Question

Q:

My husband and I are having marital problems. He is having an affair and he often discusses divorcing me. We argue a lot and he sometimes becomes violent.

We have a 16-month-old baby and it scares me how this will affect her. I am very stressed and depressed; and I feel I neglect her and even sometimes shout at her when she is crying. My husband also does the same.

I try not to let it get to me. I have spoken to my mother who advises to be patient and not to say anything to him or argue with him, and to let him do what he wants. She says that one day he will leave this woman.

My mother tells me to just concentrate on my baby’s upbringing, but I am tired of waiting for that ‘one day’, and I am finding it very painful to accept another woman in his life.

I feel I am continuously ignoring my baby and that I do not give her my full attention as she deserves, due to my mental state.

Should we just separate for our baby’s sake, as it is clear that my husband doesn’t want to leave the other woman, and that I am never going to accept it? Is it better to leave and at least give her a peaceful and loving environment to grow up in?

A:

As Salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. Sister I’m very sorry to hear what you are going through. You stated that you and your husband are having marriage problems and he becomes violent.

I can imagine you are very scared and not sure what to do. You also have a baby and you are afraid how it will affect her.

Victim of Domestic Violence

Sister, you should be concerned for yourself as well if your husband is violent. Not only will this affect your baby, but it will affect you- physically, emotionally and psychologically as well.

You are the victim of domestic violence. In no way are you expected to live in a situation, or with a person who harms you.

Domestic violence is abhorrent and Allah hates those who are oppressors and men who beat women are oppressors.

Scared and Confused

I can imagine that you are scared and you’re not sure what to do, however you need to leave the situation immediately.

As I do not know where you live, I am not sure which resources to guide you to. I kindly suggest sister that you speak with someone at a community center, a clinic,  or a counselor as soon as possible.

In the meantime, please do call The Domestic Violence Hotline in your country. If you are in the US the phone number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Getting Bad Advice

Sister, no disrespect to your mother but she is giving you the wrong advice. In domestic violence situations, women and children can be killed or disabled for life, not to mention mothers can get their children taken away. 

Keeping your child in a situation where domestic violence is occurring, is considered neglect or abuse in some countries.

Also, you and your husband are yelling at your child who is 1.5 years old. In some countries that is considered abuse.

According to Islam we are responsible for the children that we bring into this world and we are to protect them at all costs. We will be held accountable to Allah.

Your husband as an abuser, will be accountable to Allah for his horrendous actions. As a mother, it is your responsibility to ensure your child lives in a peaceful, loving, safe home.

Concerning the other woman, instead of feeling sad and hurt that he is with another woman, feel worried for her because he will likely be violent with her as well and she will also find a life of hell with him.

Please Leave

Please do know that you need to leave before something much more tragic happens. You stated that you are very stressed out and depressed, sister I am not surprised.

You are living under very dangerous conditions. You say that you feel you neglect your baby and don’t give her the full attention she deserves.

This is not surprising sister as you are in a traumatic situation and it is affecting your mental health, your ability to respond appropriately to your child, and probably your day to day functioning.  

You do not deserve to be abused, mistreated, nor harmed. Nor does your child. Insha’Allah, you need to leave and start a new life with your baby.

I know it may seem scary at first but there should be plenty of supports in your community to help you-if your family will not.

In fact, perhaps it is best if you do not tell your family as your mom is the one who advised you to stay.

You are not alone sister. Sadly, there are millions of women worldwide who live in, or have escaped abusive marriages. They are survivors. They have healed, and they have gone on to live happy, peace-filled lives. You can too.

You are living in very dangerous conditions. You say that you feel you neglect your baby and don’t give her the full attention she deserves.

This is not surprising sister as you are in a traumatic situation and it is affecting your mental health, your ability to respond appropriately to your child, and probably your day to day functioning.  

You do not deserve to be abused, mistreated, nor harmed. Nor does your child. Insha’Allah, you need to leave and start a new life with your baby.

I know it may seem scary at first but there should be plenty of supports in your community to help you- if your family will not.

In fact, perhaps it is best if you do not tell your family as your mom is the one who advised you to stay. You are not alone sister.

Sadly, there are millions of women worldwide who live in, or have escaped abusive marriages.

They are survivors. They have healed, and they have gone on to live happily, peace-filled lives. You can too.

