Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband may be sleeping with his ex-wife

Truth and lies

I am so confused and would appreciate some advice.

Background in brief; I'm a european divorcee with adult children. I remarried a muslim man 12yrs my junior (an Arab) who had no children and and who said it did not matter that I could not bear anymore children. He said our love was enough.  I converted to Islam when we married.  We have been married 5 yrs.  We live in the UK.

Last year I found out he had married another european (non-muslim) woman a year earlier and that she was now pregnant (she emailed me and 'let the cat out of the bag). In her email she said dreadful things such as my husband was dangerous, he had threatened to kill her, raped her, she feared for her children...  (they had only met up for a total of about 30 days over that year).  I was/still am devestated about it all (I have no ill feeling toward the baby whatsoever and want him to be a father to his daughter), its all the lies, deceipt and and lack of trust that I have 'issues' with.

My husband admitted it was true but said he had divorced her 3 times on the phone after she emailed me.  He did not see or speak to her during her pregnancy (over 7-8months) and only recently got in contact folowing the birth.  DNA has confirmed he is the father.  She appears to be emotionally unstable, screaming or crying at him one moment, declaring love or hate the next, asking him to move in with her then saying she wants nothing to do with him...  She lives 6 hr train journey from us and has 2 elder children.

He admits to 'stringing her along' allowing her to believe that they may have a future together because he wants contact with the baby.  She buys him gifts all the time including sexy underwear.  He too buys her gifts - usually external clothing.

She is believed/known to have had numerous boyfriends during the pregnancy and posted sexual comments/cartoons on a social networking site to another man.

He said he divorced her 3 times over the phone (after she informed me of their relationship) and he definately did not have any contact with her for 7-8months (only via letters from his Solicitor requesing pregnancy/birth details) until after the birth of his daughter, therefore completing her iddah.

He brought me to Islam and he speaks like a devout (sunni) muslim.

We are not wealthy and struggle to cope financially as it is.

Now for my questions, fears, concerns etc.

  • He visits the baby 2 times per month but stays overnight in her house - haram?
  • He said he sleeps on the sofa and that there is no quilt or blanket for him to use to keep warm however when he returns home, his clothes are neat and obviously not been slept in?
  • He rings her twice daily and chats on MSN in the evening most days for 2-8 hours - allegedly talking about general things???
  • She sends him pictures of her and the baby, including ones of her breast feeding - haram?
  • He has pictures of him and the baby taken with him on a bed?
  • He says repeatedly that I make his life hell by continually asking questions about this ongoing situaltion and will not give me a straight yes/no answer to my questions - such as are they sexually intimate? Is it not haram to do the things he does regarding her?  or he gets angry if I quote the Quran and remind him of guidance set out regarding marriage.
  • She has pictures of him and her all round the house on the walls.
  • Both of them 'play games' (emotional), he had told her during their marriage for example that he and I were not intimate and that we lived seperate lives within our house - lies.
  • She too is a proven liar - of which I have seen for myself.
  • He does not allow me to see what he says to her but I did once read his comment of "nice boob" when she sent a picture of her breastfeeding.  He said this was only a joke?!
  • I have severe depression as a result of this and frequently think about death but is only my religion and family that prevent me from acting upon my thoughts.  I am under my doctor and am on anti-depressants ( I also have ongoing health problems in addition).
  • He swore by Allah when he got back in contact with her that he would not touch her but the 'evidence' seems to indicate that maybe he has broken this - or am I being paranoid and should have more trust?
  • He has sworn by Allah he loves me and will never leave me.
  • He won't discuss/talk about this situation even though he knows it is making me ill - he says I should be patient and that its non of my business.  If I push the issue he says he will return to his home country.  He has also started using foul language to me when he is angry - calling me a "F**king B**ch, telling me to "F**k off".  This is not the quiet gentle man I married.  He has also threatened to 'use his hand' on me if I do/say certain things - like when I said to him to not be stupid when he said I had the brain of a child (I'm a qualified and well educated person!!).
  • He says he does not shower etc down there and does not 'catch up' with his prayers when he returns
  • All I want is for him to stop giving her false hope (or am I the one whose being lied to?) and be honest with me, is he having sex or an  intimate relationship with her? Did he really divorce her? What about his religion if so?  Does he share a bed with her but is not intimate?
  • He barely talks to me when hes is home, we used to watch films together and cuddle up, used to laugh and play etc. Our intimate relationship is a 10 minute affair and he seems no longer concerned if I am unfulfilled...

