In this counseling answer:
• Before heading straight for a divorce, it is advisable that you take other steps first to try and resolve the issue.
• Begin by always taking a calm approach in the knowledge that Allah will reward your patience.
• Beyond this, try to first understand things from her perspective so that you might approach the situation with a better understanding in a way that is more likely to end in a successful resolve.
• Talk to her about it after you have developed this understanding. Invite a third party if necessary to provide a space for you both to have your say without judgement from others who may have emotional ties to either of you.
• As you move on, try to work together to make joint decisions that will be pleasing to you both.
Wa Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh,
As much as marriage provides happiness and comfort to spouses, there will also be moments where this is not the case. It is unfortunate that you feel that the percentage of time you have spent together in a positive state is less than would be expected. This recent event regarding the phone has pushed you to the point where you feel like you have had enough.
Alhamdulillah, even though tensions were heightened, you managed to hold yourself and not lash out as had crossed you mind. Even though your intentions were not good and were in fact very unacceptable in the light of Islam, you didn’t act on them and this is rewardable.
On the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him), from the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), from what he has related from his Lord: Verily Allah ta’ala has written down the good deeds and the evil deeds, and then explained it [by saying]: “Whosoever intended to perform a good deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended to perform it and then did perform it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as from ten good deeds up to seven hundred times, up to many times multiplied. And if he intended to perform an evil deed, but did not do it, then Allah writes it down with Himself as a complete good deed. And if he intended it [i.e., the evil deed] and then performed it, then Allah writes it down as one evil deed.” (40 Hadith Nawawi 37)
May Allah make it easy for you to continue to refrain from such and remain patient with her.
O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient. (Qur’an, 2:153)
Understand things from her perspective
When we face troubles with someone else, it can be easy to point the blame at the other person. This can make things feel easier as we don’t have to take any responsibility for our actions as a result.
However, in such cases, if people are willing to try and see things from the perspective of the other, it can really change things.
Once we are able to see this, it is possible to develop a sense of empathy and understanding. This enables us to respond more appropriately to the situation and deal with the others’ behavior more effectively. This then has the effect of making relations between the pair more peaceful and more likely to end in resolve.
In this case, consider how your wife feels that you treated yourself before her. Perhaps this makes her feel less important to her. Additionally, then giving her your old phone has perhaps made her feel like she is worth nothing more than second hand goods. Perhaps she is especially upset because if your phone is in a good enough condition to give to her, then she wonders why you needed a new phone anyway.
Of course, we should be grateful for our blessings, second hand or not, but consider how these actions may appear to her symbolically.
Whilst this will help you to understand her side of things, it doesn’t make her behavior acceptable either. An angry outburst and destroying your phone was not the solution to the problem on her side either. However, if you can understand why then you will be better able to approach her in such a way that may prevent the same happening again in the future in a more collaborative effort.
You can also do the same with other difficulties you face.
Talk to her
Having considered her perspective in an attempt to understand why she behaves like she does so might consider talking to her. Let her know that you understand why she was so upset. This will make it easier for you to make amends with one another and move on successfully and amicably. It may also open the doors to discuss your general unhappiness in the marriage. Perhaps she doesn’t realize that her behavior is making you feel unhappy.
If you feel that this is not something that you can do alone, it is always a good idea to invite a mutual third party to mediate. This will give you both the chance to have your voices heard. Sometimes this is enough to release the pressure between couples that causes ongoing problems. As marriage goes on, it is not uncommon for couples to slip into a routine where they overlook any underlying issues that may building up. Eventually, this can lead to heightened tensions and even divorce, if not addressed. If this is done by a religious leader in your community, then he will also be able to advise on your situation from an Islamic perspective.
Check out this counseling video:
It is important to take such steps before considering a divorce as sometimes people chose to leave a marriage without trying to fix things first only to walk away and regret it. Having tried various things to make it work things will either naturally get better in the marriage, or else, the couple can feel confident that they have tried their best to make things work before walking away.
Consider alternative ways to manage things
In the future, perhaps you could instead save up until you have enough to buy both at the same time, even if it means sacrificing yourself for a little while longer. Or, you could go for something less expensive that would enable you to buy two at the same time at an earlier stage. Likewise, with any other dilemma, you perhaps foresee in the future based on times when you know you have difficulties with her in the past, try consulting her, or involving her so that she does feel important and valued to you.
It seems that you are generally unhappy in your marriage at the moment and this last incident has really pushed things to the point where you are even considering divorce. On the surface, it might seem like quite a minor event yet it has resulted in heightened emotions for both of you with an angry outburst from her and feelings of deep frustration from you.
Before heading straight for a divorce, it is advisable that you take other steps first to try and resolve the issue.
Begin by always taking a calm approach in the knowledge that Allah will reward your patience.
Beyond this, try to first understand things from her perspective so that you might approach the situation with a better understanding in a way that is more likely to end in a successful resolve.
Talk to her about it after you have developed this understanding. Invite a third party if necessary to provide a space for you both to have you say without judgement from others who may have emotional ties to either of you.
As you move on, try to work together to make joint decisions that will be pleasing to you both.
May Allah bring you happiness in your marriage and guide you both to do what is best for you and most pleasing to Allah.
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.