My Husband Abuses Me and Is Addicted to Pornography. We Have Small Children. Should I Stay or Leave?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: I have small children, and found out that my husband is addicted to pornography. He tried forcing me to do indecent acts and when I refuse, he becomes aggressive. I am losing my mind, and I am wondering if divorce is an option for me. Can I see a counsellor instead?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

I pray this finds you well. Dear sister, I am so sorry that you have been suffering so much in your marriage.

Divorce

It was narrated from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar that the Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce. “ [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Divorce is permissible for you, and it could be a mercy. Please consult a local scholar or imam to counsel your husband. If he resists, then please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times to help you decide whether to go ahead and ask for a divorce. If Allah makes the way out of your marriage easy, then this is what is good for you. If Allah makes it difficult, then it is a sign for you to consider staying and working on your marriage.

Counselling

I urge you to see a culturally-sensitive counsellor and be as honest as you need to be. Speaking openly about your husband’s mistreatment of you is not considered backbiting in this case, as you are speaking to a qualified professional who is there to help you.

Oppression

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

Your husband is oppressing you through his aggression and his demands for you to do indecent acts. Pornography addiction is an illness which requires treatment. Your husband has to be motivated to want to change. www.purifyyourgaze.com is an invaluable resource for him to start his healing journey.

Support

Please look after yourself in this time. Reach out to loved ones who can support you through decision. Ask for help from a compassionate local scholar.

Provision

Remember that Allah will provide for you and your children in every state, so do not fear poverty. Please read Surah Al-Waqiah and perform the Prayer of Need regularly. It is better for your children to see his mother safe and well, than to witness you being abused by their father.

Please refer to the following link:
Muslim Scholars On Spousal Abuse: “In Islamic law it is absolutely unlawful to abuse a wife, injure her, or insult her dignity.” – Allahcentric
Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Photo: Paul Appleton