What do I do?  I love him so very much but my self-esteem is getting lower and lower, I have no friends and I fear for my future.  I pray to Allah for patience, to stop my jealously, to forgive me and him if we are doing wrong, to guide us on the right path and for us all (including his ex?-wife & her family) to find peace and happiness.

This situation is now testing my faith and I too some days have begun missing some/all of the 5 daily prayers because I sometimes feel the whole situation is hopeless.  By the same token, I have been reading more and more about Islam, Hadiths, Dua's... in some ways my faith is stronger and in other ways is weaker.

The problem I have is that I thought I had married a devout muslim who would set a good example for me but the more I read and understand, the more I realise that he is probably committing more sins than ever before and that makes me feel unsafe within my marriage and about the future of my marriage.

Am I paranoid?

Should I pursue him for answers?

If he is having intercourse with her, and she has/has had sex with other men, then I could be at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection...  I've said this to him and asked that he wear a condom if he is being intimate with her but he just says "condom what".

I've even considered requesting a divorce, but I know Allah hates this and I love him so very much.  I desperately want to believe him and pray that we  have a long loving and happy marriage together.

Sorry this is so long, but I'm desperate for someone elses thoughts or ideas

Thank you

- Private

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17 Responses »

  1. Assalamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah my dear sister in Islam,

    My heart really goes out to you and I can imagine the emotional turmoil you must feel. Your emotions are leading you in the direction of truth, and I think your hearts knows it but needs confirmation of it. So let me do this for you, yes it's haram what he's doing and unacceptable according to Islamic principals.
    From my knowledge ( I have emailed 'hadithcheck' to find out if it's authentic) the hadith about Allah subhanhu wa tala hating divorce and His Throne shakes is either weak or not authentic. I will confirm this inshaAllah when I find out. Also, divorce is absolutely acceptable in Islam especially when spouse(s) transgress limits; ie commit adultery, behaviour that you described. Also by pronouncing 'I divorce' you three times only means he divorced her once, which means any time in between the time he said it and her iddah end (if she is pregnant the iddah ends at the birth of the child, if she's not then 3 menstrual cycles) he could have 'taken her back' . Since he has proven to be dishonest, it's also a possibility she wasn't even on the phone when he said that, or maybe he's just not very concerned about the severity of declaring divorce upon a wife. If he did divorce her and is having relations then it is adultery. According to Islamic law, adultery (esp when admitted to it or witnesses) is punishable by stoning to death (it doesn't say keep the marriage going, and stick it out).His behaviour (ie sleeping at the ex's, pictures, speaking in "general" for so long with her, pictures of her) is absolute garbage!! Even from non-Islamic point of view, anyone can say that's nonsense and wonder what's up.

    He's obviously lying to you, and she appears the same. If you are trying to save your marriage, because you feel there is something in it to save then here are a couple suggestions for you.

    Polgyny in Islam is acceptable on condition the man fulfills the rights of both his households. However, you mentioned not being financially stable and so it is possible that you can give up your rights and still be acceptable for him to take her as his second wife. Another option, would be to not make an issue of what you already know. This is hard, and takes a lot of mental strength. You can try to push him towards deen by you yourself learning it, and instead of spending your time together discussing is possible extra marital affairs try to teach him what you learn. There is no guarantee how he would respond but it maybe be a means of causing him to reflect and only Allah subhanhu wa tala Knows.

