Read the first question of the brother and its answer here.
In this counseling answer:
“She sounds like a teenager who needs her parents to finish raising her with things like setting limits on her phone usage, how she uses it, etc. She isn’t as mature as you are and is still very much like a child.
To stay with her, you will need to accept who she is and her level of maturity. You need to examine the actions which express her true nature and decide how to proceed from there in a way that is best for both of you.”
Thank you for offering more details. When answering a question via email, there is always a challenge because some of the details aren’t fully present. I appreciate your response back and your patience in responding.
While I hear that your wife suggested she wanted to get married and that she loved you, it is clear that there are several factors which you are currently dealing with.
1) She lacks the maturity to understand the Islamic guidelines which you are directing her towards and continues to behave in direct opposition to them.
2) She lacks maturity in handling her emotions in a way that is balanced and instead throws tantrums and physically hits you.
3) She brings up the previous guy as a way when she is overwhelmed by a situation emotionally.
4) She expresses love for you, a desire for a future, and that she wants to be happy with you.
When you have a person saying one thing and behaving in an opposite direction, you need to focus on their actions. In her case, her actions express the reality of what she can bring to the marriage instead of her words which currently represent the fantasy of what could happen in the future.
Clearly, she finds a lot of significance interacting with men on social media and also from the previous relationship she was maintaining. For some people, things like this are similar to an addition. They want to give it up, but they can’t stop because they thrive on the attention they are getting from others even if it’s not fully positive attention.
It’s attention that meets a human need, even if at a low level, and one the individual imagines not being able to live without. Often a person like this will have a number of people they can seek attention and significance from constantly looking for approval that they are beautiful enough or likable enough.
It’s dealing with an inner emptiness that she may not even be aware she is trying to fill.
This may be confusing to you because you are here in her life now and available to give her all the attention she needs and wants, but she it’s not enough. It may be because she isn’t ready for a loving and mature committed relationship the way you are even though she expresses phrases of love.
When most teenagers fall in love with someone and date them, they express their undying love to each other. No matter how strong their feelings are for each other, as adults, we all know that they are not mature enough for a real relationship. Love is about a feeling for them. When the feeling is gone, they are on to the next person.
Experiencing feelings of love is not enough to build a relationship.
If I am correct based on working with others and going out on a limb here with the details, I imagine you most likely get her attention when you threaten to leave or tell her you to want out. At this point, she expresses her love, her apologies, and try to pull you in closer to her which is why when you mention calling her father she changes so quickly.
She needs to be given the opportunity to develop her core identity, understand her actions and what she really wants before she severely harms herself as well as impacting her faith.
Which is why I’m going to circle back around to this point. The area she is missing the most is a strong connection to Allah.
I understand clearly the rulings on hijab, perfume, etc., but when a person’s barely connected to the religion, these are not the most important issues to be focused on or worried about. No matter who says to change, her parents, her husband, a teacher, she will have to know why she wants to listen and that why is greater than you or them. The why is Allah.
Only a mature woman is going to get married and understand how to accept the leadership role from her husband when it comes to his suggestions regarding her implementation of Islam. Even when a husband has to be wise enough to not push his wife on small issues while ignoring the more important problems presenting themselves.
Experience has shown me that the more you try to push a person in a specific direction the more they will rebel. If they conform on the surface, they’ll find other ways to hold on to their desire for personal freedom and choice. Ultimately, Islam becomes associated with control rather than glorifying God and living a life of worship.
But the goal of Islam is to know Him.
If that’s not what’s happening in your home with her then now is a great time to figure out what she needs to grow Islamically.
That being said, she sounds like a teenager who needs her parents to finish raising her with things like setting limits on her phone usage, how she uses it, etc. She isn’t as mature as you are and is still very much like a child.
To stay with her, you will need to accept who she is and her level of maturity. You need to examine the actions which express her true nature and decide how to proceed from there in a way that is best for both of you.
That being said, you do not and should not tolerate her screaming at you or hitting you. She is not a three-year-old and she should not be allowed to continue to express tantrums. When she behaves like this, I recommend you leave the conversation immediately, going out of the room or even out of the house and not attempting to re-engage with her.
If she sees you aren’t going to sit around and listen, argue, or attempt to “calm her down” (which gives her negative attention), she may shape up a lot faster.
Adding to her growth and balance: is she still in school? Is she involved in outside activities which she enjoys? Does she see friends on a regular basis?
In other words, what is her place in her world? How can she express herself fully in avenues which are fully halal? And last, what kind of emotional counseling and support is available to her? Where does she get to go to talk about the difficulties she is facing in your marriage? Who can she confide in about her feelings or how much she is struggling to manage her emotions?
She sounds like someone who very much needs counseling to help her avoid hurting herself and also take care of herself. Especially because of how she manages her emotions and her consistent need for attention from other men online. If she has insurance available to her, whether through you or her parents, then please look into finding a counselor or therapist so she has a safe place to talk and find support.
There is nothing shameful about counseling. The counselor doesn’t need to be a Muslim. However, she may feel better speaking with a Muslim female counselor. If she does and there is one in your area, go to her. If she doesn’t, out of fear of being judged (which is very common for Muslims), then just chose another female counselor or therapist.
If you wait, and she doesn’t find that kind of support, the chances of things getting much worse are very high.
The approach is not that she “needs to go get help” or “get fixed”. Simply, you want to give her a safe person and safe place to talk about her feelings, her stress, her struggles and have someone she can turn to as you both sort through your marriage.
May Allah support you to do that which is most pleasing to Him and most helpful for your faith and her faith.
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