My husband says it is over between us and we are no longer married, any time something annoys him. He expects me to follow his every command without questions even when they are clearly wrong or could put me in trouble. We are in a long-distance marriage (unplanned but Allahu Allam) and I live with his family, we have been married for18 months.
He sometimes fights with his brother and makes decisions about me in a way that causes trouble for me. In our culture, there’s a lot of weight on respect and elders easily get offended by some little things, and they typically blame the wife for everything. I always beg him and try to make him realize there are other ways to go about things while still achieving your goals. But he immediately accuses me of having no respect for him and blames my education on it.
He has asked for a divorce more than twice now, calling my parents on two separate occasions to tell them it is over between us. And then the family have to get involved with his parents begging him and others asking me stupid and personal questions all in a bid to ascertain that it was all my fault. Because typically, a husband wouldn't just ask for a divorce.
I get blamed for everything, my privacy violated, I'm embarrassed at everyone getting in my business every time. But my husband does not care and he says my begging him is not enough. His family has to beg him for months on end while he ignores me for months on end. He has been fighting me since January now, blocked me on all social media platforms, he has cursed me and said a lot of awful stuff.
I also found out that he and his brother planned to deal with me after marriage because my family differed with them on some wedding arrangements. I have now noticed a trait in their family that the men want things to always go their way and anyone who does not fall in line needs to be punished by them. My husband has abandoned me for like 6 months now and he called me like only twice in those six months to say some pretty silly things and cut off immediately.
I am tired of such lifestyle. He is quick to anger and may soon get angry over another little thing and this starts all over again. Not caring about me in a bit or taking any responsibility, ignoring me and all this embarrassment. I don’t feel like I should beg him. Am I wrong?
In this counseling answer:
Seek out personal counseling whether you stay with him or not.
If you decide to stay, then make marriage counseling a prerequisite for this and hold him accountable.
If you decide to leave then bear in mind the 7 tips for healing as you go through this process.
I know this is not an easy situation and family is in the middle of it, but this is your marriage, not theirs.
Take time to really assess what you want to do then make your decision based upon your own happiness.
Thank you for writing in and trusting us with this delicate situation. It is my understanding you are in a long-distance marriage and during this time he has humiliated you with family, blocks you online, triggers family to blame you, neglects your rights as a wife and will blame you for any disagreement.
Additionally, you mentioned “I have now noticed a trait in their family that the men want things to always go their way and anyone who does not fall in line needs to be punished by them” and you state he has abandoned you.
Sister, to begin with, let me answer your question. You enquired as to whether it was wrong of you that you don’t want to beg him to stay married to you. I will say this clearly and bluntly. You are not wrong; he is wrong and anyone who tells you to beg him for anything is wrong.
I would like to highlight a verse from the Quran for you.
“And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of the settlement between them – and settlement is best…” [Quran 4:128]
Please understand I am not a scholar, so what I am about to say is not a judicial ruling it is a counseling answer from an Islamic perspective. Sister, you don’t need to fear evasion (abandonment) or contempt from your husband as he has already provided a wealth of evidence that he does show contempt and evasion.
You mention being tired of this lifestyle. Sister, if you are done with this marriage then now is the time to fully end it.
I will speak honestly with you; he expects you to beg him and humiliate yourself. If you did this, he might not seek a divorce, but this situation will happen again, and you will spend the rest of your life periodically begging him and serving his will even when it makes you unhappy.
As he has asked for the divorce then this is easy, tell him yes you grant the divorce and come to an agreement regarding a settlement. Be forewarned, I doubt he will be kind when it comes to the settlement. He might ask for the mahr back or try to slander you. I encourage you to ignore this as best you can and try to move forward.
Sister, I encourage you to seek out personal counseling to heal from the wounds of this marriage. Please understand this type of maltreatment is not aligned with shariah nor is it emotionally healthy.
While your family undoubtedly loves you and wants you to be happy, they are not able to remain unbiased and speak about this therapeutically. Culture will impact how they react to this situation, which is why I suggest seeking out a counselor who can be unbiased and help you work through the emotional scars caused by this man.
If you do consider personal counseling, please be aware you can do this online from the comfort of your own home if you feel uncomfortable being face to face with someone. Additionally, you can investigate Islamic counseling such as Noor Human Consulting.
If You Stay
Sister, we need to talk about if you decide you don’t want to divorce this man and want to work on the marriage. If you go this route, I strongly suggest marriage counseling as the current dynamic is not healthy.
You mentioned that he became harsh when you asked if he still loved you and if you two could work on problems on a couple. Bring this up with the marriage counselor. It is very important for couples to have healthy communication and trust. The fact you two can’t talk about problems in a kind way is a major issue.
Check out this counseling video:
If you decide to stay married, I would not permit him to say no to marriage counseling. His maltreatment of you needs to be rectified and he is not able to recognize his own areas with room for improvement. If you seek to stay married with this man, I strongly advocate that you tell him counseling is a condition of marriage.
If You Go
If you do decide to divorce this man, divorce recovery is a process of emotional as well as practical healing and restructuring of your life. Here are 7 tips to navigate the healing process of divorce.
Avoid drastic decisions. During a divorce, you go through a period of self-discovery and change. Avoid making any radical decisions during the first year after divorce. It is an emotionally charged period while you rediscover what YOU want moving forward. Try to keep things as level as you can.
Tell yourself it is okay to have questions. No one goes into a marriage expecting a divorce. It is normal and okay not to have all the answers right now such as where will I move, will I make enough money, what is going to happen next etc. Take it one day at a time and don’t be hard on yourself.
Accept you are grieving. Even the person who asks for a divorce often feels sadness and waves of negative emotions as they heal. This is completely normal and part of the process. You might feel free and liberated one day then the next day you feel lonely. This is okay Sister.
Identify your social support. You need support and understanding during this. Confide in friends or family that you trust who can see the situation without cultural bias.
Create your divorce story using art. It can be very cathartic to release those emotions by putting them into a journal, blog or some form of art. Consider writing down the story of how you got divorced or use paint to illustrate a symbolic piece of art that tells this story.
Spend time alone and love yourself more. Do no rush getting married again, even if parents push you to after your 3-month waiting period. I would suggest taking a year to yourself if able.
Identify financial needs. Part of being on your own means supporting yourself financially. Set goals for your financial stability that include career steps and work towards being financially independent. If you can take care of yourself then when you do marry again it will be your choice of who you want, not who you need financially.
Dear Sister, here is a summary of your steps moving forward. Seek out personal counseling whether you stay with him or not. If you decide to stay, then make marriage counseling a prerequisite for this and hold him accountable. If you decide to leave then bear in mind the 7 tips above for healing as you go through this process.
I know this is not an easy situation and family is in the middle of it, but this is your marriage not theirs. Take time to really assess what you want to do then make your decision based upon your own happiness. Even if your family doesn’t initially agree, they will support you eventually as ultimately, they just want you to be safe and happy.
May Allah (Most honored, Most Revered) guide your decision and heal your heart with his light and mercy,
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.