Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Divorcing spouse – having mixed feelings

wedding rings divorce

Assalamolaikum wrb,

JazakAllah for reading my question.  I filed for divorce from my wife and am having a difficult decision being firm in my decision.  Things were difficult as it is and she pursued involving police and court to try and bring harm to me and that has made me lose trust in her and I felt like this was my only option to prevent future emotional and financial harm.

To give you a context, I am 30 and she is 28, we got married through an arranged marriage.  The first 2 years we lived with my parents and there were the typical daughter-mother in law disagreements which I usually stayed out of.  My wife also complained about me not spending time with her or her family despite me taking her out as much as my work schedule allowed, going for umrah as a couple and traveling alone to different states through the country for vacations.  When we had arguments about how to spend our free time, I would get upset and not speak to her for days.  I felt like it was better than yelling and arguing which could potentially escalate, especially since we lived with my parents in teh same house.  Twice, I got upset during an argument and threw a set of keys on the floor but never at her or never tried to hurt her.

After 2 years, we moved to our own apartment in a different city as I got a new job and she started school.  I told her that I wanted to visit my parents most weekends when I was off since I had an obligation to look after them as they were aging and to look after a disabled brother who was living with them.  She and my mom did not get along that well and even though she initially agreed to accompany me, she later started saying she did not want to go as I did not want to see her family and did not give her enough free time.  This is despite the fact that we lived alone together during the week and I would visit her family as time would allow me.  But I told her that I would not be able to split my free time equally between visiting her parents and mine since I was the only son able to help them with matters of daily living and needed to check up on them while she had 3 other brothers.  She built more and more resentment against me for this and eventually things came to the point where I stopped asking her to come with me.  For several months, we would live together during the week and I would visit my family during the weekend and she would visit her parents alone.  Clearly, this was disconcerting for our families, especially the couple.  I kept hinting to her that this was no way to live and I was afraid this would lead to divorce if both of us kept being adamant and unwilling to compromise.

One sunday night she came home late from her parents after the weekend and I was upset as it is being alone on the weekend.  I locked the bedroom door and slept and she came in banging loudly on the door.  I got even more upset and told her that she should sleep outside since she was being loud and obnoxious.  She started aruging with me that it was her furniture and her right to sleep in the bedroom.  She called her brother and I told him we were both living in misery spending our free time alone b/c she was refusing to visit my parents.  Anyway, we ended up sleeping in the bedroom together that night.

The next day, her father called and said horrible things to me, calling me a dog and mentally ill and threatening to litigate me for trying to abuse her daughter.  That same night the police came to my house and gave me a protection from abuse order - meaning my wife had gone to court saying that I was abusing her and that she needed protection.  It said on the order that I could get evicted from the apartment.  We had the hearing in court 1.5 months later.  During these 1.5 months, we slept separately, I slept on a mattress outside and she slept in the bedroom.  I realize that I was wrong for telling her not to sleep in the bedroom but her response was extreme and meant to cause me harm.  I was deeply hurt and thought about divorcing her but kept out the whispers of shaitaan.  At the court hearing, the judge said there was no abuse and dismissed the case.

After coming home from court, I apologized to her about my actions and we agreed that we would try to move things forward.  I told her I would go visit my parents that weekend as they were very worried about the court situation.  Her brother texted me the next day that I was being unfair to her and not spending equal time with her and my parents.  I told him I had no objection spending time with her but that weekend I had to be with my parents.  I also told him that I would not easily forget what she did to me as far as taking me to court and calling the police.  Things muslims do not do to each other.  Her father replied to my text message and also texted my father, calling us hypocrites, spouse abusers and mentally ill.  He told me that I would become mentally ill like my brother who has schizophrenia.  There were really hurtful things - but neither my father or I responded back.  My parents told me I should end things since my wife nor her family had any respect for me or the relationship.

I went back to my apartment the next time and when I came home from work, my wife tried to talk to me.  I was upset at what her father had said to me and my dad so I did not speak to her.  She subsequently left the apartment for a month without telling me where she was going.  I called her to come back and she hung up on me.  Then I emailed her to come back during the last 10 nights of ramadan so we can work on our issues and she did.  I told her when she came back that I was thinking we should temporarily separate b/c we did not value our relationship or each other as spouses and that we needed marriage couseling.  She suggested not separating but doing counseling.

