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In the Name of God بسم الله

Question for those with a history of divorce

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coldcow

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What wisdom can you impart on those of us seeking marriage?  Like, what should you have been more aware of prior to entering your marriage?  What do you wish you had done differently?  Did you rush into the marriage?  Or out of it?  Was it the big things that led to the divorce?  Or a lot of little things?  If you got married/divorced at a young age, do you think marriage with the same person at an older age, with more maturity, would've had a different result?

Whatever it is, drop your knowledge on me.  Especially looking to hear from the ladies so I can be a better husband one day.

If you don't feel comfortable sharing in public, then I'd be happy to receive your private message.  But if you do share in public, then perhaps others may learn as well

Thanks

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Can't edit the above post.

Other questions:

What did you think was a big deal before marriage that ended up being not such a big deal?
What did you not think was a big deal before marriage that ended up being a big deal?
How early did you get your family involved?  Was that good or bad?

Please just whatever you think can help us avoid a divorce, I'm all ears.

Thanks.

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Do not, under any circumstances, ignore the red flags! 

Choose with your mind, not with your emotions. 

Go slow, but don't miss your opportunity. 

It's better to be alone than with a person you do not respect. 

Avoid Prince/Princess Charming. You're looking for Prince/Princess Tolerable. Marry someone who is your friend, who you would want as a housemate and pal if they were the same gender as you. Don't be blinded by beauty, intelligence, money, charm; know your weaknesses and watch for them. 

Most importantly though, those red flags. 

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1 hour ago, Uni Student said:

What are the main ones? I always see people mentioning  red flags without examples lol

Corporal punishment, spanking children doesn't teach them anything except fear and lying to their parents/elders. A sign of a lazy and abusive parent, I despise such people.

Lying, why would anyone want to marry a liar. If they lie about little things, they can lie about drug habits, money or loving you.

Acting "outwardly" religious,  it is a not a popularity contest. Keyword: Acting. Don't act, be religious.

Verbal, emotionial and physical abuse. It is self-explainatory, it is not love or respect; It never will be.

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On 12/29/2021 at 11:48 PM, coldcow said:

 

Please just whatever you think can help us avoid a divorce, I'm all ears.

 

One of the most dangerous things that I believe leads to a lot of toxic marriages and ends up in messy divorces, is the fact that people are so keen on avoiding a divorce, they would rather:

- cheat on their spouse instead

- accept dangerous levels of toxicity

- live in denial about a marriage that has ended or never actually started

- expose their mutual children to a toxic marriage than amicably parting ways.

 

One should do their best to seek a compatible marriage, and work on giving their best to the relationship, be loyal and dutiful, seek marital counselling where necessary BUT know and accept when it is time to walk out, and do so in the most amicable manner possible in the way the Qur'an asks us to "wa laa tansawl fadhla baynakum" and do not forget your favours/goodness upon each other. It is time that, as Muslims, we accepted what Islam has taught us a marriage is, a CONTRACT, and when the parties are no longer able to provide or get what they entered the contract for, there should be sanity in accepting the continued existence of the contract will only lead to further breaches of the contract. 
This perception will also help parties make wiser decisions when entering a marriage: What am i able to offer the other party in this contract? From what I can apparently see/observe/discern before marrying them, am I able to get what I need from this marriage i.e are they able to provide what I need in a marriage? Unfortunately, because of some media driven perceptions of marriage and subconscious till death do us part notions, a lot of Muslims have dragged their marital contracts (and often children) to hell and back before taking the Islamic way out: an amicable divorce, and more often than not, engaging in a very unislamic divorce.

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3 hours ago, ummulbaneen said:

One of the most dangerous things that I believe leads to a lot of toxic marriages and ends up in messy divorces, is the fact that people are so keen on avoiding a divorce, they would rather:

- cheat on their spouse instead

- accept dangerous levels of toxicity

- live in denial about a marriage that has ended or never actually started

- expose their mutual children to a toxic marriage than amicably parting ways.

Good advice.  I think that's true.  Unfortunately I think the reason I'm still single is because I wanted to avoid divorce so much that I over thought a lot of potential spouses.  I'm actually a little more ok with the idea of a divorce at this point.  But it is still something where I think it's best to try and learn from others as much as possible.

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Salam, something interesting I learned is that Iman is not enough. The person has to have Iman AND akhlaq or it doesn't count for anything. I was engaged to a person who 100% was religious, but their poor akhlaq and poor hikma made them a bad match.

The khawarij were so religious that their foreheads would bleed from how much they bowed to Allah, and they would fast every day and the only thing that would come out of their mouth was the Quran. But at the same time, they pointed the sword at Imam Ali s.a

So in addition to watching out for people who are only outwardly religious, don't let your guard down if they actually are.

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On 1/2/2022 at 12:12 AM, 313_Waiter said:

Are there signs peculiar to men and others in women? If one even gets the slightest of signs should they run?

