Mixed Feelings After Filing for Divorce

21 July, 2020
Q Salam. I hope this email finds you well.

I am going through a difficult time and I pray you can offer some guidance. I was in an arranged marriage for 3 years with my wife and we had a lot of disagreements.

My wife pointed out that I would not spend enough time with her and would spend all my free time with my parents although we lived separately from our parents over the past year.

My wife and mother had issues getting along and for the past year, they did not see each other. For this reason, I would go see them alone and she would go see her parents alone. We had been spending most weekends apart over the last year which I found to be very disconcerting.

I felt like she purposely did not want to spend time with me as a means to punish me for wanting to see my parents on the weekends. As I have mentioned, we live apart from both of our parents and were together during the week.

I initially thought the in-law issues were the typical south Asian issues that occur between couples and families but I noticed that my wife became more and more against the idea of spending weekends with her family to punish me for wanting to visit my family.

Things got worse: we had an argument one night when she came late from her parent’s house and I told her to sleep outside the bedroom. We argued and she called her brother - I spoke to him and we both calmed down and ended up sleeping in the bedroom together.The next day her father called me saying nasty things and threatening to litigate me.That very night the police came to my house and gave me a protection from abuse order, that I could not speak freely to my wife and that we would have to go into court to discuss this matter.

2 months went by and we did not speak to each other and slept separately, living like strangers in the same home. The court case was dismissed as the judge did not think there was any abuse. I came home that evening and apologized to her although in my heart I was extremely upset and thought about getting a divorce.

She even later confessed that she did it so that I would apologize to her. The weekend after the court date, her father texted nasty things again to me and my father calling us a hypocrite and calling me crazy. I was upset and did not speak to my wife and she ended up leaving our apartment without telling me.

She was gone for a month and I emailed her to come back during Ramadan 2016 and she did. During that month, I had no idea of what she was doing. We tried to fix our situation and I told her that I thought it would be a good idea to spend time apart because we did not value each other as spouses.

I told her I wanted to take a few pieces of furniture with me when I move out and that it would be temporary and that we would do marriage counseling. I also reassured her that I would pay for all her expenses during our temporary separation. She did not agree to let me take anything and called the police and my family who came to help me pack some of my things the day I was moving out.

I moved out and was very upset and really thought that I should end things but I gave it a final chance by reaching out to her brother as a means of arbitration. Her brother came to meet with me and I told them that I wanted her to show more respect, obedience and stop the immature police and court tactics. Little did I know that she had filed for another court case against me by the time I had met her brother for spousal financial support, despite me paying her expenses for 2 months.

And what makes it worse is that her brothers did not even mention it to me when they met me.This showed me that either she does not trust me an ounce or that she has a lot of anger and was doing this for revenge. Or it is just to intimidate me. After the third time, i filed for divorce against her and am going through the divorce procedure.

My question is, I sometimes have feelings that things did not have to be this way and that I did not want things to end between us. I spent 3 years with her and despite our disagreements, we went for Umrah and traveled to other places. However, the repetitive police and court cases has escalated things so much that I cannot trust her to not harm me in the future. And my family strongly opposes staying with her.

I made istikhara a few times and both times I am not sure if I got a clear answer. I also met with a local scholar who suggested that it was best for me to move forward with my life and to divorce her. But it is very painful to think about what the person you have been married to for 3+ years did, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

I have been so hurt that I stopped communicating with her. Now, sometimes I have thoughts about reconciliation but logic tells me that she has shown me that she can cause a lot of harm to me in the future (emotionally and financially) and that I should not reconcile.

She has expressed no regret about her decisions and has not even emailed me to apologize. I apologize for the long winded question but I wanted to provide you the context. I do not feel like I can discuss it that openly with any family member or friend. JazakAllah Khair for your opinion.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Regardless of the past, I encourage you, dear brother, to finalize the divorce as you stated you would move forward with your life and try to put this behind you.

In sha’ Allah, you will come to realize that Allah (swt) has a wonderful wife waiting for you in the near future, one whom will cherish, respect, and love you with honor.

From this past marriage, I am sure you have learned a lot which can be beneficial for a lifelong, happy marriage.

In the meantime, try to keep busy with self-care activities such as exercise, socializing with uplifting brothers, or take up a hobby.

Importantly, stay close to Allah (swt).

