In this counseling answer:
The three steps you will need to take: 1) Reach out for help to those you trust. 2) Invite your husband to plan out your life as a family in 2018 with the positive focus. 3) Turn to Allah, talk to Allah, and strive to serve Him.
Thank you for taking the first step in supporting yourself by emailing your question. I want this to be the beginning of your healing. I want you to no longer feel depressed or stuck in a marriage that causes nothing but heartache and fighting.
It’s going to take work and sacrifice for you to be able to begin the restoration of your marriage but in sha’ Allah it’s possible.
Find Your Common Values
The first thing I want you to do is to think about all the areas that you and your husband are in agreement on. For example, do you both want to raise a healthy child? Do you both believe you should pray five times a day? Do you both think that gelato is better than ice cream?
What are the values that brought you together and which ones are still shared whether serious or fun?
It really helps to look at the areas you both don’t need to be fighting over as a place to allow your heart to first connect with in the here and now. It’s about finding the good in your husband so you can seek to bring out more of his good and focus on it.
If he has gotten a bit lost with bad company, it’s possible that he has either lost sight of his values or needs the opportunity to choose them once again. Since both of you were quite young when you got married, it wouldn’t be abnormal for you both to go through some changes as you search for your identities moving into adulthood.
Getting married and becoming a parent are major life shifts. It is quite possible that he was not prepared, mentally speaking, for how significant of a change he was stepping into in his life. It would be extremely easy to judge him for this, but instead, I am encouraging you to consider this with mercy in your heart. He must have wanted to marry you and was excited about having you in his life and like many young men may not have fully understood how much would be expected of him as a husband.
It will do no good to fault him at this point. Instead, look at how you both can develop together with compassion and mercy for one and other.
Invite to Goal Setting
Invite your husband for a 2018 goal planning “date”. Get a pizza, or make your favorite dessert, and buy some plain paper and some colorful markers. Tell him that you want you both to put your heads together and plan for the year ahead consciously.
Express your love for him and belief in your marriage. Believe that in order for you both to thrive, you will need to be proactive in deciding what you both want more of in your lives.
Avoid things like “I don’t want to fight” or “I want you to stop seeing your friends.” Instead, make all the expressions positive written in such a fashion:
I want us to eat dinner together every night and cook together once a week.
I want to pray together as a family at the masjid once a week.
Let’s have a cell phone free time with our little one every Thursday evening.
I want your support in helping me wake up for Fajr.
Let’s hug every morning before you go to work.
A good relationship is built on small and consistent habits that keep the couple connected. These create opportunities for repair work to be done when there has been an argument of some kind. Focus on what you want more that is positive and concentrate your energy there as a couple.
If your husband knows the goal is to develop a stronger more peaceful relationship and home life, for the sake of Allah, then I hope his heart will be willing to participate and positively add to the conversation.
Neither of you is happy at home and together and so this is an invitation to build your family.
Leave Out the Obvious, Unless….
I would recommend that for right now you leave out the obvious discussion which is the friends of his you don’t like and some of his negative habits unless they are major deal breakers for you or are dangerous or haram. If he was, for example, doing drugs or drinking alcohol then this would require you to involve your families and get him help right away. If his behaviors aren’t desirable but aren’t at that level of severity, my hopes are you can have a conversation with him about some of his habits once you are both in a place of trust again with each other.
You Don’t Have to Do This Alone
Please understand that in no way do I believe that the responsibility for your husband to change rests on your shoulders. I am offering some positive steps you can take for your marriage but you don’t need to go through this alone.
If his behaviors and choices are having such a negative impact on you that feel like jumping off a roof, then it’s important to get some outside support.
First, for yourself. Consider getting yourself a counselor so you have someone outside the marriage to speak to and a safe place to express your feelings. They can guide you to actions that will help you and your relationship, in sha’ Allah.
Second, with severe issues, you should consider speaking with your parents or his. If you are both struggling this much, then letting your family step in can be a way to help you both receive some support and guidance.
Couples often isolate themselves out of embarrassment, but it’s unhealthy. Involve those you both trust to help you and end the cycle of arguing sooner than later. There is a little one who needs you both.
With a child in the pictures, it’s even more crucial that you get help. No matter how small your child, they can still understand the tension and fighting and will absorb the negative energy happening in the home.
Eventually, they’ll get old enough to understand what’s going on. I know you don’t want your child to grow up in a toxic environment. So, take this blessing from Allah as a motivation to change and do what’s necessary to change the environment.
Return to Allah for Help
A painful relationship can be an extremely difficult test to go through. What you need right now isn’t to stop praying and question everything.
You need to step straight into prayer, turn to Allah, and ask Him for guidance. Right now, none of this makes sense to you, but there is a reason that you are in this test. I don’t know the reason or the divine wisdom behind it, but it’s there.
In all of this is something important for you to learn. Right now there is the mercy of Allah to seek. But you have to turn to Him. You have to cry to Him. You have to make du’aa’ to Him and tell Him what you need and how you are feeling.
With that, find your strength in remembering why you are alive.
Your life has a purpose. You were created for a purpose. Hold on to that and ask yourself each day “What can I do to live my life as a woman of God?” Little by little, you can rebuild your faith.
So, to recap the steps you need to take:
1) Reach out for help to those you trust.
2) Invite your husband to plan out your life as a family in 2018 with the positive focus.
3) Turn to Allah, talk to Allah, and strive to serve Him.
May Allah help you,
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.