I am in a very difficult situation. I have been married to my husband for 11 years and have two boys alhumdulillah. My husband is a well-educated, well-paid employee at a multinational firm. To the world, he is a perfect gentleman and we both are moderately practicing Muslims. But behind closed doors, he’s a different person.
I have been suffering from his mental, physical, and verbal abuse since the third day of our marriage. He has anger issues and gets irritated very quickly. He’s very controlling and because my family lives overseas, he gets away with a lot.
My family and his family are very much aware of it as they have seen it, too. We both have tried to fix the issue. He apologizes and regrets what he has been doing as he loves our kids very much and wants to save the marriage, but he just cannot control his anger. He has tried out many Islamic mediation treatments with me that various imams suggested. However, we never have gone to get professional or medical help.
I am to the point of breaking because I cannot take it any longer. I want him to get some kind of intervention if he’s willing again, but should I and the kids separate from him. I believe if we stay with him, there will be many more incidents and I don't want my kids to see this anymore. They are getting very disturbed and scared.
Please advise! Thank you very much.
In this counseling answer:
• The abuser must acknowledge and accept his or her issues and seek the necessary treatment.
• It is important to encourage the abuser to seek help for his/her own sake.
• Family awareness and support for your decision should be established for your safety.
• The proper and consistent practice of Islam will heal your hearts and help aid in any therapy.
As-Salaam ’Alaykum sister,
Getting out of an abusive or violent relationship isn’t easy. Maybe you’re still hoping that things will change or you’re afraid of what your partner will do if he discovers you’re trying to leave. Whatever your reasons, you probably feel trapped and helpless.
But help is available. There are many resources available for abused and battered women, including crisis hotlines, shelters—even job training, legal services, and childcare. You deserve to live free of fear and pain. Please utilize the available resources in your area as you move forward with any decisions.
As you face the decision to either end the abusive relationship or try to save it, keep the following things in mind:
Hope is important, but be realistic
Abuse tends to be a cycle. Abusers have deeper wounds that must be addressed and healed if a real change is expected. The abuser must acknowledge and accept his or her issues and seek the necessary treatment that will help them as a person firstly and in the relationship.
Helping the abuser
It is important to encourage the abuser to seek help for his/her own sake. It is not anyone’s responsibility to fix another person. The first step to helping the abuser is to stop enabling them to keep abusing. The more the cycle continues, the more difficult it will become.
There are so many chances
People deserve opportunities to change but sincerity must be at the core of this chance. Sometimes, people change quickly in light of the gravity of their actions. Other times, it takes much longer or no change occurs at all.
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It is important to assess objectively the efforts and output of the abuser and gauge whether or not the relationship will realistically last. This decision must be made based on how you hope they will be.
Sometimes losing someone does not mean it is a “loss.” If your life is in constant danger and fear, one must consider the long-term damage to health and stability.
Take Some Space
Based on what you shared, I think taking some space or separating as a proactive measure to ensure your husband gets the help he needs is necessary at this point. Your husband will realize the seriousness and requirement that he invests in himself to heal from his anger issues.
Removing yourself and the children from his proximity may prompt him to get the help he needs. He should definitely see a specialist for anger management and be assessed medically for biological causations such as high levels of testosterone and adrenaline.
I would start by reaching out to both families since they are aware and letting them know that this is the next move you plan to take.
Do this before informing your husband of any plans to separate so that there is no chance of being threatened by him. Family awareness and support for your decision should be established for your safety.
Lastly, if you and your husband lack a deeper spiritual relationship with Allah (swt) and emulating the prophetic guidance, this needs to be intimately integrated into your lives. The proper and consistent practice of Islam will heal your hearts and help aid in any therapy. The dependence on one’s creator is an important factor of any successful journey. May God (swt) protect and guide you to the best course of action,
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 be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.