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My Wife Had an Affair. We Have a Young Daughter. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My wife had an affair with her co-worker, but she refuses to quit her job. When I check her phone location, she is not where she says she will be. Ours was a love marriage – she was Christian before she embraced Islam. We have a young daughter, whom I love very much. What do I do about my wife and daughter?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Spying

“O you who have believed, avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin. And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Accepting of repentance and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 49:12]

I am so sorry to hear that your wife has betrayed your trust, and continues to do so. You cannot control what she does, but you can control what you do. Please bear in mind that it is impermissible for you to spy on her.

I cannot imagine how frustrating that must be for you, so consider this – is your current strategy working? Is cross-examining her and finding out that she is lying bringing you both closer, or further apart? What can you do differently, to break this futile pattern?

Communication

Please sit down and have an honest discussion with your wife. Does she want to stay married to you? If she does, then what can you both do to rekindle your affection and increase trust and forgiveness?

If she does not, then it is better for you to end your marriage, then drag this out. If she is undecided, then encourage her to perform The Prayer of Guidance up til 7 times about what to do next. Please exhaust every option to save your marriage, but bear in mind that you cannot force her to stay and remain faithful to you.

Counselling

I encourage you to see a counsellor on your own, to help you decide whether or not you want to stay in your marriage.

If your wife is willing to work on your marriage, then it would be beneficial for both of you to go to couples’ counselling.

Please read these articles:

7 ways to become a better forgiver
Recovering from infidelity
5 ways to prevent infidelity

Self-Care

Please look after yourself during this stressful time. Are you sleeping well? Eating a balanced diet? Exercising? What is your prayer like? Are you making dua?

These acts of self-care are all acts of worship, given the right intention. When your spouse betrays your trust, it is easy to place complete focus on them, at the expense of your own emotional and physical well-being. Be mindful of this, and bring attention back to yourself, and your relationship with Allah.

Daughter

It is heartbreaking when children like your daughter are caught in between unhappy parents. As you are her father, then you must decide how to navigate this troubling situation. I urge you to perform the Prayer of Need and beg Allah to give you the strength to be present for your daughter during these troubled times. Children know when their parents are upset.

If your wife no longer wants to stay married to you, then both of you must decide how to break this devastating news to your daughter. Reassure her of your love for her, and that strive to cultivate a routine in which she is able to still spend time with both you and your wife.

From a religious perspective, it is important for you to nurture her Islam through word and deed, and the best testimony of your character is how you treat your family, especially under times of stress. Be mindful of dealing with your stress in a constructive and healthy way, so that you do not end up losing your temper with your daughter.

If your wife wants to stay married to you, then strive to build happier memories as a family. It is possible to build an even stronger marriage after an affair, but it will take tremendous strength of character from both you and your wife.

I pray that Allah grants you clarity and courage.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah

[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.

My Wife Has Confessed to Having an Affair. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

What should I do, as a Muslim husband, after my wife has admitted to having an affair with someone on a single occasion? How should I deal with it?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Affair

Dear questioner, I am sorry for the anger, hurt and devastation you may be feeling about your wife’s affair.

I cannot tell you how to deal with this great tribulation. This will depend on you, the current state of your marriage, and how you wish to move forward.

What I suggest is for you to make space for feelings of anger, grief, loss, and whatever else rises within you. Suppressing these feelings will only hurt you, in the long-run. Do what you need to do to grieve – without lashing out at your wife – and work on letting these strong feelings go.

It may be very beneficial for you and your wife to attend culturally-sensitive marriage counselling. The fact that your wife has had an affair, even if once, signals that there exist deep emotional, spiritual and perhaps physical rifts within your marriage.

Moving Forward

Do you want to stay married? Or do you feel that you cannot forgive your wife?

It is possible for your marriage to grow and heal from this. It is also possible that your marriage cannot survive this. This depends on both you and your wife. It will take great courage, forgiveness, and compassion for you to forgive her and move past her affair.

If handled well, this experience can be transformational, for both you, and a means of attaining higher ranks in Jannah.

Learning to Love Again After an Affair
Recovering from infidelity
An Affair Does Not Have to Mean the End

Guidance

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance about how to move forward from here. Watch what Allah unfolds for you.

Again, I urge you to speak to a culturally-sensitive marriage counsellor. Whatever path you choose, do your utmost to exercise restraint, patience, and good character, especially towards your wife. Nothing of your sacrifice is lost with Allah.

May Allah reward you for striving to do what pleases Him, even in the midst of your heartache.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
A Reader on Tawba (Repentance)

Wassalam,
[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.

I Had an Affair and Have Repented. Should I Tell My Husband?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam alaykum,

I was unhappy in my marriage, and had an affair with my ex. I sincerely regret this, have severed ties with him, and have repented. I am so scared. Should I tell my husband? How do I restore his right?

Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Hiding sin

Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (upon him be blessings and peace) as saying: All the people of my Ummah would get pardon for their sins except those who publicise them. And (it means) that a servant should do a deed during the night and tell the people in the morning that he has done so and so, whereas Allah has concealed it. And he does a deed during the day and when it is night he tells the people, whereas Allah has concealed it.[Sahih Muslim]

Dear sister, please do not disclose your affair to your husband. Bury it, and never speak to it to anyone. I repeat – it is obligatory for you to hide this sin for the rest of your life.

Restore your husband’s right by making good on your marriage contract, and never straying again. Trust that Allah can accept your repentance, and turn your bad deeds into good deeds.

Moving forward

Dear sister, please do everything in your power to heal your marriage. I do not know the details, but it is likely that your affair began from an emotional rift between you and your husband. The Cheater’s Cascade is something you have the power to prevent, from now on.

