Ask The Psychologist (Counseling Session)

Salaam `Alaikum dear brothers and sisters,

We would like to thank you for joining us in this Counseling Session.

We would like also to thank our counselor, sister Aisha for answering the questions.

Feel free to send your questions to [email protected]

Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 | 08:00 - 09:00 Makkah | 05:00 - 06:00 GMT

Session is over.

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24 - About Islam

Salam Aleikom. I just found out my husband talks to other women. I confronted him for which he said it was totally fine as he was allowed to marry more than one woman islamically, so he can talk to other women. I cannot accept this!

We have problems, and now he wants to see other women and explore what kind of woman he wants beside him. So he talks to other women to see, and make sure I am the right one for him…This is insane for me! It is like I am on a shortlist for him! I feel I am just an object to him…

Good for cooking and cleaning and being in the bed, but nothing else. I feel desperate.

 

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to our live session. I’m so sorry to hear that you found out that your husband talks to other women. I can imagine you feel very hurt, betrayed, as well as shocked.

 

Husband Talks to other Women

You stated when you confronted your husband, he said it was okay if he talks with other women as he is allowed to marry more than one woman. Your husband is forgetting however, that while indeed he is allowed to marry more than one woman, his approach has to be halal and follow Islamic guidelines.

 

Seeking Second Wife: Halal or Haram

Speaking with other women randomly without a third party present for the purposes of marriage is not the halal way of seeking a wife. In fact, depending on the content of the conversation it could be considered haram. One cannot “try out” different women for purposes of a future marriage.

 

Marital Problems

Sister, I’m not sure how long you have been married, or what your marriage is like right now. You did mention that you have marital problems however you are not specific as to what they were. You did say that because of this, he wants to see other women and explore what kind of woman he wants beside him.

 

Misguided

Unfortunately, your husband is very misguided. He is going about seeking a second wife in the wrong way. Additionally, out of love and respect for you, he should have brought this to you first and discuss it with you. As he is not moving in the right direction in regard to taking a second wife, and as you are not willing to accept this, perhaps you need to speak with him about options.

 

Options and Considerations

First of all, what he is doing is haram. In Islam, a man cannot just talk with other women and explore other women to see what he wants. This is not a meat market. There are Islamic ways to go about doing things and he is not following these Islamic guidelines or principles set forth. Insha’Allah, inform him he needs to stop speaking with other women immediately, it is a violation and possible sin. I would kindly suggest that you asked him if he would like to go for marriage counseling. Perhaps if the two of you iron out the problems that you have within your marriage, he will stop this behavior which is so hurtful to you and also is haram.

 

Marital Counseling

If your husband agrees to marriage counseling insha’Allah this will help. If he does not agree to marriage counseling and desires to continue speaking and exploring with other women, then you need to make a decision. The decision would be to continue living with him with this disrespectful, sinful behavior, or contemplate a divorce.

 

Staying or Seeking Divorce

In most instances, we seek to save our marriage first. Thus, I encourage you to try to engage him in marital counseling. You may also wish to speak to your imam at your Masjid with him, to clarify that you do indeed want to save the marriage and you do desire counseling. You may also wish to clarify with the Imam and him, the appropriate ways of going about seeking a second wife. I understand you do not want this; however, it is indeed important that he is confronted and corrected regarding his behaviors from an Islamic perspective.

 

Conclusion

Sister my heart goes out to you as this is a difficult situation. However, you do have choices. Your happiness and wellbeing are important. You are important, valued and loved by Allah swt. Allah does not want you to be hurt. As stated above, if your husband refuses to rectify the situation, you do have the option of divorce, we wish you the best.


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25 - About Islam

Salam Alaikum. I am married to a depressed husband. He suffers from his workplace. People put him down all the time and this makes him feel useless. He is applying to other jobs, but nothing yet. He has changed the workplace 3 times in the last 3 years.

He hates living in the West but does not want to go back to his home country either. I would love to go, I totally let it to him. I have no idea how to deal with him. Because I also need that he fulfills my needs, care, and love. I cannot just give and be his servant out of feeling sorry for him. Please help!

 

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to our live session. I am sorry to hear that your husband is depressed. Depression can be a serious issue that is best addressed by a counselor in your area. The issue may be whether or not he will seek counseling.

Depressed Husband

You stated that your husband suffers at his place of employment, that people put him down and he feels useless. You also indicated that he has applied to other jobs and has changed his workplace three times in the last three years. Based on the frequent job change, it may not be a specific workplace, but it may be due to his depression that he cannot cope with his jobs.

 

Not liking where you live

As you stated, your husband hates living in the west this may be part of the problem. When someone hates living somewhere and does not like their environment, it can lead to feeling despondent or depressed, as you stated he was. This, in turn, will affect his ability to get along with others, hold a job, and be successful. You stated that even though he hates living here, he does not want to go back to his home country either. The dilemma lies in his willingness to resolve his conflicted feelings about where he lives. It is a big adjustment no doubt and perhaps he needs assistance sorting through his feelings.

