I have been married for eleven years and have two sons. Before marriage, I used to like a guy, and we both wanted to get married, but my parents refused and married me to my second cousin from Pakistan. The first two-and-a-half years, we were fighting all the time. I used to hate myself. Then I started to think that I needed to give this relationship a chance. I told my husband everything about my past. He was angry but told me that he forgave me. Later on, the guy I used to like got married to my cousin and came to the UK. At this point, I was content with my life, but my husband started doubting my intentions. He would find everything about me suspect and would hate it when I used to dress up and did not want me to talk to any of my cousins. To some extent, I agreed, and I stopped taking care of myself, and he was happy then. He did not like it that my parents spoke to my cousin and used to argue with me and say that if my parents speak to them I could not go to my parents. I love my family more than anything and told him that I am not leaving my family. I started praying and wearing the hijab and felt motivated, but he kept saying that I pray while I am a sinner and made me feel bad. I pray that Allah guides him, but I feel depressed. He says that I stress him out, and the only reason he says that is because I said that I will forgive people who have hurt me and will try and be a better Muslim, and I told him to be the same or try and be a bigger person and forgive others. He hits me when he is angry and hates family so much. I do not know what to do. I feel that he hates me no matter what I do. I cook and clean and try to keep him happy, but he is only happy when I am bitter like him. I was brought up to be kind and forgiving, but he says that I am being fake. I try to see the best in people, but he accuses me and says that I fancy them. I tried changing him, but he thinks that I am putting him under the thumb. We both love our kids, but when he is angry, he says that he will take the kids away from me. He basically wants me to stop talking to my whole family, which is something I cannot do. Please advise.
May Allah make it easy for you. To be able to give you advice, it is important that we see what went wrong, and even though it is in the past, it is imperative to know the past in order to be able to go forward with a clear vision and steadfastness.
It was a big mistake from your end to inform your husband about your previous relationship. Many people think that being faithful requires one to confess about one’s past. This is wrong as long as the person repented to Allah.
Since it already happened, then looking forward, you should first be patient with the fact that you brought this upon yourself by feeling that your husband has an excuse. It is very hard for a husband to see the man that his wife used to like. Your husband needs to control himself and seek counseling or go to one of the trusted people of knowledge and take his advice.
As for you, I advise that you first and foremost be patient with your husband and continue to be a good wife to him. And here are some of the things that I think you should do:
1- Repent to Allah and make a lot of istighfar (asking forgiveness). It does not mean that you should feel bad, no; rather, feel honored that Allah guided you. Istighfar removes harm, including that of relationships.
2- Feel for your husband and seek excuses for him; this will cause you to always be kind and humble, even when he is angry.
3- He should never hit you, and he needs to seek help.
4- Always express your love and attention to your husband.
5- Continue your kindness to your family, and never sever the relationship with them, although your husband has rights on you not to visit them except by his permission, convince him that the visits will be only take place at times when no one is there.
6- Never speak about or mention the man that you liked before your marriage.
7- Perform your prayers on time, wake up every day before the Fajr for the night prayer, and supplicate Allah to change your situation to what is best.
8- Allah is the Owner of all things and has control over the hearts; He is the One Who can change your husband’s heart. Therefore, turn to Allah alone and seek help from Him.
9- If Allah guides you to supplicate, then that means that it is more likely to be accepted, so never quit or give up.
10- Life is a struggle and is full of trials, so realize that you are in one and show Allah the goodness in your heart by being grateful to Him.
May Allah make it easy for you and guide your husband to be kind and compassionate.