We were better for a few weeks and then the last weekend of ramadan, I told her I wanted to do iftar with my parents and I would meet her back and do iftar on sunday evening with her.  I was running late on sunday and told her I would meet her after the iftaar and she got very upset.  She texted me saying she would not come home until after Eid and that I should stay alone since I did not value giving her time.

So I spent Eid alone thinking what was happening with my life and what mistakes I had made to warrant all this negative behavior and resentment towards me and my family.  When she eventually came back, I told her I would move out since we did not see eye to eye on our issues and neither one of us was willing to make any sacrifices.  I told her I would move out temporarily and take a few pieces of furniture like the coffee table and a desk/chair while leaving everything else in the apartment.  I told her I would pay for her expenses during this time.  Despite me reassuring her all this, she did not believe me and told me I could not take anything.  She called the police the day I was moving out and my parents were over helping me pack, saying I was trying to steal her things.  The police ordered us to not take anything.  My parents and I were extremely upset and I tried to reason with her but she did not want to speak to me.  My parents suggested I should file for divorce b/c she was dangerous but I did not let them influence my decision making b/c I knew inside she was a good person and maybe it was shaitaan or her family influencing her.

10 days after moving out, I emailed her brothers to meet with me to discuss our issues.  I told them at our meeting that she was being immature with the police/court tactics and that it can cause a lot of harm.  I told them she would have to stop arguing about when I can/cannot visit my parents and that she should apologize to me and my parents for calling the police on them.  They said they would speak to her and get back to me but they did not. 3 weeks went by and after Eid al adha, I got a letter at my work from the family court.  She had gone to court and filed a financial support case against me.  I would have to take my tax returns and pay stubs to court so the court can determine how much money I would have to pay her.  This was despite me reassuring her and paying for her expenses for that 1.5 months.  Her brothers did not even tell me that she filed for a case against me again when she met with me.

After seeing the court order again, I decided it was too much to be living this kind of a life.  Being afraid around your spouse b/c she calls the police or goes to court whenever there is a conflict.  I was not a perfect person by any means, I could have split my time better between her and my parents on the weekends but that is no reason to go to court over and over again.  It showed that she did not trust me a single ounce and in fact did not think about the emotional or financial harm.

It has been 2.5 months after I filed the divorce in court and she has not shown at all that she is sorry for her actions.  I even emailed her brothers and their reply justified her actions.  My rationale mind tells me I should move on with my life and finish the divorce but sometimes I get the thought that perhaps things can be better between us.  Plus, the emotional attachment is difficult to let go of easily, we had good times where we traveled and went out, etc.  Neither her nor I were perfect and I made mistakes but her response was exagerrated and dangerous for me.  My friends and parents also recommend completing the divorce (her iddah will finish in 3-4 weeks) and moving on but I am really having difficulty letting go.  I have cried several nights in salah asking Allah to make it easy for me.

Jazakallah khair for reading the long narrative and I would appreciate your responses.  I do not want to do any injustice and I know Allah hates divorce but the situation seems out of hand and the constant police/court is very dangerous for me.  In our culture, a women who is a divorcee has even more of a difficult time getting re-married.  I really don't understand what is going on in her mind and why she is doing all these things.


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6 Responses »

  1. Assalamu alaikum if you have sincerely done your best to fulfill her rights as well as those of your parents but still it is not good enough for your wife then my view is you have done all you can do. However having said that I will also say that women do not necessarily think like you do and so being fair may not necessarily suit and setting in stone that you spend your weekends with your parents is not giving your wife quality time on the weekend when you are not working. Where does it say you must spend your weekend with your parents but you have made this a rule. The situation has now escalated because of the negative effects of this rule you have invented with your parents, I mean are they sick that you must see them every weekend? I think you could have done more to appease and please your wife as a man who is good to his wife is the best of men but of course also you must honour your parents. It seems to me a shame that you have set this weekend rule for yourself as it has really caused a division between you and your wife. Sure she has acted in a spiteful way but I think maybe she felt compelled to be like this. Her father and brothers have not helped the situation either. I think the bottom line is make her feel loved as your wife with your free time not just your after work time and stop thinking that is not compatible with an arranged marriage as marriage is marriage regardless and there is no prescribed particular way of honour int your parents. I would say reset your lifestyle and do the best for your marriage and hopefully your parents will understand. Masalama