The best advice I’ve come across is ‘Marry someone for who they are, not the potential you see in them’.

The hardest lesson I learned is that we can’t ‘guide’ someone towards a better path. Only Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) is capable of this. 

Allah guides to His light whom He pleases (24:35)

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20 hours ago, coldcow said:

Can you explain?

Akhlaq is how you treat people, Hikma is how you act. If you cause people pain and do very foolish things then what good is your Iman? 

There are narrations that essentially say good Akhlaq will compensate for a deficiency in Iman on Judgement Day, but I haven't heard of a hadith that says the other way around.

Look at it this way: If you regularly attend class you have Iman, if you pay attention and learn the lessons you have Hikma, if you apply these lessons you have Akhlaq. What good is someone who just shows up to class and doesn't get anything out of it? There's people who have long beards/wear abaya who are always at the mosque, often read Quran, and never miss a prayer. But at the same time they cause their families pain or make bad life decisions. Such a person will make you miserable if you marry them.

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On 1/2/2022 at 8:05 PM, Guest guarded said:

Akhlaq is how you treat people, Hikma is how you act. If you cause people pain and do very foolish things then what good is your Iman? 

Thanks for the explanation of those terms.  It certainly helps.  But I was asking for specific examples.

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@Shi3atAli1 @notme and others.

I would like to ask a rather difficult question and please forgive me if I sound like 'pulling your leg'.

Was it impossible to get along and adapt with the marital life you got? If yes, why?

I asked this question because divorce in Islam is a dreadful reality, a curse or anything of that level. On the other hand, there is a hadith that a woman who will be patient with her husband will get the rewards equal to thousands of martyrs.

Just think and answer as I really want to get this right. Because muslims should learn the akhlaq and the ways in which they can secure there relationships.

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1 hour ago, Zainuu said:

Was it impossible to get along and adapt with the marital life you got? If yes, why?

My first husband - I was Christian at the time and practicing Christians do not divorce under any circumstances - threatened to harm our children. He's a decent person, but his mental illness was more than I could bear. The prohibition of divorce in Christianity is a part of what drove me toward Islam. But even after the threats, I didn't separate from him. (I was stupid and brainwashed.) His psychiatrist ordered him to leave or she would report him for his threats. After he left, I realized that a life alone was better than a life in miserable marriage, so I divorced him with the intention of never marrying again, as is required according to The Bible. 

My second husband abandoned us. His choice, not mine. 

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1 minute ago, notme said:

My first husband - I was Christian at the time and practicing Christians do not divorce under any circumstances - threatened to harm our children. He's a decent person, but his mental illness was more than I could bear. The prohibition of divorce in Christianity is a part of what drove me toward Islam. But even after the threats, I didn't separate from him. (I was stupid and brainwashed.) His psychiatrist ordered him to leave or she would report him for his threats. After he left, I realized that a life alone was better than a life in miserable marriage, so I divorced him with the intention of never marrying again, as is required according to The Bible. 

My second husband abandoned us. His choice, not mine. 

Im sorry to hear that. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) heal your inner wounds from this and make your life better going forward. 

'practicing Christians do not divorce under any circumstances'. I am assuming here you are talking about the Catholic Church. I was raised Protestant, and the Church definitely allowed divorce, although they tried to do everything possible to keep couples from actually going thru with it. 

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1 minute ago, Abu Hadi said:

I am assuming here you are talking about the Catholic Church. I was raised Protestant, and the Church definitely allowed divorce, although they tried to do everything possible to keep couples from actually going thru with it. 

Evangelical Protestant, (Pentecostal Holiness, specifically) though I was raised Catholic. The Bible is pretty clear: "whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery" etc. (paraphrased from memory but if you need the exact lines I can find them)

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, notme said:

Evangelical Protestant, (Pentecostal Holiness, specifically) though I was raised Catholic. The Bible is pretty clear: "whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery" etc. (paraphrased from memory but if you need the exact lines I can find them)

Different denominations have their different interpretations of that verse. As you know, there are Christian 'literalists' and others who take certain verses as warning or metaphors. Alhamduillah, I don't have to deal with that anymore, because I'm Muslim. Interpreting the Bible, because of the different versions, and history of alterations, is like trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle while you are skydiving. Not fun at all. 

Edited by Abu Hadi
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Salam brother,

On 1/2/2022 at 10:16 PM, Shi3atAli1 said:

The best advice I’ve come across is ‘Marry someone for who they are, not the potential you see in them’.

This is good advice but I do think seeing the potential in someone is important too. It's hard to find all the criteria in someone - for example a man looking for a woman can't expect her be wearing the perfect hijab etc. have amazing akhlaq, be like the perfect Muslimah. Especially if the girl Is young we have to see if the basic framework is there and the potential for them to grow.

