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  • Divorce or stay married for the children?

    Asalaamu aleykum,

    I'm new to this forum and after having read some threads I thought I might post this question and get some advice from people that experienced similar problems.

    A close friend of mine is in a dilemma: divorce or stay married? She's been married for 7 years now and has children. Both she and her husband are practising muslims. No 1 cause for all problems is the fact that she grew up in the west and he didn't. He is a hafidh and she accepted him because of his deen, but she didn't pay attention to any cultural differences that might cause problems in the future. He expects her to be an ideal wife who does everything around the house, takes care of the kids, looks attractive (as in dressed up), and responds to him whenever he wants (i.e. in bed). All at the same time!! This sister is physically weak, very busy with the kids and does some community work alongside as well... so basically she doesn't meet his standards. He told her more than once (during a argument) that this marriage had been a 'mistake'. He already divorced her once, but took her back because of the kids. Perhaps I'm making him look bad... please note that he is just in spending on her and is a god-fearing person.

    I don't know what to advise her because I lack the experience and knowledge to give her proper advice. I do feel bad for her, because she is emotionally unstable now. She has a very low self esteem and feels like a complete failure because she is not her husband's ideal wife. On the other hand, what good does a divorce do for the children and herself (she has no income)?

    I was personally thinking to advise her to tell her husband to take a second wife so he might be happy with her and take care of his kids at the same time. This way this sister will not be abandoned and experience the hardship of being a single mother and at the same time her husband will stop expecting her to be this 'superwoman'. I didn't dare to give her this advice yet, but we'll see.

    Hope to get some useful advice...

    Wa salaam

  • #2
    Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

    Sister may be she can leave the community work and work on her mrriage and children. On the husband's side, I think the husband should help wife in house chores and children stuff, if he is not doing then he should also help his wife. Honestly from what you have written these don't look like big problems and in my opinion they can be resolved easily.

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    • #3
      Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

      assalaamu alaykum,

      he does sound like he is expecting perfection all the time which is just never going to happen, it is unrealistic.

      it would be better for her to get the imam of the masjid or a pious sheikh to talk to her husband, explain such things are not always humanly possible and ease up a little on his demands.
      Abu Saalehah

      OUTREACH4ISLAM - Calling the not yet Muslims of Leicester to Islam since 2006

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      • #4
        Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

        I believe that you should tell her to try and leave the community work until the marriage is fixed properly. Also tell her to sit down with her husband when everything is calm and speak to him about the problems she is facing. If her husband doesn't help her with the chores tell her to say the hadith where the Prophet (SAW) used to help out Aisha (RA) in the household chores.

        Aisha (ra) the wife of the Prophet (saw) was asked: ' What did the Prophet (saw) do at home.' She replied: 'He used to work for his family (ie he helped out around the home with the daily chores), and when he heard the adhan (the call of prayer) he would go (to the Mosque). (Bukhari)
        And tell her

        "Verily, along with hardship is relief" [94:6]

        If all fails tell her to talk to her local imam.
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        • #5
          Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

          She should probably stop the community work. It's just that there are many new (female) immigrants from her home country that need help with paper work etc so she helps them at home and translates for them via phone. Occasionally she accompanies them to an appointment. It's not that she is outside all the time.

          Women from his home country do everything and do not complain. So he is comparing her to them very frequently. Things like "So and so's wife made this for us and so and so's wife doesn't mind to do such and such... ".

          Speaking to an imam might be a sollution, but he himself is a part time imam and many brothers come to him for their marriage problems and he usually solves them. Ironically, he can't solve his own.

          Does a divorce sound that extreme in this case?

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          • #6
            Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

            If he really is comparing his own wife to other people's wives, it's not very fair and neither is it right.

            Doesn't matter that he is a part-time imaam and that he does counselling for others. Often doctors can't treat themselves and need to go to other doctors to get treated. My own Ustaadha, although knows Fiqh so well, still goes to another one of my teachers to check/discuss masaail in order to ensure it is right.

