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Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My husband is obsessed with cleaning the floors of our apartment nearly every day. It is driving me nuts! He is obsessed with having the apartment spotlessly clean. I can understand that, but it is going too far. If I don’t clean everything the way he wants, he gets angry.

He refuses to sleep in the same bed with me because he doesn’t like to sleep with anybody else, including me, his wife. What can I do?

Answer: Assalam aleykum,

Obsessions

Dear sister, it sounds like your husband may be showing signs of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). He is probably insisting on these strange habits as a way of alleviating his overwhelming feelings of anxiety.

Please encourage him to do this test: Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Screening Quiz. I pray that our OCD Archive will shed some light into your husband’s behaviour.

Has he always been this obsessive about cleaning, or has this only started since your move to Jordan? Perhaps the stress of moving to a new country has worsened his anxiety.

Please encourage your husband to seek professional help. There are different modes of treatment for OCD, including some holistic ones, and I pray that your husband will learn better methods of coping.

Self-care

I cannot imagine how stressful this must be for you. Because of the daily, ongoing stress of dealing with your husband and his obsessions, it is absolutely imperative for you to look after yourself. Please read this: Taking Care of Yourself When Your Partner Has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

Who do you have for support? Have you made close friends? Are you still in touch with your family and friends back home? What helps you relax?

Marriage

The stress of your husband’s untreated struggles can take a serious toll on your marriage. I encourage you to do everything in your power to save your marriage. Perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and beg Allah for help.

I encourage you and your husband to build happier memories, outside of his obsessions. Is it possible for both of you to enjoy regular outings?

Try to reflect on your husband’s positive qualities, and why you married him in the first place.

Prayer of Guidance

If your husband refuses to seek out help and continues to yell at you, then I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward. A positive sign to stay in your marriage could be your husband being willing to get help, and a negative sign could be his refusal to.

There comes a point where staying in a marriage can end up breaking your psyche, and distancing you from Allah. No husband is worth that. Please look after yourself.

Please see:

OCD Archives
Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

[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 SeekersHub 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.

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"Whoever guides someone to goodness will have a similar reward"-- The Prophet (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him)