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My Wife’s Dating Another Man; Shall I Divorce Her?

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I

Reply Date

Jul 10, 2017

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom. A few years ago, I married a very nice girl of a reputable family. A year ago, she started having a friendship with a guy with whom she had an affair. When I caught her she said that it was just a friendship, and she promised that she would not meet him again, so I gave her a chance. However, it happened again. We had a fight over this, she again promised that she would cut ties with him, and I forgave her. Soon I found out that she was still having a relationship with him. She has not only been betraying me, but she lied to me several times although she said she had never had any sexual relation with this guy; it was just a friendship. Now I am deeply hurt by my wife’s attitude; I cannot trust her at all. Shall I divorce her? I am not sure. It seems my life is over. I need your help badly.

Counselor

Answer


My Wife's Dating Another Man; Shall I Divorce Her?

In this counseling answer:

If marriage is truly healthy, there would be no reason for the wife to need an emotional crutch in the form of another man. Therefore, the counselor advises the brother to take a good long look at himself and then have a serious heart to heart conversation with his wife about their marriage and why she would feel the need to have this friendship.


As-Salamu `Alaikum brother,

Thank you for your question. The first thought that comes to mind regarding your question is why in the world would your wife need to have such a close friendship with another man? You don’t say anything in your question about the state of your marriage; you just jump right into the fact that your wife has been having this friendship.

If your marriage is truly healthy, there would be no reason for your wife to need an emotional crutch in the form of another man. Have you thought about this? First and foremost, our religion teaches us that a husband and a wife should be lovers, companions, and garments for one another. That means the bond we share is our protection from sin and vice, implying not only a physical refuge (i.e. through lawful sexual relations) but also an emotional and psychological refuge.

The Qur’an says: 

“Your wives are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them.” (2:187)

So, a husband and wife complete each other – each one takes on a new aspect of their humanity, a new face, and depth to their personality by entering into marriage, and this is symbolized in this verse. Garments also conceal the body and protect the wearer so that a husband and wife are each other’s protectors and helpers and each of them safeguards their partner’s honor shaping the state of marriage into a haven and a sanctuary where each should feel safe and secure, sheltered in one another’s care and guardianship.” (Irshaad Hussein)

Before you start thinking about divorce, you need to look at yourself as a husband. What are you not doing or not giving your wife that would cause her to yearn for the companionship of another man? The Prophet (saw) taught us so many lessons about how to be with our wives and even said that “the best among you are those who are kindest to their wives”.

For a woman, who you say comes from a good background, to need to go out and find companionship outside of her marriage says to me that something has not been working within your marriage for quite a while. I think this is the main issue that you need to investigate first. Perhaps you need to take a good long look at yourself and then have a serious heart to heart conversation with your wife about your marriage and why she would feel the need to have this friendship. It’s a clear sign to me that something’s not working.

Most women, especially Muslim women, I believe, would not take such measures unless something was really broken. Women need emotional support, and clearly, she is not getting it in the marriage so she is going outside to get it. That means you need to figure out why this is. Remember, brother, divorce – although sometimes a necessity – is something that is seriously disliked by Allah (swt). Who is to say that if you were to divorce and then later remarry the same thing would not happen again? If it is you that is the problem, then there are no guarantees.

Take this opportunity to try and better understand what’s happening, starting with yourself as a husband, and go from there. If you need help, talk to our scholars (find a good FEMALE scholar, if possible) and ask her how to be a better and more supportive husband according to the teachings of our deen.

May Allah (swt) help you,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, it’s volunteers, writers, scholars, counselors, or employees be held liable for any direct, indirect, exemplary, punitive, consequential or other damages whatsoever that may arise through your decision or action in the use of the services which our website provides. 




About Abdul-Lateef Abdullah

Abdul-Lateef Abdullah, an American convert to Islam, obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science & Economics at the University of Delaware, his Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and recently completed his Ph.D. from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies, Universiti Putra Malaysia, in the field of Youth Studies.

He has worked as a Program Assistant for the Academy for Educational Development (Washington, D.C.); a Social Worker at the Montefiore Medical Center (Bronx, New York); and the Director of Documentation and Evaluation at Community IMPACT! (Washington, D.C.). He has also worked with the the Taqwa Gayong Academy (New Jersey, U.S.A./Penang, Malaysia) for troubled youth, both Muslim and non-Muslim. As a recent (1999) convert to Islam, he spends much time writing about his experiences as a Muslim-American convert. 

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