Erasing Tracks

Please do contact the domestic violence hotline and speak with them about what has been going on and how to leave.

They will direct you to resources in your area. Please make sure that you erase everything on your phone/computer relating to your seeking help so that your husband does not find it.

Insha’Allah please do not tell anyone what your plans are so it does not get back to your husband. In some cases when a wife tries to leave an abusive husband things get worse, so it is for your safety and your child’s that he does not know.

Therefore, please do take care and erase your browsing history as well as your call history and anything else associated with a safety plan to leave.

Conclusion

Sister the best thing you can do for your child and yourself is to leave. You do not deserve to be abused. It is not advisable to be patient, nor it is not advisable to live in fear.

It is advisable to reach out for help and to leave an abusive situation as soon as possible. You deserve to live in peace and not be hurt. Your daughter deserves this as well.

Please do try to contact the hotline as soon as possible as well as seek out services in your community. We wish you the best please let us know how you are.

1. https://www.thehotline.org/

Q:

I am torn between my husband and my son. My son is 21 years old. He went to college for 3 years in a university in our city.

After high school, he was accepted at a prestigious university, but his dad forbade him to go so that he would live with us. He is a good person, a good student, and he did well here.

The problem is that in the summer, he transferred to another university in another city and he lives in an apartment that he shares with three other students.

He did that and defied his father, who threatened to disown him if he transferred and left our home. My husband and I begged him to stay and finish his degree here, then leave after he graduates, but he did not listen.

Now my husband does not want him to enter our home ever again and he wants to disown him.

My son is not a bad person, but he rebelled because his dad is very strict, a perfectionist who is never happy with anything.

His dad is also very controlling; he called my son names even when he was in college, and he forced my son to take the classes that he selected, although they were not required. My husband is not a bad person; he just thought he was being firm.

My son prays and fasts; he has morals and works hard at school. I say that we should not cut relations with my son so that we can help him not to go astray and remind him of our beautiful religion.

I also want to ensure that he succeeds in his study and in his life. I feel it is my duty as a parent. My husband thinks that my son disobeyed him and that he committed a great sin. My husband makes bad du`aa’ against my son, and says he will never talk to him again.

Is it haram for my husband to disown my son? What should I do myself? My husband fought with me when I sent my son food for Ramadan, and he forbids me to send him anything else.

Please tell me, what is the Islamic solution to our problem? Is there a hadith that says to let go of your children when they are 21? Someone told me that. How can my son repent and make up with his father? I need your help badly. Thank you.

A:

As Salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.  Sister, I am sorry to hear about the situation between your husband and your son.

Your son who is 21, went to college for 3 years at a university in the city in which you live despite him getting an offer to go to a prestigious university. He did this to please you and your husband.

Your husband forbid him to go so that he would live with both of you. I can imagine that your son was very sad and disappointed as this was a wonderful opportunity.

Son is an Adult

Sister as your son is 21, he is an adult. He is obligated to show you and your husband respect and honor, love, as well as to look out for your needs, however he is not obliged to go to university that he does not want to go to.

A Pious Son

Your son sounds like a wonderful person. You stated that he prays and fast, that he has morals and works hard at school. He seems like a wonderful son.

It is sad that your husband has broken your son’s Spirit by being so overbearing, dominating, and disregarding your grown son’s decision regarding school.

As your husband has called your son names, forced your son to take classes that were not required, and basically treated your son as if he were a bad person, no wonder your son wanted to move regardless of the status of the other university.

It is very difficult for anyone to live in an oppressive situation such as that, especially when the person has a good heart, strives to please, and has good morals and values.

In situations like this, when a child seeks to please Allah and their parents, it can be crushing to their spirit to be constantly torn down.

Sadly, by your son leaving -not only is he trying to get a good education which he was awarded based on his hard work– he may also be trying to save his Islamic faith as well, given the treatment he received at home by his father.

Cutting Ties with Son

After turning down a prestigious offer to go to a university out of town, your son stayed three more years to please your husband, despite his rights to go.  Now your son has transferred to the university and has an apartment with three other students.

He’s 21 years old. He’s a good Muslim, he’s pious, he’s a good son. There’s no reason for your husband to threaten to cut ties with your son, besides it is Haram.

