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My Irresponsible Husband & His Midlife Crisis

Questioner

Z

Reply Date

Nov 10, 2017

Question

I have a question regarding marriage and I am seeking Islamic advice. I got married in 2007 and alhumdulliah although my marriage had many ups and downs and hardship, my husband and I survived them. However, things changed dramatically when I got pregnant with our daughter in 2011. My relationship with my husband became strained, mainly because I don't get on with his family, particularly his mum, in addition to financial issues which have always been a difficulty. I often have been the main breadwinner. After I had my daughter things got worse between us. My husband did not take his responsibility as a father seriously and talking to him was not helping. He appeared to be having a midlife crisis – being unhappy with his job, wanting to travel and see the world, literally wanting to travel to every continent, and becoming upset with me as I found it hard to allow his mum to take control of my home and parenting of my daughter. In the end, he divorced me in 2013, reasons including I was a disobedient wife and his parents felt I was disrespecting them when they came to my house. Only Allah (swt) knows what is in my heart and what I suffered through being their daughter in law. Since then, I have bought a house and have been supporting myself and my daughter whilst working full-time and completing renovation works on my house. My ex husband has given child maintenance payments, and we have an agreed contact arrangement for him and his family. In the two years he has not really changed his spending habits, and continued on his midlife crisis where he indulged in going out and travelling and enjoyed being single. Now, he has decided that he is sorry and would like me to do the nikkah with him again so that he can be a father to his daughter on a full time basis. I recently found out that he is broke and possibly losing his job. He has no savings or any investments, so essentially I will have to take him on and again be the breadwinner. I'm just not sure what to do. Even though I do not have any love towards him, and he will not be able to support me and my daughter financially, and the relationships with his parents are non-existent, should I still agree to remarriage, purely for the reason that my daughter will have her father in her life and we will be a family? I am disappointed that even after 2 years of having his freedom, he has not thought about becoming a stable individual who can provide for a family. Even if he was to be seeking another wife, those parents/women would also be looking at his income and potential to provide for their daughter. Seeking answers and advice please. Jazakallah.

Counselor

Answer


My Irresponsible Husband & His Midlife Crisis

Answer:

As- Salaam ’Alaykum sister,

Based on what you shared, it is important to reflect on the following points:

  • It seems you have already moved on and have no connection of intimacy for this brother besides you share a daughter.
  • It is interesting that after your former husband found himself in economic hardship after his two years of living single, he is now ready to be involved with his daughter.
  • You should refer to a scholar of Islamic law; however my understanding is that you cannot marry him again unless you and he are married to someone else before you remarry according to Islamic law. This principle is established to help people move on and make serious decisions. In Islam, a person is protected from being taken advantage of by divorcing and remarrying several times. Hence, you have to marry someone else and then be divorced to consider a former partner for marriage again.
  • He is the one who divorced you for being “disobedient and disrespectful.” Why is he apologizing to you and asking to be with you again?
  • Your daughter can have her father in her life without you being married to him; marriage is not the only solution.

Considering the above, I don’t think you have the Islamic or sensible reasoning to remarry him. I don’t see how remarriage to someone that is not responsible and you have no love for will help your daughter, especially if it will harm you in the process. It does not sound to me like it was a solid relationship to begin with, and even if you could remarry him, you would first have to conduct premarital counseling for at least six months before making any decisions. This would ensure you both work out your deeper issues and would reflect true dedication and commitment to making things work.

Remember sister, your daughter needs a healthy outlook on life and having her parents “together” is not equal to having harmony and proper parenting together. If you two do not get along well and create heartache and a negative atmosphere due to a lack of true intimacy, it will only damage everyone in the family even more so. It is better to provide your daughter stability and a loving environment even if her father is not present all the time.

I would suggest your next step is to work on civil relations with her father and let him be more responsible with his daughter as he said he would like to, however this does not require marriage to you. In fact, if he makes getting remarried a condition to take responsibility again, this will reveal his actual agenda, which is likely that he wants financial support and easy way out of his situation, and Allah knows best.

Salam,

***

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About Karim Serageldin

Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting


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