Go to the mosque for prayers, read Qur’an, make du’aa’ and do dhkir daily. These are the truly healing balms for the heart and soul.


As Salamu ‘Alaikum brother,

Thank you for writing to us with your most heartbreaking situation.

I am so sorry to hear of all the problems you have been going through with your marriage. You wrote a lot of details, alhumdulilah, but what I noticed is that not once did you say you loved her or that she loved you, or that you spent many enjoyable times together.

While you did say you made ‘Umrah together and traveled, you never expressed love or affection towards her. From what you wrote, she possibly lacks these emotions as well towards you.  Forgive me if I am wrong, but your synopsis of the situation lacked emotional ties.

Emotional connection

I understand that this was an arranged three year marriage with many disagreements, breeches of trust (her calling the police, nasty texts from her father and so forth) and lack of time spent together on the weekends. As you stated, she and your mom did not get along.

You did not say why, but it appears that both families arranged the marriage, yet were unable to be supportive of it. While this is too late now, ideally, it would have been conducive for the issues between your wife and mother to be resolved and that you both spend quality time at both sets of parents maybe twice a month.

Mixed Feelings After Filing for Divorce - About Islam

Time

Newly married couples need quality time together to get to know each other. Perhaps, you both missed out on that by spending every weekend at her and your parents’ house, separately. Perhaps, that was what she was trying to convey when she was upset about you going to your parents every weekend.

The issue with the order of protection she got is extreme, especially if you did not harm her or threaten her. You stated, “That very night the police came to my house and gave me a protection from abuse order, that I could not speak freely to my wife and that we would have to go into court to discuss this matter.

Two months went by and we did not speak to each other and slept separately, living like strangers in the same home. The court case was dismissed as the judge did not think there was any abuse”. As far as this, I am confused as if there is an order of protection you cannot be in the same house. 

Regardless if this occurred after the judge declared you innocent or not-you spent two months in the same house not speaking.

Marriage

Brother, marriage is for two people to be like cloaks, garments for each other. They are supposed to be a mercy, love, and protection for each other in the marriage.

From what you wrote, your marriage seemed to lack these qualities. It seems empty and devoid of any real affection, emotion or remorse (on her part). It seems you have tried many times to fix your marriage, to no avail.

You say, she has not contacted you to express regret or to reconcile; that she has either a lot of anger or possibly even revenge. You also pointed out the very real fear of her harming your heart again or causing financial disasters and implicating law enforcements and police again.

So, I guess my question to you is: what is it exactly that appeals to you about this marriage that you are feeling sad about? True, three years has gone by and yes, perhaps you both were not as attentive towards your marriage as you should have been.

Or perhaps, as it was an arranged marriage, there was not a chance to see if you both were compatible. Regardless of the past, I encourage you, dear brother, to finalize the divorce as you stated you would move forward with your life and try to put this behind you.

Alhumdulillah, there were no children involved, and it was a rather short marriage. I know this hurts, and I am sorry. The heart is difficult to heal, but with prayer, drawing close to Allah (swt), you will heal from this experience.

Heal

Brother, I highly suggest you re-read your question, in sha’ Allah. In it, you may find your answer to your istikharah, in sha’ Allah, written from the pain in your heart – by you.

Often times, Allah (swt) will close one door that is harmful for us even though we want it open. However, Allah (swt) knows best and He (swt) in His Almighty wisdom knows what we do not. The Qur’an states,

“Say, “Each works according to his manner, but your Lord is most knowing of who is best guided in way.” (17:84)   

In sha’ Allah, you will come to realize that Allah (swt) has a wonderful wife waiting for you in the near future, one whom will cherish, respect, and love you with honor. And from this past marriage, I am sure you as well have learned a lot which can be beneficial for a lifelong, happy marriage.

In the meantime, try to keep busy with self-care activities such as exercise, socializing with uplifting brothers, or take up a hobby. Importantly, stay close to Allah (swt). Go to the mosque for prayers, read Qur’an, make du’aa’ and do dhkir daily. These are the truly healing balms for the heart and soul.

“And they ask you, [O Muhammad], about the soul. Say, “The soul is of the affair of my Lord. And mankind have not been given of knowledge except a little.” (17:85)  

We wish you the best, brother. You are in our prayers.

Salam,

***

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https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-scholar/family/what-are-the-valid-reasons-for-divorce/

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach.
Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.