    There is something very, veryyyyyyy positive to note in all of this, and this might just be the reason for why you are in this situation. You found Islam!! Had you not met this brother under this circumstances you may have never found Islam.. Alhamdulilah you have. The truth is with you, now it's your duty to go seek it in it's entirety. Learn the religion and don't take knowledge from the hypocrites. Go to your local masjid, join in on the Islamic classes they have. Educate yourself. Knowledge is power, no one can touch it, or take it away from you. Or abuse you with it. Learn your Islamic rights (we are blessed with many Alhamdulilah!), your responsibilities and what Islam says about different circumstances. I highly recommend you browse this site and see the other advice given for similar situations.

    Be strong's tough............I know, hypocrisy/deception is a nasty thing to deal with, leaves you bitter all over, but it will pass and there is good in everything!! Trust Allah subhanhu wa tala, THERE IS GOOD IN EVERYTHING! (no matter how ugly and nasty it looks/feels).

    Oh, also please go to a doctor and have yourself checked. Yes, it's very possible that STDs could be passed along, May Allah subhanhu wa tala protect you from this.. Ameen

    My love for the pleasure of Allah, sincerely your sister
    Umm Abdullah Editor

    • I had the hadith checked and this is what they said.
      This hadith is Weak: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.”

      This hadith is Fabricated: "Marry and do not divorce, the throne shakes for the divorce."

      So both of them are not authentic.

      However, although these ahadith are not authentic, this does not mean that divorce is something good or encouraged in Islam. Yes, in Islam divorce is permissible when necessary, but it should not be the first thing that a husband and wife go to if they are having problems. They should try work things out, get help from their family members and a Sheikh or Imam in the community whom they trust, and they should not just rush to get a divorce which they might both regret later on.

      Here are some authentic ahadith about divorce below. If you know a husband and wife who are going through some issues in their marriage then they should consult with the local Imam in their community and maybe go talk to a Muslim marriage counselor who might be able to help them work their marriage out and improve their relationship insha'Allah.

      narrated by Abu Dawood (2226), al-Tirmidhi (1187) and Ibn Maajah (2055) from Thawbaan (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Any woman who asks her husband for a divorce when it is not absolutely necessary, the fragrance of Paradise will be forbidden to her.” (Classed as saheeh by al-Albani in Saheeh Abi Dawood).

      So unless a woman has a valid reason for not wanting to remain with her husband anymore, it is not permissible for her to ask her husband for a divorce. A woman should consult with a credible local Imam or Sheikh whom she trusts and believes has good understanding of the teachings of Islam, and she can ask him whether her reason for wanting a divorce is valid or not. Some issues are valid reasons for a woman to ask for a divorce, but my advice would be to consult with a scholar because each specific case has its own ruling. Although in most cases, it is usually minor things which the husband and wife should try to solve rather than rush to get a divorce.

      The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “No believing man should hate a believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another.” (Sahih Muslim; 1469)

      It was narrated that Jabir (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Iblees places his throne over the water, then he sends out his troops, and the one who is closest in status to him is the one who causes the greatest amount of fitnah (tribulation or temptation). One of them comes and says, I have done such and such, and he says: You have not done anything. Then one of them comes and says: I did not leave him until I separated him and his wife. So iblees draws him close to him and says: How good you are.” (Narrated by Muslim; 2813).

      So the shaitan is happy when he is able to cause problems between a husband and wife or if he is able to get them to divorce, because that causes a lot of harm and problems for these two people, as well as their families, as well as to society as a whole. And as the above hadith shows that iblees is happy and loves it when a husband and wife are fighting or having problems, which is usually caused by one of the devils working for iblees himself.

      The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “If a woman offers her five (daily prayers) and fasts her month and guards her chastity and obeys her husband, she will enter Paradise from whichever of its gates she wants.”

