In this counseling answer:
• I will kindly suggest that you look at your situation from a different perspective. If your little sister or best friend came to you and told you about her boyfriend and how he was treating her and listed all of the things that you have listed, what would you recommend that she do?
• Reconsider your relationship, your self-worth and most importantly, seek out the knowledge of Islam. Allah calls whom He will to Islam. I urge you to take this „calling” seriously and seek out the blessings you have been given.
Salam Aleikom sister,
Thank you for writing to us with your concerns about your boyfriend. I can imagine you are quite hurt by his behavior and also confused about his morals and values as he is a Muslim. You have described your relationship with this man and it appears to be one that is not conducive to your self-esteem nor one for moving forward in a relationship.
You state that he is Muslim. Indicated by his behaviors, however, he is not practicing Islam. This can be illustrated by him being in a relationship with you rather than marrying you, flirting with other women, looking at porn, refusing to teach you Islam and making you feel as if you’ve done something wrong. These are all signs of a toxic relationship.
The fact, sister, is that all of these things he is doing are haram. This means it is not allowed (or bad) in Islam. Even if he was not Muslim, these things are negative and should not be tolerated in a relationship.
You stated that he told you that you „don’t have what it takes to be a Muslim wife”. I find it rather ironic that someone of his character would state that to you. He is not following Islamic principles nor is he following an Islamic lifestyle. The fact that you recognize that he doesn’t pray every day and he misses a lot of prayers as well as not accepting his bad behaviors indicate that you are on a straighter path than he is possible.
Accountability for our Choices
You have also been asking him to teach you about Islam, but he doesn’t show any interest in teaching you at all. It appears that he is wrapped up in himself and not interested in improving his relationship with Allah at this time nor getting his life back on track in an Islamic way.
He also does not seem to be interested in treating you with respect and dignity. As a Muslim man, he should have asked for your hand in marriage. He did not do this. Instead, he chose to live with you and mistreat you as well.
He also chose to flirt, save tons of pictures on his phone, look at porn, and try to make you feel guilty when you bring up the negative things he is doing. He is trying to make you feel as if you are at fault in order to make himself feel better.
The point in reiterating all of these things is to illustrate that these are choices he is making. You also have choices, sister.
You stated that he had nude pictures of your friend on his phone. As it is told, he took these pictures from her phone without permission. I am wondering how that happened. It would seem that she would have to leave her phone for a long period of time in order for him to go through all the pictures sister and take them.
Also, how did he take the pictures off of her phone? He would have to send them to himself, I would imagine by email or transfer the photos phone to phone. However, he got these pictures is suspect. I may be wrong, and Allah forgive me, however, it may be that your friend sent him the pictures. As we know how close we keep our phones to us, it is something that should be acknowledged as a possibility.
Your confronting your friend is not out of line. In fact, it is a normal thing to do. When one finds unsavory things and feels someone has been violated, naturally if they know the person they will want them to know. As you felt these pictures were stolen, you were seeking to protect your friend. Possibly he did steal them, or possibly she sent them. We do not know and that is really beside the point right now.
Questions & Perspectives
Sister, I will kindly suggest that you look at your situation from a different perspective. If your little sister or best friend came to you and told you about her boyfriend and how he was treating her and listed all of the things that you have listed, what would you recommend that she do? Do you think that she should stay with him? Do you think that he treats her good? Do you think that he could change his behaviors and make her happy?
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When you look at your relationship sister, I am sure you will see that you deserve much better than him. You state that you love him and you’re willing to fix whatever problems you have. However, is this really how you want to be treated?
I will kindly suggest that you evaluate how you feel about yourself as a young woman. What do you expect from a future husband? What do you believe are the foundations for a successful marriage and relationship? These questions are important because once you identify your expectations, you can begin to set limits and boundaries for how others treat you. This is self-love. You can begin to set limits and requirements for relationships that may be harmful.
I would kindly suggest sister that you take some time away. If possible stay with a family member or friend for a while and so you can sort things out. I would also kindly suggest that during this time you cultivate your interest in Islam. Start going to the Masjid to study, seek out Islamic classes that may be at the Masjid or an Islamic Center near you. Begin to learn about the teachings of Islam.
Allah has given you a wonderful gift. And that is the yearning and desire to learn about Allah, the Most High, and to learn about the way of life He has prescribed for us. The immense blessing that has come out of this whole situation is your curiosity and your interest in the one true God and Islam.
Learning about Islam
Insha’Allah, once you learn more about Islam and our way of life, you will come to understand that you are worth so much more than how this man treats you. You will learn that you are very valuable and precious in Islam. You will learn that you are to be treated with kindness, mercy, respect, love, and dignity. Your place as a woman is a very high one.
Insha’Allah, seek out a few Muslim sisters to help you learn. You will find great and true friendships that will be a great benefit to your growth in Islam as well as your perception of self. Currently, you have a desire to learn but no one to teach you as your boyfriend is not a practicing Muslim right now. I would kindly suggest that you focus on this one true gift in your life which is Islam.
Sister, you may find once you begin learning about Islam and your rights as a woman and as a future wife. you will realize that the relationship you are in is not what you want. You may find that you will lose interest in this man because his behaviors will become unacceptable to you based on your new knowledge of Islam and who you are in Islam. You will also be seeking to please Allah. Therefore things that were once sought-after, such as this man’s love and acceptance, will no longer be relevant to you. In fact, you may one day wonder what it is that you ever saw in him.
It could also be that your boyfriend may start to take his life more seriously should you leave. He may feel that he has a „hold” over you and that you will never venture away to seek a better life without him. If he truly does love Allah and wants to start practicing Islam, truly in his heart, then that will be revealed as well insha’Allah.
Changes & Blessings
Sister, please do reconsider your relationship, your self-worth and most importantly, seek out the knowledge of Islam. Allah calls whom He will to Islam. I urge you to take this „calling” seriously and seek out the blessings you have been given. It will mean leaving your boyfriend. However, Allah is most merciful and Allah knows best what is good for us.
We wish you the best,
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.