How Can I Save My Marriage after My Wife Found My Licentious Messages to Other Women?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

A year and a half ago, my wife got pregnant and since then we lived a lot of time apart as she was at her family’s home. I gave in to my sexual frustrations, I started virtual chats with girls online without the intention of ever meeting them, but there were sinful talks and exchanges of explicit pictures and videos. I never actually fornicated. This Ramadan, I indulged in these talks once or twice times after iftar and my wife found them and wants to take our daughter and leave me.

Does this amount to adultery, how can I ask for forgiveness from Allah and become a better Muslim, and how do I pick up myself after this?

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah turn to you in the way that you desire to turn to Him and may you transform fully such that you never approach these things again.

Repentance

The first step is repentance. You must repent for these sins, and fulfill its conditions. You must leave the sin, regret it, and never return to it. Allah Most His is overjoyed at the repentance of the believer and you should never despair over your sins.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us, “Verily, Allah is more pleased with the repentance of His slave than a person who has his camel in a waterless desert carrying his provision of food and drink and it is lost. He, having lost all hopes (to get that back), lies down in shade and is disappointed about his camel; when all of a sudden he finds that camel standing before him. He takes hold of its reins and then out of boundless joy blurts out: ‘O Allah, You are my slave and I am Your Rabb.’ He commits this mistake out of extreme joy.” [Muslim]

Please see the details of tawba here:
The Conditions Of Repentance
Is Repentance Always Accepted?

Adultery

Your sin does not fall under the enormity of adultery, because your relationships were online. However, this was an act of unfaithfulness. I know that it seems that your marriage will never repair itself, but there is still hope, and you can’t give up.

Try these tips:

  • Explain to her what happened with the messages she saw (not the ones she didn’t see). Be truthful and tell her that her absence was difficult, and you weren’t able to restrain yourself;
  • Apologize;
  • Tell her sincerely that you have stopped now, and you must;
  • Ask her to give you a second chance;
  • Ask her to pray istikhara on the matter, and you pray it as well;
  • Consult a counsellor and a local scholar or imam to help you both;
  • Take measures to bond with her and reconnect, such as praying together;
  • If she gets pregnant, have her stay with you as much as possible. Hire help if necessary;
  • Please take a course on marriage to better understand your roles toward each other.

Transform

Please use these events in your life for full introspection and for using this opportunity to change. Allah is ready for the believer to turn to Him, and when He wishes goodness for Him, he gives him understanding of the religion, as our Prophet told us, (Allah bless him and give him peace). Don’t miss prayers, gain Sacred knowledge, read Quran daily with the meaning and memorize some, and make your household revolve around Allah and His messenger, eliminating the haram and the disliked (makruh) from your life.

Please see these answers as well:
Cheating Husband
Is There a Prayer to Save My Marriage?
Is There a Supplication for Saving My Marriage?

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.