Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Tricked into marriage to an unstable wife: Is divorce the only way out?

Verbal abuse, heart break, calling names

Salamalaekum dear friend ,

To put things short, I had an arranged marriage with a girl. We trusted her family as our elder sisters were acquainted with each other. Her brother played a big role in this marriage. They explained everything about me- that I have chronic kidney disease and ulcerative colitis, and I am on daily medication.

The problem is that after marriage, we started having disputes which kept increasing in time and frequency. We used to fight then patch up, fight then patch up. Then, after one month of marriage, I developed hip pain for which I needed surgery. She supported me at that time, but our fights kept going on.

Initially, I thought we'd get through all of this. It's been three months now, but over time and experience I convincingly found out that she is:

Highly immature
Lies pathologically
Cries over small matters, Creates drama, histrionics
Emotionally labile
Spends money like anything
Questions the relationship with my family members, questions their love, their authority.
Regularly offers suicide as a solution to problems

Sometimes I feel I'm dealing with a ten year old. After marriage I also found out she wrote a suicide note in college, and she actually did not want to get married at all. From what I gather, she was coerced into marriage with me. Later, we also found out that her family is of a bad reputation.

But she says over time she will adjust.

Later on, she even threatened me, and accused me of "spoiling her life". I even consulted a psychiatrist alone, and he is pointing to the fact that she probably has a psychological problem, possibly a personality disorder.

Now how can I imagine her being the mother of my child, if she can't even take care of herself?

I never disclosed anything to my parents, but just recently I told them. They are of the opinion that I separate, as there is no " future". They also feel that we were tricked. We told that family of our grievances and sent her back to her home. They are adamant that she will be ok , and they are even pressuring us to take her back.

Now, this marriage has been an added source of stress for me (someone who really doesn't need it, as it adds to my illness a great deal).  Now I'm feeling tremendously guilty as I really, really hate to cause harm to anyone, but now it seems I'm heading for a divorce! :'( Am I a selfish person to even think for a divorce?

I'm in serious trouble and I badly need advice, a direction. Please pray for me too. I will be grateful.

Your brother in distress,


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8 Responses »

  1. Assalaamualaikam

    Without knowing your wife, we cannot provide a diagnosis for her difficulties, but some of the symptoms you describe could point towards her having a psychological problem or personality disorder. Mental health is often misunderstood, but if your wife does indeed have such a problem, it is no more her fault than it is your fault that you have your own health problems. Psychological conditions can be extremely distressing for the individual as well, as they often are aware of how their behaviour is counterproductive, but struggle to change it.

    One thing that stands out for me, though, is that despite everything she may have been going through, she stuck by you when you needed surgery shortly after your marriage. That suggests that there is a woman of good character in there, quite possibly one worth trying to help.

    The term "personality disorder" can be quite misleading; quite often the difficulties encountered (such as emotional lability, all-or-nothing thinking, thoughts of suicide or self-harm) have their roots in childhood trauma. In many ways, the person's cognitive responses can be "stuck" at the time of the trauma, so your comment about dealing with a 10 year old may not actually be that far wrong! It's important to remember, though, that the person themselves is usually very aware that what they are doing isn't helping the situation, and that they don't actually mean to be difficult to live with.

    The good news is that, like many mental health conditions, there are treatment options and real hope for recovery. For example, when a group of patients with a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder were reviewed after 10 years, the majority of them no longer met the criteria for diagnosis. There are talking therapies available (eg. mentalisation, DBT - dialectical behavioural therapy, CBT, psychotherapy), as well as medication options (eg. some antidepressants can also help reduce some symptoms of these disorders).

    My honest advice to you would be to try to work with your wife to build a relationship. Try to attend counselling or couples therapy (find a reputable therapist, preferably one who is aware of Islamic values and family dynamics), encourage your wife to seek help for her own health problems just as you seek help for yours, and see if the two of you can find happiness together.

    Marriage is a serious commitment, so when we run into difficulties, we shouldn't jump straight to divorce - and we definitely shouldn't go sending people back as though they're a pair of shoes we want to exchange. Husbands and wives don't come with receipts - we're not meant to send our spouse back if something isn't right; rather, we're meant to work together as partnerships to resolve difficulties.

