I have an issue with my marriage. I have been married for almost 5 years and I am currently 8 months pregnant. The other day I took my husband’s phone and checked his history search. I have found that he has been watching adult content videos with some showing men having intercourse with other men. He has been watching these videos every single day, even during Ramadhan time last year.
I also found that in 2017 he has googled for places where to have massage and intercourse with girls as well as registering to a dating website and looking for escorts in our local area.
I haven’t got a real proof whether he has actually cheated on me with these type of girls but I am very disappointed as he is quite religious and comes from a very religious family.
I can’t look at him the same way and I have just confronted him over the phone about it as I was very upset and I didn’t want to talk to him at home. I haven’t told him about him watching prohibited content but I confronted him about researching for girls in our area and the wish of meeting one of them.
He has been very defensive and says that he is ready to get divorce because he is saying I am throwing false accusations on him. I cannot trust him anymore as he didn’t limit himself to watching these videos but he is actually willing to meet other girls.
I would like an Islamic advice on this please and whether it’s permissible to obtain divorce for this issue.
In this counseling answer:
•The fact that you checked his mobile would indicate that trust is certainly an issue that is something that should be addressed between the two of you.
•Whatever his reasons, making assumptions about his motives will only lead to further pain for you which is why it is encouraged to talk openly together to get the truth.
•If it would be easier for you if you had this talk with a third mutual party present; either a counsellor or an imam.
•You both also need to be aware that to build trust again takes time, and there may be lapses in this trust at time.
•You both seek Allah’s forgiveness for your parts in the situation for betraying each other’s trust.
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,
It must be very stressful for you to find out that your husband has been doing these things behind your back. What makes the situation even worse is that you are 8 months pregnant and to go through this level of stress at this point is not healthy.
Whether it is permissible to seek a divorce in this situation is a matter for a scholar or an imam, but I can advise you from a psychological perspective with Islamic values in mind. I hope will make things easier for you at this otherwise difficult time.
Identify the source of difficulties
It would seem that since you felt the need to go through his phone that you had some doubt about what he is up to. To go through his phone was a breach of his trust, but you did in response to a lack of trust in him. This would indicate that trust is certainly an issue that is something that should be addressed between the two of you.
At this point, it is not possible for either of you to go back and change what has been done, but there are things that you can both do individually and together to try and reconcile your relationship, especially during this time when it is most important for you and your unborn child.
These talks will likely need to begin with an element of closure over past problems in order to move forward, otherwise the same issues will come up again.
As yet, he has denied your accusations. There are a number of reasons for this; he may be embarrassed that he has been caught out. He might feel sorry and not want to hurt you. Or he genuinely may not have done it and it could have been someone else using his phone, or he took a brief look before realizing his wrong doings and stopped without spending extended time on such sites. Either way, the fact that you don’t know will continue to leave you feeling hurt that you have been betrayed. Whatever his reasons, making assumptions about his motives will only lead to further pain for you which is why it is encouraged to talk openly together to get the truth.
Furthermore, regardless of his reasons, he will be less likely to talk about it if he feels that you are being confrontational. So, it would be ideal to create a calm environment where you can both open and talk honestly about the situation and you can both express yourselves honestly.
Have a third mutual party present.
If it would be easier for you if you had this talk with a third mutual party present; either a counsellor or an imam. This would prevent things getting too heated whilst allowing you both to comfortably express yourselves without judgement from someone close who may be more invested in your marriage and take sides.
It will give you the chance to let him know how his behavior has made you feel as he may not be aware of the extent to which it is hurtful. Likewise, for him too. It gives him the space to let you know how hurt he might feel by your actions also.
It will also give you both the chance to be empathic for how it would feel to be in the other person’s position. For him to think about how it would feel to find out that you had been doing the same behind his back, and for you to think about how you would feel if he went through your phone without your permission. This empathy for one another will make it easier for you both to accept your own parts in the situation and how to respond most appropriately in the future.
It is important than when you have this conversation, whether someone else is present or not, that you don’t withhold your feelings as this will not allow you to have closure on the matter or move on from the issue. It will also encourage him to do the same. This openness will provide the foundations for building trust again as you learn to be more open with each other moving on.
Once you have both let your feelings all out you will both be in a better position to decide whether you can forgive and forget and move on, or whether it really is time to get a divorce because you feel that the trust cannot be built again.
Give it time.
During such distressed times it’s easy to just make quick decisions in the moment without fully considering the consequences of all involved; including your unborn baby. This is why talking about the matter and seeking counselling if possible will help to start the process.
You both also need to be aware that to build trust again takes time, and there may be lapses in this trust at time. So, it is a matter that you both need to commit to when moving forward. You will need to support each other by being empathic of how each other may be feeling, and to continually check in with one another to avoid misunderstandings.
Check out this counseling video
Seek Allah’s forgiveness.
At this time, it is advisable that you both seek Allah’s forgiveness for your parts in the situation for betraying each other’s trust. This will also help to promote a stronger relationship with Allah in your reliance and faith in His Mercy. This will make things easy for you in moving on regardless of whether you end up divorcing or whether you attempt to work things out.
Ibn ‘Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “If anyone constantly seeks pardon (from Allah), Allah will appoint for him a way out of every distress and a relief from every anxiety, and will provide sustenance for him from where he expects not.” [Abu Dawud]. Book 20, Hadith 5)
[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful. (Qur’an, 15:49)
Forgive each other.
As part of this, you also both need to forgive each other as if you cannot do this then it will be difficult to move on together and build the trust again.
Narrated Abdullah ibn Amr ibn al-‘As: The Prophet (ﷺ) said: The Compassionate One has mercy on those who are merciful. If you show mercy to those who are on the earth, He Who is in the heaven will show mercy to you. (Sunan Abi Dawud 4941)
Spouses should be a source of comfort and not distress.
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought. (Qur’an, 30:21)
Making trusting commitments
As part of this reconciliation, should you try and make things work between you, you both need to make trusting commitments to one another that he will not do unacceptable things behind your back and that you will not go through his phone behind his back.
This situation is stressful you now, especially as you are heavily pregnant so it’s important to address it with caution and appropriately in line with Islamic values.
You are both feeling betrayed and like trust has been broken. Therefore, it’s important that discussion is had between you, either alone or with a third party present where you can fully express yourselves openly.
If you chose to try and reconcile, you need to be patient with the process of building trust again and take the necessary steps to do so by using this as an opportunity to seek closure. Use it as an experience to understand each other more and re-develop a trusting relationship for both your sake and your unborn baby.
May Allah make things easy for you during this difficult time. May He guide you to make the best decision and deliver you safely with a healthy baby who will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.
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