      The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “I urge you to treat women well"

      The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “The best of you are those who are best to their wives, and I am the best of you to my wives.”

      I hope this addresses your concern insha'Allah, but I would suggest that if you know a husband and wife who are going through some problems in their marriage to consult with their local Sheikh.

      Umm Abdullah Editor

  2. As salamu alaykum my dear Sister,

    Alhamdulillah, thank you for sharing your story, your thoughts, ...thank you for looking for Light, Alhamdulillah.

    Many, many questions going around in your head, I will be as simple as I can and please forgive me if I am too direct, but this situation is claiming for a solution, insha´Allah.

    Nobody in this world has the right to steal your health from you, if you don´t alloud them to do it. You have all the rights to live a healthy life without all this misery around, insha´Allah.

    First of all, yes the first thing you have to do is going to a doctor to be checked for STD, your husband has been putting you under risk since he had a relationship with other one. Don´t panick, just go straight and do what you have to do, insha´Allah.

    I can understand you love him, but what I cannot understand is why you have this man in your house and you are having sexual intercourse with him, knowing what he has done and what he is doing (marrying secretly, lying, ignoring you, putting your health on risk,....) You deserve something better, insha´Allah.

    Please, get out of all that darkness, take care of yourself (eat healthy and fresh, walk, exercise, breath consciously). There is a prayer for anxiety and depression that brings Peace, insha´Allah.

    All my unconditional Love, Respect and Support,


    • You will see at the top of the page, a label that says Dua, you can find it there. It may help you, insha´Allah.

  3. dear sister after reading your entire story it seems u were in full problems... firstly from your side what u feel is entirely right like you believed your husband and got married.... and about your husband what was happend before was wrong... and he as given divorced in the phone.. it means she was not his wife any more..... its better not to put pressure on ur husband all the time... only u need to trust him wht he is doing... try to convenece him abt u r children future and about u... hope allah will be with you..

  4. Assalamu alaykum Sister,

    Past is past. If you feel you are unable to make peace, your efforts yield no result and you think your life and aakhirah without his man would be better, it is no sin for you to take divorce.

    If you can work out the situation, it is son sin if you make peace and continue to be spouses.

    Read the Qur'an a lot. Answers to your questions are in clearest language there.


    * * *

    Therefor give good tidings (O Muhammad) to my bondmen, who hear advice and follow the best thereof. Such are those whom Allah guideth, and such are men of understanding.- Surah 39, Az Zumar, verse 17-18.

  5. * If you can work out the situation, it is no sin if you make peace and continue to be spouses

  6. Salam sister,

    I understand what you are going through. My husband and I have 2 daughters. One of which was born 7 weeks ago. We have been married for five years and I have still not met his 2 daughters from his previous marriage. He takes his ex-wife and children on vacations and will not answer the phone when I call. He says it is uncomfortable for him to be open with me when he is around them. He has not told his children that he has remarried and has other children nor has he told his ex. All of our arguements and fights are because of his ex and children. He picks his other daughters up from school and takes them to her house where he will spend the day. He takes his ex out for her birthday and she takes him out for his. Right now as I am writing this he is on his way back from a Spring Break Florida vacation with them. While I was pregnant, he took them on a 14 day Europe cruise, stayed at her house over night because his daughter was sick and bought her a 2011 Lexus.
    I am also a convert, but not because of him. My father converted and guided me.
    He says he loves me, and that I am the type of person he has always seen himself with. I cook three fresh meals a day, clean, take our daughter to school and pick her up, Breast feed our infant, i never speak louder than a normal monotone when we argue, I never tell him no when he wants to be intimate, and I help with the business.
    He has no complaints against me.He tells me I am the perfect wife except I need to mind my own business. I went to the court house and got copies of their divorce papers, so there isnt any doubt that she divorced him.
    I believe that Allah brought this situation to me, for a good reason, and will not put anything in my path that I am not strong enough to handle. I find my complete happiness with my children. When he makes me cry I remember the good he has done.
    I am 20yrs younger than he is, and he says he does not want to lose me, but it got a little to much to handle. I went to the Imam and asked for advice, and he stated that I could not divorce religiously without having proof of what my husband is doing unless I am willing to give back my dowery.

