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Message Icon Topic: Old Flames, What To Do? Post Reply Post New Topic
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John Mohammad
 
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Quote John Mohammad Replybullet Topic: Old Flames, What To Do?
    Posted: 13 January 2011 at 2:26pm
I am a recently-reverted Muslim, and I'm in a dilemma- I need some advice.
To set the scene, I am currently married and my wife is not Muslim.

A few years ago, I met a woman online (I know, I know, hear me out) and almost immediately I knew- I KNEW- she was the one I was supposed to have been with my whole life. I have wrested with this and it's just in my very bones that I love her and she is The One. Granted, for some reason Allah(swt) has seen fit to not have our paths cross years ago, but who am I to question His will?

Three years later I still feel the same pull towards her as I did in the beginning and, although we've never met in person, I cannot escape the feeling that we would be very happy together. She is, of course, thinking very much of my family and doesn't want to 'mess things up' here- and indeed I've kept my relationship with her hidden.

I am trying to be a good provider and husband- and father- for my family but at the same time I love this other woman so much it hurts. For good or bad, she is the one I see myself spending my older years with. I'm not going to do anything to hurt my family, and of course I will follow wherever Allah(swt) guides me. Years ago I committed myself to her for the long run, however long it takes for us to be together (she's not a Muslim now but isha'Allah maybe one day). I just know I love this woman more than anyone I've ever met and she is such a big part of me I know it must be a good thing.

Okay, now before everyone passes judgment on me, understand I'm not trying to find a way to 'have my cake and eat it, too' in this matter. I'm just trying to understand how this squares with Islam and the whole concept of taking multiple wives and such. I know in America that's legally not an option, but if I were able to she would be at the top of my list and, please everyone, understand my intentions are entirely honorable. I know adultery is a huge no-no and again, my intention is not to have an adulterous relationship; it's just that under American laws versus my feelings there is no way to see it as anything other than that; at least in my mind as we've never touched or even met in person, it's not AS bad as it might seem. But, if a man is poised to take a second wife (assuming he's able to and it's allowed in the country of choice) how can he go about it without giving the impression of 'cheating' or whatnot? I still love my wife, of course, but I love this other women just as strongly. I don't take anything away from my family in any of this; our relationship is completely separate.

Again, I'm not trying to find a way to twist the laws to my benefit; I'm just trying to make sense of all this and find out where I stand vis-s-vis Islamic teachings and/or laws.
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 14 January 2011 at 5:13pm
I'd say this is a textbook case of infatuation, as it is totally unreasonable to love; "this other women just as strongly" as your wife.  My suggestion is that you break-off all communications with your online lady, as this is an unhealthy and unwise relationship.  It is emotional infidelity and will likely damage your marriage if you continue communicating with her.
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Quote John Mohammad Replybullet Posted: 14 January 2011 at 8:09pm
I know that's the general view, but I was also wondering how this squares with the Islamic perspective on multiple marriages. Hypothetically, if I were ABLE to take a second wife, how does one go about that? I mean, isn't that assuming there is some sort of romantic connection between the man and potential wife #2 before he marries her? Is it assumed that a man will meet and indeed have feelings of love for potential wife #2 (obeying, of course, the laws on illegal contact and all that). Or are multiple marriages always arranged sight unseen by third parties, in all situations?

Again, I'm trying to square my feelings with doing the right thing, and also trying to understand how all of this fits into Islamic teachings.

As for the 'emotional infidelity' part, I am fully aware of that concept and have carefully avoided letting anything interfere with my existing marriage and family life. But again, how does one marry a second or third or fourth wife (given the proper ability to do so) WITHOUT some sort of emotional attachment to that person before the fact?
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 15 January 2011 at 8:20am
John, generally speaking, the notion of romantic love is in fact a result of illegal contact.  In Islam it is Allah who puts love between the hearts once the individuals are legally joined in marriage. 

