Question: My new husband of a year forced himself on me a few times, and he has done other wrongs. We separated for a month. He has apologized but it is hard to forgive him for this and for his lying, defensiveness, and gaslighting. He now says he wants to change, but my heart is numb. I have prayed istikhara seven times, but there is emotional distance as he has violated my boundaries. He says he will do better. I have no desire to reconcile I said that I will try because divorce has its challenges too. What is your advice?
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you have found yourself in this difficult situation, and I pray that you can look in your heart and seek guidance from Allah and do what is best for your this-worldly and after-worldly affairs.
You should know that there is no marriage that does not take effort. Any happy marriage that you have seen only exists because the husband and wife have invested in overlooking, forgiving, helping, loving, showing kindness, generosity, love, preferring their spouse to themselves, and having a growth mindset.
Please take a free course on marriage, read these books, and attempt the tips and techniques in them. The only way to move forward is to learn, intend to change, and apply. If you go back to him and remain as you are, you are doomed to be unhappy for a long time. It is true that he needs to change too but start with yourself as you are willing. [5 love languages book, John Gottman’s Book on Marriage, Fascinating Womanhood]
Please apply some of the tips in your marriage, and see if you notice an improvement. Give it some time, and sincerely ask Allah to help you better your situation. If you do not see any improvement, it might be time to pray istikhara about divorce.
Divorce is permissible, and I see that you are deeply hurt. I do not know your husband, so you must sit down, make a list of the pros and cons of staying or leaving, and ask Allah to show you what is right for both of you.
Although divorce is the most hated of the permissible things, one cannot live a life of misery where one is behaving un-Islamically from morning to evening. A couple must make a home a sanctuary of peace, love, and devotion to Allah.
In the meantime, I recommend that you take these steps:
-Give a little charity regularly, as Allah may bless and accept your good deed and make it a means of success in your problem.
-Be the best Muslim that you can be. Pray on time, read some Qu’ran every day, cover correctly, and learn or review your obligatory knowledge.
-When you are with him, try to spend time together with friends and family. One tends to argue less. Entertain guests as much as you can.
-Pray the Prayer of Need in the depth of the night when Allah is ready to forgive and give to whoever is asking.
Please see these link for similar situations and solutions:
May Allah give you the best in this world and the next and guide you to what is right for you both.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.