I am a 26-year-old man. Last year, I got married to a 41 old year convert woman whom I met online and has 2 kids. We got to know each other for a few months before deciding to get married. Since I was living away from my parents in another country, I did not tell them about my marriage but was planning to do so soon.
I moved in with her 4 months after we got married, and everything was perfect. We went out together, prayed, had dinner like a happy family, and the kids were getting to know me and getting used to me slowly. We were planning to have a beautiful life together and planning our future.
She got pregnant but unfortunately had a miscarriage about 3 weeks in, and later had 3 more miscarriages. I didn't want to rush her to have treatments done because she was already depressed about not being able to give me a child. I was also sad, but I didn't want her to feel that way and constantly reassured her of our reward in Jannah if Allah wills it.
Before getting married, she went to a "Shia" mosque and I was okay with it as she didn’t agree to most of their practices. Once we started living together, she asked me to come with her to meet the people at her masjid, and I went with her. There, they were having a discussion and they brought up sensitive issues which upset me as I do not encourage promoting differences between us.
I later expressed to here that I am not willing to indulge in such discussions as they do not benefit us, and she started crying and accused me of talking badly about these people. Every time we went to the masjid, we had issues and discussions.
We were together for a total of 8 months and I was going back home to talk to my parents about our marriage. However, the night before I was leaving, she was also traveling for work and suddenly asked for a divorce and just left.
I was devastated and home alone when I started using her iPad and to my utter shock, I found her having intimate conversations with another "Muslim" guy. I later found out he was her ex-boyfriend whom she was still attached to.
Their conversations included photos and everything. I texted her directly asking what was going on and she lied to me at first, but after realizing that I've seen it all she confessed and promised she will stop and later even blamed me for that.
I found that she was again having these kinds of conversations with other men. I was angry and frustrated, and I began to hate her. She changed in my view within one night. I still did istikhara because I believe only Allah knows what’s best. I’m praying and asking Allah to guide me.
I had decided to forgive her and save our marriage for the best, but she did not like that. She started fighting with me again and asking for khulaa if I don’t agree. She then agreed on the basis that I must tell my family. I told my father, but she went back to refusing to stay married to me and fighting with me.
I left the house and am currently living elsewhere. I am not sure as to what to do, please advise me.
In this counseling answer:
• During times of tragedies such as these, it is important for you and your wife to adequately address the loss of a child, otherwise, feelings and emotions incorrectly or inadequately expressed can drive a wedge between a husband and wife.
• Communication regarding any disagreement needs to be done based on Islamic foundations such as consulting the Qur’an which is our guide.
• This is no excuse for her behavior, but as humans, we must also look at causes for anger, hurt, sins so we can address and eliminate the causes, so they don’t occur again.
• I would kindly suggest that you speak with your wife about the future of your marriage. Take her out for a meal, somewhere quiet where both of you can talk without interruptions.
• I kindly suggest that you set some foundations which involve strengthening your relationship with Allah and each other, in case you continue with the marriage.
• Seek marriage counseling.
Assalamu Alaikum dear brother,
I am very sorry to hear about what has been going on with your marriage. It sounds like you love her very much and entered the marriage with pure intentions of living a very happy marital life with a promising future. It also seems that you put a great deal of effort into getting to know her children after you were married, as well as planning for the future.
You have been married for eight months, in which your wife suffered four miscarriages. Which means that every other month you both were losing a child.
Medically, I am not sure how she could have miscarried, recovered physically, and then conceived again within a month or two. However, I am not a doctor and Allah knows best.
This does, however, have a heavy impact on the mind/emotions, heart, as well as on her body in a physical sense. A miscarriage can have a devastating effect on a person’s emotions, especially for the woman who has lost a child.
I am unsure if she has received counseling for these losses or if she has even processed what happened. During times of tragedies such as these, it is important for you and your wife to adequately address the loss of a child.
Otherwise, feelings and emotions incorrectly or inadequately expressed can drive a wedge between a husband and wife.
Differences in Islamic Values
You stated that before you married you knew that she went to a Shia Masjid. You were accepting of this, but you found out upon attending a discussion that they were talking about sensitive issues which upset you.
As I do not know the nature of these conversations, it’s hard to determine whether or not the conversation between you and your wife regarding this could have taken a different path.
Possibly, the way you communicated your concerns was misunderstood, nonetheless, she should not have reacted with anger. She should have listened to your concerns and a plan of action to avoid future situations may have been useful.
As head of the home, brother, it is your obligation and right to settle matters that are un-Islamic, and it is her obligation to listen to you.