But if you're marrying someone who has already passed their twenties and is a  bit old - Yes the possibility for them changing is a bit more slim (although It can happen as Allah can guide anyone). Then we should defs judge them by who they.

Also we have to leave it to Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) after doing our homework. It's possible for us to not spot any red flags and then after we find out something about them. I do think that those who have a bad spouse - it's an opportunity for them to elevate themselves spiritually and it's defs a test.

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On 1/3/2022 at 1:55 PM, Zainuu said:

@Shi3atAli1 @notme and others.

I would like to ask a rather difficult question and please forgive me if I sound like 'pulling your leg'.

Was it impossible to get along and adapt with the marital life you got? If yes, why?

I asked this question because divorce in Islam is a dreadful reality, a curse or anything of that level. On the other hand, there is a hadith that a woman who will be patient with her husband will get the rewards equal to thousands of martyrs.

Just think and answer as I really want to get this right. Because muslims should learn the akhlaq and the ways in which they can secure there relationships.

@Zainuu, the issue you raise is important and timely, and, in my view, warrants a thread on its own. There does appear to be a rise in divorces amongst Muslims living in the West and in the Middle East. It is upsetting, and I do think we as a community should be having more discussions on this. 

The warning signs that I discovered only manifested themselves as we got closer to the wedding. This is a forum read by minors, so I won't go into detail. It is costly to cancel a wedding (the costs of which fell on me), so the decision I took was not taken lightly. 

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On 12/29/2021 at 1:18 PM, coldcow said:

What wisdom can you impart on those of us seeking marriage?  Like, what should you have been more aware of prior to entering your marriage?  What do you wish you had done differently?  Did you rush into the marriage?  Or out of it?  Was it the big things that led to the divorce?  Or a lot of little things?  If you got married/divorced at a young age, do you think marriage with the same person at an older age, with more maturity, would've had a different result?

Whatever it is, drop your knowledge on me.  Especially looking to hear from the ladies so I can be a better husband one day.

If you don't feel comfortable sharing in public, then I'd be happy to receive your private message.  But if you do share in public, then perhaps others may learn as well

Thanks

My suggestion for every man married or planning to get married. Don't ever abuse your wife emotionally or every raise your hands on her. Even jokingly don't, because she might not percieve it as a joke. Don't make your wife "fear" you, because in doing so, she might conceal some important details from you that might cause problems later on in life. No marriage is perfect, quarrels happens, be the one that ends the quarrel respectful & peacefully.

Also remember you'r married to your wife not the inlaws.

she's your wife and your arms should be a place of rest for her. And her arms should be a place of rest for you. You shouldn't be concealing important matters from each other nor have fear to disclose it to each other.

There's some mentality in muslims that they are allowed to abuse their wives if they are doing some wrong action. I didn't however find anything that would commend abusive actions from the ahlul bayt or the prophets. Not even a miswak which some muslims like to mention.

There's a good islamic marriage book I can recommend that discusses many ethics of marriage & family life, by Ibrahim Amini. Only about 130 pages, can be downloaded as pdf.

https://www.al-islam.org/principles-marriage-family-ethics-ibrahim-amini

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Another detail I would like to add is to be careful in following your "role models". My role model was my father in law and I looked up to him a lot. When I lived under same roof I realized he was abusive (mental & physical). Unfortunately having him as role model I consciously and unconsciously copied some of his behaviour thinking what I was doing was right and ok.

Don't just ever be abusive neither physical or mental to your family (wife or kids). This will cause problems either secretly or openly.

Be a Man, stand foryourself and your family(wife & kids). Don't let other people cause troubles in your marriage (inlaws as example).

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Do any of y'all believe that the person you divorced isn't the same person you married?  And if so, do you think they changed?  Or do you think you just didn't know who they truly were when you were married?  If the latter, what do you think would've helped you get to know them better before marriage?  Or were they purposely hiding who they were?

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I don't have an experience in this but I do have that fear too, and I ask the same questions all the time. I'm replying on you latest post here: I heard from my recent divorced friend that his wife isn't the same person who married 10 years ago, she like someone else now, but to be honest your age and your partner age play a huge role in this. like if you are let's say 23 years old and you are marrying a 20 years old (at this time with all the social media fantasies) you're both defiantly should be different 10 years from now. Growing up is part of the journey, but how to stay loyal and fight life together is key for this. I feel communicating with the person you want to marry and being honest about your goals, fears etc... is the main thing in any relationship.   

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On 1/5/2022 at 12:11 AM, Shi3atAli1 said:

@Zainuu, the issue you raise is important and timely, and, in my view, warrants a thread on its own. There does appear to be a rise in divorces amongst Muslims living in the West and in the Middle East. It is upsetting, and I do think we as a community should be having more discussions on this. 

