Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband and I are trying to work on our marriage, but his ex-wife still lives with his parents

Ex-husband, ex-wife, the ex

I am my husband's 3rd wife, I am British and we married 10 years ago, we have 2 children together - a boy (9) and a girl (5). I also have a previous son that my husband has helped raise from 4 months old.

My husband is Turkish and he has 2 children from his first marriage aged 20 and 16 (the one that lives in his parents home).

He has no children from his second wife as they were only married 6 months.
When I agreed to marry my husband I knew he had a previous ex wife and children, they divorced in 2001. My husband told me he would have to help with money towards the cost of raising his 2 children in Turkey which I agreed to; actually the fact he was so insistant of this is one of the reasons I fell in love with him. My husband also told me at time that he had no other kind of relationship with the children's mother and that he had been forced to marry her by his parents.

We married in England in 2004, and we had our son and daughter. When I was expecting my daughter my husband told me that his ex wife wanted to marry someone else. He said he didn't mind as he had been married to me 6 years and we had 2 children together.

She didn't marry anyone but he did tell me that she had moved out from his parents house and moved back to her parents.

I now realise that was a lie. My husband's ex wife and youngest child live in the bottom floor of my husbands parents house. The reason he told me that she no longer lived there was just so he could travel there alone and live in the house with her for the 2 weekly visit he's been doing to see his children and parents every year alone. I have only been in my husband's parents' house twice and both times they have all hidden his wife from me (we stayed in a hotel nearby). My husband's family all make out she doesn't live there. My husbands' parents have never seen our daughter even though she has nearly died twice and still has on-going health issues. That's not the reason we have never taken her over to visit; it's always that we can't afford to go. But he can afford to go alone. Our son has only ever seen his grandparents twice in his life.

Once when we all went for 1 week together and 1 where his father took him on his own. My husband made my own son lie to me about his ex-wife not being there when really he was dumping my son on her to go out with his brother and friends and eldest son drinking.

My husband's brother has phoned twice in the last 2 years saying my husbands father is ill; the last time he was "dying in a coma". This is really all just lies to get my husband to visit them quickly and on his own . The real reason he went that time was his eldest son who is 20 years old was wanting to go live and work in Istanbul. (the eldest son is now living and working in Istanbul anyway).

My husband took all of our savings and went for a week. He rang me only once while there and that was to tell me he needed to have an operation himself. I was shocked and told him I would borrow some money from my father and get the next available flight. My husband was shouting and swearing at me but came home without having the op when he should have.

My husband was very distant and never talked to me for 10 days then on the 10th day I asked what was wrong and he said he was leaving me.

He went to stay above the pizza shop he was working in, leaving me with all the bills and loans. I had nothing and I was getting behind on bills. I had to take my kids to my parents to feed them and my mum advised me to move back in with her and rent my house to someone to help ease the burden and to stop my house being lost.
I did this willingly and without their help I would have been homeless but it was so hard - my husband had just cut us off completely.

In the middle of august my husband got in contact asking me to meet him. He wanted to talk and after meeting a few times we agree to try to save our marriage. We had to rent a house for us to live in as there were tenants in our house. But first he tells me he has to go to Turkey for 3 weeks to sort this mess out. He borrowed money he still hasn't been able to pay back.

The last time my husband went was in September last year when he spent 2 weeks living as man and wife with his ex wife and a week with his brother getting drunk and sleeping around in a holiday resort.

My husband has stopped drinking so he tells me, but his brother is such a bad influence always wanting my husband to drink and cheat with him. His brother has a Turkish wife and 2 daughters, but he spends winter with them and then finds himself a women to live with all summer in a holiday resort. He expects that I will allow my husband to do the same. But I cannot as it's against everything I believe in.

I have never looked at or touched another man since I met my husband, even when he left me I was that heart broken I tried to kill myself but listening to my children cry themselves to sleep gave me the strength to know I was all they had left.  My children were so messed up. My son wet the bed and was very bad at school refusing to do anything. My little girl wouldn't let me leave the room without her and refused to talk to anyone but me

We moved back in as a family in November last year, and my husband promised me then that when his youngest leaves home then he will send his divorced wife back to her parents as he has done his duty to her.

My husband also promised me that he will never stay in the house with her again, and the next visit he will take me and our children with him.

My husband  also promised me that next year I can choose where we go on holiday with the children.

His eldest son is going into the army in December, and now all of a sudden he has to see him off.

I have told him there is no way in the next 13 weeks that we will even have £500 saved so we can't all go.

I have been studying Islam online as my husband only picks and chooses which bits to live by. I just need to know if I am right in saying that my husband's ex wife should have left my husband's parents' house when their court divorce came through in jan 2001, because the iddah would have been done 3 months prior to the divorce being granted by the courts?

Am I right in thinking now that my husbands ex wife is now a ghair mahram  under no circumstances should he be spending time alone with her or they are both committing fitnah?

Are my husband's parents committing fitnah too as they also want my husband to leave me and return to his ex wife?