According to a hadith “It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that a man said: O Messenger of Allaah, I have relatives with whom I try to keep in touch, but they cut me off.

I treat them well, but they abuse me. I am patient and kind towards them, but they insult me. He said: “If you are as you say, then it is as if you are putting hot ashes in their mouths.

Allaah will continue to support you as long as you continue to do that.” Narrated by Muslim (2558). Your husband is committing a grave sin should he cut off your son.

Sister, your husband is under the impression that your son who is grown, was being disobedient and committed a great sin.

Your husband is in error. I am sure that your son was very respectful to your husband given the situation and circumstances, however, it is up to your son as a grown man to decide which university would like to go to.

He did not commit a grave sin by choosing a university just because your husband happens to disagree with it.

Your husband, on the other hand, is making bad Duaa to Allah against your son and says he will never talk to him again.

In doing so there will be grave consequences for your husband for what he is doing to your son. It is Haram for your husband to disown your son as you can see from the above Hadith.

Insha’Allah your husband will come to see the errors of his ways and change. At this point it seems your husband is functioning from his ego as he would like power over your son.

However, that may work for a little child but your son is now  a grown man and according to Islam is entitled to make decisions.

Your husband needs to realize this and respect this fact. Your husband should be very proud of the fine son that you and he have raised rather than try to harm him.

Conclusion

Sister, please do continue to send food for Ramadan as well as for anything else your son might need. You are not obligated to do that, no, but it is an act of kindness that I’m sure your son appreciates.

He needs your love right now. Miserliness and stinginess are not traits of Muslims, especially Muslim parents. You asked how you can get your son to repent and make up with his father.

Sister, your son is not the one who needs to repent, it is your husband who needs to repent and make up with his son. Your son is not in the wrong your husband is.

I would kindly advise you to speak with a trusted imam at your Masjid regarding this issue. Perhaps he can speak with your husband regarding Islamic laws, children, the rights of children (all ages) as well as the rights of parents.

Insha’Allah make Duaa for your husband that his heart softens and that his path turns back to Allah and away from his own desires to control.

We wish you the best.

Q:

My hubby does not do his responsibility as husband and father.  He only buys food for the house but other responsibilities he ignores.

I’m not working. With this situation, can I file for divorce? And he does not respect my family, he is fighting with them. Please advise.

A:

As Salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session.  As I understand your situation your husband does not do his responsibilities as a husband and father.

You are wondering if you can file for divorce.

Questions for Husband’s Responsibilities

My dear sister, I can imagine you are feeling overwhelmed by the situation with your husband. I am sure you did not come into the marriage expecting these issues and you probably feel sad, disappointed and stressed.

I will do my best to advise you however there is a lot of information that is missing.

For instance, you may want to ask yourself does your husband pay the rent and bills, does he interact with the children, do you have an intimate love life, does he come home from work or does he stay out all the time.

These and other questions are what you need to ask yourself insha’Allah to determine if there are truly grounds for divorce.

Reflection and Journaling

Sister, I can understand that you probably feel very hurt and upset right now. You are probably doing a lot in the home and with the children without his help and feel that you just cannot go on anymore like this.

In times like these, we need to take a deep breath and sit and collect our thoughts. I will kindly suggest insha’Allah that you make a journal and describe the things that your husband does do for you and the children, and the family as a whole.

You may want to look back in time to see if what you are saying is lacking, was ever truly there.

Was there a time when he did complete all of his responsibilities as a husband and father? If there was a time as such is there anything that you can pinpoint they may have changed him?

Speaking with Husband

Sister I will kindly advise you to sit down and speak with your husband about how you feel.

I would suggest insha’Allah that you do start the journal so you can get a clear focus of what is going on and what you are feeling and why.

For instance, are these based on a valid reason (he is over-worked) or he isn’t and it makes you feel unloved or not cared for.

If you sit down and speak with him, I kindly suggest that you do it in a non-confrontational way.

People usually respond better to conversations when topics are presented in a kind, loving manner. Perhaps speaking to your husband about his good points and things you appreciate first may be a good way to open the conversation. You may want to mention how you feel regarding lack of help and the little things he could do to ease the situation.

Possible Reasons for not Taking Full Responsibility

It could be that your husband is stressed out over his job, perhaps he is depressed, has a medical issue, or something else is bothering him that you don’t know about.