The warning signs that I discovered only manifested themselves as we got closer to the wedding. This is a forum read by minors, so I won't go into detail. It is costly to cancel a wedding (the costs of which fell on me), so the decision I took was not taken lightly. 

I understand that some personal details must remain hidden.

So, from your experience I understand something:

1. Weddings are made expensive and burdensome and therefore breaking a wedding is something a woman (or a man) will think a thousand times before that. Consequently, everything opens up after the marriage and sometimes one is unable to live with that reality. So, weddings must be made so simple and easy that even if a woman doesn't feel right, she can say 'No' even in the last moments before marriage contract.

2. In my opinion, (and I don't know if this arguments fits in your situation) the ability (Quvvat), patience (sabr), endurance and tolerance to get along with what you have and hoping for a good future seems to be missing today.

 

You can correct me if I am wrong.

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On 1/4/2022 at 2:52 AM, notme said:

My first husband - I was Christian at the time and practicing Christians do not divorce under any circumstances - threatened to harm our children. He's a decent person, but his mental illness was more than I could bear. The prohibition of divorce in Christianity is a part of what drove me toward Islam. But even after the threats, I didn't separate from him. (I was stupid and brainwashed.) His psychiatrist ordered him to leave or she would report him for his threats. After he left, I realized that a life alone was better than a life in miserable marriage, so I divorced him with the intention of never marrying again, as is required according to The Bible. 

My second husband abandoned us. His choice, not mine. 

Your life is a roller coaster. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى) grant you peace and ease with your current family.

I am just thinking that sometimes an act like 'divorce' becomes so vital that a person has to change his/her religion for that.

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6 hours ago, coldcow said:

Do any of y'all believe that the person you divorced isn't the same person you married?  And if so, do you think they changed?  Or do you think you just didn't know who they truly were when you were married?  If the latter, what do you think would've helped you get to know them better before marriage?  Or were they purposely hiding who they were?

First marriage, I ignored the warning signs. They were there, but I naively dismissed them. I did not understand the extent of the mental illness. I'm not even sure he really knew. I don't think it was intentional deception. I guess if we had waited longer I might have seen more of his condition, but probably not. You have to live with someone to really know them. 

Second one, he was hiding a lot, but there were still some warning signs, which I again ignored. I was dazzled by his apparent intelligence, and disappointed after marriage to learn that he really wasn't smart at all, and also was not a good person. He was putting on a good act. He was too eager to hurry things along. I should have put the brakes on until I knew him better, then I never would have married him. 

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21 hours ago, Zeebee said:

I don't have an experience in this but I do have that fear too, and I ask the same questions all the time. I'm replying on you latest post here: I heard from my recent divorced friend that his wife isn't the same person who married 10 years ago, she like someone else now, but to be honest your age and your partner age play a huge role in this. like if you are let's say 23 years old and you are marrying a 20 years old (at this time with all the social media fantasies) you're both defiantly should be different 10 years from now. Growing up is part of the journey, but how to stay loyal and fight life together is key for this. I feel communicating with the person you want to marry and being honest about your goals, fears etc... is the main thing in any relationship.   

If they have been with them 10 years and they aren't the same person, logic dictates two things:

1. He had an unrealistic expectation that the person and himself will remain completely unchanged for 10 years? Sounds like a dangerous premise to start with. Change is inevitable in a human, but the change should be positive. Which brings me to point number 2:

2. If he has been her company for 10 years and sees her as a person who has changed for the negative, the likelihood of him being the cause/a contributor towards that change cannot be ignored. 

 

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22 hours ago, coldcow said:

Do any of y'all believe that the person you divorced isn't the same person you married?  And if so, do you think they changed?  Or do you think you just didn't know who they truly were when you were married?  If the latter, what do you think would've helped you get to know them better before marriage?  Or were they purposely hiding who they were?

I think often it is a bit of both, but both these are minor contributors to a divorce. a lot of people remain in relatively successful marriages with people who turned out different from what they thought they were marrying. As for putting up a better impression of their reality, I think one can only know a person well and truly after they start living with them, unless they had the priviledge to observe this person anonymously in their natural settings over a period of time. A lot of people are completely different people at home and in public.

As for the reason for divorces, in my culture, we say "The sustenance/rizq they were meant to eat together ended". And I think that is a very realistic reason for why some divorces happen, because you find some relatively perfect seeming couples suddenly divorcing, or some couples with a really hellish relationship sticking it out to the end. Each person knows what they can and can not stand, and when a person reaches that point, it is often for a relatively/comparatively small reason. I remember this person who told me she had faced violence and abuse for years, as well as cheating and emotional and financial manipulation but the day the man's mother insulted her about being childless and her husband remained silent, that was the breaking point for her. In my mind I was thinking, "your marriage should have ended a long time ago" but I think if that incident had not happened, she may have remained tolerant a lot longer possibly even to the end of her life.

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