I have a conflicting case. My wife who lives in Pakistan asked for khula a year ago. Just yesterday, she contacted me again to tell me how much regret she has and she takes all the blame for finishing the marriage and admits she was at fault. She regretted her decision and wanted to know if I can reconsider her and her family for marriage.
Now here's the dilemma. Right after the final khula notice was issued by the court of Pakistan in October, my friend introduced me to another girl who I talked to see compatibility solely for the sake of marriage. I went to Pakistan from Canada with my parents to meet her and her family and we got engaged. It was decided in that same meeting that we will get married in June. But now because my ex-wife contacted me, I am not sure what to do now. I feel bad for my ex after she apologized because I am very soft heart person and I trust people fast.
A little about my married life with my ex: it started smoothly when I married her, but during the last 2 months before khula it all went south. Keep in mind that my ex has been married before in which she stayed in for 1.5 years after which she gave him khula as well. In addition, her dad and my dad are good friends from before.
As far as my fiancé goes, she was married before as well and had a khula as well. I am struggling to decide now what to do.
In this counseling answer:
• Neither woman should be married out of guilt.
• Think about who you can best honor and cherish and love for the sake of Allah.
• Consider your own future, potential children, and a family.
• Take some quiet time with yourself to do some writing, some reflecting, and some serious consideration for your future.
Thank you for your question and for reaching out for some support.
I appreciate the fact that you mentioned you are a soft-hearted person and also a kind person who thinks well of others, hence, the reason that you trust others quickly. Those are in many circumstances in life a set of positive traits for you to have as a person.
In a situation like this, or in business, or in any other life situation where you need to make a major decision which will have a huge impact on your life, your well being, or the life and well being of others, it may be helpful to move away from feelings a bit towards your inner wisdom and analytical thinking.
Beginning with your first marriage, I would recommend you ask yourself a few questions and write down the answers.
1) What were the major issues that you believe led to your marriage going south?
2) What were the reasons you and your ex-wife decided separation was better instead of counseling, consultation with trusted elders or relatives, or slowing down to understand each other?
3) Since khula is initiated by the female what prevented you from divorcing her and letting her go on your side of things?
It seems your ex-wife really wanted out of your marriage and went through with the entire process of separation. Now she wants a second chance. While I very much appreciate that you feel bad for her hurting, you need to think about yourself here too.
Are you still in love with her to such a degree that you want her back in your life?
Do you believe she made a rash decision and now realizes it was a mistake and this was what you had hoped would happen all along?
Does she seem like the kind of woman you want in your life again and believe you can build a future with?
Are you simply uncomfortable with her feelings that you aren’t standing up for your own needs?
Learn from The Past
Writing down the answers can also be a learning opportunity for you. While not always true, many people who remarry experience a similar set of challenges as a previous relationship. Because you are the same person and half of the relationship equation, you may want to consider what you can learn about yourself in the whole process and what you would do differently if presented with a similar challenge in the future.
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If you were even to consider her at all, pretending for a moment there was no other woman in the picture, there might be some good questions for her to answer.
How does she plan on handling the same set of problems that took her out of the marriage when they happen again? Would she up and leave again?
Why does she want you back? Why not look for someone else?
What prompted her to reach out and message you at this point in time?
Why did she wait so long to determine she had made a mistake?
In other words, emotional feelings aside, she would need to earn your trust back as to why she does deserve another chance with you. Being chosen is wonderful but remember you deserve to choose who you want in your life too and not out of the guilt that someone is hurting.
Marrying for The Right Reasons
Now, at this point in time, you’ve already promised to marry another woman.
How do you feel about her? Do you feel she exceeds the first wife by leaps and bounds to the point that you are certain about marrying her and moving forward?
Considering that marriage is not just a contract but a relationship with another human being, you should feel ready to move on into a new marriage. You should also feel excited about moving on and having found a new partner that you look forward to building a life with. A woman who you look forward to loving and taking care of and a woman who feels the same about you.
In other words, you don’t marry someone as a replacement for the first wife. You marry someone you believe is right for you in your life and in front of Allah you are fully looking forward to marrying her.
It seems you found someone who you are happy with and as a result you’ve decided to move ahead with getting married to her.
Neither woman should be married out of guilt. They both deserve better than that because marrying someone out of guilt is not a strong way to start out a marriage. Would you want someone to marry you out of guilt or out of pity? Or would you want someone to choose you because they want to spend their life with you because of who you are?
From where you stand thinking about the person you want to marry because of who they are.
Think about who you can best honor and cherish and love for the sake of Allah.
Consider your own future, potential children, and a family.
Decisions like this aren’t made because of soft emotions. They are made using a rational brain to help qualify an individual for marriage itself.
Do your values match up?
Does your vision for the future match up?
Does their character work with your character?
While you have this moment to breathe, sit with these kinds of questions so that when you make a decision you are doing the right thing for the sake of Allah and also for your own well being and fairness to another human being.
If you turn down someone, it’s ok if they hurt. It’s ok if they are sad. It’s part of life to go through challenges.
But it’s not ok to not be honest with yourself and another human being about what is the right thing to do.
Warning: Emotional Entanglement
Whichever path you choose, make sure that you close the door entirely to the other woman unless you genuinely intend on marrying both women. It would not be acceptable for you to keep an emotional relationship going with someone who is not your wife.
Your ex-wife may feel lonely or go through a hard time, so she is looking back to you for emotional connection. If you aren’t marrying her then she will have to find that emotional connection and support somewhere else. Otherwise, you’ll end up emotionally entangled out of guilt, having an emotional affair while married to another woman and start off the second marriage in a rocky place.
You Have The Right to Choose Happiness
If you need permission to let go of the ex-wife, you have it. You don’t owe her anything, and you aren’t responsible for her decision to the end the marriage or her decision to contact you again. If you are ready to move on you can do so guilt-free.
Unless there is something you did to harm her which you are accountable for, then you have permission to tell her that she had her chance but left and you are now engaged to be married again. You can ask her to please no longer contact you any further and that you wish her the best for her future.
The permission comes from knowing that you have a right to choose your own happiness.
It seems you do need to take some quiet time with yourself to do some writing, some reflecting, and some serious consideration for your future. No one can tell you the right thing to do because regardless of how things look on the outside your heart is in your own chest.
Look within, reflect, make du’aa‘, and choose the path that is right and best for you. When you do this you also give freedom to the other women to choose a path that is right and best for them.
May Allah help you do the right thing and the best thing for your future and the future of the women who are currently involved in your life.
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.