A heart-to-heart conversation may reveal some things that could explain why he’s not being as responsible as he should. When things are calm perhaps spend some alone time with your husband, such as take a walk together or have a nice dinner in a quiet restaurant somewhere to conversate casually.

Perhaps by rebuilding your closeness you may find that he is more open, receptive and wanting to help more.

Allah Hates Divorce

Sister as Allah hates divorce, we are to do everything in our power to prevent a divorce. Of course, there are exceptions to this such as if the children are being abused or harmed or neglected or if you are being abused or neglected.

With that said, you did not mention that you or the children were in danger of being abused.

Therefore, I would kindly suggest that you try to work this out with your husband by speaking with him about your concerns and possibly making an agreement between the two of you pertaining to how the situation could be workout.

If your husband does disclose that he is stressed or having other problems please do be supportive. If it is that he is not, and he just doesn’t feel like doing anything else, I will kindly suggest you ask him to go for marriage counseling. If he is truly shunning his responsibilities in marriage and does not care to change, you do have the right to divorce. You may also wish to speak to the imam at your Masjid concerning this.

Fighting with Family

Sister, in regard to his fighting with your family, that is totally unacceptable and disrespectful. Again, I do the circumstances or what is going on is not elaborate in your question.

Therefore, I would kindly suggest that you include that with your conversation about his responsibilities as a husband and father.

Responsibility to your family is respect and kindness. If he is reacting to something your family is saying or doing, a third party may be brought in to help resolve the issue however he still should not disrespect or fight with them. 

Communication and Islamic Foundation

Open communication in a marriage is very important. In marriage problems will arise. However, if they are ignored they will only get bigger.

It is best to talk to one another in a loving way to reestablish an Islamic marital foundation. This is important for successful, strong, families striving to please Allah.

Conclusion

Sister if there is more to this situation than what you have described, please do write to us and let us know the full details we can provide a more adequate answer. I hope this has helped in some way. We wish you the best.

Q :

As-salam Alaikum,

My son is 5 -year-old. Alhamdullilah he is an intelligent boy and very hyperactive and mischievous.

The problem is he seems very stressed or anxious whenever we want to initiate him in any kind of new activity.

I have not been able to understand his personality until now. He has some sort of deep attachment with us that whenever we (me and my hubby) go out he will only play if we are in front of him.

Even if we take him to an indoor playground, at first he will hesitate to play or if he will play he will never venture to a place where he doesn’t see us. We always have to remain in front of him or else he can begin to cry. Other eg:

1) At the beginning of school, it was difficult to leave him. Then slowly he began to feel secure only when his teacher is around. If his teacher leaves the class he will cry or if he leaves early he will be stressed out and ask the teacher who will be in the class.

When he is not there, he asks what will happen etc… Otherwise, when his teacher is there he is very talkative and always on the move in class.

2) We have to pick him up always on time, if we are one minute late, he will start crying as he fears we will not come.

3) Before going to school or madrassah he will always ask if we will come to fetch him at the exact time. He ask us not to b late n keep repeating.

4) When we go to the shopping mall he will b always happy, jumping, running around n if happen he didn’t see us for even a second due to crowded areas he will cry.

5) If we tell him we will take him to ride the pony or do some sort of activities he will say no he doesn’t want or if I insist he will want me to stay with him during the activities.

6) He doesn’t want to try swimming, karate or any new activities. When we go to the beach he will only play on the sand, he will never venture a bit further in sea thought he has his swimming jacket with him.

7) When people say hello to him sometimes he will not reply out of shyness or he just doesn’t want.

I once asked him why he didn’t want to do new activities, he says he fears he didn’t see me when he goes playing.

He is close only to me, my husband, my in-laws, and my mum and brother. He will never talk to families except for his cousin of the same age.

When he is with children of the same age he will play, run do mischief, shouting etc…(Of course provided one of us is around him).

When he was in preprimary school I went to a picnic with him, though all his friends n teacher were there he kept stuck with me.

I am afraid this fear will prevent him from doing a lot of things when he grows up. I always try to talk to him assure him that we will never leave him alone wherever we go but that doesn’t seem to work.

Should I consult a psychologist? Academically he is a very brilliant child.

