Monday, August 21, 2006

The Past couple of days I have been in and out of the Imam's office. One day with my mom, the next with my husband, and the next with my sis-in-law. Masha Allah! Masha Allah! Masha Allah! I couldn't have asked for a better Imam to help me with my situation. Not only is he a learned sheikh, but he is also a psychologist and has 2 phd's. What is better than someone with knowledge of the deen who also understands human emotions? What a combo? Masha Allah he has helped a lot. Right now he has refused my request for a khul because I told him that masha Allah my husband is very just (3adl). I told him that it is not my husband, that it is me. I am the one who cannot handle this. He explained to me that none of the mothers' of the believers had asked for their husbands to divorce their other wives because they knew this was haram. He also reminded me that asking for a divorce without a valid reason would make the sent of Jannah forbidden to me. He said it in a nicer way of course. I told him that I am not asking my husband to divorce her and that I am asking him to divorce me. My husband insisted that he did not want a divorce and he said very praiseworthy things about me. The imam also complimented me to my husband and told him that if he gave me up he would be crazy. He did explain to him that because the responsibility of raising 4 girls in this country was a huuuuuuuge responsibility that he had to be involved in their lives 100%. He said that he cannot and I cannot ask him to divorce his wife (although it was not wise, but it's done) but that he could make it to where it is more acceptable to me. I told him that nothing would change my mind, but then he offered me this.....He asked my husband to give me 4 days out of the week and her 3 days. They said that the 4th day would be for the kids. That doesn't mean that I couldn't be there, but that it would compensate for all of the time I have to share my time with children. He said that she doesn't have any kids with him and that she should be understanding. He also suggested that I take the 4 days together instead of doing it every other day like we are. It makes sense because it would offer more stability in the home. I was stubborn and said no and the sheikh asked me to come in the next day with my sis-in-law to talk and he would convince me about it. I went and that's what he did. He told me that it is his observation that my husband loves me very much, but that she is offering him something that he cannot give up easily, but that once he is done getting his benefit that he will get tired and come back. He told me that I need to lose the temper (go figure) and that my husband made a mistake and doesn't know how to get out and he doesn't want to fix a mistake with another mistake (being unjust to her). Anyways he said all the things I needed to hear.....even if they aren't true I wanted to hear them. Therapists do that!!!! Anyways he asked me to try the four days thing for a month and if I am still not happy then come to him and he will handle my affairs. I agreed and then he asked to meet with my husband today for 15 minutes to discuss our decision. Anyways this morning I was talking to my husband and he told me that he discussed the extra day thing with Lisa and she said that instead of that she didn't mind him taking the kids on one of her days. I said, "In her dreams. NO WAY! That will never happen so tell her to keep dreaming." He got my answer to that suggestion. I called the Imam and told him and he said no that that is unacceptable. He went on to say that the children belong with their mother and that they do not need to go there. He of course meant that if I didn't agree with it then it was not necessary. Anyways he wants to speak to me and to her and I am going to take him up on that. I need to let my feelings out. We'll see what happens when he speaks to my husband insha Allah. Anyways the kids started school so that's the high point of the week. YAAAAAY!!!!


mizazeez said...

assalaamu ^alayki ya habeebtee. subhanAllah, i had no idea that things were at the condition that they are that you are at the point of asking for a khula'. my heart aches for you sister. while i don't know exactly what you are going through, i can tell you that i went through the same emotions when my hubby first remarried. i too seriously considered divorce and didn't feel like i could handle him being married to a woman who i had a history of fitnah with. my wanting a divorce was not based on my husband being had absolutely nothing to do with him and everything to do with me and what i truly believed i could not handle. the difference between your situation and mine was that i was able to sort through all of these feeling before my husband got remarried. i was given that time to cope beforehand. i was able to be angry,to scream, to cry, to be sad, to feel betrayed, to question the future of my marriage. i didn't suppress these feelings. i laid them bare. and then...after some time of pure reacting, of pure feeling without any restraint (ok, limited restraint) i began to actually deal with my situation. not deal in the sense of just "tolerate" the new addition to my life, but "deal" in the sense of get outside naseehah (i.e. that of my wali and sisters), looking at things from a less subjective angle. i guess what i'm trying to say is i was able to get past the emotional, reactive phase because i had time to simply be in that phase. with you, it seems like you are just now going through all of this, you are just now allowing yourself to release and react. you were robbed of this pre-polygyny coping time, partially by your own doing in an attempt to practice sabr with your situation (and may Allah reward you for that) and partially by your husband and co-wife who got married behind your back and then sprung it on you a month later.