            Likewise, imaam or not, this husband needs to go to another scholar/reliable person who can help him and the wife to get through this. They both need to share their viewpoints, and come to a conclusion.

            Does the situation sound like an extreme case? I would say no. It can be worked around inshaAllah, with patience, communication and duas.
            Shukr to Allah in abundance...

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            • #7
              Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

              Its funny how a god fearing person can behave without compassion and love towards his spouse!

              It does seem culture overrides his religious side, and its something that needs to be looked at, talked about and worked through.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

                Originally posted by Shahmiah View Post
                I believe that you should tell her to try and leave the community work until the marriage is fixed properly. Also tell her to sit down with her husband when everything is calm and speak to him about the problems she is facing. If her husband doesn't help her with the chores tell her to say the hadith where the Prophet (SAW) used to help out Aisha (RA) in the household chores.
                I once advised her to use the hadith you mentioned. His reply was: "The prophet (SAW) did it voluntarily... you are forcing me." She is not forcing him btw. It's just that the house doesn't always look neat.

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                • #9
                  Salams ok how to start? Firstly how is her growing up in the west the only problem? I feel that it's both sides cultural differences the problem. People are all to quick to blame the women. Just because she was born in the west is not the whole problem it takes two to tango. Anyhoo Ive been married 9 years and I am a western girl and my hubby is an Arab man. I must say that at first it did cause some issues but we Al humDuAllah resolved them. Both of them need to calmly discuss the differences and come to a fair conclusion. Marriage is 50/50 it's unfair for the wife to fulfil all his cultural needs and him not do a thing to change. Both of then have to make small changes and adjustments it's called compromise. How many hours does she do community work? Should she have to give it up altogether? No? Cut it down yes maybe and focus on her marriage.
                  Does he have the right to demand sex? No it's not allowed to force her to do that. If they are having issues perhaps marriage guidance pr counselling could help? Or speaking to an Imam? Or someone from the masjid? Firstly thou they should make Dua's ;) InshAllah all will be resolved

                  Edited: one more thing after re reading your post > Perhaps his being selfish in setting such high demands and expecting 100% from his wife and not giving anything back. He is just as much part of the problem as her. It takes two to make a marriage work, two to change, two cause the problem and two to fix it. The problem is a dual sided cultural differences not one sided she grew up in the west
                  He needs to just accept his wife for who she is ;)
                  Last edited by sweetstar2; 02-08-12, 02:06 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

                    I don't think she should stop the community work. A woman needs to do something for herself too. She is not a robot she has ambitions and Desires. And this ambition is small, to help others who speak her language. Would you also advise the husband give up counseling until the marriage is fixed?

                    The issue is not the wife hasn't got enough time. The issue is she is expected to be nanny and house maid and cleaner and cook and model and teacher all in one with no help. Even if she has more time and does more cleaning will it solve the issues? No she will be exhausted, resentful of her husband and loose respect for him.

                    Maybe you could explain in an extended family system with family near by the women would help each other out, watch each others kids, make food for each other etc and you don't have this support.

                    Recipes for all the family :inlove:
                    (and you thought I was a lazy feminazi which can't cook?)

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                    • #11
                      Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

                      A man doesn’t want to live with his wife but doesn’t want to divorce her for the sake of the children

                      A man has in the past had some major problem with his wife. Neither she, nor he want divorce as they have 3 children, yet he cannot live with her and has left the country. He would like to remarry in the new country of residence, but is afraid of the condition of equity of time between the two wives and that he will be called to account for it before Allah. His wife will not willingly relinquish her rights as she wants him to return to her, nor will she accept a second marriage... Is it halal for him to tell her that he will retain her as a wife only under the condition that she relinquish her rights to his time to a second wife? He does not want to oppress himself nor does he want to oppress her.. what are his options?


                      Praise be to Allaah.

