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What’s The Matter? | Confronting a Cheating Husband



Salam aleykum. I just wanted some bit of Islamic advice on a very important matter.

Alhamdulilah, I’ve been married for nearly 4 years to my husband and we have one child. Recently my husband’ behaviour has changed. For example he would be mean to me and try to blame all his problems on me, he just wasn’t the person i knew anymore. He would spent less and less time with his family. This in turn made me very suspicious and pushed me to check his emails & social networking site.

SubhanAllah, I found something that broke my heart to pieces. I find out my husband was cheating on me. I don’t know the extent of it but I found a trail of messages of other women and him flirting! I never felt so sick and paralysed, as you would never expect that from someone you love dearly; and whom you sharing your life with. I feel incredibly hurt & betrayed and humiliated! Millions of questions went through my mind! Wasn’t I enough for my husband

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So I find out my husband of years has been cheating on me ! I feel so betrayed and heartbroken. I know I’ve got to face him and speak to him about it although it makes me feel sick. I just wanted some advice on how to approach this calamity that has befallen on my family and I pray that Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) will help me overcome the state I’m in. I don’t know where to start and if I ever will be able to trust him.

Jazaka Allahu Khair,

Need to talk to him


No words can describe the pain and humiliation that comes with infidelity. May Allah grant you the strength and patience to do what is right for you and your family, and help your heart heal from the repercussions of this traumatic event.

Why did he do it?

Unfortunately infidelity has become a common occurrence, so you are not alone. Although every case is unique, there are four basic situations why people have affairs:

1.  A person has a sex addiction. Are they willing to go to a 12-step program to deal with their addiction?

2.  A person gets caught in a slippery situation, is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and they do something they never thought they would do. They usually have great remorse for what happened and vow never to put themselves in that type of situation again.

3.  A person seeks revenge or pay back because their partner had an affair.

4.  A person is hungry for attention or nurturing, so they connect with someone outside the relationship to fulfill their needs.2

What do I do first?

First and foremost, find a way to express and process rage, hurt, and often feelings of panic. Dr. Spring eloquently states:

What you are experiencing is a normal and appropriate response to an acutely traumatizing experience. You’re reeling not only from the loss of the integrity of your relationship but also from the loss of an illusion—that you’re special to your partner and that the intimacy you thought you shared with that person would last forever. If in the face of such shattering news, it would be strange if you didn’t feel lost.1

You can either speak with a trusted friend or colleague, journal about your emotions, or converse with the One who is The Hearer of All. It is important to be in a calmer state of mind in order to answer for yourself some very important questions. Moreover, it is crucial that you keep any children out of the pain of the situation to the furthest extent possible.

Every situation is different, and what works best for one family may not work best for another. At this point you must decide what it is that you want. Is infidelity a deal breaker for you? Or do you wish to stay in the marriage and try to work it out?  

How do I confront him?

If you choose to and are ready to confront your husband, my first concern would be about safety. Sometimes confrontations can get violent especially if he has been abusive in anyway in the past or short tempered.  I don’t recommend confronting him in front of friends or family, but definitely avoid a closed door, private place. Even if there is no history of violence, he can become very angry and defensive about getting caught.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, or any written rules, but I found these recommendations to be helpful:

1. Set up some time when you can sit and talk. You want a time when you are rested.

2. Have your questions written out. Some examples may include: What happened? How did this situation come into our relationship? How long has this been going on? What went wrong with us?

3. Make sure your partner is willing to talk, all phones are off, the children are taken care of and you are in a safe place.

4. Set a beginning time and an ending time. I would suggest no more than two hours. People get weary, exhausted and hungry if you go too long and things can escalate and become extremely ugly. 2

Please understand that all your questions probably will not be answered in one meeting and that you two may have to meet several times. This traumatic incident will take some time for you to process and to resolve.

How do I communicate my needs?

Some tips on effective communication may help the conversation be more productive. Two typical dysfunctional ways of talking include being in “Silence” or being the “Storm.”

If you remain silent in order to protect yourself from further harm or disappointment, you are also losing the chance to feel understood, having your needs met, admit your mistakes and reconnect. “For you to heal and forgive, you must be convinced that your partner grasps how deeply you have been violated. For that to happen, you must talk about the affair and how it has affected you on the most personal level” 1

If you have the opposite tendency to storm, understand that a full on outpouring of rage and anger will only breed more anger in both parties and put your husband on the defense and shove him away.  He is more likely to listen to you and feel your pain if you speak calmly and directly.

How will he respond?

Possible responses also vary from situation to situation. Your husband may beg for forgiveness, he may be in complete denial despite the evidence you provide, or he may admit to his cheating and then initiate a marriage dissolution himself; therefore, it is vital for you to have a system of support set up that can help you with both your immediate and future needs.

Is it possible for our relationship to heal from this?

The possibility of healing from infidelity rests on the willingness of both parties to rebuild trust and the relationship. If only one partner desires to recommit, then it will not work.

If both of you decide to work through this, in time, you might view this traumatic even as a wake-up call. You may discover that this soul shattering event is the reboot you needed to develop a healthier and more mature approach to relationships. “I encourage you to enter the process, to challenge the hurt, and to see what you are capable of producing together. In essence on the count of three, I invite the two of you to step into the center of the ring, remove your boxing gloves and join hands.” 1

In terms of regaining trust, “it must be earned, and not with verbal reassurances alone, but with specific changes in behavior.” 1 Your husband will have to demonstrate though bold, concrete actions that he is committed to you and that you are safe with him. And you will have to open yourself up to the possibility of trusting him again as well as reinforce his efforts to regain your trust. You will also have to “spell out exactly what your partner can do for you, and give this person a road map back into your life.” 1

Continue to seek guidance from Allah for the best course of action and outcome for you and your family. Do not forget to establish a support system for you and your child, including family therapy and, finally, I highly recommend reading the book “After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner has been Unfaithful” by Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD.