    Midnightmoon editor

  2. salam,
    nothing to worry that much,the thing is you gotta be mature and try to become easy going person.dont fight to her,instead keep quiet and later make her understand things.she is immature,most girls are like that and even cries a lot over small issues,nothing wrong with that.just dont be too critical.focus on good points of to her that you love her a saying and gifts etc..give her time...she'll change.

  3. Assalamu Alaykum,

    You need to communicate with your wife, and go for couples therapy, or get somebody to speak to her. Try to find out the source of her unhappiness, and then take it from there. You both need to communicate and be honest with each other about your feelings. Sometimes when couples are disappointed about something in their spouse, they get angry for small issues. I think you should try to go for counseling before considering divorce, because divorce is a big thing, so don't rush into it before trying out other options. May Allah make things easy for you.

  4. Brother if you can make it work and if you think that you can be patient untill she changes, then I'd say dont resort to divorce and try harder.However, you can't sacrifice your health in the process.You have to make sure that your health isnt deteriorating because of this issue. I'm not advocating divorce, but you need to take care of your self, and if t negative energy is making it worse for you, then you have some thinking to do.

    I will keep you in my Duaa, and I hope that evrything goes well for you

  5. Asalamu alaikum,i am a new muslim lady who just got married with a muslim man who also lost his temper and want to give up the marriage with me due to my attitude,i always cry for simple reason,investigate his daily routine,i always want to control him,and if he failed to follow me,i will say that my life is ruined by our marriage.i feel so uneasy of everyday fighting because of simple things and reason.Until he decided to leave me,i felt so much depress and find someone to talk to,until i found a muslim brother who talk to my husband,this muslim brother said he willl going to help me by talking to my husband about what is good for me,and that muslim man really shows care to help me,because i was feel abandon by my husband when he begin to shout me almost everytime we talk,but after that muslim brother talk with my husband,i found my husband changes a lot,he always remind me to be patient everytime i feel unsatisfied with what he do,he said that patience is part of imaan for muslims,he begin to talk about Qur'an and sunna,he tells joke when i feel sad,and became sweet to me,sometimes he is calling me in a funny names,and sometimes give me surprises gift,play with me hide and seek inside the house,he laugh with me everytime he won the game.I feel that he became my father everytime he sat with me and telling stories about the character of the prophets,and i begin to feel that he is my best friend everytime he gave his shoulder and hands when i am crying,now he listen much than shouting.I observe great changes in me too.I begin to understand my husband point of view,i begin to love him much now,now after one year of trouble,we are both so much happy,especially now that i am one month pqregnant,we both sooooo excited to raise a child to be a good muslim . I can say that a wife like me needs much love and appreciation,that is a great medicine,if you want to see your wife as an angel then give her heaven.Good luck.Salam

  6. I would suggest, you must divorce her and it seems no future for this relationship. After kids she must blackmail you a lot. don't put yourself in such trouble. be sensible must leave her and move on.

  7. I think here you made a big mistake in going to your parents behind her back and not talking to her face-to-face, you say you don't like hurting other people but what you did I believe is the ultimate form of betrayal. If you have problems with this girl you should sit her down, talk openly and honestly about how you are feeling, whatever is decided should be between the both of you and NOT through your parents...that is seriously tacky and I feel that she has every right to resent your parents because if your parents were decent people that's how they would have advised you: to deal with this is a man with your wife on your own.
    Secondly I think that your wife may be a bit insecure, but the fact that she is committed to your and your marriage (despite your illness) I think shows a today's world it is hard to find committed people and especially hard to find true love...someone who stays for the good and rough times and that is something you have so cherish it.
    Talk to her, be honest, make certain things out of bounds (like suicide), you may be emotionally more mature so try to teach her and really understand her behavior, not only will your marriage prosper and become easier, but she will love you and be grateful for will most importantly be blessed by Allah (SWT).
    Remember islamically as a husband, your wife is a believer a good Muslim girl...while she is not perfect try to focus on her good and stay committed that is your duty as a husband.

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