ukhti, i don't want you to take this as me telling you to remain unhappy because it is not. but i do want to say that please don't make any decisions in haste. if i had done so, i would have been divorced now, however, alhamdulillah, after allowing myself to feel and then cope with my situation, by the will of Allah, Allah removed the hardship of dealing with my situation from me and brought ease to my heart and mind. wallahi, i tell you if it were not for Allah i would not be where i am at today. one night i prayed istikhara and i asked Allah that if my being in a polygynous marriage was what is best for me than to give me the strength to deal with it, but if it was not what is best for me then to remove me from the situation. and subhanAllah the next morning i woke up and it was like angels has opened up my heart while i was sleeping and just removed all the doubt, all the sadness, all the pain, all the anger. and it was if Allah had brought a new clarity to my mind regarding the situation.

now that i'm sharing that with you, i think you should pray istikhara about your situation insha'Allah. especially before you make any definitive decision regarding getting a khula'. anyway, i've written a novel. let me stop hogging up all the comment space. i love you ukhti and you are in my duaa as always. and i second what ummabdur-rahmaan said..if you need to talk, email me. i will even give you my number.

wassalaamu ^alayki wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu.

peacefulmuslimah said...

Salaam Alaikum,

I have several alarms going off in my head about this -- although I know that the imam told you what you wnat to hear. I will speak very honestly here and insha'Allh you will understand that I am doing so in good faith and do not mean to hurt you.

First of all, I see that you are still in a mindset to be competitive with your husband's other wife and "winning" the war over him. That seems terribly unhealthy to me and something that would concern me regarding the day of judgment. You see victory in getting one extra day a week -- THROUGH YOUR CHILDREN, I might add -- and that just doesn't seem fair. I am not saying that you need to be concerned about fairness to her per se, but how would you feel if the imam had told him he didn't need to be fair to you and give you less than half of his nights. I think it is wrong, plain and simple. If SHE decided to give up her time that is one thing, but for someone to declare it to be Islamically just -- when all interpretations of Quran and Sunnah go against it -- disturbs me. What will you do if he has a child with her and then she uses that child to jockey for extra nights with him?

Secondly, I am wondering what this imam thinks he knows about your husband and his other wife that he feels free to speak against her to you. By saying that your husband will tire of her and return to you, he is taking sides in the issue. Isn't she a Muslim, too? Does this imam really think it is fair to treat another sister in this regard -- disrespecting her marriage to her husband? I am personally shocked that any imam would show such blatant bias towards one muslimah without consideration for the well-being of another.

And lastly, I would beg to differ with your pronouncement that "Therapists tell you what you want to hear." Therapists are trained professionals who will listen and perhaps advise you in a manner that will help you to resolve your problems. That DOES NOT always mean telling you what you want to hear. You don't need to pay or consult a therapist just to tell you what you want to hear. Usually best friend will overlook your faults and offer the same services for free and without having to make an appointment.

