Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Where should the mother of my husband’s children stand in his life?

Ex-husband, ex-wife, the ex

Caution around the ex.

Sallam alaikum to all,

My question has been bothering me for 5 years. Please can anybody tell me where the mother of my husbands children should stand in his life and our life?

My husband and I have been together for around 5 years. He has 3 children from a previous relationship. After my husband and his ex split up, Social Services placed their children into the care of the ex's mother and they have now been there for 6 years.

In the time I have been with my hubby, his ex hasn't pulled herself together to win the children back. They continue to reside with their grandmother who makes it very difficult for the paternal side to have involvement. My husband is a very good father but nowhere near what he'd like to be. Throughout our relationship, although his ex has not tried her best to win her children back, she has tried her best to come between us and win him back.

This woman is a constant part of our life, she makes no effort to move upwards to build one of her or own, she is malicious and she has done nasty things in the past in the name of winning my husband back. I try hard not to hate her, i don't want to lower myself to her level but I just don't feel comfortable being in this relationship. I've stuck with it because i had faith it would all fall into place and I love my husband. I used to pity this woman because she is blind to what really matters, I used to pray for her for the sake of the children. This has been a sore subject throughout our relationship and the cause of my insecurities not to mention terrible arguments.

Although hubby tells me he cant stand his ex, i dont know what he tells her when they're alone, i don't see why they feel its acceptable for her to txt my hubby telling him she loves him and wants her family back, to my knowledge he doesn't set her straight. He continues  trying to save her from her selfishness. I feel the more he entertains her behaviour, the more he undermines me. She sees this and it gives her hope and confidence that they can reconcile.

I can't give my hubby children. He recently told me I'm jealous that him and his ex have children. What he doesn't get is, I accepted that I can't have children long before him, everything happens for a reason right.

4 years ago I told my hubby I couldn't go on living like this and i resented him for it. From what I can tell he doesn't care. I asked him to get advice from an imam regarding this situation, however, he told me he knew they would say he has to support this woman. I don't believe that, if it is true though, I can't be in this relationship any longer, its emotionally draining and making me feel things I don't want to feel.

- lahlah

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6 Responses »

  1. i think u should put ur question forward to islamqa website, in sha Allaah u will get best islamic advice on there.

    is this woman in nikah to him still ?? if there is no nikah, then tell ur hubby that she is now a non mahram to him, and to completely ignore her, because though his respond to him is to stop her selfishisness, but it is giving her the attention she wants and it becoming her source of encouragement, if she is non mahram to him now then she has no right for texting him like that.

    plz dont argue with ur hubby, may be he doesnt know how to deal with problem in the right manner, but that doesnt mean he doesnt care about u, may be he is just confused on what to do. and some people just think that they have the knowledge, therefore they dont ask, its just a matter or ignorance not a lack of care or love for u.

    plz dont suspect ur hubby to be having an affair with her, think positively, shaytan likes to ruin relationships, dont let shaytan win by suspecting him and argueing. try to be understanding and patient when approaching him.

    im not sure what to tell u on whether to leave or not. i dont have thatmuch knowledge, do put ur question forward to islamqa website, or u go and ask the local imam urself if u trust them to be good and knowledgeable, and tell them to advice ur husband perhaps.

    i know ur going through a hard time, it must be very tough for u 🙁 i hope everything goes well for u sister, take care 🙂

  2. Yes, I agree that you should go to masjid or Imam and search for the answer. Although many maulanas say they r knowledgeable but they are not. So go to someone who is trustworthy. and ask them. I think here even these web advisors will also help you soon. And we do not know if they are still in Nikaah or not. And may be on which conditions u did ur nikaah. Like even they r separated and not divorced and u had this condition that they will remain separate and wont be in relation or wasnt that cleared before. There are some conditions set privious to marriage contract many time. Did you have any. And why dont you involve your or his family into this matter. The one who can handle this, not who can provoke everything. Seek their knowledge and advise and soon ask them to come and talk to your husband as well. He has to change sometihngs but you also have to accept somethings. So, let us know are they divorcee or not and did u or your parents put any conditions prior to marriage or not.

