Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’m 25 years old. When I was 15, I was married to my cousin in an arranged marriage. I never felt loved nor did I really love him. We have 3 kids now, and my husband recently took a second wife which I’m very hurt about. Over the years my husband would always taunt me, tell me I’m not good enough, and make me feel worthless. He would even speak badly of me to my relatives I believe he did it so I would let him take a second wife. He left me in my country for two years with my kids and didn’t speak to me for months. When we were together he would not be intimate with me for months at some point. And when he would be intimate, he only satisfied himself. I’m lost, what shall I do?
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your pain, anger, and frustration with your husband. What he is doing is absolutely haram and I pray that Allah resolves this and that you come to a mutual understanding.
The first thing that you must do is tell him how you feel. He should know that he is hurting you, by staying away for so long, and that he is not fulfilling your rights. Silence will not help. It will be difficult to make him understand this when he has his new wife, but you must remind him to fear Allah and his eventual accountability toward you and his children.
In a situation where you both live together, without another wife in the picture, I would encourage you both to read books on marriage, take the Marriage course here at Seekers, and attempt to understand each other with the five love languages. But with your husband in a different country with a new wife; he seems indifferent, and I fear that you might have to look at all of your options.
Please speak to your husband about why he is still married to you, and consider the option of leaving him. Ask him how he would proceed if he was in your situation. Pray istikhara on this, and consult your friends and family. I don’t know the right thing to do, nor do I know your culture, but I cannot manage to see what you are gaining from him. Perhaps, he is attached to the idea of being married to you for now. If he is, then you should tell him that you want to study, pursue knowledge or follow some other pursuit that would make you happy. You could do this until you both find the real solution to your problem, where you live together happily.
Turn to Allah
Your best hope and refuge is with Allah, Most High. He hears and sees you, and never sleeps. He will be there for you always. Practice your religion as best as you can, pray on time, read Quran daily, stay away from the haram, cover correctly, and teach the children the same. Turn to Him in supplication during this tough point in your life, especially before dawn at tahajjud time. Allah certainly hears the prayers of the oppressed:
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), said, “There are three whose supplication is not rejected: The fasting person when he breaks his fast, the just leader, and the supplication of the oppressed person; Allah raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” [Tirmidhi]
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[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, tafsir, 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 later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.