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My Wife is Still in Love with Her Ex



Reply Date

Apr 19, 2017


I got married to a well-educated and working Muslim girl. It was a arrange marriage, but unfortunately, she cheated on me. She had been in love with another boy before she knew me; she even had a physical relationship with him. She never told me this before or after our marriage. I got this information from the 3rd one now. I believe that 3rd one because I really feel like that she is not happy with me, she gets very angry at me if I touched her; he is not happy to go physical with me. I noticed that she still loves him and still in touch with him. I checked her mobile. I feel that she has been staying with me because she got used to me, not because she loves me. I seek your advice about what Islam says regarding this condition. Is it wise to carry on with this type of relationship where one person is staying with the other only out of fear of society and relatives while being unfaithful to him in her heart?



My Wife is Still in Love with Her Ex


As-Salaamu ‘Alalikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh my dear brother in Islam,

I think you should get out of this marriage as it does not serve the function of a marriage. The Quran says about marriage:

“He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy…” (30:21)

I also think that you are duty bound to get out of this marriage because she talks to another man and because she refuses to have sex with you. While she may not be having sex, per se, with him, if she truly does have an ongoing emotional relationship with him that she nurtures, that in and of itself is enough to justify divorce, if not demand it. These things are very serious violations of your rights, both as a husband and as a human being, and are very serious sins in Islam.

Please check my understanding with the scholars on this website, but from what I know the Quran says that the adulterer is for the adulteress, so she is not “for you”. She may not have committed zina, per se, but she has gone way too close to it, for my comfort. I think this woman is not “for you” because you have not violated your marriage responsibility to her, but she has violated yours by not respecting your right that she devotes herself emotionally to you alone and not another man. In addition, because she does not want to have sex with you, she violates your marriage rights. This too is a very serious sin in Islam and, as such, a sound basis for divorce.

In your last sentence, you mentioned that she was unfaithful to you in her heart. My dear brother, according to what you said, she has been talking to her lover on her cell phone—that is more than “in her heart”. If her problem was just in her heart, that alone would be reason enough to divorce her. But she has gone way beyond that and has acted on her feelings that are in her heart. Free this woman and yourself from her, this is my opinion.

Also in your last sentence, you mentioned “fear of society”. That is probably going to be a problem, so get ready for it. Before divorcing her, make Istikhara and also ask Allah (swt) to help you weather the storm and the society’s judgments. May Allah (swt) make it easy for you. Making Istikhara first will make you feel comfortable that whatever you suffer from society’s judgment, it will be suffering for the sake of Allah (swt) which means you can have great hopes gaining a reward from Allah (swt) for your suffering in this life and the next life, in Sha’ Allah.

I pray Allah (swt) gives you a new wife who loves you and cherishes because you seem to be amazingly devoted to marriage. The fact that you even asked this question and did not just divorce her the moment you found out that she had an outside lover means that you have a forgiving heart, ma sha’ Allah. In addition, you are not an adulterer or fornicator—you did not fornicate before marriage or violate her rights in marriage by going outside of your marriage to get your needs met when she refused to have sex with you.

There are hundreds of Muslim women out there who are looking for a husband like you! I think you should benefit one of them with your generous heart, kindness, and loyalty and not waste it on this woman who does not respect you or her religion.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you.


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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem

Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery. For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.

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