Please read articles like Recover From Infidelity and 5 Ways To Prevent Infidelity.

Seek out the support of a culturally-sensitive counsellor. At the very minimum, you can speak to a counsellor alone about what you can do to improve your marriage. Ideally, it would be better for both of you to go. Again, please do not disclose your past affair. Simply work on strategies to improve your marriage.

Please enrol in and complete Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage.

I pray that Allah grants you and your husband the blessing of a healed marriage.

Please see:

Love, Marriage and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
Reader on Repentance

Wassalam,
[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.

How Do I Deal With Having an Unfaithful Father?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: Assalam aleykum,

My father has had a string of extra-marital affairs, and does not know that I know. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah reward you for reaching out to us.

Support

Dear sister, you are in a very difficult situation. It sounds like you are in a lot of pain. Please reach out to a culturally-sensitive counsellor, therapist or psychologist. You need a safe and confidential place to process your strong feelings.

Ask your counsellor what the best approach is with your family, who seem to know the truth about his affairs. If it is beneficial for all of you to speak frankly about it so you can heal together as a family, then consider doing that. If you feel that coming clean about your father’s sins is going to cause more harm, then please refrain. If you are unsure about what to do, then please perform the Prayer of Guidance and watch how events unfold.

Prayer

I encourage you to perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night, and beg Allah for relief. Commit to regular Qur’an recitation, connect yourself to authentic scholarship, give in regular charity, and have good company. Listen to podcasts like The Rawha, Why Islam Is True, This is Your Faith to inspire you.

Marriage

When it’s time for you to get married, then I encourage you and your prospective husband to seek pre-marital counselling. Also, please enrol in and complete this course: Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriages.

Family

“And no bearer of burdens will bear the burden of another. And if a heavily laden soul calls [another] to [carry some of] its load, nothing of it will be carried, even if he should be a close relative. You can only warn those who fear their Lord unseen and have established prayer. And whoever purifies himself only purifies himself for [the benefit of] his soul. And to Allah is the [final] destination.” [Qur’an, 35:18]

You are not responsible for fixing this situation. Your father is an adult, and he will be called to account by Allah for what he did.

Your responsibility is to uphold good character, continue to treat your father with respect, and to be kind to the rest of your family. As heartbreaking as this situation is, please don’t let your father’s sins drive you to despair. You cannot control what he does, but you can make better choices for your own life.

Decision

If you feel that it is beneficial, then consider speaking frankly to your father. Tell him that you know, and that you are deeply worried for him.

If you fear that speaking to him about this will cause more harm than benefit, then refrain. If you are unsure about what to do, then please perform the Prayer of Guidance and watch how events unfold.

I pray that Allah eases your family’s pain, guides your father, and places serenity in your heart.

Please see:

What Should I Do When I Suspect My Parent Is Being Unfaithful?
Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long

Wassalam.
[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.

My Husband Barely Touches Me. What Do I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have been married for 7 years, have children, and my husband barely touches me, to the point where I have had a brief affair because I am so sexually frustrated. I am afraid to leave my husband because of my children. What do I do?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Dear sister, may Allah reward you for reaching out to us. I pray that Allah lifts your tribulation from you.

Abuse

Narrated Anas:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one.” People asked, “O Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Bukhari]

I am so sorry to hear of the pain you have been through at the hands of your husband. It is forbidden for your husband to abuse you, both physically and emotionally. Dear sister, your relationship sounds toxic. I strongly encourage you to seek professional help. However, if your husband resists any form of counselling and persists on abusing you, please perform the Prayer of Guidance in relation to ending your marriage. You can pray up til 7 times and watch for what Allah unveils to you.

Children

Just as Allah provided for your children as you carried them in your womb, He continues to provide for them. Being a single mother is amongst the most difficult trials in this dunya, but think of the alternative – exposing your children to a violent father who continually hurts their mother. This is traumatising for them, and will set them to expect the same from their own spouses when they grow up. Give them the opportunity to live without fear. I encourage you to go to family counselling with your children, in order to help all of you heal.

Affair

Alhamdulillah, you have made your repentance by ending your affair. I pray that Allah transforms your bad deeds into good deeds. This is a clear sign that if things do not get better, then you need to end your marriage. Your husband is hurting you by withholding sexual satisfaction from you.

Especially as you have fallen into the sin of zina in the past, when you become sexually frustrated again, please know that it is permissible for you to masturbate. It is better for you to masturbate than seek out illegal sexual intercourse. In the meantime, please do everything in your power to take the edge off your sexual frustration e.g. fast, avoid excessive meat intake, avoid watching or listening to any form of media that inflames your desire etc.

Prayer of Need

There are many Muslim single mums who left abusive husbands, and raised their children on their own. Allah has blessed some of them with loving remarriages. Their kind husbands who are also excellent stepfathers. Although remarriage is not written for everyone, it is better for you to be alone with your children, than to expose them to a violent father and husband.

What you need to do to protect you and your children will take a lot of courage and patience. Please perform the Prayer of Need and ask Allah for strength.

Support

Please reach out to your loved ones. If you do decide to leave your husband, then please come up with a plan that will keep you and your children safe. Because your husband has already physically assaulted you, you must tread extremely carefully. Please read resources such as this to help you get prepared. I urge you to speak to a women’s crisis helpline to help you and your children get ready. Do not tell anyone of your plans to leave unless you are absolutely sure they can keep it secret. Please keep in touch and keep us updated.

Please see:

Selected Prophetic Prayers for Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Wellbeing by Chaplain Ibrahim Long
Is it Permissible to Economically or Mentally Abuse your Spouse?
My Husband Does Not Want to Have Marital Relations With Me. What Do I Do?

Wassalam,
[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 through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.