1. After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner has been Unfaithful by Janis Abrahms Spring, PhD with Michael Spring, completely updated 2nd edition.



Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Afshana Haque is currently the executive director of her private practice, Muslim Family Support and conducts face to face and online therapy from Houston, TX. She is also Assistant Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Afshana received her PhD from St. Mary’s University, San Antonio, TX . She has completed her master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from University of Houston-Clear Lake and has previously worked in various hospitals and institutions including: DePelchin’s Children Center in Houston, TX, Methodist Hospital, and AIGB Diagnostics for a bariatric surgical group in San Anotonio, TX. She was also co-director of a non-profit organization, Hawa Center for Refugee Mental Health, now called the Center for Refugee Services. During her graduate career she had the privilege of being a part of the AAMFT Minority Fellowship Program and was granted over $50,000 in funding. This program provided her with rigorous training in therapy and research with minority families. Afshana has given platform and poster presentations at national and state conferences in her field. She has also presented at the Texas Dawah Convention, ISNA: Islam in America Conference, and was invited to give parenting workshops at ISGH NW Zone and Austin Peace Academy. Afshana’s research interests include exploring the challenges faced by Muslims in the American society, issues with acculturation and assimilation, raising children, incorporating the use of spirituality in family therapy, and most importantly formatting traditional therapy in ways that will be appealing to those who belong to collectivistic cultures in addition to those who view therapy as shameful. Her most recent research publications include: A Systematic Research Synthesis of Various Adaptive Strategies Utilized by Dual-Income Couples, and The Assessment of Marital Adjustment with Muslim Populations: A Reliability study of the Locke-Wallace Marital Adjustment Test when administered to the Muslim Population. She is also an apprentice editor of the Journal of Marital and Family therapy, the highest impact journal in the field of Marriage and Family Therapy.



  1. Miss Convert

    July 24, 2014 at 9:20 AM

    Alhamdulillah…I found my husband cheating as well…very calmly and confidently, I showed him my proof, I told him break it up with the other woman, that I forgive him, let’s move on, and I turned my back to walk away from him…I left him in the bedroom…in shock…with few words and no more “whys”…Alhamdulillah, the problem was solved. May Allah make it easy for you. Ameen.

    • Hyde

      July 29, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      Very dramatic yet it should not have given him a free card…would he have acted the same if the roles were reversed ? In fact how many men would be of forgiving nature, a sympathetic nature if they found their wives were infidelious ?

      • Yasmin

        August 2, 2020 at 9:53 PM

        My x kept up contact with the affair partner and seeked emotional support from her during our reconciliation. We were not making progress for months and when I discovered the fact he was in touch, I left home. It doesn’t work if both are not genuinely committed to reconcile for the sake of Allah. And yes, they do change. 13 years of history erased by a rewrite of events to throw me under the bus along with lying to everyone, family, friends, Sheikh, counselors. The extent of cognitive dissonance in him and his family is amazing. The very same things he admired in me twisted to justify his actions. Subhanallah. May Allah protect us from lies, deception and oppression. Betrayal trauma and divorce is hard, I feel for everyone going through it.

  2. Manna

    July 24, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Alhumdulillah that it worked out for you like that. May Allah subhana wata’Ala reward you immensely and make your forgiveness of your husband a sincere forgiveness and may it a means of you earning the forgiveness of Allah subhana wata’Alah and jannatul Firdaws.

  3. Shafkat Pervaiz

    August 29, 2014 at 2:13 AM

    As salaam alaykum.

    One way of ‘breaking the ice’ would be to post your worry on to a Forum ( without mentioning any names ) with All your Hurt and Dissapointment mentioned and the fact that you still Love him dearly and are willing to Forgive, Reconcile and move on with your life together…

    Then let him see the post … You could even ‘show’ it to him with the remark ‘ just look at this .. poor girl, how she must Love her cheating husband … Thank God WE are different … Alhamdulillah … etc etc ” .

    HIQMA !

    May Allah(swt) and His Messenger(sws) be our Guide always…


  4. Tabitha

    November 14, 2015 at 6:35 PM

    This is sad. However, I think one thing we have to be aware if when entering a marriage is that your spouse is a human being and humab beings will and can dissappoint you. Never put complete,blind trust on a human, that trust deservedly belongs to Allah.
    This is what I believe people especially women forget in their pursuit of Love and filling a void in their hearts.

    • Yasmin

      August 2, 2020 at 10:14 PM

      This is so true. That level of trust and unconditional love belongs to your Creator.

      I would advice that the sis Miss Covert be clear about her needs and expectations for trust to be rebuilt.

      Unfortunately, my x continued contact during our reconciliation which hindered progress.

  5. Abc

    March 23, 2017 at 9:41 PM

    Can you please write an article on regaining trust afterwards

  6. Theresa Piatts

    May 6, 2018 at 12:07 PM

    Hello everyone, Are you interested in a professional hacker who can help you spy on your cheating spouse in just one swipe. Get in touch with Williamsdhackghost (at)Gmail.

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