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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
[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.