his sins before seeking marriage.

My present husband is literally amazing, kind, loves Allah SWT and has such great character.

I know he regrets his past so much but I can’t stop thinking about the man he was (the women he used to be with in haram ways). The fact that he had his past saved in his phone also makes me see him as a man of playing games and not the man he is today.

To make it clear, he is very different today, very clean hearted, on the straight path without a doubt and I know he loves Allah SWT way too much. However, I keep thinking about his past that was on his phone; I can’t trust him and I can’t see him as a man of honor. It drives me crazy knowing he used to sleep around. We fight a lot because I don’t trust him, only because of his past.

I don’t think Allah would give me a bad man because I used to pray day and night for a good righteous man. I also prayed isthikhara plenty of times before marrying him.

I love him so much, I don’t know if I am ruining my marriage by being stuck in his past. At the same time, I have a hard time trusting him, especially when out with his male friends.

Do I let go of what I saw on his phone and see him for who he is today?

Answer


This may be a test which will turn into a trial to determine how much faith and love you have for your husband at this point.

Ensure that the pictures are deleted, and ask your husband to give you some time and comfort while you heal from what you have seen.

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Insha’Allah try to ensure that the foundation of your marriage is built upon Islam. You may wish to make it a point to pray together more, read Qur’an together, go to the Masjid to pray and attend Islamic events.

By taking marriage classes, you and your husband will learn a lot about trust, communication, the rights of a husband and a wife over each other, how to resolve issues, and much more.


As salamu alaykum,

Sister, I am sorry to hear about the things that have been going on since you were recently married.


As you indicated you found pictures of women on your husband’s phone. You stated they were old pictures and that he is very pious now but you cannot forget his past.

Past Sins

Sister, if this happened in the past, you should try as hard as you can to erase this from your mind. I know it’s very difficult to do. Once you’ve seen a picture, it is hard to erase; however, as we want to be forgiven by Allah, we should seek to forgive others.

As long as your husband has repented to Allah and asked for forgiveness for these sins and has truly changed, then you as well need to let it go. If he is righteous and pious in his life right now and has changed, he does not need to be reminded of his past.

We All Sin

We all sin, we all fall short and alhamdulillah we have the mercy of Allah’s forgiveness. With that said, it is best not to bring up past mistakes once we have repented as I’m sure your husband has.

Removing Things Associated with Past Sins

The question that remains is why the pictures are still on his phone. Once one has repented for a sin, they usually let go, delete, get rid of the Haram things that are attached to that sin.

In this case your husband should have deleted all of the pictures, contacts, and so forth. Why he did not do that, I do not know. In order to ease your mind and help you to heal, you may want to ask him this question.

After you saw the pictures he should have erased them. Perhaps he forgot they were there, I don’t know; however, he should delete them as he did start fresh after he repented.

A Newlywed: “I Can’t Believe What My Husband Did in His Past” - About Islam

Once you have spoken with him about why he saved them on his phone and you get a satisfactory response, please realize that it may be that he just simply forgot.

If that is the case, leave it at that and make duaa to Allah to help you overcome your feelings regarding trust, disappointment, and fear.

If your husband has truly turned back to the right path on Islam, he will have no problems deleting the pictures as well as comforting you, understanding and soothing your concerns and fears.

Trying to Forget

Trying to forget what you saw will take work on your part, Sister. No one gets married to someone they view as righteous and pious and expects to find these things but it does happen. Insha’Allah you will be able to move forward as Allah would want you to.

As your husband is currently on the right path, it would not be good for you to keep throwing in his face these past mistakes especially if he repented for them.

Understandably, the disappointment and shock you feel is natural, Sister and I’m sure every wife would feel that way. This may be a test which will turn into a trial to determine how much faith and love you have for your husband at this point.

Of course, if he gives you reason to think that he is not the righteous and pious man you married, then you may consider other options. However, you state that he has changed, and is a good and pious husband.

With that said, look at his past just as that, the past. View your husband as a new person in Islam with a new dedication and determination to please Allah, to be a good husband, and to make you happy.

Time and Trust

If everybody decided not to trust, love, and give someone a chance based on past sins, no one would be married. Pious means a lot of different things, so does righteousness, and everyone falls short in their own way.

Insha’Allah try to move past what you have seen on the phone. Ensure that the pictures are deleted, and ask your husband to give you some time and comfort while you heal from what you have seen. Insha’Allah he will understand and be by your side and help you through this.

The more you think about the pictures from the past, the bigger the issue and the pain will be. This will be especially troublesome if your husband has repented and has truly changed his life.

Your ruminating and thinking about this will not be pleasing to Allah. It is understandable that it hurts; however, as Muslims we are supposed to forgive as well.


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Building Relationship with Husband

Sister, try to do things with your husband that will encourage closeness and trust. As you are recently married, you are still building your marriage foundation.

Insha’Allah try to ensure that the foundation of your marriage is built upon Islam. You may wish to make it a point to pray together more, read Qur’an together, go to the Masjid to pray and attend Islamic events.

Marriage Classes

Some masjids and Islamic centers offer marriage classes. If you have not taken any yet, these are wonderful classes that can bring you and your husband closer, and help heal you in regard to the pictures you saw.

By taking marriage classes, you and your husband will learn a lot about trust, communication, the rights of a husband and a wife over each other, how to resolve issues, and much more. The classes are usually fun and very informative.

Conclusion

Sister, please do ask your husband why the pictures were still on his phone, and to please delete them. Try to start on a fresh note, which means not using his past as a gauge as to who he is now.

Allah helps those who wish to change make miraculous changes in their lives. Some of the best and most pious Muslims had a much more horrendous past than your husband. Allah looks at who we are now when we sincerely repent.

Insha’Allah, you will be able to look at who your husband is now and not what happened in the past with him. Please do Islamic activities that will bring the both of you closer and build trust, mercy, and compassion between the two of you.

We wish you the best.

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

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.