I would be grateful for any advice that anyone may have in regards to my situation. Apologies for the rather long post in advance, any advice will be appreciated.
I got married 7 years ago when I was 21, and my wife was 18. I’m British and born and bred here, while my wife was from the sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh), I’d rather not say exactly where, and we are also related
My relationship with my wife was pretty difficult. Although we did have some good times together, I had huge issues with my wife’s behaviour; she was generally very rude at times and extremely disrespectful to me. She was studying here, and is not from a village or anything but from a major city, and was studying even whilst in the UK.
Her behaviour naturally provoked unsavoury reactions from me, and at times I would be verbally abusive, which is out of character for me. In the end, we couldn’t continue together, and after 15 months together she went back and we eventually divorced about 3 years ago.
It has now been 6 years since we separated, and in this time neither of us spoke to each other up until about 6 months ago. It was me that initiated contact after hearing about her from some other family members.
Neither of us remarried since separating nor has been in any kind of relationship. After speaking to one another for the last few months, we have managed to clarify a number of issues that we had at the time. She is now around 25, with me 3 years older.
Whilst we have an amicable relationship at the moment, over the phone, and are considering the possibility of re-marrying in the next 7-8 months, I still have many doubts at times. Some aspects of her personality still concern me. If I bring them up, she usually listens and agrees to change any such habit, and says that it will be easier when we are together and she is here. I, however, doubt how easy this will be or whether this is actually possible. She is also open to the idea of re-marrying and says that she was young at the time and regrets a lot of what she did, and that this time it will not be the same.
Our parents do not have a relationship even now, and do not talk to one another. Although they have agreed that they can keep any issues they have away from our relationship, I sometimes doubt the reality of this in the future (e.g. When we have kids, etc.), and if things do get said about each other’s parents then this may impact our relationship as this is what happened the first time round. My wife would get very upset about things said about her parents, and then we would have arguments between us because of this.
In respect of religion, she is neither very practising nor very un-practising, it’s more of the sub-continent middle-class values, so a mixture of a number of values. Her family environment is not exactly to my liking, i.e. they way in which they interact with one another, and is something that concerns me. It's not an Un-Islamic environment as such, more to do with manners and behaviour when speaking with one another, etc.
The other issues that concern me specifically are:
Can someone actually change, even if they say they can, a number of their habits or their way of thinking?
Is it sensible to consider re-marrying the same person after what happened the first time, especially since I see it more of a logical decision, that maybe we should have another go at it, rather than seeing at as one of an emotional connection. I don’t think there is any kind of real connection between us, with no real feeling of ‘love’ between us, as we can go days on end without speaking?
Would it be easier for me just to marry someone from the UK, as opposed to someone from South Asia, bearing in mind all the other cultural issues, etc.?
Will the parent issue still be a problem? Is it realistic and right to just think of a relationship between us two, as the remainder family will have little interaction and my family in the UK is not very big, and will this be healthy for a future family?
Would the better thing to do be just to accept the fact that some things are just meant not to be and move on?
Or, on the other hand, should this be considered a good idea and as we were each other’s first partners, and have not been in any other relationship since seperating, will be able to make it work between us.
She does say that she is willing to adapt and change as necessary; maybe it’s just generally me being cautious and worrying. (We have sought clariifcation from Imams/scholars as to the validity of this in Islam, and it is acceptable, for anyone who may question this).
Thanks, any advice would be appreciated, especially from sisters. JazakhAllah.