Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sticky Marital Stuff...When Hubby's Wrong and Trust is Gone

As salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.

In marriage, and relationships in general, I think many of us face situations where Allah does not guide us to walk away and yet we don't know how to cope with the situation well. The woman's perspective is different than the man's, particularly because of her role within the marriage relationship. Most certainly, us wives have many faults and sins of our own. The difference is that Allah has given men authority over women, hence if the husband faces such issues with his wife, he must correct them. But what about the times when our husbands give in to shaytaan's whispers? This may be in various forms, such as:

- doing something that is, at best, doubtful Islamically
- doing acts hated by Allah,
- being disobedient to Allah, or
- falling into major sin.

Many sisters struggle with their emotions and how to cope with  a husband (or anyone close to to them) whose errors, makrooh actions, or sins affect them deeply.

In these cases I have to separate myself.  In a nutshell, the part of me that loves a person truly for the sake of Allah, and is torn apart when they do wrong, becomes desensitized over time. A protective coating has built up over my heart and with every sin, the coating becomes thicker. A little of the love and respect may be diminished and it is replaced with hatred for the despised action(s) and an aversion to the person when they commit those deeds. It often leaves me dreading any repeat offenses. This is particularly difficult when the person involved is your husband.
It is reported that Sufyân Al-Thawrî – Allâh have mercy on him – said:

If you loved a man for Allâh and then he innovates in Islâm and you don’t hate him for it, you never [truly] loved him for Allâh.
Abû Nu’aym, Hilyatu Al-Awliyâ` 7:34.
I remember the words of Allah in the Quran, "You will not be asked of what they did." I separate myself, because I cannot cope with such close involvement - it hurts me. I also separate myself because I hate what Allah Hates. I do not want to fall into the same sin or to be one of those who supports another in their sin. I'm sure it sounds cold and not supportive, but if I don't look at it like that, then I cannot function.

As for day-to-day life, how do you think and conduct yourself when you have these strong, negative emotions? Try to continue with life as usual without saying anything. I say, "try" because I am not a person who easily disguises feelings, so it is an effort that may not completely succeed for many of us. Harping on the issues will cause a problem and you may be blamed. If you are at a stage where there is little point in any speech, ask Allah to rectify your affairs and show both you and your husband the truth of the situation and make a clear path for you to His pleasure.

All this horrible stuff in marriage is why I wrote Trust after Betrayal, Hold on to your Hijab and The Road to Healing Rifts, inshaa'Allah. Try very hard to smile and focus on all the positive things; there are still many of them. That is how you can still enjoy your life and relationship.

Remember, you have your own faults, failings, and sins. The negatives don't go anywhere...they are there and that is part of the test so don't expect things to ever be exactly the same. The more the person errs, the more the healthy heart is repulsed. It is impossible to feel the same about someone if, or when, they do what is hated by Allah.

It is quite sad because many couples have a wonderful relationship where they enjoy many interests and laugh a lot together, but there is always the "dark side" that undermines the respect and trust. Sisters, don't expect to be able to trust him in the things he has a failed track record in. Try to focus on those things you can trust him in. An outlook that can help with this is to hate the actions and the cause of the actions - shaytaan and his wicked whispers - not the person.

As I tell all the sisters, find a smile from somewhere and try to be happy within yourself... with Allah and without your husband. Then just behave that way while he is around as well. He doesn't need to know that he isn't the cause of your smile or contentment. Compartmentalize, if you can...and I'm not saying it is easy at all. Me finding my happy place with Allah is how I don't end up being cold and resentful when something in the relationship is ruined.

You can be pleasant, laughing, affectionate, but the damage that is done means that part is real and part is an act. Remember that the act isn't really for your husband, it is for Allah's pleasure and to fulfill your obligations as a wife.The more you dedicate yourself and your love to Allah, the easier it gets to find happiness and separate yourself from the less pleasant aspects. Never forget, for every action there is a reaction. If you are happy and contented, it will have a huge effect on your husband and home.