 

Seeking Counseling for Husband

Regarding your husband, I will kindly suggest sister that insha’Allah you gently suggest he seeks counseling for his depression. Perhaps seeking out an Islamic counselor where you live will give him encouragement to speak with somebody about how he feels.

Also, speak with your imam at the Masjid and see if there are any support groups for immigrants who have moved to the west. Perhaps by talking with other men who have moved to the west from other countries, he can gain support, tips, self-confidence, and skills that will help him adjust better. If your husband can overcome his depression and see the positive side to his move to the west, insha’Allah it will reflect in his work, relationships, stability and marriage.

 

Your Needs

I can understand that you have needs and you want to be loved and cared for as well. It is hard when one spouse is going through depression because it can be very hard on the other spouse. Your needs seem to be forgotten. It is understandable that you may feel like a servant out of feeling sorry for him as you are trying to help him heal.

However, if you take the approach of being proactive and pointing out the positives of living in the west rather than the negatives, perhaps he will begin to listen to you and see things from a different viewpoint. By feeling sorry for him, you may fall into the trap of being an enabler. An enabler is one who out of compassion and mercy, may coddle and try to buffer a person’s depression or other issues. Doing this does not help the person, it only reinforces what they are feeling.

Sister, I kindly suggest that during this time, you focus on yourself as well. Do good things for you such as having brunch with a friend, take up a hobby, join a gym, take a walk in nature. It is important you do self care during this difficult time so that you do not lose sight of how important you are.

Conclusion

Please do suggest to your husband that he seeks out counseling in your area. Speak with the imam at the Masjid to see if there are any support groups for men who are now living in the west from other countries. Encourage your husband to see things from a positive viewpoint rather than a negative one. Be supportive but insha’Allah try not to reinforce all of his negative feelings. Be kind to yourself and practice self-care techniques and activities as described above. Insha’Allah sister this will not last long, but it may take proactive steps to resolve it.

We wish you the best.


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23 - About Islam

Salam Alaikum sister, I just got divorced. I am a Muslim woman. I crave love and I am scared I will do something haram. What can I do with my desires after divorce?

 

As salamu Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to our live session. I am sorry to hear about your divorce sister, however, Allah Knows Best. I am sure that you will be in a better position in the future. Getting divorced is an emotional experience that can cause not only pain, depression, and sadness, which can be worked through, it also leaves one desiring love, intimacy, and a connection.

 

Voids After Divorce-Desire

When one is married and then gets divorced, there appears to be avoided because you are used to being with someone. You are used to sharing special intimate times with a husband. Now that there is no longer a husband, you are left with just your feelings of desire.

 

Dealing with Desires

Sister, I kindly advise you to consider keeping your mind busy to ward off your desires. While desires are normal and natural as we are human beings, there are things we can do to decrease the intensity and frequency. Take up a new hobby, join a gym and engage in an exercise program, attend social events with friends, join Islamic classes for learning and increasing your knowledge, get more involved with life activities and acts of worship. You may wish to read Qur’an or make duaa when you are feeling desire. It is difficult to feel desire when one is focused on spiritual pursuits.

 

Fear of Haram Acts

I understand you are afraid you will do something haram, but if you keep yourself busy in a halal way, and keep yourself in halal situations, that will decrease the chances of doing something wrong. If you keep your mind focused on activities that are engaging and upbuilding, that will also help you to avoid haram behaviors.

 

Go to Allah for Strength

I kindly advise that insha’Allah, you also make duaa to Allah and ask Him to help guide you and deal with the situation of your feelings for desire. By depending on, and trusting in Allah’s mercy and protection, insha’Allah you will soon find that your desires are more manageable.

 

Conclusion

Life after divorce is not an easy transition and feelings of desire may be one of the hardest to deal with. However, with an active lifestyle involving a balance in the areas of Islamic activities, family, friends, personal pursuits, you should be able to control your feelings of desire. When our lives are not balanced and lack positive things and people, we tend to have more time to overthink our issues especially regarding a desire for intimacy. Please do try the tips and advises sister, insha’Allah it will help. We wish you the best!




22 - About Islam

Salam Alaikum. I am 28 years and feel pressured to get married. My parents are non-Muslims, and I have no idea how could I meet my husband. Friends? Mosques? Online?

 

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to our live session. As I understand your feelings, you are 28 years old and feel pressure to get married. You say that your parents are non-Muslim, and you have no idea how you could meet a future husband.

 

Feeling Pressured: Do You Want to Marry?

First of all sister, the question you need to ask yourself is, do you want to get married right now? As you stated you feel pressured, it may be an indication that you are not ready to get married at this point. If you do not feel you are ready for marriage yet, that is okay. Perhaps you are in the middle of schooling or a career that you would like to get settled. There should be no pressure to get married.

