My Husband and I Argue a Lot in Front of Our Small Daughter and It Scares Her. What Should I Do?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My husband and I argue a lot in front of our 3 year old daughter. She often gets scared seeing this. Many times my husband has called me names or told me to shut up in front of her. I am very worried about the impact this will have on her.

What should I do to protect her?

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. May Allah lift this tribulation from your family.

Professional help

Dear sister, it sounds like you and your husband need professional help. It is traumatising for your daughter to see your husband disrespect you so openly. Unless this changes, when she grows up, your daughter will expect the same from her husband. Kind and respectful treatment from a husband will be strange to her. May Allah protect her and all children from this.

I urge you both to see a culturally-sensitive counsellor and get help. Your husband needs to learn anger management strategies, and you both need to learn conflict resolution skills.

Solutions

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night and ask Allah to help heal your marriage.

When registration reopens, I encourage you and your husband to complete Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life. You must both learn and understand the spirit and law behind a successful Islamic marriage. Shouting matches have absolutely no space in a healthy marriage.

Please visit the #staymarried blog and study their resources, especially on conflict resolution.

Oppression

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

Allah has entrusted your daughter to you and your husband. If staying together will only cause even more oppression, then it is time to look at the future of your marriage.

Although divorce is the most hated of all permissible things to Allah, if it means your daughter will no longer be exposed to the trauma of watching her father oppress her mother, then it could be a mercy. That being said, please exhaust all options – counselling, dua, mediation by a trusted local scholar etc. Divorce is a last resort for you and your husband. You and your husband must do your best to make your marriage work. That being said, please don’t wait for decades before ending a destructive marriage.

Please write back if you have more questions.

I pray that Allah heals your marriage, and blesses your daughter with a loving and peaceful home.

Please refer to the following links:

A Little Fiqh on Controlling One’s Anger
Staying Connected to Your Purpose Even When Your Marriage is Rocky, by Ustadha Anse Tamara Gray

Raidah Shah Idil

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani