Should I Divorce My Narcissistic Husband or Keep Patient?

18 June, 2020
Q My marriage will be for almost 12 years. My husband is narcissistic.

I did not even know this term, but recently I was reading about it and realized that he has every sign.

He is such a control freak person, he even stopped me from communicating with my mother.

I also think that I would not be able to raise my kids in the path of deen if I stay with him.

Anyway after 12 years of going through this painful relationship, I have decided to end this relationship.

At the same time I am scared and afraid. I have no family around me to support me since they live back home.

But my faith in Allah is a very strong part of me , and I am just doubtful that if Allah will be upset with me.

Or whether I am not being patient. What should I do?

Answer


In this counseling answer:

After 12 years of living with a narcissistic, I encourage you to consider professional counseling services.Reconnect with family. 

Your social support network can help you greatly inshallah. I understand he isolated you from family, please reach out to them and explain he was controlling and hurtful, but you need help to get away from him now.

Determine where you will live with your child.

Visualize your best life that you are working towards.

Determine your goals for providing financially.

Lean on your faith for support and guidance.


 Assalamu alaikum,

Thank you for taking the time to write in and trust us with your concerns. It is my understanding you are in an unhappy marriage that entails control to the extent he does not let you communicate with your Mother, cannot raise your kids within Islam and are isolated.

My dear Sister, this is a common tactic of abusers and manipulators, isolate the people from family and friends so they do not have someone to run to for help. Sister, I urge you to contact your Mother as soon as you safely can. They will help you inshallah. 

You state that you have decided to leave this marriage. Sister, there is no reason for anyone to be upset with you over this. This is not sinful, it is permissible, a marriage should never be described as “painful” and something you endure like a cage.

Should I Divorce My Narcissistic Husband or Keep Patient? - About Islam

I divorced my first husband and it was my faith in Allah (most honored and revered) that gave me the strength to do it! You have been with him for 12 years; I would say you have demonstrated patience if it was always like this! Since you stated you are ready to end this marriage, let us talk about the steps to take to do this. 

Social Support

Your social support network can help you greatly inshallah. I understand he isolated you from family, please reach out to them and explain he was controlling and hurtful, but you need help to get away from him now.

If you have trusted friends, contact them, and ask them for assistance. You will need to determine if you are moving out or he is, if you are moving out then you need to determine a location to live. Your family and friends can help you with this. 

Visualization

Divorce is not easy, even when we want it to happen. To help keep you encouraged and positive, try this positive visualization exercise.

Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Take slow deep breaths in your nose and out your mouth, counting 1-2-3-4 on the way in and 1-2-3-4 on the way out. Do this for a few breaths until you feel calm and focused on your breathing. Then imagine your best life post-divorce.

This might look like you and your kids in a new apartment or you are teaching your kids Islam in your house. Pay attention to details like what you are wearing, how you are behaving, do you feel happier etc. Hold onto and remember this positive visualization as a means to remind yourself of your goal. 

Counseling

After 12 years of living with a narcissistic, I encourage you to consider professional counseling services. This can be done online or in person and you can utilize counselors that come from an Islamic perspective. I suggest Noor Human Consulting as an online option. 

Situations that entailed manipulation and control can leave behind insecurities, anxiety and mental cues that take time to heal. A professional counselor can help you navigate this healing process and provide unbiased mediation as you heal. 


Check out this counseling video:


Future Goals

Sister, you will also have to consider your future career goals as you take care of you and your children. While he will need to pay you financial maintenance, it is expensive to be a single parent. Consider what your plans are to advance yourself and ensure you will be stable socioeconomically.

Your family and friends can help you with this if you need time to get settled. If you need assistance, they cannot provide then I encourage you to investigate local women’s charities aimed at helping single Moms. 

Coping Skills

I encourage you to determine 3 positive coping skills you can employ. Coping skills are essentially tools we use to help us control and manage our emotions as well as actions.

For example, holding and petting my cats is one of my coping skills if I am feeling anxious or unhappy.

Try to identify at least one coping skill you can use anywhere, such as deep breathing. Other coping skills can be more involved. Here are a few examples of coping skills:

  • Painting
  • Cooking
  • Dancing
  • Exercise
  • Reading Quran
  • Prayer
  • Meditation
  • Nature walks
  • Deep breathing
  • Dhikr
  • Cleaning
  • Coffee break
  • Petting animals

Lean on Faith

During this difficult time, lean on your faith Sister. Make duaa as often as you need, pray istikhara and remember you are never alone in this. 

“It is He who created the heavens and earth in six days and then established Himself above the Throne. He knows what penetrates into the earth and what emerges from it and what descends from the heaven and what ascends therein; and He is with you wherever you are. And Allah, of what you do, is Seeing.”

[Quran 57:4]

It is great to hear you say you are strong in your faith. Inshallah this will help bolster you during these changes and keep you strong. Keep talking to Allah (swt) as much as you need, reach out and pour your heart out on the prayer mat Sister. 

Final Thoughts

Here is a summary of your next steps forward Sister. 

  • Reconnect with family 
  • Reach out to trusted friends
  • Determine where you will live with your child
  • Visualize your best life that you are working towards
  • Consider counseling
  • Determine your goals for providing financially
  • Identify 3 positive coping skills with at least 1 of them being a skill you can use anywhere quickly
  • Lean on your faith for support and guidance

I know this is a difficult and scary time Sister, I was in your situation once and remember how afraid I was. Alhamdulillah my faith pulled me through that, and it can do the same for you. May Allah (swt) guide you and heal your heart, ameen. 

Salam,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/living-islam/12-things-that-are-stopping-you-from-being-happy/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-counselor/marital-obstacles/feeling-trapped-miserable-marriage/

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-counselor/marital-obstacles/im-not-happy-with-this-marriage-shall-i-divorce/

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"