Jazaak Allah for your advice.

A:

As Salamu alaykum,

Shokran for writing to our Live Session. I’m sorry to hear about what you’re going through with your son. As I understand the situation, your son is 5 and 1/2 years old. He is very intelligent, active and mischievous.

You stated that he seems very anxious and stressed whenever you want to involve him in new activities. You feel that he has a deep attachment to you and your husband and will only go out and play if you are with him.

Attachment and Dependence in 5 year old Son

Sister, at this age your son should be gaining some Independence. Years 5-7 see growing independence in a child.

Children progress through different developmental stages roughly around the same time frame however there are always variations. Being overly dependent on parents at this age is not uncommon.

His attachment to you and your husband is a good sign that he trusts you and loves you very much and he feel safe with you.

On the other hand, his not wanting to venture out on his own and exert his independence even for a short period of time may indicate feelings of anxiety or insecurity.

Possible Anxiety

I cannot advise you professionally, however based on how you describe your son as hyperactive and intelligent, that could play into the equation.

Your son may be experiencing anxiety from overthinking or being overactive. It is possible that he may have anxiety which is contributing to his sense of fear when you leave his side.

He may also have a fear of being abandoned even though you and your husband have always been there for him.  An example would be when you said that he keeps repeating to pick him up from school and not be late. In this case you stated that if you were late even by one minute he starts to cry.

Safe People

Sister it sounds like your son has what is called “Safe People”, that is a term used for people/children who experience anxiety or stress and only feel safe in the presence of certain people.

Obviously you and your husband are his parents and he feels safe with the two of you. He also appears to feel safe now with his teacher as he’s been at the school for some time. In prolonged situations (end of the school day) or new situations (trying a new task) he becomes reluctant and fearful.

Encouraging Independence

 Developmentally, between the ages of five and seven children should be able to play more freely on their own. I would kindly suggest encouraging your son to try new things on his own.

Assure him that you always be there for him but it is important that he takes a few steps towards doing things on his own. An example might be playing with a group of children at the park while you and your husband sit off somewhere else.

Another example would be to have your child gradually build up time away from you. A family member or friend could invite him over for a brief playdate.

You may wish to stay nearby to pick him up at the designated time frame. While he might be anxious at first, you could start off with 10 minutes and then work up to 30 minutes and so forth.

This will help him get used to not having you and your husband around and insha’Allah may build his sense of ability to be without you as well as encourage feelings of security that you will come back.

I realize that you are already doing this at the school, however trying it out in new settings may help. By showing your son that he can accomplish tasks without you and your husband around for short durations of time and building up to longer durations, may increase his self-confidence, decrease anxiety, and calm his fears.

As he is a highly intelligent child with hyperactivity, you may also want to consult with a child psychologist if his behaviors do not begin to change within a year or so.

 Common Clinginess vs. Independence

Sister, it is common for children to be clingy to parents. It is also normal around his age to start venturing out try new things independently.

I kindly suggest your sister that you do Implement short periods of time where he is to do things with friends or others without your presence.

Always reassure him that he will be safe, that you will be there for him, but as he is getting to be a big boy he will soon enjoy the activities that he partakes in.

Insha’Allah encourage his confidence and security by illustrating your love for him but encourage Independence by remaining firm in some circumstances to help him grow.

Insha’Allah as he becomes more accustomed to doing things on his own he will naturally start venturing out more.

At this time however, he is counting on you and your husband for security and safety. There’s nothing wrong with this at this age.

However, if it does continue and does not get better, please do consult with your pediatrician for a referral for a child psychologist.

The only reason why I’m mentioning this is because you did indicate he has hyperactivity along with high intelligence. This may be affecting his development in some way or another regarding attachment and feeling secure, I am not sure.

Conclusion

In any event, it is not an uncommon problem for children to be very dependent on their parents at this age. One day soon he may surprise you and want to do everything on his own!  

However, if he does not start to outgrow this please do take a step further and get him assessed by a child therapist to rule out any issues that may be related to hyperactivity (ADHD) or high intelligence.

Some children with high intelligence can be withdrawn and dependent. I am sure he will outgrow this insha’Allah with loving encouragement to be more independent.

In the rare case he does not, please speak to your pediatrician about getting him assessed. 

We wish you the best.

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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