Communication regarding any disagreement needs to be done based on Islamic foundations such as consulting the Qur’an which is our guide.
It doesn’t matter if sunni, shia or sufi, the Qur’an is the foundation for our lives. Nonetheless, it appears that communication between you and your wife took a wrong turn when resolving this issue and caused increased friction and hurt feelings between the two of you.
Anger and Communication with other Men
During these two significant events, you were getting ready to go home to inform your parents about your marriage, but she suddenly asked for a divorce and you found out she was in contact with a previous partner of hers.
According to you, she has sent photos and had intimate conversations with him. I am sure this was shocking and hurt you to the core of your heart.
When you confronted her, she offered no explanation nor apology for this behavior but did confess and promised to stop. You later found out she was still engaging in this sinful behavior with other men and did not stop.
Brother, there is no excuse for sinning in this way and I’m sure this is extremely hurtful for you. It is a great betrayal to you. I am so sorry you are going through this.
May Allah grant ease and settle these affairs which will be most beneficial to you, your religion and your future, no matter which way it turns out.
The Qur’an is the Foundation of Marriage
Based on what you have written, the marriage started out very nicely. You both seemed to adjust well initially, but problems appear to have started after the miscarriages.
It is only speculation, but it could be that depression, fear, and feelings of inadequacy regarding carrying a child may have prompted her to act irrationally and in sin.
That is not an excuse; I am only trying to root out possible causes which may have led her to lose her path on Islam. Without proper communication as well as not referring to the Qu’ran to resolve disagreements, things can spiral out of control in relationships.
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Brother, you sound like a really good husband. You sound very patient and forgiving as Allah does want us to be. Thus, after making istikhara prayer, you decided to forgive her and try to save the marriage. According to you, she did agree, with the stipulation that you had to tell your parents about the marriage.
Parents Unaware of Marriage
Brother, being that she did stipulate that you tell your parents about the marriage, it may indicate insecurity inside of her regarding the fact that your parents didn’t know that you married her.
She may have felt inadequate, too old for you, fearful of your parents’ response, as well as other emotions regarding that issue. I am not quite sure why your parents were not informed of the marriage when it took place.
She is a Muslim woman who is permissible to you in Islam. She may not fulfill the cultural requirements, but she did fulfill the Islamic ones which are what we are to live by.
Understandably you may have felt uneasy telling your parents due to cultural reasons, but it should have been resolved before the marriage.
Perhaps your wife felt that your parents would not accept the marriage and you would leave her. Perhaps she felt that you were hiding her and felt ashamed of her.
This is no excuse for her behavior, but as humans, we must also look at causes for anger, hurt, sins so we can address and eliminate the causes, so they don’t occur again. Good communication on both of your parts may have possibly prevented these hurtful outcomes.
However, at the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own behavior regardless of what we are feeling, and we have to face Allah SWT for our actions and deeds.
You indicated that when you got back from visiting your home country, you found out that she still refuses to save the marriage and has started fighting with you again. You did leave the home and found another place to live. Brother, I would kindly suggest that you speak with your wife about the future of your marriage.
Take her out for a meal, somewhere quiet where both of you can talk without interruptions. In shaa’ Allah, tell her that you love her very much and that while her actions hurt you, you do want to save the marriage.
In shaa’ Allah, you may be able to cultivate conversation with her to find out how she truly feels.
This would include feelings about you not telling your parents about the marriage, feelings about the miscarriages, as well as her general feelings regarding your love for her.
I would kindly suggest that you both discuss what has transpired in terms of her seeking out other men in communication, and how that has hurt you.
As she has committed a sin and hurt you by talking to these guys, in shaa’ Allah she will (or has) repented to Allah as well as ask you to forgive her.
Lastly, should you decide to continue with the marriage, and she is willing to sincerely change I kindly suggest that you set some foundations which involve strengthening your relationship with Allah and each other.
Rebuilding or Moving on
Brother, if you both move forward with this marriage, I kindly suggest that you both seek out marriage counseling, with the goals of improving communication, working through your losses from the miscarriages, creating a more secure relationship regarding expression and sharing of emotions.
Come to an agreement about how you will handle Islamic matters within the Masjid.
I kindly suggest if you do get to this point, that you refer to the Quran for guidance. In addition, you may wish to start over at a new Masjid which you feel is most beneficial to your marriage.
If the two of you cannot make progress towards a happy Islamic marriage, you do have the option for divorce.
Brother, I know you love her and that you are hurt, but this is your life, and a destructive marriage will not only harm you, but your religion as well.
We wish you the best, you are in our prayers.
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