Agony Aunt - Being faithful in marriage

Dear sister I’m at a very difficult point in my life & require your guidance. I have been married 5 years to a wonderful man (from Pakistan). I am having an affair ... I want to get out of this horrible cycle and be a good wife.

Can you please guide me, I want to be a good Muslim, read namaz (prayers) but I cant stand in front of Allah when I’m such a bad person.

My dear sister, you are in a very difficult time of your life, and you already realise that you have to do something about it, quickly. If this continues, you run the risk of ruining your life, and the lives of others who love you, including your husband, of course.

You say you cannot stand in front of Allah(swt) – but my dear, He(swt) sees and knows everything you do, and this man does, and the motivations and feelings involved for all of you.

You cannot hide anything away from Allah(swt) – the good news is that Allah(swt) still loves you and dearly cares for all of you, no matter what mistakes you have made.

You have only to be truly sorry, and truly desire to get out of this situation, and you will discover Allah’s forgiveness already, and the road ahead should be made clear to you.

I take it that your husband knows nothing about this. The first thing you must decide is whether or not you will ever tell him.

Sometimes honesty is the best policy (things have a habit of coming out eventually anyway); sometimes we are able to put things behind us and keep the skeleton in the cupboard for the rest of our lives. As soon as your husband knows, there is going to be a huge reaction.

Whereas Allah may forgive you, your husband may not, and things will change for you from that moment on.

I wonder what sort of character the man has who has led you into this affair. Is he prepared to take you on and look after you if your husband divorces you, as he has the legal right to do?

He may just disappear, and then you will have to cope with your life on your own. All such things are the huge risks a married person takes when breaking their vows.

You are not the first to have an affair and will certainly not be the last – but the hurt it causes is not something that people can recover from easily.

If you wish to try to keep your marriage, you must send the lover packing. If he really loved you, he would not have put you in such a position, which will damage many, including your parents etc.

If you want the other man more than your husband, Allah made clear provision in Islam for such happenings – which were as frequent in our Prophet’s (pbuh) day as they are today.

You may have the other man, but you must let your husband go honourably in divorce, and be prepared to take the consequences. You did not say whether there were any children involved – it is obviously easier if there are not.

Your husband has grounds to divorce you for adultery, which makes you the guilty party and therefore you would receive less sympathy in a court of law than if he was the guilty party.

Your entitlement to property, house, etc would be settled by lawyers and the judge.

If you do not wish to divorce your husband or be divorced, then you must get rid of the lover. It is all too easy to be under the influence of raging hormones and think this is love – but he has put you in an awful position.

Either be rid of the lover, or let him assure you he is willing to stand by you and face up to your husband and say he wishes to marry you himself.

You seem from your few words to me to still care for your husband; if I were you I would ditch the lover and at the same time make an appointment with a marriage counsellor to discover why this situation was able to arise in the first place.

How come you were able to form this relationship while still living with your husband – does he totally neglect you, is he blind, insensitive? Please do something about it, my dear, before the whole business destroys you. God bless.

Wasalaam, Ruqaiyyah.

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