No matter how frustrated, exasperated, angry, and resentful you feel towards your spouse, and no matter how tired, stressed, and hopeless you feel in ever getting along and having peace, divorce is NOT an easy escape route to something better. Rather, it is the official burial process of something that is completely, undeniably, and without any doubt, DEAD.
When you consider divorce, you are, in essence, acknowledging that what once was (or perhaps what you thought could have been) can NEVER BE.
It is the realisation that the marriage corpse, which may have been kept frozen for some time during the cold war between you and your spouse, is now utterly exposed and rotting; and thus needs to be buried once and for all.
So, before you rush to thinking divorce is the solution to your problems, sit with yourself and ask…
Is there *any* life yet remaining in this marriage? 2. When I think of my spouse, do I yearn for his/her affection? 3. When they call or text, do I pray they have something nice or positive to say? 4. When we argue, do I wish I could go back and take it all away? 5. When I see my future, can I imagine life without him/her? 6. If I had things my way, would I be with him/her or someone else? 7. When I go somewhere without him/her do I feel empty and lonely? 8. Do I wish I could be the person that makes him/her happy and proud to be by my side? 9. Are the problems between us really between us or are they external issues or people that keep coming between us? 10. If there was a way or a person that I could go to that I had certainty could fix my marriage, would I even bother?
Chances are, like most couples who are struggling, you’re not yet ready to divorce, but when things get too much, that seems to be the only solution in your mind. There’s a reason for that. His name is Iblis. He will do everything to tear you down and rip your marriage and family to shreds. One of his favourite tactics is to make you hopeless.
When you’re down and sad or upset, he’ll come to remind you of *only* the negative qualities of your spouse. He’ll magnify all of the past arguments, shouting matches, threats, allegations, accusations, harsh words, insults, etc. so that that is ALL you see.
He’s never going to remind you of the times your spouse…
held you lovingly, comforted you, prayed by your side, cared for you when you were sick, offered to help you with a task, prepared suhoor for you, travelled with you to a new and exciting place, placed a date in your mouth when it was time to break fast, honoured your parents, complimented you in front of your friends or family, surprised you with a gift, cooked your favourite meal, sent you a nice and loving message, took you out for your birthday or anniversary, encouraged you when you had your “big idea,” believed in you when you didn’t believe in yourself, put that blanket over you when you were cold, bought you something you once said you liked in passing, left you the last piece because it was your favourite, stood up for you when you felt slighted by someone, drove you to the ER or doctor when you needed emergency care, dropped you off and picked you up from the airport in bad weather so you didn’t have to deal with the inconvenience, consoled you when you had a major loss, promised you things would be better and fulfilled their promise…
When you’re struggling in your marriage, it’s not a sign that you should quit and give up. Rather, it’s an opportunity to show how much you’re willing to fight for something, for someone. The task before you is to prove whether or not you’re willing to make the compromises necessary to please God.
Are you willing to fight against your own ego for God? Are you willing to set aside your pride and admit your shortcomings? Are you willing to work towards a healthy and mutually respectful union, or are you only concerned with getting your way? Are you willing to actually do the hard work and fight for your family or would you rather run because it’s easier (so you think)?
Divorce is always an option, but make sure there’s no pulse before you grab the shovel. Because pulling the plug too soon is akin to burying something that’s still alive, and that’s not something light and without consequence. God is Ever-Watchful; He is the All-Seeing, All-Hearing, and He knows well why we do what we do. And He absolutely *will* hold us to account for our choices. Whether that happens in this world or the next is not something we have any control over! Allahu musta’an!
May Allah ﷻ protect us from ourselves and from the attacks of shaitan. May He fortify our marriages and envelop our families with love and mercy. Amin.
P.S. If you’re having marital problems, the longer you wait to seek professional help, the longer your misery will continue, and the harder your problems will be to resolve. Seek professional help now with a licensed therapist. You cannot will your problems away or expect them to just resolve on their own.
Sr. Hosai Mojaddidi has served the American-Muslim community for over 20 years as a spiritual advisor, mental health advocate, writer/editor, mediator, interfaith organizer, and public speaker, covering a variety of topics including women’s issues, marriage/family, youth/teen issues, education, self-development, interfaith bridge building, mental health, and spirituality, etc.
For over 20 years I've had the honour of serving the Muslim communities in the greater Bay Area and Orange County/LA areas as an organizer, teacher, spiritual counselor, mentor, and mental health advocate. Seven years after launching Mental Health for Muslims with Dr. Nafisa Sekandari, I am now teaching classes once a month at Ta'leef for women, as well as offering workshops and other talks to Islamic schools and masajids for the greater community. I continue to write regularly on Facebook and for other publications and have many exciting projects to look forward to ahead! http://hosaimojaddidi.com/