I’m Abusive Towards My Husband; How Can I Stop?

24 September, 2020
Q Salam Aleikom.

My husband is a revert and he has done many things in his life that I can’t forget. I compare myself with those women he was with.

Eventually, I’ve become depressed and verbally and physically abusive towards him. I want to stop because I do not want to lose him.

But how? How can I make him a happy husband again?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

  • This insecurity stems from something inside of yourself. Insecure feelings can start in our childhood because of an insecure attachment to family or develop from being rejected by someone.
  • To work on your self-esteem and get rid of this insecurity, you must better understand your own irrational thoughts and fears that are causing it.
  • Please, ask him to sit down and talk. Explain to him your fears and why you have been expressing yourself so aggressively, but don’t use that as an excuse. You must be accountable and accept you were wrong, and he deserves to hear that from you. It will ease his heart as well as yours. We are all human, sister. We all make mistakes.
  • When you feel those moments of anger and you want to lash out, you must de-escalate yourself.
  • Your husband is at your side and will walk with you on this path of increasing self-confidence and mending your marriage. I urge you to be fully committed in your efforts. If you approach this halfheartedly you will continue to struggle.

Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakatu Sister,

Thank you for writing in and sharing your feelings. I am sorry for your as well as your husband’s struggles, sister. May Allah (the most glorified, most revered) bring understanding and mercy into your marriage, ameen.

It is my understanding that you are struggling with your husband’s past, specifically related to his actions prior to taking shahada. You express comparing yourself to the women he was once with and battling depression. These insecurities and hurt feelings are manifesting themselves in bursts of verbal and physical abuse towards him.

While I understand it is hard for you to accept he was with other women, the truth is only you think about them. For your husband, that is his past life and his focus is on you now. As a revert, I can tell you, we see our previous life as a completely different version of ourselves and that version is dead to us.

Furthermore, Allah (the most revered and exalted) has forgiven reverts of everything in their past when they take shahada, so as humans we certainly cannot punish a revert for this.

I’m Abusive Towards My Husband; How Can I Stop? - About Islam

When ‘Amr Ibn Al ‘Aas, who had previously killed Muslims, went to take his shahada with the Prophet, he asked if his sins could be forgiven as part of becoming Muslim and he received this straightforward reply.

“…Are you not aware of the fact that Islam wipes out all the previous (misdeeds)…” [Muslim]

Insecurity

You mention comparing yourself to these past women. This brings up jealousy and insecurity, which are only hurting your marriage. Insecurity robs you and your husband of peace, trust and prevents both of you from engaging in true intimacy. Your insecurities are the root problem behind the aggression.

This insecurity stems from something inside of yourself. Insecure feelings can start in our childhood because of an insecure attachment to family or develop from being rejected by someone.

5 Ways to Stop Insecurity

Self-awareness. To work on your self-esteem and get rid of this insecurity, you must better understand your own irrational thoughts and fears that are causing it. Ask yourself, what are you specifically afraid of? Do you fear that they are somehow better than you? Or do you fear he cannot stay loyal and will go back to that life? Do you feel like you are not as pretty? Be honest with yourself.


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Self-talk. Now that you have identified your specific fears, it is time to challenge yourself and change your perspective to a realistic one. If you are afraid you are not as pretty as them, then look in the mirror and tell yourself you are beautiful, and he chose you. Remember, he chose you as his beautiful wife not them.

Instead of sitting in these irrational fears, say to yourself what is the most likely outcome: will he remain a good and loyal Muslim husband or he will run back to his old life? This man took his shahada. He changed his entire life for Allah (swt). Do you really think he will throw that all away?

Whatever your specific fears are, use your rational thinking and self-talk yourself out of that anxiety.

Positive Affirmations. Every day, take the time to look in the mirror and say I am beautiful and Alhamdulillah my husband loves me. Say to yourself I am a confident woman and I trust my husband.

Practice gratitude. Spend time daily saying Alhamdulillah for your marriage. Tell your husband one thing you appreciate about him every night and express gratitude in prayer. Assess your life and take the time to notice your blessings.

Talk to your husband. I cannot stress this enough, sister. Please, sit down with your husband and tell him honestly and completely how you feel. You will be amazed how much better you feel when you have open and vulnerable conversations with your spouse.

Abuse

Sister, the abuse has to stop now. Even if he was a murderer prior to shahada, it is forgiven now. You must let this go and it would help to give your husband a sincere apology. You may not see it, but it is very likely your husband is in just as much pain as you.

Please, ask him to sit down and talk. Explain to him your fears and why you have been expressing yourself so aggressively, but don’t use that as an excuse. You must be accountable and accept you were wrong, and he deserves to hear that from you. It will ease his heart as well as yours. We are all human, sister. We all make mistakes.

When you feel those moments of anger and you want to lash out, you must de-escalate yourself.

First things first, be quiet. DO NOT speak out of anger at him; it will not be rational or kind.

Sit down or lie down and take some slow deep breaths through your nose while breathing out of your mouth. Close your eyes and count to 4 each time as you inhale and exhale. Do this 5x and make du’aa’.

Recite or listen to the Quran.

If you still feel angry or liable to lash out, keep some space until you calm down. Do not engage while in an uncontrolled emotional state.

Final Thoughts

To summarize, for insecurity work on self-awareness, self-talks, positive affirmations, increasing your gratitude and speaking honestly with your husband. During those moments of anger, be aware in the moment and de-escalate yourself in order to prevent lashing out.

Moving forward in your marriage, you can achieve greater happiness and security than you have ever felt, inshallah. It will require time and consistency from both of you, but in time you can move past these feelings and find greater confidence.

“…by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured” [Quran 13:28]

Your husband is at your side and will walk with you on this path of increasing self-confidence and mending your marriage. I urge you to be fully committed in your efforts. If you approach this halfheartedly you will continue to struggle.

May Allah (Swt) heal you and your husband’s hearts and bring greater mercy between you two.

Ameen,

***

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.

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About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"