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In the Name of God بسم الله

What to do when your spouse changes?

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Usually spouses either grow together or grow apart. If they are growing apart, it might be worth investigating why. Are they really listening to each other? Ate they interested in each other's ideas, thoughts, and feelings? Do they work together toward common goals? 

But sometimes everyone does everything right and people still grow apart. In most cases they need to work through their differences. Sometimes, rarely, divorce might be a good option. 

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This can be avoided by choosing a spouse that shares the same absolute core values as yourself, if things still go south then just bear it.

Remember everyone’s tribulation comes differently, you can ask an even more deafening question; what if I marry the woman of my dreams to only have her die at the peak of our honeymoon?

These matters are of the unknown future, to prepare for any such calamity equip yourself with the advice of Epictetus: 

“Never say of anything, 'I lost it', but say, 'I gave it back'. Has your child died? It was given back. Has your wife died? She was given back. Has your estate been taken from you? Was not this also given back? But you say, 'He who took it from me is wicked'. What does it matter to you through whom the Giver asked it back? As long as He gives it you, take care of it, but not as your own; treat it as passers-by treat an inn.”

—Epictetus

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If you been married for 5 years you will realize that after you have kids your priorities change. As long as views do not change on fundamentals of Islam I would say do talk about it but do not press too hard for conformity.

Not all of us get we dream of but we have to make the best what we have else we are only left to regret.

Moral of the story compromise as long as it does not hurt your deen that should be only red line no one should be allowed to cross.

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47 minutes ago, notme said:

But sometimes everyone does everything right and people still grow apart.

Become different people than whom they married, from what l read about 3 decades ago.

The article was on "retirement divorces".

Leaving out the one example l remember the article had, the theme was that soon after 'he' retired, they could no longer get along when before they had a routine. He went along with things, she went along with other things. Then after retirement(s) they only go along with the old routines and then those fade away.

Neither to the other was 'who' they married.

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2 hours ago, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

السلام عليكم

People change. What happens when you’ve been married for years and then your spouse’s views change? Perhaps about Hijab, clothes, Praying, etc. What happens then?

Assuming that the spouse is a female.

People go through phases. The last thing we want is to make our spouse feel that they are being judged or burdened by our expectations. This does not mean that there is no room to talk about this issue. We have to find the right opportunity to address our concern in a way that makes them feel supported by us. Stress that we want to help them gain the motivation and enthusiasm they once had. Sometimes, we inadvertently do something that affects them in a way that they no longer feel inspired by us. That may be an area worth exploring and letting them know that we are willing to listen and address an issue of this sort.

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You have the same duty toward your spouse, in regards to Amr Bil Maroof wa Nahiyaa Al Munkhar (enjoinging good and forbidding evil) as you do to any other muslima / mumina. You can talk to her, explain to her, try to reason with her about the issue, bring up hadith, etc. That is the extent of it, you can't force them. The exception is 'fahishat', i.e. indecent acts done in public, and the punishment for that is to confine her to her house. In modern times, 'coffining her to her house', in most cases means divorce since holding her in her house in most countries is against the law and she could easily go to the police and say 'My husband is holding me as a prisoner' and the husband would be arrested. So this is interpreted as divorce. 

What is considered 'indecency' varies from society to society. In some societies 'idecency' or lewdness means going out in public without hijab. That is not really that common anymore but it still exists in some places. I live in the US, so a women going out in public without hijab is considered 'normal' by the general society and is not considered lewd in any way. That does not change the fact that it is a sin, and against the teachings of Ahl Al Bayt((عليه السلام)), but it is not considered 'fashisha' in the US, Europe, etc. If you live in the US / Europe / UK and your wife takes off her hijab, you should do Amr bil Maroof... but divorce based on this alone would be problematic, based on what I know. Now if she, for example, committed adultry (considered lewd or indecent in all societies) or was seen touching non mahrams in an inappropriate way, started dressing in a way that was not considered normal in the society (like walking around in a bikini) or took a job that involved doing this, then yes, this would be considered 'fahishat' and would be grounds for divorce. 

Any disobedience short of 'fahisha', the remedy is Amr Bil Maroof... and patience. She might realize the error of her ways and change. Anything that crosses the line into fahisha, divorce is the best option. There is never an excuse to get physical / beat your wife. Period. 

All this can be applied to the reverse case, when the husband has changed. If his actions have reached a level where they are putting the reputation or the physical safety of the family / wife in jeopardy in a real (not an imagined, theoretical) way, then divorce is the only option. Otherwise, Amr bil Maroof... and patience is the option. 

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On 3/4/2021 at 7:20 PM, Ibn Al-Shahid said:

People change. What happens when you’ve been married for years and then your spouse’s views change? Perhaps about Hijab, clothes, Praying, etc. What happens then?

Salam Brother

I'm not married but here is my opinion.

People can have positive or negative changes in them. No one can be changed overnight...it takes time. So basically if you are noticing a change in your partner maybe you should figure out where He/she is spending their most time with... what's their activities nowadays...are you giving them enough attention... maybe a talk wouldn't be that bad but if you stay humble and deal this matter with a lot of patience. I personally think your opinions are always in change...my opinion about Islam has changed with time... I used to be bold but after I learned more about Islam I started to apply those rules on my life... that's an example...but not everyone's brain works the same way. Many people around me felt that change in me but they were quite tolerating and supportive. Now it depends how you see that, a positive change can be negative for you and vise versa. My definition...as long as the change is in the boundaries of Islam it's fine and if you are not okay with it...then the Problem is in you.

Reading these kinds of threads scares me to never get married lol 

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4 hours ago, Ain-Al Hayat said:

People can have positive or negative changes in them.

Fundamental personality characteristics about never change, but attitudes and outlooks do change.

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