Here's my analogy of the day. What happens when you have an unwanted guest? You know, someone you struggle to allow into your space. If you give them a bad reception, you will make them feel  unwelcome, uncomfortable, unwanted, which usually brings out the worst in them. Whereas, if you give them a good reception, then you give them ease and, inshaa'Allah, bring out the best in them. Our husband's are our most important guests, even when they err. It is our job to try to bring out the best in them bi ithn Illah, ta'ala.

Sisters, you are not alone in these struggles. Although our husbands may all do different things, many sisters go through this in varying degrees and are seeking advice on how to cope.

May Allah guide and help us all - ameen!


  1. "The more you dedicate yourself and your love to Allah, the easier it gets to find happiness and separate yourself from the less pleasant aspects."

    Assalaam Alaikum sister. This was a very inspiring and beneficial post. Jazakallah khair! My marriage is not an exception here and I struggle a lot too. Sometimes more than at other times. I say Alhamdulillah, when things are smooth and everybody's happy. I really like the quote I put above, because I have experienced that if I remember Allah (swt) more intensely, worship Him, love Him more, things become easier - it gets easier to see everything in a bigger perspective. 'Cause else I can really drown in my own self-pitty or hopelessness or whatnot, which isn't healthy for the heart at all...
    When I experience my husband or somebody close to me make acts that fall under your four categories above, I make a loooot of duaa to make Allah (swt) change their actions, realize that they're wrong/unhealthy..and help me to stay strong inside and in my imaan - and of course also remember my own faults..

    Indeed, may Allah (swt) guide us all! Ameen.

  2. salaam alaikum dear Mai,

    MashaAllah what a great post! Im going to bookmark it inshaAllah and refer to it when needed!

  3. Dear Rose,

    I love your quote too! Im going to put it on my wall as a reminder =)

  4. Salam alikum

    I honestly wish I could apply this with my own husband but that choice unfortunately has been taken from me. However I think there is so much good advice there that can be applied to any relationship that is under strain. I truly love your blog and look forward to your posts.
    May Allah bless you and your family.

  5. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Rose Water.

    Yes, mashaa'Allah, I believe we go through all these things and are presented with such tests BECAUSE Allah wants us to turn to Him and realized that only He is perfect. When our love for our husbands is great, Allah reminds us of their human failings and imperfections, to keep our love within reasonable boundaries...and refocus that love to Him.

    I find that this post relates to far more people than my husband. It relates to my children, stepchildren, parents, and friends as well. It helps me to keep things real, because love isn't unconditional for the believer; it is strengthened when Allah is obeyed and it is weakened when Allah is disobeyed.

    Wa iyaaki, my dear sister. Thumma Ameen.

  6. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh dear Rene.

    I'm glad you find it beneficial; it was very difficult to write. I have been putting bits and pieces together and compiling various questions from sisters as well as responses. After all that, I had to make it "neutral" enough that it wasn't making the men sound like shaytaan himself and the wives seem as if they had halos and wings.

    This topic must be one of the hardest to deal with emotionally in a marriage or close relationship. Subhaan Allah, so many of the problems sisters have, really center around this issue.

    Barak Allahu feeki.

  7. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Bonnie my precious little sister.

    You don't have a marriage to apply this to because Allah has protected you from that. He doesn't give us more that we can bear, so trust that it was not good for you. Understand that you have to learn from that, but that it is part of Allah's Perfect Developmental Path for you. It is good for you and, inshaa'Allah, it will be replaced with far better - ameen.

    No matter how wonderful a relationship is, these situations are faced at some stage. Even with our children, it is relevant. I'm honored and blessed that you managed to leave a comment! May Allah shower His blessings, mercy, patience, and understanding on you and your dear family, too - ameen.

