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My Husband Made Me Live as a Refugee

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 29, 2019

Question

Assalamu Alaykum. I’m a 27-year-old female. I’m married for 6 years and have a 10-month old son. I got married without knowing much about my husband as it was completely an arranged marriage. I accepted it with all my heart. My husband spent a month with me in Pakistan and flew to Europe.

Those 30 days were the best days of my life as I never had anyone in my life and I had a very difficult and abusive childhood. I felt finally someone loves me as my husband showed me a lot of love and respect. He told me that I was worth which gave me the self-confidence I never had. But, on the other hand, it took him 2.5 years to do my visa. He never came to see me and kept making excuses.

Finally, I came to him to Europe and found my loving husband room-bound and depressed with no job. I found out he had the bad relationship with his family and nobody would talk to him. In the next few months, I found out my husband was on drugs; cannabis and cocaine. He would come home drunk and argue with me, but after coming to his senses, he would apologize and tell me how much I mean to him. His family’s behavior was hurtful to me too. I would cook, clean all day, but they would talk to me only if they wanted to. I was so hurt but decided to help him. I motivated him to leave drugs and be responsible.

I started working myself to support him. In the next few months, he found very good jobs but left them out of laziness or because the managers were too bossy. He is still on drugs. He started stealing my money and abusing me for money. However, 10 minutes later, he would be a perfect husband. I was so in love with him. I would do anything for him. Sometimes, he comes to me, touches my feet and say he has ruined my life, and he wants to change himself but can’t, and he can't live without me. Sometimes, he would just treat me that he is going to commit suicide. I got pregnant. We both were over the moon. I thought he would definitely change now, but he assaulted me during my pregnancy and asked for money.

After 2.5 years, we moved in a rented accommodation. I was running the house and he was constantly abusing me. I was so hurt and shattered while trying to be patient. I was unable to respect him anymore, but I did believe he loves me a lot. I started realizing that I can’t live my life with this wordy love which is giving me and my child nothing but heartache. One day I left the house because he was beating me for money. We both have been at court and he was found guilty. Now I’m living as a refuge as I have nowhere to go, but I can't forget him. I’m depressed and sad and still want to be with him, but at the same time I know he’s not going to change or provide us and wouldn't leave the drugs either.

I pray to Allah to change him as we have so much love in our marriage, but his love is just by words. I feel I would not be able to live without him but I am too scared to get back with him as well because if I end up in the same situation again nobody is going to help me as my husband has not even renewed my visa and won’t do it even if I get back with him. Please help.

Counselor

Answer


My Husband Made Me Live as a Refugee

In this counseling answer:

• What I want you to remember was that you weren’t lovable or loved because of him: you were loved because of who you are and he was able to witness that and experience you.

• Try to reflect on the different stages of grief. Determine what your feelings are reflecting.

• You must be firm and say no. He is not able to fulfill your most basic rights or those of your child. Anyone you do speak to needs to know the entire truth but only when you are safe from him being able to hurt you again.

• Seek your honor through Him and ask Him to support you in your time of need.


As-Salamu Aleikom,

I am deeply saddened to read about the situation you have fallen into. First, I ask Allah to guide you to the resources that will help you take care of yourself and your child and relieve you of your burdens.

While it may be true that your husband has, at times, feelings of love for you and you have, at times, feelings of love for him, the reality is that he is not able to show you actions of love.

The actions of love are far more important than feelings of love.

Feelings of love require nothing of us except to feel, but actions of love are what determine mature love that is done for the sake of Allah. It requires discipline, thoughtfulness, sacrifice, and the fear of Allah.

Your husband is not in the position to be able to any of this for you. Unfortunately, has only progressed to treat you worse and worse. It is critical that you permanently remove yourself and your child from the situation.

No matter how hard it may be for you, you must find the strength to care more about your life and spiritual wellbeing and more about the life and wellbeing of your child than you do for feelings of being a loved person.

You are lovable and you are worthy of love.

I understand that you spent much of your life searching for a place to feel loved and in the beginning your husband gave that place to you in the month you spent together. What I want you to remember was that you weren’t lovable or loved because of him: you were loved because of who you are and he was able to witness that and experience you.



You are a human being most worthy of love and kindness. It’s time you give it to not only yourself but also to your child. Who else will give them that kind of security and safety and actions of love except you?

None the less, you have feelings for him as you are a human being.