                      If he has no interest in his present wife, there is nothing wrong with divorcing her and marrying another, but if he and she come to an agreement whereby she may remain his wife for the sake of the children, there is nothing wrong with this either. If he gives her the choice between divorce and giving up her rights to his time and his spending on her, in whole or in part, this is not oppression. Oppression is when he keeps her by force without giving her any of her rights whilst at the same time refusing to give her a divorce.

                      The evidence (daleel) that the situation described above is permissible is to be found in the hadeeth narrated by Imaam al-Bukhaari from ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her), which comments on the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:128]. She said: “This was a woman who was married to a man who did not care for her, so he wanted to divorce her and marry someone else. (According to another report narrated by al-Bukhaari she said: He was a man who saw something he disliked in his wife, so he wanted to divorce her.) She said to him: ‘Keep me, do not divorce me. Marry someone else and I will absolve you of your obligation to spend on me and share your time with me.’ This is what Allaah referred to when He revealed the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): ‘… there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better…’ [al-Nisaa’ 4:128].” (Reported by al-Bukhaari, 4807)

                      “This was a woman who was married to a man who did not care for her” means that he did not love her or want to treat her well or stay with her. “I will absolve you of your obligation towards me” means: leave me without divorcing me. Concerning this issue, Allaah revealed the words (interpretation of the meaning): “And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part…” [al-Nisaa’ 4:128]. ‘Ali reported that this was revealed concerning a woman who is married to a man and does not want to leave him, so they come to an agreement that he will visit her every three or four days.”

                      Al-Tirmidhi reported via Sammaak from ‘Ikrimah from Ibn ‘Abbaas that he said: “Sawdah was afraid that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would divorce her, so she said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, do not divorce me; give my day to ‘Aa’ishah.’ So he did so. Then this aayah was revealed.” Al-Tirmidhi said: “(This is) hasan ghareeb.” I say: there is corroborating evidence in a hadeeth from ‘Aa’ishah narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim, without referring to the revelation of the aayah. (From Fath al-Baari).

                      The hadeeth mentioned by al-Haafiz ibn Hijr (may Allaah have mercy on him) is in Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2966, where it is reported that Ibn ‘Abbaas said: “Sawdah was afraid that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would divorce her, so she said: ‘Do not divorce me. Keep me and give my day to ‘Aa’ishah.’ So he did so, then Allaah revealed the aayah: ‘… there is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves; and making peace is better…’ [al-Nisaa’ 4:128]. So whatever they agreed upon was permissible.” It is as if the last sentence was the comment of Ibn ‘Abbaas. Abu ‘Iesa said: this is a hasan ghareeb hadeeth.

                      Al-Mubaarakpoori said, commenting on this hadeeth:

                      ‘Sawdah was afraid…’ This refers to Sawdah bint Zam’ah ibn Qays al-Qurashiyyah al-‘Aamiriyyah. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) married her in Makkah after Khadeejah had died, and consummated the marriage there. The scholars agree that he consummated his marriage to her before he consummated his marriage to ‘Aa’ishah, and she migrated to Madeenah with him. She died at the end of the khilaafah of ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab.

                      ‘…was afraid that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) would divorce her, so she said…’ Al-Bukhaari and Muslim reported from ‘Aa’ishah that Sawdah bint Zam’ah gave her day to ‘Aa’ishah, so the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to give ‘Aa’ishah her own day and that of Sawdah. Al-Haafiz said in al-Fath: Abu Dawood reported this hadeeth (from ‘Aa’ishah): ‘The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) never used to prefer any of us over others in sharing his time (i.e., he was fair in dividing his nights among his wives, and each one of them had her allotted night). When Sawdah bint Zam’ah grew old and feared that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) might divorce her, she said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah, my day is for ‘Aa’ishah,’ and he accepted this from her. Then concerning this and similar cases, the aayah was revealed (interpretation of the meaning): ‘And if a woman fears cruelty or desertion on her husband’s part…’ [al-Nisaa’ 4:128]. These reports agree that she feared divorce and so gave her day to ‘Aa’ishah.