Edited by abuayisha - 15 January 2011 at 8:20am
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John Mohammad
 
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Quote John Mohammad Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2011 at 12:13am

I very much understand the concept of love following marriage in the case of an arranged marriage, where the man and woman may or may not have even laid eyes on the other in any circumstances.

What I don't understand, though, is how this applies to a marriage of choice. Assuming we are talking about two adults in circumstances where they are both able to make their own choices, why would the notion of marriage even be entertained if there weren't some sort of attraction? My view may be a result of being raised in America, but one doesn't just decide "I'm going to marry" and then just pick a mate at random! Why would anyone pick a husband or wife based solely on their business repuation, or their wealth, or social standing without having some sort of attraction to that person? If that were the case it seems to me we'd never get anywhere with people scrambling to marry above their standard of living and rejecting anyone who didn't advance their personal and/or economic agenda. Say a very wealthy man is sent a message from one of his employees, saying she is interested in marrying him- his reaction? After asking "Why?" then we get into the question of why he would marry someone of essentially a 'lower rank' than himself. Unless he decides to take her on for personal reasons- out of charity, or for purposes of mating, or whatnot- there would be no reason at all to even entertain such an idea, as it would be clear- under your example- that she is simply 'gold-digging' trying to improve her station. No man, unless he's a vain individual, is going to marry a woman simply because she's impressed by his wealth! This is not even taking into account the fact that he may not have even seen her, if she is veiled or in a full-up burqa (this may be taking to the extreme, but you see my point). Again, if it's an arranged marriage all this goes out the window, but it's an entirely different ball game in the case of a marriage of choice.
 
I'm not meaning to be argumentative, and I completely understand the concept of love following marriage- in certain situations. As I noted in my original post, I'm a new Muslim and I'm trying to make practical sense out of Islamic teachings vs. practical aplications in situations I admittedly may never find myself in. In this case, I am trying to sort out my own situation, and as I know I'll be asked about this sort of thing at some point I want to get my 'ducks in a row' before providing untrue or misleading information.


Edited by John Mohammad - 16 January 2011 at 12:21am
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abuayisha
 
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2011 at 6:54am
John there is a big difference between attraction and romantic love, or in your case, in my estimation, infatuation.  In Islam, prior to marriage, the man is encouraged to look at the woman.  She should be pleasing to his eye.
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Quote Samijee89 Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2011 at 4:42pm
A step such as this I would ask you to consult your imam and after, perform istikhara if you are sure this is Allahs will.
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 16 January 2011 at 6:05pm
John, you do realise that if you go ahead with a 2nd marriage, or harbour notions of one - how would your wife feel & react? If I were her, I would probably blame Islam and 'those muslims' for brainwashing you and stealing you away. You converting to Islam is already a big enough change for her, let alone having to share her husband with another. Think objectively for a second. Would you want to be the source of misunderstanding / antagonizing your wife towards Islam? Put yourself in her shoes... A muslim is supposed to bring goodness around him/her. Do your plans for a 2nd fit into that?

Lets not go into whether it is an infatuation or actual love . . . .whatever it is. . . . it is a Jihad "struggle" for you. Each one of us has our own struggles & Jihads in life. Maybe this is yours? Your 'nafs' (desires) versus the 'right thing to do'. We all talk about ethics and honour and integrity - which is all fine in theory... but when it comes to real life, do we recognize the circumstances when WE have to implement it? This is your chance.

Ofcourse it is going to hurt. Ofcourse it will be painful. That is why Allah told us to observe 'Hijab' (i.e. a barrier) in the first place. Perhaps you may never even forget her...  but atleast you'll have saved yourself and been honorable. I suggest you tell her that the whole Islamically ethical part of this online relationship is bothering you & say goodbye. Pray to Allah, seek His guidance and help. Focus on builing Imaan. Work on your marriage. Thats what a good muslim would do... fight the nafs. May Allah help you...







"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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