    You have to make Allah happy and then yourself. You deserve to be treated with respect, love and kindness. No man or woman has the right to hurt you. You are a strong woman. It may hurt you to be away from him, but it may hurt worse to be with him. If you leave you will not have to put up with the emotional, or verbal abuse ever again which you never deserved. You love him and you may cry for a couple of months when he isnt in your life any more but your tears will not be as big, and they will fade once you find how to be happy with yourself again. Trust yourself with yourself. You can be and feel amazing when you dont have weights on your soul.
    I love my husband to. Very much, but I have to think of my children.

    I believe that you have to live and love your own lives and love and respect the life your partner lives. But if you cannot then you should not be together.

    I sure do hope things work out for you Inshallah. And I hope that our stories can help and inspire other women in our kind of situations.

    Allah Hafiz

    • Asalaam alaikum,

      How is it that the ex does not know that you two are married? Wasn't the marriage announced?

      Do you live in the U.S.? Why are you putting up with this behavior? Seriously, if you live in the States, you live in one of the most lawyer frenzy countries in the world with access to judicial means to force your husband to honor you in your marriage. Not only that, but you can sue his ex-wife for the dissolution of your marriage in civil courts, as well.

      Your situation sounds horrible, quite frankly. To be with his ex is cheating and is haraam. She is a non-mahram to him and to spend time with her, vacation with her (I still can't get over that part) and is susceptible to sleep in the same place with her is a grave sin. It sounds like he is still married to her, despite the paperwork you have. I wonder if he just got a judicial divorce in a country where marrying two wives is illegal and so, she has a nikkah somewhere in her belongings. Either that, or they have done another nikkah.

      The advice your imam gave you is insufficient. Did he suggest visiting with your husband, himself, and talking with him? Did he suggest that you contact your wali, your father or perhaps an uncle or brother to help get your husband back on the right track? Did he suggest that you counsel with a lawyer? The fact of the matter is, is that your husband is living a double life and violating the tenets of Islamic marriage. Did the imam take this so lightly? Did this imam oversee your nikkah? Do you know if this imam oversaw the nikkah of your husband to his ex-wife?

      If I were to recommend a course of action, it would be to issue an ultimatum to your husband that this has to stop and stop right now, or you will cause the means to start an Islamic separation. He needs to come clean and reform himself, and honor your marriage.

      If he does not, I would suggest that you contact a lawyer for a consultation. You have a little newborn baby and he is vacationing with another woman! Ya Allah! I still can't get that out of my head.

      Above all, no matter what happens, contact his ex-wife today. Write a letter, send an email, a phone call, a text and post in on facebook or whatever. And contact your wali immediately!

      Your situation disturbs me so much. Vacationing with her! This is simple a disgusting distortion of marriage. I'll make dua for you, but please, Allah (swt) has given you the resources to set this right and to do it today!

    • Salamu alaykum,

      Dear sister Ameena,

      Your story made me cry for I know what your struggles are.
      But there is something I don't understand...

      You say your husband is divorced but still he spends time with his wife and children like he is married. If he is divorced he should not but her presents and take her out to celebrate her birthday.
      His ex-wife is no longer his wife so this is free mixing and that is forbidden in Islam.
      The other thing that bothers me... He didn't tell his ex wife and children he remarried. Why?
      It seems he has some things to hide from you and from her.
      A friendship with his ex wife isn't okay in Islam because it can lead to so much more.