  2. In my humble opinion, the loss of mutual trust seems simply too big for me to avoid a divorce. I know that it can be very hard if you still feel attached to her. It is one of the hardest, one of the most painful lessons in life to learn: you can love as much as you want, but you cannot force somebody to reciprocate your love, no matter how hard you try. The best advice regarding this situation is, that you should try to do it in a way which causes the least problems and least further pain to both of you. Probably both of you need much time apart from each other for the wounds on your souls to heal.
    If somebody askes for judgement in such cases regarding who did it right? Who did it wrong? - it is almost impossible to make a just assessment. I have only heard your side of the story, and one usually sees the others mistakes bigger then his own.
    However, I would like to give you some questions to think about; maybe they would help you understand why she is acting the way she is acting.
    1. Imagine for a moment that someone refuses to talk to you and discuss the differences. Would you not have the feeling, that the other one does not wish to speak because he/she has no intention to consider your interests? Would you not have the Feeling, that thus the other one refuses to view you as his equal? Would you not feel humiliated by this? Especially if it happens repeatedly?
    2. You think her response was exaggerated with going to court and police. But was it not you who put her in a situation, where she had no other place to turn to? As a woman, she is physically weaker than you, and cannot pick a fight. She can only defend her righteous interests through argumentation. But you repeatedly resorted to "not speaking at all" when a disagreement came up, and thus made it impossible for her to defend her interests. What else can she do in a town where she has no relatives at hand to turn to? Who else can help her unless the court and police?
    3. It it was the other way around and you would have been shut out of the bedroom for being late, would you not consider that exaggerated? Or even mad behaviour?
    4. If it had been the other way around, and your wife would have been the one at first promising to do iftar with you and than suddenly changing the aarangement, shortly after promising to do better for the sake of your marriage - would you not consider her unreliable, as someone who does not honor you with keeping promises?

    "And why do you look at the speck in your brothers eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? (...) First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."

  3. My brother, your situation is valid for a divorce if you think you have tried your best and its still not working for you. You shouldn't have to worry about her calling the police at petty arguments. This does come down to a matter of security and trust. It will be emotionally hard for a while but make plenty of dua and Allah will give you happiness with maybe another spouse InShaaAllah. Continue looking after your parents as this is your duty. May Allah make it easy for you and bring happiness to you. May Allah protect us all from the trials and tribulations in this world and the hereafter

  4. Salam,

    I think it's commendable that you've chosen to sacrifice so much of your time to look after your parents. But in a relationship you can't expect your wife to share your sacrifice. In fact, if you went to any girl and told her father that she will be spending most of her weekends at your parents place and that you do not intend to see her side of the family much, they would turn down your offer.

    When she argues this point with you, instead of compromising and increasing time with her family or seeing her more often you just stop talking to her entirely. In your mind this makes sense as at least you're not fighting but the reality is that she has to come with you to your parents and if she complains, she loses all time with you.

    I think her calling the police and going to court is in response to you not resolving the problem and giving her the silent treatment instead. The law is the only time you are forced to respond to her requests and so that's what she feels in necessary to communicate with you.

    For your sake I would recommend keeping this wife and treating her better. This is because most girls you will try to marry by telling the reality of the situation, that you will be at your parents house, will refuse your offer. Fathers with daughters that have issues may consider your offer, and as such you would be downgrading past this divorce unless you stop seeing your parents as regularly.

    For your wife's sake I wouldn't have recommended this marriage to her as it's not a good deal for her. Your priority is your parents and you are unable to fulfill the obligations of a relationship as its priority is second to your parents. But seeing how she will likely have a more difficult time remarrying I would recommend that you make changes in your life. See if you can hire someone to take on your responsibilities and then tell her that you plan on spending time with her and her family equally. I hope things work out with you, salam.

    • Asalamoalaikum Moderators,

      I wrote a very long and insightful reply to this brother and for some reason it was marked as spam and not published. There was nothing written in it for that to happen. I spent 30 minutes writing it. Could you kindly look into it and re-post as I no longer have that post saved and it could very well help this brother?

      Thank you.

      -Helpful Sister

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