  3. dont let the ex break your marriage. be strong like you have been. if theres anyone that need to go its the Ex and you know it. ( of course this is all on the presumtion that they are divorced)

  4. Salaams,

    A husband has no responsibilities to an ex wife at all, after the iddah is complete. The only responsibility a father would have would be toward his children, so in most cases where the children are living with their mother the father (ex husband) would have to have some interaction with her as needed to carry out his responsibilities.

    However, in the sitatuation you described this is not the case. From what you are saying, the children are not even in the mother's (ex wife) custody, but with her mother -their grandmother. You say that social services is not willing to reunify them with her until she completes her case plan, which by your view she is not even working toward. This has been the case for 6 years, as you say, and all this time she continues to meddle in your current marriage.

    Sister, clearly the ex wife has her priorities all backwards. She should be putting all her effort and energy into her kids, and nothing else. She has no valid reason to be dealing with your husband (her ex) since the kids are not with him and he is no way involved with the whole social services issue. In my view, a stand-up brother would cut her off each time she over-steps the bounds, and I have to question your husband's reluctance to do the same. It seems like a glaring lack of commitment to his marriage with you, and that's a serious problem. He should not be spending any time alone with her, or having any private conversations with her. If he wants to see his children, it seems he should be speaking with the grandmother who is actually caring for them and NOT her.

    Contrary to what he is telling you, no reputable imam is going to tell him to support his ex wife in any way over his duties to keep adab for the sake of his marriage to you. I personally think you need to give him an ultimatum: he agrees to cut all contact with her and work on fostering his relationship with his kids through the grandmother only. If he does not agree, or initially agrees but then violates it in action, I would seriously consider leaving the relationship if I were you. You said you've been going through this for 5 years and are halfway out the door now, and truly I think that if his marriage with you mattered this request (aside from it being the halal choice) could never be too much to ask. No one should have to put up with drama like this. Your husband is supposed to be protecting your bond and connection, but by entertaining her drama he is only threatening and destroying the trust your marriage was built on.

    As a side note, if you are able to work things out I think it would not hurt to look into options of having social services place the children with their biological father (in other words, with you guys), and go ahead and move toward terminating the mother's rights altogether. Most states in the US would already be considering that option after a parent neglects to fulfill a case plan after 6 years. Usually the other biological parent is the ideal choice for the children to grow up with, unless they too have some serious deficits in character or behavior that would put the children in jeopardy. If you were able to get them and have her rights terminated, she would legally be barred from being in your lives altogether.

    -Amy Editor

  5. Wa'alaykumsalam Lahlah,

    Amy has given good advice on your issue regarding your husband's ex's interference in your married life.

    But I think that you brought up another point which needs consideration, i,e. When you said and I quote "I can't give my hubby children. He recently told me I'm jealous that him and his ex have children. What he doesn't get is, I accepted that I can't have children long before him, everything happens for a reason right "

    This statement implies that you can never bear children, probably due to infertility or etc. Is this true ?

    If yes then there are some points to ponder on:-

    1) Have you ever thought of your husband reconciling with his ex and being in a polygamous marriage ? If you can accept it then good for you, but if its unacceptable then you may leave him.

    2) If you leave him, it may well be difficult to find another potential partner, due to your problem.

    3) If your husband is doing his Islamic rights as a husband and keeping you happy, I really wouldn't advice leaving him instead accepting point 1.

    Talk to your husband clamly and explain to him of your hurt feelings. Tell him he needs to cease contact with his ex. If he does, well good. If not, then plan well. It may be that you are overthinking. Ask Allah to help you. Have patience first of all and do your Islamic duties. I would say pray salat al isthikhara IF you're planing on leaving him. Insha'Allah you'll be out of your problems.

    • Salaams,

      One thing I would like to mention based off of your advice-- it may not be a good option for the man to reconcile with the ex for the sake of having children the poster cannot have. For one, the children they already had together cannot even be in her care per social services. With that being the case, if this were to hypothetically happen and they did conceive another child...that child as well would be taken from their care until she completes her case plan. So this solution really wouldn't give him the opportunity to access his Islamic right to having children.

      However, if he were to marry another woman (a new one altogether), this could be a solution to that particular issue.

      -Amy Editor

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