      Why is it that converts always got treated badly?
      Why do they always let themselves be treated this way?
      Ameena, sister, making three meals, clean the house and taking care of his children isn't your duty. It is something you do for him because you love him. What if you get sick or you aren't able to clean and cook anymore? Will he leave you?
      Men and women should be married to complete their lives, to learn from each other and to show we can become better people for the sake of Allah SWT.

      I hope you can fix things and I hope you and your children will be very happy and respected by others.

      Wassalamu alaykum

  7. Salam

    I understand what you are saying. I am so very glad that you responded to me.. I don't want to divorce him since we have 2 children. I know he is not going to stop. So I will have to just live with it. If I want to make my life more difficult, then I could tell his ex, but living with this is hard enough without the silent treatment from him.
    I really do appreciate your feedback. Thank you very much

    Allah Hafiz

    • Salaams,

      Sorry, but I can't help but to wonder if this man is actually divorced Islamically. You say you saw his divorce papers from the courthouse, but those were civil divorce papers, correct? A civil divorce does not an Islamic divorce make. He may have gone through a civil divorce as a ruse to be able to take a second wife under deception, all the while he is still islamically married to the "ex". I would think that based on what you are describing, the behaviors he is showing is more along those lines than one who is divorced truly and Islamically. Just a thought.

      -Amy Editor

    • Asalaamu Alaikum Ameena,

      If you actually cared about your children you wouldn't be such an awful example to them. When your daughter or son grows up they will believe that this kind of behaviour is acceptable. Do you really want your son to treat other women the way his father does. Or would you like your daughter to accept a man to treat her the way your husband treats you. I will say it again, if you actually cared about your children you would not accept this treatment. You said it yourself, it is difficult for you and it would be more difficult if your husband gave you silent treatment. I believe you have an emotional attachment to this man that is not healthy. Go seek counselling and get out for your children's sake.

      If they are divorced he has no responsibility to provide for his ex-wife. Only for his children and CURRENT wife!

      I know this is an old post but I just had to write something.

      • Sakina, some of your points are valid but your tone is unkind. "If you actually cared about your children..." What a cruel thing to say. Do you think the sister does not love her children?

        You don't help people by demeaning and insulting them. You help them by encouraging them to do the right thing. Show them the way forward and offer them hope for a better future if they take it.

        Wael Editor

    • Salam,
      Why on earth would you want to stay a miserable soul? because wallahi that's the only type of person you will be if you stay with a man like that. I don't understand women who are in miserable marriages and use their children as an excuse to stay in the horrible state they are in. Your children should be the main reason for you to get away from this man!!!!!!!! Even if you are financially incapable it does not matter, allah will provide. Allah does not help a condition of a person until they change what is within themselves. Put your emotions aside for a minute and think logically, how on earth can you raise your children when you're in a marriage like this? This will affect your mental and emotional health severely subhanallah and your kids will see it! And this imam you went to has no clue of what he's talking about lol you don't need proof wallah. If you want a divorce then you can get one easily! Why would god want to burden you with such a thing? I pray women like yourself gather the courage to leave men who can't even do their job as husbands properly.

  8. Salam!

    This man is genuinely not following Islamic fiqh. It sounds like he spends more time with his ex than his current wife. He can't threaten to use his hand on you because that goes against sunni belief. A "beating" from a husband is light as a tap from a twig. All i say is that this relationship is not worth stressing over. He seems more interested in his "ex" than his wife. I understand she is going through some moments but cutting her loose and only providing her financially with restrictions is more halal than sleeping over her house. Regardless, Allah is all knowing, all wise.

  9. Asalamo Alaykum sister,
    In your situation I can only advise that, it's better to be single and at peace than be married and miserable! I hope you find the strength to leave that coward of a man. Regardless of Islamic issues here, just from a normal point of view all of the things you've mentioned that he is doing makes one question '' what on earth?!"
    It's disgusting the way he's acting with the other woman. Even if polygamy is halal in Islam, doesn't justify his actions because he's failing to keep you happy.

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