Because of his limitation, I started a job so that I can give everything to my kids. He stopped giving me my pocket money too and now he is not spending 1 penny on my clothes, my kids’ clothes, even on my kids’ books or tuition. If I asked he makes an excuse for his bad business condition. I was ok with that too but he never appreciates me, still abuses me, still gives me hard time. He comes home as a guest; he eats, watches tv and wants to have sex with me. If I refused as I have no love for him, he accuses me I am a bad wife.
Overall as a husband or father, he is giving us food and house. That is it. I want to separate, but he is not ready for it and threatens me with divorce.
I want to ask, as a wife, is it my right to ask money from him for mine personal expenses and for the kids’ even if his income is less than mine? And as a wife, does he deserve my money without my permission. He even told me that if he divorces me he won't give me a penny for the kids. He might give it as a favor.
In this counseling answer:
• A woman’s money is her own and he has no right to it at all. On the contrary, all the money he earns you and your children have a right to as the entire point for a man to have a job is first to care for his family.
• Whatever life you want for them you are going to have to fight for, and with the help of Allah, improve their conditions and the environment around them.
• There is never an excuse to mistreat a wife. If a husband fears he cannot be kind and just to his wife then it’s better, after seeking consultation or counseling and help, to let her go respectfully and also with kindness.
Thank you for writing in with your question. May Allah bring ease to you and reward you for the patience you have shown through all of these years and reward for standing up for yourself and standing for justice in your marriage.
The short answer is that neither is your husband allowed to abuse you in any way nor is he allowed to control or touch any money that you earn.
A woman’s money is her own and he has no right to it at all. On the contrary, all the money he earns you and your children have a right to as the entire point for a man to have a job is first to care for his family.
How Abusers Control Money
According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline here are a few of the ways an abuser uses the money to control their partner: To see the complete list and get further details, click here.
This abuse can take different forms, including:
- Giving an allowance and closely watching how their partner spends it or demanding receipts for purchases
- Placing the partner’s paycheck in their bank account and denying them access to it
- Using funds from children’s savings accounts without their partner’s permission
- Refusing to give their partner money, food, clothing, gas or medicine
- Living in their partner’s home but refusing to work or contribute to the household
- Making their partner give them their tax returns or confiscating joint tax returns
The last example is one that you have just described. I pray that knowing this is a confirmation for you that you have every right to feel hurt and that you are not the first woman to experience this and you are fully justified in your gut telling you how wrong all of this is even without needing to ask for a religious opinion.
From beginning to present it’s unfortunate that your husband has chosen actions that are abusive towards you.
Check out this counseling video:
Standing For Your Rights
I am so relieved to hear that you took a stand to stop him from hitting you. Good for you! And it looks like you will have to keep that up moving forward because he is not going to give you your rights or respect you. Not for standing up for yourself, not for working to take care of your children, or for taking care of yourself. It’s been ten years so you know his character well.
In fact, the more successful you become there is a chance he may try to tear you down even further. An abusive man will look for weak points and try to dismantle a woman’s self-esteem bit by bit. Whether it’s talking about her weight, comparing her to other women, complaining about her cooking and talking about some other woman’s cooking, discussing the state of the home, ridiculing her for thinking she’s a “somebody” just for having a job, and on and on.
To survive, you will need to continue to develop yourself as a fully independent woman and take care of your children. They don’t have a father to raise them. Sadly, they have a man who curses and verbally abuses their mother in their presence and previously hit her in their presence. Imagine what it’s like for them to grow up in this environment?
Whatever life you want for them you are going to have to fight for, and with the help of Allah, improve their conditions and the environment around them.
Is There a Legal Help If You Want to Leave?
I am not sure which country you reside in so I am not sure what legal help is available to you right now. If you do decide that at some point in the future you did want out of the marriage you would need help to document the abuse you’ve dealt with so that you are supported in the court system. Of course, even with court support many women still struggle severely to get any kind of financial support for their children and themselves. But if there is a legal route to help you please look into it so that you know what all the best options are on the table.
Should You Stay?
If you continue in the marriage, there are a few areas of concern I have for you.
1) Are you able to continue to build yourself up so that your confidence and self-esteem will not be harmed any further?
2) What are some of the negative impacts your children are experiencing being in the home with an abusive father and the environment it creates?
3) What do you want for your future? Where are you on your own life map?
In order to take care of these three questions, I encourage you to find a local counselor in your area or an online counselor who can support you. You have been through a lot and your children are going through a lot too. Please look into some guidance and support in whatever way you can find it for yourself and them.
You Deserved to Be Honored
At all times what I want you to remember and hold on to is the fact that you deserve to be honored as a woman and as a wife and as a mother. You should never be mistreated, you should never be cursed at, you should never be physically harmed, and you should never have to put up with the behaviors you have been tolerating and being patient with for more than a decade.
Without needing a religious fatwa from anyone at any time this is what I want you to remember. You are a servant of Allah and deserve to be honored accordingly.
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) said:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “It does not befit a Siddiq (righteous Muslim) to frequently curse others.” [Muslim]
Narrated `Abdullah bin Zam`a:
The Prophet (ﷺ)said in part of a hadith… “How does anyone of you beat his wife as he beats the stallion camel and then he may embrace (sleep with) her?” And Hisham said, “As he beats his slave” (Bukhari)
Even if there was something specific your husband didn’t like about you, the Qur’an instructs men with the following:
“And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (4:19)
That means that there is never an excuse to mistreat a wife. If a husband fears he cannot be kind and just to his wife then it’s better, after seeking consultation or counseling and help, to let her go respectfully and also with kindness.
Abuse is never ever tolerated in our religion. Please hold on to that.
May Allah make a way out for you from your difficulties and reward you for striving to take care of your children.
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.