There are moments where he was kind and caring and those small moments kept you going, but they are not enough to keep living for. At this point, you must come face to face with the reality of the situation.

I want to give you an analogy that, though painful, may give you the perspective and strength you need in order to continue to protect yourself and your child from harm.

Everyday people bury their loved ones. People that are loved die and those who loved them are left behind trying to figure out how to build their lives without that person in them.

People often move through the seven stages of grief:

Shock & Denial
Pain & Guilt
Anger & Bargaining
“Depression”, Reflection, Loneliness
The Upward Turn
Reconstruction & Working Through
Acceptance & Hope

And yet, despite their love for those individuals, they are able to continue to live their lives and continue to experience other loving relationships.

If people can live after losing a loved one to death, then, you can also live your life without the man in your life who has abused you, beaten you, threatened you and put you and your child in danger over and over again.

You will experience grief no matter how badly he has treated you because you did open your heart to him and a part of you does love him. But that grief will not break you though it can be very difficult on some days for you to believe you are going to be ok: you will be.


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Try to reflect on the different stages of grief as listed above. Determine what your feelings are reflecting.

Grief comes in waves. Some days, you feel the waves are relentless and other days you will be able to feel completely free of your sadness. Be prepared for the struggle and turn to Allah during your hardest moments.

And [mention] Job, when he called to his Lord, “Indeed, adversity has touched me, and you are the Most Merciful of the merciful.” (21:83)

Ask Him for the strength to surpass your grief for losing the marriage you had hoped you would have and the family life you thought you would be living.

Your husband needs consistent professional help to have any chance of turning his life around, but you cannot wait around and risk being harmed further, or worse, in the hopes, he’ll change. This will have to come from him on his own terms without you in his presence or his child any further. Perhaps the seriousness of his situation will push him to want to make a change once he realizes he has lost his wife and child due to his personal problems. Allah knows best what his breaking point might be.

You need family and good friends right now. Is there anyone you can return to?

Others need to know your story and what you have endured so they can support you and your child.

Take whatever help and resources you can get to get through this so you can redirect your life to one where you and your child are safe.

What you also need to understand is that abuse works in cycles and your question reflected those cycles.

Abusers will beg and plead for forgiveness, for second chances, and pull your heartstrings with everything they’ve got. Whether or not they are sincere isn’t as important as understanding that their wishful thinking to be “good to you again” has already been proven by their track record of behaviors. It shows they cannot be good to you even if, in a moment of level-headedness or softness, they believe they can.

A person in this state will not change overnight just because they feel a moment of regret. Instead, it softens up the victim of the abuse who will then choose to stay or give them another chance, and the cycle of abuse has begun again. It’s only a matter of time before the abuser acts out once again.

I am saying this to you so you are prepared in the event that your husband attempts to beg for your forgiveness and another chance. He may try to find you or get in contact with you. He could try the kind route or call his family and tell them a sob story having them call you and tell you to go back. He may correspond with your own family and do the same and they, without knowing all the details, will guilt trip you into going and pressure you to go back “for the sake of your child” or some other reason.

You must be firm and say no. He is not able to fulfill your most basic rights or those of your child. Anyone you do speak to needs to know the entire truth but only when you are safe from him being able to hurt you again.

You will not forget him, but that does not mean you aren’t going to survive his memory. You aren’t even missing him when you are sad because the real him was not a good, kind, and loving man. The real person is who they are most of the time not a small sliver of time.

You are missing the idea of him, the fantasy of him, and the one person who you thought loved you.

But you have to show up for you and understand that your value, your worth, and all that makes you beautiful cannot be held by any other human being, taken away by another, or given to you.

Someone can arrive and confirm who you are but not create who you are. You are a Muslimah; a servant of the Most Merciful. Seek your honor through Him and ask Him to support you in your time of need.

You can live without your husband because the truth is, all this time, you have been living without a husband.

“Allah is the ally of those who believe. He brings them out from darknesses into the light….” (2:257)

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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 Megan Wyatt

Megan Wyatt is the founder of Wives of Jannah (http://wivesofjannah.com/) where she offers training programs, live workshops, and relationship coaching for wives and couples. She is a certified Strategic Intervention coach with specialized certifications for working with women and marital relationships and has been coaching and mentoring Muslims globally since 2008. She shares her passion for Islamic personal development in her Passionate Imperfectionist community (https://www.facebook.com/CoachMeganWyatt/). She is a wife and homeschooling mother with four children residing in Southern California.

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