I understand that after 12 years my husband would not be allowed to re-marry his ex wife without her marrying another man first and that man then divorcing her; is that right?

I think my husband has spent far too much time trying to please his ex wife and family than he ever has with me and my children. My husband  works hard 12 hours a day but in the last 4 years we have had no family holiday while he's been away 4 times and spent weeks with another woman.

I am disgusted at his behaviour. In fact I'm disgusted with them all. I wouldn't do to someone I hated what they have done to me and my children. I feel abused , used , worthless , and all for problems my husband had before he even met me.

I don't want to give up on my marriage. I have seen and lived what will happen to my children. but I cannot put up with being disrespected like this by my husband, my son, my husband's family. I have never done anything wrong to be treated like this - all I have ever done is put my husband's wishes first.

My husband's family hate me as they blame me for keeping him from them but I had never met my husband until a good year after his divorce to his first wife. None of this is my fault but I'm always blamed, I do not mind that so much as I know I am an honest faithful woman. I can hold my head high as I have done nothing to feel shame for.

I worry what my children are learning from this; if my son grows up to treat people like his father does, if my daughter marries a man who finds lies and deception more important than doing the right thing. I thought all of this had been sorted but now my marriage feels such a lie, a sick joke and the fool being me.
I was brought up knowing there's a big wide world out there and anything is possible if you put the hard work in.

From the moment of each of my children's birth I have put a little aside for each of them to give them a start at something, anything when they turn 18. My husband knew at the time but now he's saved nothing for his children and he resents what mine have.

All the years we have provided and gone without for them to have that, doesn't count. I think it's ultimatum time, both of his children have left school and one no longer even lives at home.

I have asked my husband all these things but he refuses to talk - he thinks it will all go away. I think I deserve my husband to help raise our children now, we have done our best for his grown up children. I have asked my husband to meet with our local Turkish imam to talk through these issues but he refuses because the imam knows nothing of the fitnah he has going on in Turkey. My husband tells no one here about the situation he has in Turkey I believe that is because he knows he is guilty, but surely this can't carry on

Thank you for reading this and any help, ideas or comments would be extremely welcome as I intend to share these responses with my husband to help us find a solution.

I know I can no longer put up with so much disrespect I have had enough.
Peace be upon you.

- Leanne Bulu

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5 Responses »

  1. Did your husband get his British citizenship by marrying you? He most likely never divorced his wife that lives with his parents.

  2. Your husband has clearly been lying to you. I'm so sorry but he does not sound like he is a god fearing man by the way he has been treating you. You should leave him to live a better quality life because honestly you deserve better.

  3. AsSalaamu Alaikum Sister,

    I am sorry to hear about your situation.

    I agree with with SVS and Ukhti. I won't say much.

    However, if he has refused to approach the Imam to discuss this matter base on Islamic guidance, I'd suggest that you take him to court; at least he would be forced to assist his own children, and plus if you can't continue with him, you may seek a divorce and spend your time working and taking good care of your children.

    May Allah help you.

  4. Assalaamualaikam

    Regarding your questions, I am not a scholar, so I will try to answer to the best of my ability, but you should consult a scholar on these issues to ensure you act in accordance with Islamic guidance.
    - As far as I am aware, after divorce, the man and woman would not be mahrams for each other, so shouldn't be spending time alone together.
    - My understanding of the iddah period is that it relates to Islamic divorce rather than civil divorce, so the iddah period would start at the time of the man saying "talaq" (assuming that he was the one who initiated the divorce).
    - If your husband wished to re-marry his ex-wife, the length of separation wouldn't (as far as I know) necessarily mean she would need to marry someone else and then get divorced from them - that is what would need to happen if they had divorced three times, but not if only one Islamic divorce has taken place.

    While I would expect a man to provide for his children and ensure his ex-wife was not left destitute (Islamic guidance advises that if a man divorces a woman, he should send her on her way with the means to establish herself in a life elsewhere), having his ex-wife live with his parents seems rather excessive, and raises doubt as to whether their relationship ever truly ended - particularly if she remains on good terms with his parents.

    If you wish to try to save your marriage, it might help to have marital counselling from a trained therapist who is experienced in Islam and what an Islamic relationship should be like. This would depend on your husband also being committed to working on your marriage. It would be important to establish that there can be no more lies or deception between you - your husband would need to be fully honest with you. If he refuses, that suggests he isn't committed to trying to make your relationship work.

    You are right to think about what your children will be learning from this - children are perceptive, and pick up on what's happening in the home. One thing you can do is to make sure you are setting an example of integrity and acting in accordance with Islamic teachings. That way, even if you ultimately separate from your husband, you will be able to explain your actions to your children in the context of Islamic teachings, and inshaAllah help them learn the importance of Allah's guidance in our lives.

    Midnightmoon editor

    • Remaining on good terms? As she has their grandchildren and can send them to their paternal grand mother for custody remaining on good terms and consultation between family issues are suñnah even after divorce.

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