  8. A very good post mashaallah. Very beneficial. Yes, this could be applied not only to husband, but to parents, relatives and most of all, friends. Thank you for the reminder sister and may Allah makes everything easy for you.

  9. "You will not be asked of what they did."
    That is what keeps me going!! Also, when situations like this happen , you really put things in perspective. It's also a blessing because you get to know Allah on deeper level, you truly want to work righteous deeds for the face of Allah.

  10. Asalamualaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa barakatuh Mai, Mahsallah I find the much need wisdom in your advices. Alhumdulilah. Very mature Dawah for us sisters. This is also something I keep in mind when thinking of my relationship. Wives will not stand with their husbands on the day of reckoning, and vise-versa. I know when things are gettin a lil sticky at home I feel, and know that Allah is protecting me. For example if anyone's ever been in a situation, and for different reasons you felt powerless to change it. Have you seen that in time how Allah fixes that situation, or removes it. Allahu Kulli shayin Qadir. I've experienced this personally. Allah will not forsake us. A righteous women, who fears Allah, and is an obedient wife has such a powerful dua. I was at a low point in the past, and I made dua for something specific, the next day my dua was answered. I felt such a renewal of Iman, and just shear gratefulness to Allah. I was in awe. After that day I've ALWAYS believed in the power of dua.

    Before that day I may have believed I had some ability or influence over my situation or my husband. I feel my test came into play, and I needed to discover (or be shown) how powerless I really was, and how Powerful Allah always is. Lol after that day I was making dua for everything! So now when I attain things in my life I know it is completely from Allah, and not from my own doings. I know my husband loves me, not because I'm pretty, or kind, or the mother of his kids, but because I made dua and asked Allah to make him love me, and to be kind, and loving, and supportive, and honest, and deeni, and Hedayat is such a blessing. Marriage is a big test. May Allah bless us all to pass, and grow in all our relationships, and in life, Ameen

  11. Asalam Alaikum!
    I absolutly agree with all you have said, but I think we need to know the difference between the time when to 'act' okay and when to speak up (in the wisest way possible). If they are repeatedly doing something wrong and we have been put in the situation where we are able to see their mistake or are affected by it then do we not have the responsibility to help them or alert them of it. If it where me I would wish my husband would see the mistake I made and try to help me improve myself in the nicest way possible. Shouldn't we try and help them become better muslims while seperating our self from our own negative feelings? just like we would want them to help us? I read 'hold onto your hijab' but one thing that left me wondering is when do we speak?? sometimes we begin a much needed discussion and it doesnt alwaya start out nicely but we work through it an the result is always better. in sha allah. what about the sharing in marriage? good communication ect? should we not be a unit? We may not be asked of what they did but won't be asked of what WE did in those situations? many respected wives would have been seen as intimate advisors. Sorry for rambling! In shaa Allah you will see what im trying to say an maybe the errors or truths in it?

    xoxo. Um Raya

  12. @Raya I too feel the need to be honest about my feelings. In the past when I was "going along to get along" I was not happy. Eventually the sadness turns to anger, and resentment. So I've learned to be honest even if I'm afraid of how my husband will react. Also I think it is our duties as Muslim wives to be a reminder for our husbands (in a good way of course). Just like we sometimes need a reminder from them, they also sometimes need reminders. Men don't take being reminded of their duties as well as women do, but it's still our duty to speak up. If the husband is doing wrong and you simply can't speak up then the least of our Iman is to hate their actions in our hearts.

    When it comes to our feelings it is not healthy to stuff them down. I like to acknowledge what I feel, good, bad, or indifferent. It makes me feel so free. I understand everyone is not comfortable with that. My friend that is newly in polygyny 1 month does stuff her feelings, because she doesn't want to upset her husband by saying how she really feels about him, and being forced into polygyny. I personally feel if I'm upset, then you're about to be upset too. That is if the situation is an unfair one, or the husband is not showing a lot of concern about the wives feelings of course. You have to be fair to yourself first.