                      Then al-‘Allaamah al-Mubaraakpoori said: The aayah may be explained thus: ‘If a woman fears’ means if she expects. ‘Cruelty’ means that he spurns her by refusing to sleep with her or by spending less on her than he should, because he dislikes her and wants to marry someone more beautiful. ‘Desertion’ means that he turns his face away from her. ‘There is no sin on them both if they make terms of peace between themselves’ means with regard to the sharing of his time and his spending on her, i.e., he should still give her something in this regard (sharing time or spending) in order to preserve the relationship: if she accepts, this is OK, otherwise the husband must either give her her full rights or divorce her. ‘Making peace is better’ means better than separation, cruelty and desertion. Whatever they agree upon between themselves is permissible.

                      (Tuhfat al-Ahwadi Sharh Jaami’ al-Tirmidhi).

                      And Allaah knows best, May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad.


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                      • #12
                        Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

                        Originally posted by sweetstar2 View Post
                        The problem is a dual sided cultural differences not one sided she grew up in the west
                        He needs to just accept his wife for who she is ;)
                        Hihi :D... she's from Somalia and she told me that girls that grew in the west are often looked down upon because they're spoiled and can't cook etc etc. Anyway, by what I see from your story it can work. Perhaps she is blaming herself for everything while she shouldn't.

                        Just another question: I know that marriages are not always built on love, but compassion and respect can do a lot as well. So, does this make another reason why she should stay with him? I mean he is not really oppressive or anything. It's just that this verbal and mental 'teasing' (I wouldn't call it abuse) is making her feel a worthless wife.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

                          Baarakallahu fiik deen1984...

                          I'll make her read this message. This is more or less what I was already thinking about myself. Anyone else with real-life experience whether first-hand or second-hand?

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                          • #14
                            Re: Divorce or stay married for the children?

                            Originally posted by Umm_Abdullah123 View Post
                            It's just that this verbal and mental 'teasing' (I wouldn't call it abuse) is making her feel a worthless wife.
                            That's teasing for you? Teasing is funny, it doesn't make you feel like garbage most of the time, it's more like "light moral abuse"

                            As for my own experience as a child born of a rubbish marriage : Never stay in a rubbish marriage for the kids. They're going to pick all the wrong vibes and the bill is going to be heavy later in their life.

                            She's miserable, it's not a marriage, it's a 19th century factory
                            My Blog http://historyeyesopened.tumblr.com/ Watch out sister Nousername
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Umm_Abdullah123 View Post
                              Originally posted by sweetstar2 View Post
                              The problem is a dual sided cultural differences not one sided she grew up in the west
                              He needs to just accept his wife for who she is ;)
                              Hihi :D... she's from Somalia and she told me that girls that grew in the west are often looked down upon because they're spoiled and can't cook etc etc. Anyway, by what I see from your story it can work. Perhaps she is blaming herself for everything while she shouldn't.

                              Just another question: I know that marriages are not always built on love, but compassion and respect can do a lot as well. So, does this make another reason why she should stay with him? I mean he is not really oppressive or anything. It's just that this verbal and mental 'teasing' (I wouldn't call it abuse) is making her feel a worthless wife.
                              Im from the west 1 we are we are not spoilt and 2 We cook granted it may not be as grand as many other countries although the french/italians have wonderful food. Italian women do a lot of cooking too. The west is not one big place from country to country it's different. Yes it can work hun ;) Allah is all you need to be happy ;)
                              Verbal and mental teasing is still abuse Abuse has many forms not just physical. Anything that is done to abuse ones human rights is abuse. By this anything that subjects a person do much that it makes another feel worthless is still abuse. As it goes against the basic human right to happy and live a happy life, the basic right to be treated with respect and nutured.
                              No wife deserves that kind of treatment. Also forcing a wife into bef or demanding sex against her will constitues sexual abuse. No man had the right to treat his wife so.

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