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When religion ruins a marriage

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  • When religion ruins a marriage

    Hi all

    This is not a question as such, but I would be interested to read any replies.

    So I married my wife from Bandung in 2007, first with a religious wedding then with an officially recognised wedding later that year.

    She already had a 4 year old daughter and had been divorced for 2 years, we had another child together a year later.

    So for the last 12 years we have had a pretty great relationship, religion has never been an issue, I married her and had to convert to Islam as most expats have to, but never actually follow the religion, just the formallities so we can be with our wives.

    I have never been religious and in my time with my wife, she thankfully also did not practice her religion, no praying, eating pork and drinking with me etc.

    So fast forward 12 years and my Wife`s father passes away, of course she turns to God for helping her deal with the situation, which is ok, then she joins an Islamic religious group who hold weekly prayer meetings, then she ask if she can take her Mum to Umrah, then the frequency of the meetings is 2 and 3 times a week.

    She has completely changed from the fun, funky, sexy girl I met into a totally different person.

    Then this week she announces that I don`t take her religion serious enough, I don`t pray, I don`t love God, so she cant be with me anymore!

    Its like what are you serious, I do believe in God, but just because I don`t pray or follow an organised religion, that suddenly makes me a sinner and she cant be with me because of that!

    Also of course the kids are involved now two girls 17 and 10 who of course have been largely raised in a western household, who are not religious either, and cannot believe Mum`s change or thoughts.

    That`s all really, its just the reality of the fact that if I don`t start praying and following Islam like a true believer, then my wife wants nothing to do with me, she can`t lie with me and we can`t live together.

    I already pointed out that her belief will destroy our marriage and our family, I`m hoping she sees sense and wakes up!

    Cheers A

  • #2
    Hi Hawkind,
    This is just a little bit of my knowledge of Islam, as I am a moslem..
    There is a saying that in Islam, "Suami adalah imam" it means that a husband is a priest" in direct translation but I would not use that translation, but the basic understanding about that is that being a husband in moslem marriage is that you are the bridge as well as the guidance for your wife to heaven, by saying that you have to be the role model in practicing Islam in marriage life because whatever you do in your marriage life will reflect your wife in the eye of Allah.?*
    I will recommend you to speak to a cleric or someone that you think to have a deep knowledge of Islam, to give you a better understanding of being a husband in moslem marriage, not just the religion.


    • #3
      Hawkind , in more than 10 years there was no case like yours in this Forum , so from that I think it is a rare case . In my view , it seems she was influenced by one or more people's advices in a time when she was very vulnerable (I guess it would also happen if she was a Christian/... and had contact with similar Christian/other religion's people) .

      If I was you , I think I would involve the 2 daughters + other relatives to talk to your wife in order to have a reasonable compromise . From my side I would give up drinking alcohol and eating pork (not allowed by Islamic rules) .
      Note : Ease for me to say as I don't drink anyway . But I still suggest you that , for the benefit of your own health .

      I would also suggest you to learn a little about her religion in order to avoid making her mad . For example : in the fasting time I would not eat or drink water when she is around ; adjust you sleeping time for her first prayer of the day very early in the morning ; ...


      From , Aug 2018

      [Even an occasional glass of wine or beer increases the risk of health problems and dying, according to a major study on drinking in 195 nations ... "There is no safe level of alcohol," said Max Griswold, a researcher at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, Washington and lead author for a consortium of more than 500 experts ...
      10 grams of alcohol, equivalent to a small beer, glass of wine or shot of spirits -- per day, for example, ups the odds of developing at least one of two dozen health problems by about 0.5%, the researchers reported ... An average of two drinks per day, for example, translated into a 7% hike in disease and injury compared to those who opt for abstinence . With five "units" of alcohol per day, the likelihood of serious consequences jumps by 37% ... The "less is better, none is best" finding jibes with the World Health Organization's long-standing position ..."The evidence shows .. and .. 2.4 billion .. people on the planet that .. consume alcohol -- need to take it seriously." ... King's College London professor Robyn Burton, who did not take part in the study, described it as "the most comprehensive estimate of the global burden of alcohol use to date"...]
      Last edited by marcus; 10-04-19, 17:31.


      • #4
        I have great sympathy for your situation ,I have witnessed a radicalistion here ,which is disturbing , unfortunately this has now affected your relationship . Personally I would never give up my personal beliefs ,even though we have to go through a beurocratic paperchase for stability here .

        I find some people I know here have changed ,with an absolute blinkered view of the world , which I have seen in some people in iran and saudi , the other 40 or so moslem countries i have worked in were fine .
        I can offer you no good solution ,I hope you find solace in the future .


        • #5
          Originally posted by tel522 View Post
          ... I have witnessed a radicalistion here ,which is disturbing , unfortunately this has now affected your relationship ...

          Hawkind , please don't think like Tel522 . I am also not religious , but from what you told us , your wife didn't show any behavior that I consider radical . My Muslim ex-wife used to pray and fast since the beginning of our marriage . She didn't go to prayers meeting or ask to go to Umrah , but these behaviors are relatively normal for Muslims . In my view , going to prayers meeting is very common for people who are in need of psychological support , like I have seem in my Christian majority country where old age/sick/depressed people start to go to church (when they didn't do before) .

          I would face a situation like yours in a positive way , as we are all different and need to respect each other ways of thinking/behaving .

          As I see , in your case you two still have a chance to adapt . In my case , for example , I had no option but divorce .
          Last edited by marcus; 12-04-19, 09:27.


          • #6
            my wife also muslim , has been going on occasion to social meetings around the area , some of the speakers ,normally imams are good ,some are clearly uneducated radicals ,the more easily led members ,take the line offered without filtering , that is a worrying creeping reality here Imho.


            • #7
              Originally posted by tel522 View Post
              ... ,the more easily led members ,take the line offered without filtering , that is a worrying creeping reality here Imho.

              I agree , if it happens to be badly influenced . I guess husband & wife need to communicate with each other constantly , so any bad influence may be early detected and maybe corrected .

              By the way , bad influence was probably the major factor in my failed marriage (but not related to religion) .
              Last edited by marcus; 12-04-19, 17:24.


              • #8
                Ya marraige can be at times difficult , normal life presents many chalenges , for sure we dont need aditional problems "to the mix" , caused by pervayors of uninformed rhetoric .