  13. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Raya and Saleema.

    Yes, it is our duty to communicate to our husbands if they are making mistakes. The issue is how and when we do it. Timing is very important. Finding a way to say it that doesn't just make them dive deeper into shaytaan's quicksand only comes from seeking Allah's help and intervention.

    For example, one might follow all the manners of the Prophet - salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam - in trying to gently remind to the good. If the husband/person reacts badly, then there is still fitna. These are things we have to go through if we don't have patience with Allah's help.

    One example I can give is that I raised an issue with my husband about 3 years ago that he reacted very negatively towards. I explained and gave daleel, simply trying to educate and other words, it wasn't a subject I was emotional or upset about. After my advice received a very bad reaction, I shut up and asked Allah to make it clear to him so that it didn't become a fitna within our family. The subject became irrelevant in our daily lives very soon afterwards.

    Fast forward to 6 months ago when the subject came up again and he asked a brother from Jami'at al Islamiyyah about it. The brother gave him the exact same explanation and daleel, mashaa'Allah, and he is now clear on the subject. It took patience and some serious internal struggle on my part, but Allah had His Perfect Way of getting my husband to hear and accept the truth.

    One might think that it took a terribly long time, LOL. However, it wasn't important during those three years and when it became important again, to safeguard the correct understanding of our children and prevent haraam within the family, Allah sent him the truth. Subhaan Allah!
    There are several, big, unresolved issues that I still await Allah's Perfect Intervention for...and Allah is with the patient!

    My husband wrote a post on his blog, How to Advise your Husband. Funnily enough, I have tried most of those things with extremely varied results. If the man doesn't think he is wrong, or has made up a bunch of justifications for his less that praiseworthy actions, then you're between a rock and a hard place.

    continued in the next comment box...

  14. I also agree that to repress feelings is a very destructive thing and will turn a relationship to disaster very quickly. The hard part about that is that often husbands have shaytaan as an interpreter and don't receive the information well. Once we've communicated, then it is up to Allah and we have to then exercise patience with it until it comes right, inshaa'Allah.

    I don't think men really know what to do about feelings. After all, feelings aren't fixable with a wrench and can't be exchanged for new ones at The Feeling Store, LOL. It is important to express them but I am also aware that we can be shut down about them without any discussion. Sometimes our communication backfires and we face more fitna.

    That is why I wrote Hold on to your Hijab, because if you've put something out there to your husband and had it come back at you negatively, then you are then in a horrible place and have to proceed carefully. It all ends up returning us to begging Allah. Exactly as Saleema said, when I ask Allah to guide me to the best way of communicating, things turn out amazingly.

    After years of being cautious and reserved about expressing my feelings, I started opening up in my marriage. I decided I wouldn't apologize for being me and having my feelings and ideas. To me, there didn't seem any reason why personal feelings should cause any bad reaction. However, I was totally wrong on that, LOL.

    Now I'm not saying anything, even if my reactions to things are sometimes obvious, unless I am specifically asked, the atmosphere feels blessed, and my husband is receptive. It really does seem to me that we cannot open our mouths without Allah setting the stage for it first.

    It also seems to me that when men cannot take hearing how we feel, then they are basically telling us to lie. However if they think we are lying to them about our feelings, then they will not trust us. Interesting little circle of ridiculousness, LOL!

    To your dua, Saleema: ameen, thumma Ameen!

  15. Jazak Allah Khair! Uhkti Mai for the long and thoughtful reply! It really made me think and understand what you are saying! Maasha'Allah. As a european I am shocked again an again at how muslim marriages are so different to non-muslim marriages! even when both spouses are also reverts! shaytaan that flea ridden dog really seems to aim at us because what is the point in burning down a already broken house if you know what I mean.
    A3otho billah minashaytaan nir rejeem!
    May we all work hard to protect our homes from the fitnah of the dejaal and shaytaan.
    Xo. Um Raya

  16. Wa iyaaki Um Raya...and a huge ameen to your dua!

  17. Did you read one of the blogs on your blog roll lately "polygamy 411, there's very distubing writing on that blog.Women openly discussing their sex life .
    Backbitting on a grand scale.
    I went there thinking that you were endorsed that blog.
    May Allah ta'ala guide those women.

