I was married to my first wife for almost 11 years, after which we divorced mainly because we had so many conflicting interests in life. She has my two kids and I visit them frequently though they live in another country. Two years after the divorce I fell in love with a divorced lady and she really captured all my attention and care - until we got married.
A few months after our marriage she started complaining about marital life in general. She would find mistakes in everything I did or said despite the fact that she knew how much I loved her and how much I cared for her and her little daughter who also lived with us.
She asked for a divorce many times and I tried hard to convince her that we should not divorce because there was no real reason to do so; we were mentally compatible, we loved each other, and we had great passion and intimacy. However, I finally agreed to divorce her, especially as I did not get much help from her parents to convince her otherwise! Although I agreed to divorce her because she insisted so much, I still had such strong feelings for her. I still loved her and thought it better to give her time and maybe she would come back to me.
Shortly after the divorce, I contacted her again, but she shut the door completely in my face and told me that I should move on and consider other people for my heart. Needless to say, I was really devastated and sad, especially as I have invested all my love, emotions, and feelings in her and have nothing left to give to anyone else!
Four months after the divorce, I was introduced to another lovely divorced lady who has good faith although she does not wear the hijab (Islamic dress code for women). She prays and fears God and she really believes in marriage as a long, serious commitment. However, she cannot conceive children. I got married to her and I think it was because I wanted to get out of the sad mood caused by my previous disappointment. I need to settle down as I am getting older and need to focus at work and on my children. This marriage has been quite nice and stable and my new wife is very kind and loving and she is doing her best to make me happy.
The real problem began when my second ex-wife found out that I had re-married. She calls me every day and sends me emails saying that she REGRETS all her past actions and that Satan was ruling her and that perhaps someone put a ‘curse’ on her so that she behaved the way she did in insisting on the divorce. I honestly weakened again and allowed her into my heart again, which has affected my marriage to this wonderful lady. This is also affecting my passion for her in general and causing me to feel guilty. This is affecting my whole life.
In summary, I offered my second ex-wife marriage again, but as a second wife, as I would not divorce my new wife for no fault at all! Nevertheless, she refused and she insists that I divorce my wife first! I am not comfortable with that at all, but my heart wants to give her a second chance. I hope you really understand my feelings; I am scared for my wife! We have been married for one year now. I admit that I don’t have the same passion for her as the previous wife, but she is really a great woman, she fears God and her family is wonderful. I knew about her childbearing problem before we got married and accepted it. At the same time, I have a passion for my second ex-wife, but she wants me to divorce my wife first.
Forgive me for repeating myself over and over. I just wanted to give you the whole picture. Please help, I am not getting any younger. Thank you so much for giving me advice. Jazaka Allahu Khayran.
In this counseling answer:
• Take a look at where you have been, what you have now, and what has been presented to you. As honorable as your offer of re-marriage is to your second ex-wife, ask yourself: do you think that exchanging the peace of mind you have now for the passion that she has to offer is worth it?
• If you decide in favor of your current marriage, it is advisable that you change your email and your telephone number and inform your wife so that she is not a stranger to what is happening.
As-Salamu `Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu brother,
May blessings be upon you and your current marriage. It is difficult sometimes to make the right choice, especially when we feel that everything points in a particular direction. In order to understand what is going on, let us take a look at some of the elements involved.
The mind is a powerful instrument, but if left to its own device, it loses wisdom. The heart is a powerful instrument, but if left to its own device, it loses judgment. Both are in need of each other because they balance each other. It seems the head ruled in your first marriage, in the second your heart, and in the third, there is both heart and mind trying to work together. It is, therefore, up to you to decide whether the path you take leads towards peace or disaster.
You still have a bridge to cross and that bridge is not the heart, though it may seem so; it is a desire which arises from a different part of the body. The feeling can be overwhelming and the experience can seem like the greatest experience in the world, but like any intoxicant, once it is over, it is over because it has no real attachment to the heart. We have:
- the mind
- the emotions
- the physical
- the spirit or intuition (fitrah which Allah (swt) bestowed upon us at birth)
Men and women meet mainly in the physical and then revert to the mind and the emotions. In this manner, there is no real bonding and, as in your first marriage, everything is reduced to who does what for whom. These marriages may or may not endure and may be subject to extra-marital affairs depending on what the terms of fulfillment the wife and the husband have for themselves in respect of the marriage. What is missing is the true intimacy that you may or may not have experienced in your second marriage.
When this is suddenly awakened, a person may think that they are in love and then proceed to get married. The other purpose of true intimacy is to awaken the life force which pertains to the spirit, but if left to their own devices, a couple just returns to an issue of who does what. If there is no effort to move the relationship from the physical to the spiritual, then there is no move towards understanding the mind.
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Only in spirituality is there true reciprocity in the relationship that leads toward becoming life-partners or soul mates. There develops an understanding of each that is unconditional and it then becomes easier to build a family according to the precepts that Islam has laid down for us. The home becomes a home for the residents and those who visit and is not reduced to being a ‘hotel’. This leaves less room for the Islamic call to the inner jihad (the development of the higher self over the lower self).
Recalling the intimacy of your second marriage, you wish to return to it, but it seems that if you do, it will be your loss. Your second ex-wife does not seem to think as you do and is only interested in what she wants and nothing else. It may well be a case of realization of what she has lost, but the selfishness is strong, enough to demand that you divorce your current wife without any concern for her well-being. Your second ex-wife returned only when she knew that you had married again and, therefore, she presumes that she has a monopoly on your heart and mind.
“And I do not acquit myself. Indeed, the soul is a persistent enjoiner of evil, except those upon which my Lord has mercy. Indeed, my Lord is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Qur’an 12: 53)
If the nafs (the human self) is completely wayward and has lost touch with its fitrah (the pure nature), it is classified as an-nafs al-ammarah. This is the totally selfish, most egotistical of themselves, which, as the Qur’an says, ‘commands to evil’. It is the self of the supremely self-centered three-year-old child or the despot who wants something and wants it instantly. This self will not listen to reason or rationality. It is purely whimsical.
Now, take a look at where you have been, what you have now, and what has been presented to you. As honorable as your offer of re-marriage is to your second ex-wife, ask yourself: do you think that exchanging the peace of mind you have now for the passion that she has to offer is worth it? Then look again at your third marriage and ask yourself if the intimacy that you desire is missing because you hold onto what can only be short-lived with your second ex-wife? If you can do this, then it will be to your advantage in making a final decision.
If you decide in favor of your current marriage, it is advisable that you change your email and your telephone number and inform your wife so that she is not a stranger to what is happening. This will also help to create a closeness and eliminate any feeling of guilt on your part. It is time to let go so that you can truly make room in your life for your new wife, in sha’ 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.