Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband has been incarcerated for 14 years, I can’t wait anymore

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My husband is incarcerated

Question:

My husband has been incarcerated for over 14 yrs now and I find myself needing him intimately more than ever. i am struggling with my inner body to not cheat but as a woman i am needing intimacy more than ever..  what do i do.  i dont want to divorce him and we don't know for sure how much longer he has. i don't want to commit sins either..  inshallah someone help me!

- Ms. Lonely

Sister Noorah's Answer:

Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

Dear Ms. Lonely,. Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

I don't know why your husband has been incarcerated, but you must be a very loyal woman to wait for him all this time. You stated the choices you have; you can either stay married to him, struggling to remain chaste, or you can divorce him and get on with your life, inshAllah finding a good Muslim man to keep you chaste and to fulfill also your need for human companionship.

You are the only one who can make this decision. I'm assuming he has not served his full term and has to go periodically before the parole board, so this means they can either parole him or make him continue to serve his time. If he were never to be paroled, how long would he be in prison before serving his full term, considering time off for good behavior, time off for overcrowding, or other issues that may affect his sentence? Can you figure out what the MAXIMUM time he has remaining is? Like, if he is serving up to a twenty-five year term, then this could bean another eleven years. Are you willing to wait that long? I could perhaps understand making that kind of sacrifice if my husband were unjustly arrested by some tyrant keeping him a political prisoner, but not if he committed a crime such as a serious drug crime, manslaughter, or something of that nature. If he is indeed guilty of such a crime, then you are allowing his bad decision to take over your life, depriving yourself for over a decade of the possibility of having a husband in bed beside you, waking up next to you, sharing intimacy with you, sharing even a cup of coffee with you, and of course you are depriving yourself of having children if you are not allowed conjugal visits.

You know your strength and weakness. If you are doing all you can to remain chaste, which is praying, fasting, keeping good company and keeping busy with work and charitable deeds, it may be that your body is telling you it is time to move on. What do you feel for your husband? Do you still feel committed to him, or have you lasted this long out of some sense of loyalty or duty? You have to answer those hard questions and then decide what you should do. If he did the crime, does that mean you also have to do his time, buy putting your body in prison for fourteen or more years?

Your decision is pretty straightforward - stay married or divorce. Whatever you decide, you will have to commit yourself to it 100%. I suggest you pray the salat al istakhara, the prayer where you ask Allah to guide you in a decision, and see if that gives you a resolution. You can visit the links at the top of the page here on our website to see how to pray it and how you should utilize this prayer.

I wish you the best, and I won't tell you what I would do in such a situation because, honestly, I don't know. You have to make the decision that will bring you closer to Allah. An important component of that is remaining chaste, by either not engaging in marital relations outside of marriage, or by finding a compatible man to marry. Turn to Allah and ask Him for guidance, and He will help you out of your dilemma.

Fi Aman Allah,

Noorah,
Editor, IslamicAnswers.com


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4 Responses »

  1. Bismillahi Rahmani Rahim

    Salaam Alaikum wa Rahmatullah

    I don't know why your husband has been incarcerated, but you must be a very loyal woman to wait for him all this time. You stated the choices you have; you can either stay married to him, struggling to remain chaste, or you can divorce him and get on with your life, inshAllah finding a good Muslim man to keep you chaste and to fulfill also your need for human companionship.

    You are the only one who can make this decision. I'm assuming he has not served his full term and has to go periodically before the parole board, so this means they can either parole him or make him continue to serve his time. If he were never to be paroled, how long would he be in prison before serving his full term, considering time off for good behavior, time off for overcrowding, or other issues that may affect his sentence? Can you figure out what the MAXIMUM time he has remaining is? Like, if he is serving up to a twenty-five year term, then this could bean another eleven years. Are you willing to wait that long? I could perhaps understand making that kind of sacrifice if my husband were unjustly arrested by some tyrant keeping him a political prisoner, but not if he committed a crime such as a serious drug crime, manslaughter, or something of that nature. If he is indeed guilty of such a crime, then you are allowing his bad decision to take over your life, depriving yourself for over a decade of the possibility of having a husband in bed beside you, waking up next to you, sharing intimacy with you, sharing even a cup of coffee with you, and of course you are depriving yourself of having children if you are not allowed conjugal visits.

    You know your strength and weakness. If you are doing all you can to remain chaste, which is praying, fasting, keeping good company and keeping busy with work and charitable deeds, it may be that your body is telling you it is time to move on. What do you feel for your husband? Do you still feel committed to him, or have you lasted this long out of some sense of loyalty or duty? You have to answer those hard questions and then decide what you should do. If he did the crime, does that mean you also have to do his time, buy putting your body in prison for fourteen or more years?