  18. sis can i have ur email addy...need some advice

  19. I am not the other Anon btw

  20. Anonymous- Here is Mai's contact information,

    She can be reached here for those who have personal questions.

  21. thank u anon, had been checkin daily for it :-)

  22. Salaamualaikum mai! Just dropping by to say you're MISSED! Inshaallah you and the family are okay and enjoying beautiful madinah! May Allah protect you and them and send an abundance of his mercy upon you all! Aameeeen!

  23. Salam Alaikum,

    Nice blog, please check out my blog:

  24. Selamu aleykum Mai,
    I couldn't put it better than Faith did! Please come back :)

  25. @ Everyone: As salaamu alaikum. Mai will return shorty. Her computer is in the shop. However, when she returns, she will only be blogging once a month, as her responsiblities to the family have priority. As Allah says:

    O ye who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is Men and Stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern and) severe, who disobey not (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do (precisely) what they are commanded.
    [Tahrim 66: 6]

    Also, Ramadan is quickly approaching, so we can't let this blessed month escape us!

    Barak Allahu feekum.

  26. assalam o alaikum dearest Mai,
    your absence was bugging me but whats bothering me more is your husband responding instead of you.not that i have issues with that ofcourse. but are you OK? cuz for some reasons this computer thingy doesn't sound right to me? i truly hope i'm wrong. may Allah keep you and your family in His blessed shelter and protect you from all the evils ameen.

  27. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Umm Bilal.

    I'm fine, mashaa'Allah. This past month has been incredibly busy...preparing and moving house, summer Quran programme, family projects, doctor's appointments, and my wiped out laptop. Hubby was just trying to put sisters' minds at ease while I'm still waiting for my laptop to return and knowing that I have to prepare the lessons and questions for Ramadan that we do with our children. Nothing fishy, LOL.

    Jazaaki Allahu khayran for your concern, but al hamdul'Illah my family and I are all blessed and fine. Ameen to your dua' and I look forward to posting again very soon, bi ithn Illah.

  28. finally eh? good to hear from you.and big sorry to you and brother Sharif if i sounded offensive. i was just concerned. i mean big time.much love and take care.

  29. Salaams my dear dear Mai!! Too many comments.. couldn't read them all, but I must say YOU WROTE THIS FOR ME!!!! It's been so long since we had some Tea together... Yah Allah... I could have almost written this word for word and just signed my name at the end... We need to catch up!! Hugs ;)

  30. Wa alaykum as salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh Zorro my like-minded, long-lost sister!

    I think you must be short, too, because we keep seeing eye to eye, LOL! Yes, we surely need to catch up. How about some Vanilla Rooibos and a few hazelnut shortbread?

    Big hugs back at you...and I pray you are WELL!

  31. LOL Mai!!! ..yes I'm 5'2"and a half... used to be 3", but I'm shrinking.. :( Would love to share some Rooibos and shortbread with you!! InshaAllah soon ;) Hugs

  32. assalamu alaikum dearest mai,
    Happy that you're back,alhamdhulillah. really,really missed you.....

  33. Assalamu'alaykum dear sister..

    This is indeed a very beautiful reminder for me before entering into marriage, to be sure placing my full trust on Allah. Learn to accept and forgive. Then to forget. The best to work on the shortcomings together. So true, no one is perfect. Shouldn't place our ultimate happiness on the spouse as we will get frustrated when they failed to fulfill our expectation.

    Indeed, the best is to be found with Allah.

    Jazakillahu khayran for the post <3