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Shall We Stay Together Only for the Kids?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 10, 2017

Question

Asslam-o-Alaikum. I need some guidance in a matter. The thing is my husband and I are only living together because of our kids. We don't have any relationship left between us. We barely even talk. And when we do it is only about matters of kids. We don’t want to be together, that's for sure. My question to you is that what is the status of such a marriage in Islam? Are we even allowed to continue to live together like that? Kindly guide me on this.

Counselor

Answer


Shall We Stay Together Only for the Kids?

In this counseling answer:

It’s not healthy for the kids to see that this is what marriage looks like. Furthermore, neither you nor your husband has your marital needs met by living in this way which can lead to zina. Please, seek marriage counseling. Do your best to repair your marriage. If nothing helps, social support will help you to successfully get you through what will be a big life change, especially for the children.


Wa ’Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh sister,

It is a heartbreaking situation for husband, wife, and children when a marriage does not seem to be working out. Alhamdulillah that even though things have gone sour, you at least communicate amicably for the sake of the children. However, aside from this, the situation is far from ideal. It is surely permissible to live like this since no divorce has been issued, but the life you live is not what married life should look like.

Firstly, it’s not healthy for the kids to see that this is what marriage looks like. Ask yourself if you would like to see them in a marriage like this when they’re older. Probably not. But living the way you do teaches them that this is what marriage should be. Sure, it’s best to be raised in a 2-parent household. But if you’re not happy, this can’t be good for the kids as they will see marriage as a negative thing. They will either prefer not to marry at all or expect very little from marriage and get no satisfaction.

Additionally, neither you nor your husband has your marital needs met by living in this way. This could lead to doing things that would be classed as zina as you are still technically married.

In Islam, marriage is a highly protected relationship, and we are encouraged to do all we can to save it before carrying ways. It is, therefore, advisable that you first seek counseling. See if you can make it work before taking any more drastic steps.You might just need to ignite the spark again.

You seem to at least get on, even if the only topic of conversation is the kids. Remember why you fell in love at first. Remember why you got married. Ask someone to take care of the kids one night and talk it out. Continue this conversation with a counselor together, or with the local imam who will be able to support you from an Islamic perspective.

If all this fails and you end up parting ways, ensure that you have the support of loved ones. Social support will help you to successfully get you through what will be a big life change, especially for the children. Make them feel as comfortable as possible and be sure to let them know it’s not their fault as many children fear when parental divorce occurs. At least if you and your husband are still able to discuss matters pertaining to the children, then this part of the transition can be kept as smooth as possible.

In the mean time, pray istikhara and ask Allah (swt) to guide you to make the best decision about how to move forward. Find comfort knowing that you are doing the best thing for everyone, by the help of Allah (swt).

May Allah (swt) make things easy for you and guide you to move forward in the way that is most pleasing to Him. May He bring happiness and contentment to you all.

Amen,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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