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What’s The Matter? | Confronting a Cheating Husband

Question:

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
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Answer:

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.

 

 

References:

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.

2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-c-jameson/how-to-confront-a-cheating-spouse_b_4534619.html

 

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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.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    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.

    • Avatar

      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 ?

  2. Avatar

    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. Avatar

    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…

    Ameen

  4. Avatar

    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.

  5. Avatar

    Abc

    March 23, 2017 at 9:41 PM

    Can you please write an article on regaining trust afterwards

  6. Avatar

    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.
    Goodluck

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#Islam

30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 10: The Dua’ of Umm Salama

Now that we have learnt about a good word, let’s talk about the dua’ of Umm Salama.

Today I’m going to share with you a story of a very important woman in Islamic history named Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her). She was a female companion, which means she was a sahaabiya (female companion)

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was one of the first people to embrace Islam and she was one of the few Muslims who actually performed the hijrah twice. 

Question: Who can tell me what a hijrah is?

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A hijrah is when someone leaves a place they are in for the sake of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He). The first hijrah was to Ethiopia, where a just Christian ruler named Najashi took in a group of Muslims and took good care of them. 

So Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) went to Ethiopia. After some time living there, they really wanted to go back to Mecca so that they could be next to the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) and learn everything about Islam. As they waited patiently, news traveled all the way to Africa saying that the Muslims were no longer getting persecuted because Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) and Hamza raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him), the uncle of the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), had embraced Islam. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) decided to return back to Mecca, and when they did, they realized that it was only a rumor and that the Muslims were still being tortured by Quraysh. So, when the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) instructed all of the Muslims of Mecca to leave to Madina for the second hijrah, they wasted no time getting ready. 

Question: Do you see how they were so active and didn’t take their Islam for granted?

As Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was about to mount her camel, her tribe, the Banu Makhzum, came and told Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) that they would not allow him to take Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) to Madina. Then Abu Salama’s tribe, the Banu Asad, takes Salama, his child, away.  Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) could not defend himself against all of these men, so he sets off to Madina.

In just one day Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) lost her husband and her child, and she suffers so much because of it. She is in a lot of pain. After some time her cousin starts to feel sorry for her and speaks to the tribes on her behalf. He is then able to reunite her with her son. Then after a year of waiting, Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) is finally able to meet her husband in Madina. 

Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) was known to be a very caring husband and courageous man. He fought in the Battle of Badr as well as in the Battle of Uhud. In Uhud, he received a wound that he wasn’t able to recover from. 

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) was so sad the day Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) died, but the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) taught her to recite a beautiful dua’:

إِنَّا لله وإنا إليه راجعون اللهم أجرني في مصيبتي وأخلف لي خيرا منها 

“We belong to Allah and to Allah is our return. Oh Allah, reward me for my calamity, and replace my loss with something better.”

Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) recited this dua’, but in her mind she thought, “Who can be better than Abu Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him)?” 

After a few months passed, Umar ibn al-Khattab raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but she said no. 

Then, Abu Bakr raḍyAllāhu 'anhu (may Allāh be pleased with him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her), but again she said no. 

Then, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) proposed to Umm Salama raḍyAllāhu 'anha (may Allāh be pleased with her) and she accepted. So now, she was not only the mother of Salama, but the mother of all of the believers until the end of time! 

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This Eid And Beyond Boycott Goods Made With Enslaved Labor Of Uyghurs Even If It Is Your Favorite Brand

Bidding farewell to Ramadan, celebrating Eid?

Well, the Muslims of East Turkestan under Chinese occupation had neither Ramadan nor will they have Eid…

Not only that, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) run government has transferred Uyghurs and other ethnic minority citizens from East Turkestan to factories across the country. Under conditions that strongly suggest forced labour, Uyghurs are working in factories that are in the supply chains of at least 83 well-known global brands in the technology, clothing and automotive sectors, including Nike, Gap, Adidas, Ralph Lauren, Carters and others. Read Uyghurs for Sale for more information

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CCP is also pressuring governments across the world to extradite Uyghurs back to occupied East Turkestan.

Here is what you can do to help them:

Action Items

  1. Keep making dua for the oppressed of East Turkistan and the world.
  2. Boycott Chinese products! Do not be complicit in slave labour. Start with focusing on the companies in the graphic. Share it with #SewnWithtTears, #StopChina, #BoycottChina. Write to them and demand that they do better.
  3. Raise awareness on the plight of Uyghurs and the East Turkistani cause. Learn more at SaveUighur.org
  4. Work towards reducing your country’s economic dependence on China.
  5. Build alliances with all people of conscience to demand a cessation of China’s oppression of all faith groups, be it Muslim Uyghur, Hui; Chinese Christian; or Tibetan Buddhist.
  6. Encourage and promote fairer trade and commerce with Muslims and others rather than China.
  7. Inquire about Uyghur diaspora members in your area. Organize to help out orphans, widows, and students.
  8. Pressure governments to provide legal protection to Uyghur refugees-exiles by granting either citizenship or refugee/asylee status. Stop the “extradition/repatriation” of Uyghurs to China!
  9. Get your universities/endowments to divest from China. Raise awareness about Chinese espionage and hired guns in academia. Demand academic and financial support for Uyghur scholars and students. Request more academic attention and funds for Central Asian, Uyghur, Turkistani studies. 

Read a greater discussion of action items in A Response to Habib Ali Al-Jifri’s Comments on the Uyghurs, which also contains a greater discussion on East Turkistan’s history and its current situation. A condensed Arabic version of the article can be found here

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30 Khawaatir in 30 Days- A Parent’s Guide | Day 9: A Good Word

Now that we have learnt about the life of this world, let’s talk about a good word.

I want you all to close your eyes and think of a beautiful tree. 

Question: Who can tell me what their tree looks like? Is the tree big and strong? Does it have lots of branches and leaves? Does it have fruit?

Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something really nice to you.

Question:  What are some of the nice statements you remember people telling you?

Question: How did those statements make you feel?

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Yes, they fill us up with a warm feeling. We may have felt proud of ourselves and we may have felt loved. Do you know that Allah [wt] describes a good word to a good tree? 

In Surah Ibrahim, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says:

أَلَمْ تَرَ كَيْفَ ضَرَبَ اللَّهُ مَثَلًا كَلِمَةً طَيِّبَةً كَشَجَرَةٍ طَيِّبَةٍ أَصْلُهَا ثَابِتٌ وَفَرْعُهَا فِي السَّمَاءِ 

تُؤْتِي أُكُلَهَا كُلَّ حِينٍ بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهَا ۗ وَيَضْرِبُ اللَّهُ الْأَمْثَالَ لِلنَّاسِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ 

Have you not considered how Allah presents an example, [making] a good word like a good tree, whose root is firmly fixed and its branches [high] in the sky? [Surah Ibrahim; 24]

It produces its fruit all the time, by permission of its Lord. And Allah presents examples for the people that perhaps they will be reminded. [Surah Ibrahim; 25]

Question: Now, I want you to think of a time when someone said something mean to you. How did that make you feel?

It’s not fun to remember the mean stuff right? Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) continues in Surah Ibrahim and says:

وَمَثَلُ كَلِمَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ كَشَجَرَةٍ خَبِيثَةٍ اجْتُثَّتْ مِن فَوْقِ الْأَرْضِ مَا لَهَا مِن قَرَارٍ

And the example of a bad word is like a bad tree, uprooted from the surface of the earth, not having any stability. [Surah Ibrahim; 26] 

Question: What do you think are good words we can use to build strong, firmly rooted trees?

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