Wa-‘Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh,
It sounds like you are in a very difficult position. You are married to a woman who you feel is not the right person for you due to her poor attitude. You have not had physical relations with her for a long time, and you wish to seek a divorce. However, she threatens you with making false cases against you that could get you into much trouble as well as creating a bad reputation for you. Things are made even more difficult by her threats of suicide. This makes you feel helpless to do anything.
Ma sha’ Allah, you have tried hard to make things better by approaching both your own parents and hers, but none of which has made the situation any better. These certainly are challenging times for you. Amongst all this, do not forget to tell your problems to Allah (swt) and ask Him to guide you in getting through this successfully.
Certainly, we are expected to do our very best to make marriage work. Marriage requires a lot of patience with which marriage even between two of the most seemingly incompatible spouses can work. However, there are also times when it just won’t work however hard you try, in which case divorce becomes the better option.
Often, when there are children involved too, the decision to divorce can be even more difficult due to the added burden that divorce places on the children. Parents often feel the best thing is to stay together and raise the children together despite such difficulties in the marriage. However, it’s not always possible to hide marital difficulties from the children. Even if the parents can, children are wise and can see difficulties as much as they are tried to be hidden. You need to consider if it is healthier for the children to grow up with two happy parents that are divorced, or parents that are still together but are evidently unhappy.
In addition to this, the children will also be seeing the behavior of you and your wife and thinking this is what marriage is about and what they should expect when they get married themselves (if they should even choose to at all after seeing such unhappiness in their own parents’ marriage). You, therefore, run the risk of your children ending up in dysfunctional marriages where they accept poor behaviors of their spouse or end up being the abuser themselves.
If you are concerned about the reputation that will be landed to you as a result of her false accusations, remember that Allah (swt) is our judge, and it is His own judgements that we should be most concerned about. Anyone who is worth being in your life will believe you and know that these accusations are not true of you and will not believe them or judge you based on them.
In the meantime, you need to be patient until the divorce comes through.
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Qur’an, 2:153)
Stay close to Allah (swt) and He (swt) will surely bring you comfort in His remembrance.
“Those who have believed and whose hearts are assured by the remembrance of Allah. Unquestionably, by the remembrance of Allah hearts are assured.” (Quran, 13:28)
Regarding your behavior towards her, difficult as it may be, continue to be kind to her and do not be tempted to say or do anything bad. Remember that Allah (swt) always watches you.
“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” (Qur’an, 41:34)
Additionally, to make things easier for yourself, keep busy in acts of worship and do other things that you enjoy. Be in the company of good people. If you have a hobby, then spend more time doing it and if you don’t, then try something new. Set yourself goals and work towards achieving them. This can be within your hobby or something like seeking to memorize a new surah in the Quran, taking part in an Islamic Studies class, or being in a circle of people that will support you reaching your goal and gaining knowledge. This sense of achievement can be a massive confidence booster as well as a useful distraction away from difficult events you have been facing back at home.
During times like this, it can be easy to just hide away and forget to take care of yourself which will only make things emotionally worse for you and heighten this sense of hopelessness and helplessness. Engaging in a hobby and achieving your own personal goals will give you some sense of control in your life which will help to overcome negative feelings of helplessness as you shift your focus away from your marital issues. This sense of confidence and esteem that you can establish by taking care of yourself will, in sha’ Allah, make it easier for you to manage your situation at home.
May Allah (swt) bring you ease in your situation and give you the strength to manage in difficult times. May you find solace in His remembrance.
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