What to Do When I Asked for a Divorce but Was Accused as the Wrongdoer?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

My marital life has been problematic for almost eight years. I was so hurt by the way my husband had treated me. He didn’t care about me; I just longed for love and attention. I asked for a separation. At the same time, I met a male friend with whom I shared my problems and started feeling close to him. I felt guilty about it and hid it from my spouse, and I repent for this friendship.

My spouse found out; everyone thinks this man is why I asked for a divorce. No one sees my husband’s faults in the marriage. They say I have committed an enormity. I do regret the friendship, and I apologized. Please guide me on what to do.

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah make this matter easy for you, and may you make the right decision regarding your life and marriage.

Separation

Seeking a separation from your husband is permissible but one of the most hated of the permissible things by Allah Most High. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us, “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce.” [Ibn Maja]

I cannot tell you what to do, but I encourage you to make it a last resort. Have you tried marital counseling? Have you spoken to a counselor alone yourself? Have you tried reading books on healing marriage? Have you taken a course to learn your obligations and rights? There are many resources out there, and you are not alone. Personally, it sounds to me like your marriage needs work, not a divorce. I don’t know the whole story, but please try everything else first, including Istikhara, the prayer of seeking guidance.

Male friend

Your family is correct that it is not right to go to a male friend or even have a close male friend as a shoulder to cry on. I recommend you end that friendship and follow gender interaction limits if you haven’t already. This will bring about Allah’s good pleasure and blessings in your life. You don’t need to apologize again for what you have done. Apologizing to your husband and in-laws once is sufficient, and you should firmly tell them that you have moved on and wish to leave that mistake in the past. Don’t worry if they don’t believe you; convincing them is not your job.

Turn to Allah

Turn your attention to building your relationship with Allah.  Pray on time, cover yourself correctly, read Quran every day and memorize some. Read books about the great Muslim personalities of the past, and get in the habit of supplication before dawn and on the last hour of Friday when dua is answered. Seek all help through Him, and ask Allah that you and your husband open your hearts toward each other.

Course Suggestions:
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage
Making Love Last: Prophetic Principles for a Successful Marriage

Answer Suggestions:
Istikhara Prayer
Prayer of Need (Salat al-Haja)
I Don’t Have Any Feelings for My Wife. What Can I Do?
Love, Marriage, and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered

Book Suggestions:
Chapman, G: Five Love Languages Revised Edition
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
Handbook of a Healthy Muslim Marriage

Article Suggestions:
What Makes A Marriage Work – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

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.