Question: Assalam aleykum,
For the past 20 years, I have been the one to financially support my husband and children. He tried to get a second wife, which he cannot afford. Am I wrong to get so upset, or to want him to spend time with me?
All my husband wants from me is sex. Please help me.
Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us. Please forgive me for the delay.
`Aisha (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) said, “No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn.” [Bukhari]
Dear sister, my heart goes out to you. Your tribulation is deeply painful and personal one. Your husband’s neglect, financial and emotional abuse is not your fault. Please believe that. You are a good woman, deserving of love and respect.
You have gone above and beyond the call of duty by financially supporting your husband and your children. That has been your husband’s responsibility, even if he continues to shirk it. I pray that Allah blesses you manifold for every cent you have given.
You cannot force your husband to treat you with dignity, respect and compassion. All you can do is communicate your needs and boundaries. Ultimately, the choice to stay, or to leave, lies with you.
You have endured this for twenty years. Please be honest with yourself. Do you see your husband’s behaviour changing? Or can you imagine a more tranquil existence? One where you enjoy the company of your children, and perhaps even the possibility of marriage to a man who appreciates you? At the very least, being free of your husband can mean a much more tranquil life, even if remarriage is not written for you.
Please empower yourself and your children by learning what an healthier marriage is meant to be like: enrol in the SeekersHub course Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.
I encourage you to read this book – Before You Tie the Knot: A Guide for Couples.
I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward. If staying in your marriage is better for you, then a clear sign would be your husband making a sincere repentance, asking you for forgiveness, and striving to improve his relationship with you.
If leaving your marriage is better for you, then a clear sign is your husband continuing to hurt you, and not making any effort to heal your marriage.
Change is frightening and difficult, even when it is good for you. Place your trust in Allah. He will carry you through this. Your dignity and well-being matter to Allah.
Mothers are most in need of nourishment, because we are the wellspring from which our families draw.
What are you doing to look after yourself? Please schedule in daily, weekly, monthly, bi-yearly and yearly breaks for yourself. Simple acts like enjoying a of tea, a walk through the park, or a weekly catch-up with a close friend – these recharges can help to get you through difficult times. Scheduling time for yourself can be very difficult to do when you are working to support your family, so I pray that Allah grants you a way out. Start with dua, and intention.
I recommend that you speak to a culturally-sensitive counsellor. Sometimes, speaking to a supportive professional can help you tap into what really matters to you.
Tahajjud is a very special time. Even if it’s 5-10 minutes before the entry of Fajr, please take that time to sit with Allah and pour out your sorrow. Trust that He is All-Hearing and All-Knowing. Nothing is lost with Him. Please perform the Prayer of Need in this precious time. Ideally, strive to make this a regular practice – daily is best.
I pray that Allah grants you a clear way out and grants you the courage to do what pleases Him. Please keep in touch.
And Allah knows best.
Answered by [Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
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