Am I in an Abusive Marriage?

02 April, 2017
Q I recently got married. However since the marriage my husband never listens to me. It's like everything I say sounds like I'm dictating to him. The problem I have is he never acted this way while we were courting, my mum however warned me of his pride. I guess I never saw it. He never misses the opportunity to call me stupid or how my actions are stupid or how I didn't inform him of certain actions I have taken. He is currently outside the country. And twice when we have argued he has expressed his regret for the marriage. Am I in an abusive relationship? Is he a bully? I'm treading on egg shells, I am naturally a free spirited person and very independent, but I feel he wants to suppress me and I'm tired of fighting over unnecessary issues. My work is stressful enough and I can't add my marriage too. I am willing to submit but not to be suppressed. What should I do??



As-Salaam ‘Aleikom sister,

Thank you for writing to us about your situation. I will try my best to advice you, In sha’ Allah.

First of all, no one should feel suppressed in a marriage. Marriage is a commitment between two individuals in which both should respect and love each other.

I can understand that you must be going through a very hard time in your marriage. You are brave that you wrote to us about your problem.

Unfortunately, no marriage is free of conflict. It is normal to sometimes get irritated and annoyed with each other, but it does not mean that you degrade and insult your spouse. You are supposed to make each other happy in a marriage. It seems he is being verbally abusive, which maybe even worse than a physical abuse. Physical abuse is if somebody hits you, but verbal abuse is when somebody uses language/words to hurt you. Words hurt and can be more harmful than physical pain.

I am sorry that you have to go through this. It is not a healthy marriage when there is any sort of abuse there. Bullying is any deliberate action, words, or behavior that hurts someone else. Do not be quiet about bullying. Talk to him or to your parents about his behavior to stop it. Do not suffer in silence, please. Maybe he does not know that his actions hurt you, so it is important that you speak to him about how you feel.

Islam recognizes the evil of verbal abuse and perhaps that’s why there is so much emphasis on guarding one’s tongue and keeping others secured from its invisible harm.

The Messenger of Allah (saw) said,

“A true believer is not involved in taunting, or frequently cursing (others) or in indecency or abusing.” (Tirmidhi)

It must be really hard for you to hear such things from your husband. Have you tried sitting down and talking to him? If not, then I suggest that you try talking to him when he is in calm and good mood. Tell him how hurtful his words are when he speaks like that with you.

The conversation should be in a calm and respectful manner. Instead of focusing on what he does wrong, you should use “I” statements, for example: “I feel hurt when you say that”, “when you say stupid to me, I feel ignored and unloved”. This way, your feelings will be clearer to him, and he will not feel “attacked” and get defensive.

Communication is a key thing here. It is essential that you both establish a way of speaking and listening to each other that you both are comfortable with. There is no good communication if you both talk and no one listens to the other one. Make sure you hear him out as well. It might be something you have said or done that is uncomfortable for him.

I am sure he does not mean it when he says he regrets marrying you. It might be something he says when he argues with you, in a state of anger. Obviously, this is still hurtful for you, so you should definitely address to him that you care for him, but he has to stop saying this to you as it hurts.

It is not going to be easy. It will require that you both make an effort to improve yourselves for each other.

Talk and listen to each other, spend some quality time together, compliment and be nice to each other. You will have to work on your marriage every day. The more you “water” it the more it will grow healthy, In sha’ Allah. It is important that you both are happy together.

If you think talking to him doesn’t solve any problem, then you should involve someone close, maybe a reliable family member, who he listens to and respects. Make them talk to him and explain to him what he has been doing is wrong. Be patient, sister, and I am sure things will be better, in sha’ Allah.

May Allah (swt) grant peace and love in your marriage.



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