How to Deal with My Husband Who Has an Extra-Marital Affair?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My husband is having an extra-marital affair, but I am too scared to tell him I know because he may leave me. On the other hand, he tortures me with this behavior. I told our families, but he stopped talking to them.

Everyone wants me to have patience, but from the inside, I’m dying every day. He told me recently that he sacrificed his life for our son and me. I feel profound guilt because if he doesn’t love me, why does he live with me? I am stressed and need guidance.

Answer

I am sorry that your husband is cheating on you and making you feel guilty. You should not feel guilty at all. Be thankful that Allah Most High is showing you the truth about your husband. He is incurring the displeasure of Allah, Most High, and you are a victim.

Options

Here are your options; pray istikhara before you act:

Confront him and tell him you know everything. If you don’t, you are allowing his illicit behavior to continue: Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed one. People asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?’ The Prophet, may Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Bukhari]

Tell him that you are not happy in this marriage and that you need him to stop his cheating and mend his behavior. Tell him what bothers you and hope he will change because you want a faithful and loving husband. If he is prepared to give you that, you are also prepared to make him happy. Do not beg him to stay with you. No one deserves to be a victim and then get degraded for it. If he decides to leave, as you fear, it is better. Trust in Allah that it happened for a reason.

Your only other option is to stay in the marriage and not tell him that you are aware of his extra-marital affair. You should still sit down and communicate with him that you are not happy, neither is he, and you both need to work on it. Ask Allah Most High fervently to help you through this. You and your husband should take a class at Seekers on the spirit of a good marriage and even on other subjects. Increase your activities together. Worship together, go out together in nature. Read and apply Gary Chapman’s book: The five love languages, and try to get him to read it too.

Here is the course link:
Keys to Successful Muslim Marriages: Practical lessons that explain the Prophetic Spirit of Marriage

I empathize that you are in deep pain; this is heart-breaking. Channel your pain into du’a to Allah Most High and strive to fulfill all of your duties to Him first. Take care of yourself, exercise, eat healthily, take supplements, and focus on your home and your son. Insha Allah, the rest will become easy.

Kindly check this link:
Unfaithful Husband Working Overseas

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, 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.