Salaam Alaikum,

Our Rewards Await Us said...

assalaamu alaikum,

Ya ukhti, my heart aches for you. I pray that Allah gives you comfort and eases your heart. As sister Mizazeez says, if you haven't prayed istikhara, do so. It is amazing the way Allah shows us the way when we seek his guidance. I remember praying it about whether I should stay with my husband when I first found out about his other wife. I was so distraught and angry and betrayed and crying all the time, but after I prayed it, I woke up the next day and felt a great comfort in my mind and my heart. That's not to say that I've had great pleasure in my situation (as you well know from my ramblings), but I was given the strength to realize that I shouldn't give up on my marriage and my life with my husband because of this trial. Insha'Allah you will get comfort from Allah's guidance too.

vena said...

Wow Peaceful Muslimah you are absolutly right. Jazaki Allah khair for you input and advice and I totally agree with what you have said. I do need the extra help with the children though so I will consult with her insha Allah and ask her to please allow me to have the extra day and if she has children by him then she can have it back if she would like. If she doesn't agree then that is her right and I do not want to take that from anyone. And miazazeez you are also right in that I didn't have a pre-coping period so my emotions are all confused. Let's not forget to mention that it's that "Time of the month" LOL! Everytime around this time of the month I want to divorce my husband. Go figure why divorce is not in the hands of the woman especially at that time ;) Sisters I have prayed istikhara and when Idid I felt good, but I think because she and I are having a rocky time together it is making me feel worse. When we were friends I didn't feel bad at all. The three of us used to do things together. I used to drop them off at their house and then go to mine. I used to let him sit in the back with her while I drove the car. I didn't have a problem then so why do I now? Maybe because I feel left out. lol.

mizazeez said...

"The three of us used to do things together. I used to drop them off at their house and then go to mine. I used to let him sit in the back with her while I drove the car."

okay, WOW!!! masha'Allah!!! now i know a lot of sisters are under the impression that i am strong, but i don't think i could do what is mentioned above. may Allah reward you sister. but a little bit more naseehah from your sister...seeing the emotional duress you are going through right now, it might be best that you keep your time with your husband exclusively yours and her time with hubby be exclusively their time. in other words, no more chauferring the happy couple around, regardless of whose day/night it is. you need time to focus on you and on your relationship with your husband devoid of any unnecessary interference from the co-wife.

wow, i'm still in!!!

Musleema said...

Aww,masha'allah, you seem to love your husband and despite the extra wife seem to be in it for the long run, inshallah. even though you're stressed and maybe a little depressed with your current state try and watch the temper, cause gaurding whats between the lips is mandatory. Pray on time and stand at night to bring your concerns to Allah and ask Him for whatever it is that you really want, and don't forget everything is possible with Allah's aid.

Relief said...

Salamu alaykum,

I agree with Peaceful Muslimah in that it is not fair to get an extra day because you have kids with him and he does not. If the cowife agrees to give up the day that is one thing but if not then c'est la vie. Also she is offering to take the kids on one of her days - say al hamdulilaah unless you don't want a free babysitter. I wish someone, anyone would offer to take my kids on any day to give me a chance to relax and chill.

Also it is not good that the iman told you that your husband will soon tire of her and return to you - unless your husband told him this then how does he know. And if he did tell him this then that is not something to tell a spouse as hearts can change. I really don't like some of the advice this iman is giving. I do like that he advised you not to seek a divorce for an invalid reason.

May Allah make it easy for you and give you patience. Ameen.

Our Rewards Await Us said...

"The three of us used to do things together. I used to drop them off at their house and then go to mine. I used to let him sit in the back with her while I drove the car."

Assalaamu alaikum! I agree with mizazeez...even though the three of us used to do things together, there is no way I could ever deal with driving them around in the back seat! It used to irritate me when my hubby would playfully tickle her when she was riding up front with him and me in the back. I have found that the best thing for me has been to get away from being around them together (as is evident from my writings...being around her brings out the worst in me) focus just on you and him during your time together. Three is a crowd, right?

vena said...

I don't understand why your husband insists on all of you being pals (Our Reward Awaits Us. Why is that???

Our Rewards Await Us said...

I don't know...he has this idea in his head that he wanted us to big one big happy family in one home...that obviously didn't work.