 

If Marriage is Desired, Ways to Seek a Spouse

Sister, if you do want to get married now or in the future, you can meet a future husband any way that you choose as long as it is halal. This would include asking your Muslim friends, inquiring at the Masjid, at Islamic events, or online Muslim platforms.

 

Keeping it Halal

If you choose online Muslim platforms, please do ensure that they are reputable. Also, ensure that if you speak with anybody or correspond with someone make sure that they are verifiable and that another sister is with you to help you compose conversations.

 

Tips Prior to Seeking a Spouse

I would kindly suggest insha’Allah if you are thinking about getting married that you please do make a list of the qualities you would like in a future husband. This would include of course Islamic qualities and foundations for your marriage. It may also include a compatibility list which are things/issues that you would like to be compatible on. It may also include specific traits such as someone who is career-oriented, someone who is kind and compassionate, someone who has a close relationship with his family, or even someone who has an interest in an example, in the environment or doing charity work.

The point is, your list you should include a few points that you are interested in and possibly seek someone who has the same interests to increase compatibility. When we have the same or similar interests, it helps one bond during the marriage process. We do not have to have all similar interests; however, a few are nice! You may also wish to take pre-marital classes at your local Islamic center. These classes are very beneficial in regard to your rights and responsibilities, tips for a successful marriage, as well as advice on overcoming obstacles.

 

Conclusion

Sister, please determine if you truly want to get married right now, or if you are just feeling pressured. If it is just due to pressure, please remember that there is to be no pressure in Islam regarding getting married. You will know when it is right for you. If you do seek to marry, please consider the above tips, we wish you the best!


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21 - About Islam

Assalamu Alaikum, I’m a woman reverted to Islam for some time. I married a UK-born Muslim man of Bengal. We have two young children, but now I’m in a difficult time. 

I’m doing everything I can to please him with the food of his origin, but now he does not want to eat. He always says that he does not feel like eating and that the problems of life did it, but I know he does not want to eat, because I am not a Bengali woman who will make the perfect food. 

Please help me understand this because I feel terrible wife, I make the food and he denies, before I praised, today does not want to. I feel like a defeated woman.

 

 

As salamu alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation, you are a revert who is married to a UK-born man from Bengal. You stated that you were having a difficult time at the wedding and you’re doing everything you can to please him, however, I’m a bit confused and I think you possibly mean your marriage, so I will address it as such.

 

Cooking to Please Husband

According to you, you do everything you can to please him, especially cooking his foods of origin for example. This is a very loving gesture sister, May Allah reward you. However, you feel he does not like your cooking and refuses to eat saying he has no appetite. As a result, you feel he may prefer a Bengali wife.

 

Possible Reasons for Lack of Appetite

Sister, I am sure that the food you are making is very tasty. It could be that your husband is depressed. He did refer to the “problems of life” as being a reason he does not have an appetite. This very well could be true because with stress, the responsibilities of supporting a family and working, ensuring that one is making enough to provide, and other factors can affect one’s appetite.

 

Speak with your Husband

I will kindly suggest insha’Allah, that you sit down and speak with your husband about how you feel. Perhaps begin the discussion by asking him how things are at work, how his day is going, and if anything happened during the day that made him happy. Insha’Allah, he will open up and talk about what he is feeling. You may then want to discuss with him how your day went, and how you cooked him a meal. You may wish to tell him that you are trying very hard to cook his favorite dishes but feel he does not enjoy them. You may wish to ask him if there are any tips for making the food as he likes it. He may truly like the food, but indeed be feeling stressed and as a result, have a lack of appetite.

 

Different Style of Cooking

Insha’Allah, by spending time talking with him discussing how he is feeling may give you insight as to why his appetite is diminished.  It may also be a chance to see if there are certain ways he likes his food that is different from traditional Bengali. Perhaps you are cooking it Bengali style, but maybe his mother added different ingredients to make it unique.

 

Stress, Depression or Food Dishes

Sister, in a marriage there are a lot of stressors, challenges, and adjustment periods. Perhaps he is feeling that he is not a good husband just as you are feeling that you are not a good wife. If these misunderstandings and feelings are not discussed and resolved it can lead to more problems within a marriage. I am willing to bet that you are a very wonderful wife, and he is a wonderful husband. Simple misunderstandings such as not wanting to eat food can be blown up to make a simple issue ruin an otherwise good marriage. Please do find out if he may be depressed, worried about something, or if indeed he is used to a different style of Bengali cooking.

 

Conclusion

Insha’Allah, please do speak with his sister and find out what else is going on. It does sound like he is indeed under stress from other things in life that has nothing to do with your cooking. Insha’Allah, please do remember that your husband married you because he found you appealing, compatible, and an asset to his life. I am sure you married him for the same reasons. We wish you the best!