Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: Assalam aleykum,
My husband and I are drifting apart. We were in love once, but it has been two years into our marriage, and things are completely different. He is still in touch with a girl whom he had an affair with.
I am a strong believer – I pray and fast regularly. My husband used to as well, but is completely different now. He drinks and smokes often. He treats me as an inferior being quite often. My husband threatened to divorce me that if I start wearing hijab.
After istikhara prayer, I had a dream about my colleague. My colleague has feelings for me, so we only communicate professionally now. What should I do about my marriage?
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.
Dear sister, what you have shared is troubling. Your husband may not be physically abusing you, but he is clearly emotionally abusing you.
As a general rule, people do not miraculously change after marriage. Not unless they want to. Being in a long-distance marriage does not help with your communication difficulties.
Prayer of Guidance
Please know that a dream is not necessarily a positive or negative sign to your isitkhara.
If you are in an unhappy marriage, then it is likely that the dream about your colleague is from your own nafs, or the whisperings of the devil. Please tread very carefully. No married woman expects to be ‘that woman’ who begins an affair with a colleague, but please know that you are at risk, especially because he is already emotionally attached to you. Please tread very carefully.
Please do everything in your power to salvage your marriage, and consider divorce your last resort. Please ask your husband if he is willing to attend culturally-sensitive marriage counselling with you. If you are both motivated enough, then it is possible for you to still make your marriage work.
However, if your husband refuses to see your point of view and continues to treat you with contempt and abuse, then please, for the sake of your dignity and emotional health, consider ending your marriage. You do not have to continue to suffer.
I encourage you to read Before You Tie The Knot and Getting Married with Ustadha Shireen Ahmed and Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.
I pray that Allah grants you the courage to do what is best for your deen and dunya.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers in Malaysia and online through SeekersGuidance Global. She graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales, was a volunteer hospital chaplain for 5 years and has completed a Diploma of Counselling from the Australian Institute of Professional Counsellors. She lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with her husband, daughter, and mother-in-law.