    Your decision is pretty straightforward - stay married or divorce. Whatever you decide, you will have to commit yourself to it 100%. I suggest you pray the salat al istakhara, the prayer where you ask Allah to guide you in a decision, and see if that gives you a resolution. You can visit the links at the top of the page here on our website to see how to pray it and how you should utilize this prayer.

    I wish you the best, and I won't tell you what I would do in such a situation because, honestly, I don't know. You have to make the decision that will bring you closer to Allah. An important component of that is remaining chaste, by either not engaging in marital relations outside of marriage, or by finding a compatible man to marry. Turn to Allah and ask Him for guidance, and He will help you out of your dilemma.

    Fi Aman Allah,

    Noorah,
    Editor, IslamicAnswers.com

  2. As-salamu alaykum Ms. Lonely,

    It's frustrating when the questions are so brief, because you give us very little information to go on.

    First let me say quite bluntly that if the choice is between adultery and divorce, then divorce is the far better option. You might think you will be doing your husband a favor by remaining married to him but satisfying your sexual desires illicitly and quietly, but you would be betraying him, and more importantly you would betray your obligation to Allah.

    As Sister Noorah said, you known your own strengths and weaknesses and must make a decision. I also agree that if your husband was incarcerated because of something like drugs or some other bad choice he made without your knowledge, well that was his choice and you should not have to suffer.

    But I also see that you have given us very little information. For all I know, you knew of your husband's illegal activities and approved, or were even involved yourself. Which would explain and justify your loyalty all these years.

    I don't understand how you cannot know how much time he has left. Is he incarcerated in the USA? If he is a state prisoner in the USA then they allow conjugal visits, so you can experience intimacy with him, although not frequently. If he's a federal prisoner they don't allow conjugal visits, but they have no parole in their system and sentences are computed exactly. In fact you can visit the Bureau of Prisons website, enter your husband's name or prison number, and get his exact release date instantly.

  3. I am in the same situation as my husband is incarcerated and has been for 8 years. His incarceration is not political in nature as he was not fighting a particular cause. However, he was engaged in behavior that was learned from infancy into adulthood by parents who were charged with nurturing him and failed to do so. I will also charge the community and neighborhood in which he was raised for not caring for not only he and his siblings but other children in the community who have also fallen victim to a ruthless and evil world.

    After much thought and contemplation about the situation I have decided to remain his wife and forsake all others as I indicated I would do when we exchanged vows. Of course it's difficult more days than not however endure I must and will. While certain behaviors are foolish and should be ceased, when in a marriage we do not have the option of deciding to stay or go based when our spouse does something we do not approve of. If there is still love in the marriage then the marriage should remain intact.

    In hindsight, I may have chosen not to marry this particular person as there were signs that certain issues would present themselves. Nevertheless, I agreed to be his wife and for better or worse does not include leaving due to incarceration. Intimacy does not equate to sex. People die from a lack of intimacy and human interactions but I have never heard of anyone dying due to not having sex. My husband and I have managed to remain intimate throughout the years (with much work required might I add) and I love him more today than I did when we first met.

    There's an everlasting beauty in enduring even when times appear to be at their worse. The greatest lessons in life are the ones we rarely choose to learn.

  4. My husband is a Muslim convert I however respect and believe all religions to be controling and limited as well as created by man.My husband hates pretty much everything I stand for but he loves me. So His life imprisonment does not affect our love for one another even my craving for intimacy is not affected by this I have become well adjusted to letters and visits as well as phone calls Love to me never goes away not even after death so what is Prison bars? They have no barrier on love, however, if he stops responding to my feelings and my letters I will feel the need to address the issue before moving on with my life.14 years is nothing try 27 years so far and counting my man got life was I faithful? No. I n fact the hardest thing to do was to introduce him to my last 3 children. You see after I got raped and impregnated with the 1st of my last 3 I went through a trial period and felt like I was unworthy of being my husbands wife any way because being virtuous was something I cherished there is no better feeling than feeling like you belong to your man and him only. I kept my son and today he is a college graduate and one of my best friends in the whole world then my daughters of course were a result of my fear and insecurity of feeling unprotected so I like any woman nominated the man who donated his shoulder for me to cry on. He however didn't take so well about me being married and not wanting to abandon my incarcerated husband so it was good while it lasted. My husband and I are and will always be each others top priority we both truly care for one another with all of our hearts and our love is selfless.Ye he is Muslim and he is trying with all his might to convert me. I pray to Allah and my sons are Muslims too by choice. my daughters are Christians. I where a hijab because i do not want to ever be targeted as a loose woman again and I feel secure. Allah loves you my Sister and you should also learn to love yourself intimacy and loyalty are different very much by far so be truthful to yourself and Allah Pray and ask to be pardoned then go before your husband in person and resign your wifely duties but continue to keep in touch with him and be his friend . it's just that simple.

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