I have a very strained marriage and I have reconnected with a friend from 25 years ago and we’ve fallen in love. Due to circumstances and children, a divorce would be very detrimental. Although my friend doesn’t follow a religion, due to her pure heart, she feels she’d be committing a sin if we were to become closer. From what I know it’s haram to plan a divorce in order to remarry. Polygamy is not something we’re keen on.
Thank you for your question. You need to run away from this woman or do what is halal. Doing something haram is not an option.
You have already been unfaithful to your wife by falling in love with another woman and you need to repent for this. Cut off all communication with her until you know what you are going to do. Although a strained marriage makes daily life very difficult, it does not make it permissible to find comfort with another woman who is not mahram to you. You should turn to other means of solace, such as spending time with friends, family, joining circles of knowledge and remembrance of Allah, or spending time with your children. Pray the Prayer of Need and ask Allah to send you an opening out of your misery.
It is worth it to try and save your marriage. Re-acquaint yourself with your wife and fall in love with her again. It’s never too late but it will require effort. Try these resources before you consider leaving your wife or become desperate enough to do something regrettable:
Communicate with one of the five love languages, this will help you not only understand him better but yourself as well:
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert
Learn your obligations and rights in a Muslim marriage, and this will help put the reality of your marriage in perspective. Please take these courses:
Your new love
If you feel that you cannot live without this new girl and if you have convinced yourself that you must be with her, it is permissible to take her as a second wife, if she is of the people of the book, and it is also permissible to leave your first wife and marry her. This would have devastating effects on your children though and would make you a bad role model. You would also be battling for child custody and many of your family relationships would be strained or cut off. My advice is to walk away, repent and ask Allah to guide you to the means to make a better marriage.
See these links for more advice:
What Can I Do If I Fell In Love with Another Man?
As a Married Woman, Can I Long For Another Married Man—At Least as a Mate in Paradise?
25 Years’ Worth of Marriage Advice: Hina Khan-Mukhtar
I am Married but Love Another Woman
May Allah give you and your family the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.