I am a young man and have been married for five months, but I am not able to get along with my wife because she is extremely short whereas I was looking for a girl whose height was suited to mine. When my family described her to me before marriage, they told me that she was tall, and when I looked at her in the manner prescribed in sharee’ah, before marriage, she was dressed up, her hair was styled, and she was wearing high heels. I noticed that during our engagement but I thought that my feelings towards her would improve after marriage. When I married her and saw what she really looks like and how short she is, and I came to know her way of thinking, which is completely different from my way of thinking, I hated her and could not longer bear to talk to her. She realized that and told me that she felt that I did not like her and couldn’t stand her. Sometimes when I come in she is crying, and my heart breaks because of the wrong that I have done to her. She has not harmed me in any way, on the contrary she has shown me the greatest respect and loves me deeply. But what should I do? I have tried hard to make myself like her, but with no success. I have even started to think of divorce so that she and I will both have a break. Sometimes I think of taking another wife. I hope you can help me find a solution.
This is a problem that often happens. You are not alone in your suffering. The root of the problem, in my view, is the fact that the husband was not able to see his fiancée fully in the manner prescribed in sharee’ah, by sitting with her – but not being alone with her, of course – and looking closely at her and even asking to see her again at another time.
Yes, you made a great mistake when you felt put off by this girl at the time of engagement but you went ahead with the marriage. It would have been better for you not to take a risk in such matters, because the one who wants to get married should feel completely at ease with his choice and not hesitant, so what about one who feels discontent as in your case?
The real problem you face now is that this girl loves you and respects you, and she is giving you all your rights and more. She has also gotten pregnant from you. If that were not the case, we would not hesitate to advise you to leave her.
Even more unfortunate than that is the fact that her life has been turned into an unbearable hell. She cannot help weeping when she thinks of her situation and how her hopes of finding a husband with whom to share love and happiness have been dashed.
Yes, this is something decreed by Allaah and a real fact that we have to acknowledge and live with, namely that sometimes spouses do not get along and divorce takes place, and the life of one or both of them is wrecked as a result. You cannot live with all this pain except by means of patience and seeking reward from Allaah, first of all, and secondly by understanding the causes of failure. Hence you have your share of blame and you have to bear part of the consequences of this matter, even if only a little. You have to face up to the following:
1 – Try to live with this girl and put up with her as much as possible. At least wait until the child is born, and perhaps things will change and your hatred will turn to love.
2 – If your circumstances allow you to keep her whilst looking for another wife who will make you happy and let you stay with your first wife, and you can look after your children with her and spare them the pain of separation and divorce, this is something that is worth thinking about.
3 – If the solutions suggested above will not work; if the matter is beyind your control and your hatred for her increases and you are no longer able to live with her, then divorce is allowed in sharee’ah in such cases.
The bitterness of divorce will be easier for her than the ongoing misery of living with you, and perhaps she will find a husband with whom she can be happy. And perhaps you will also find a wife with whom you can be happy.
Divorce – even though it is disliked – is the solution when husband and wife cannot live amicably together.
Try to think about these solutions, and think long and hard about them. Do not be hasty. You should also turn to Allaah and ask Him to guide you with regard to this matter, for He is close to His sincere slaves. May Allaah help you and give you strength.
Dr Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Sa’wi
We remind you of the words of Allaah (interpretation of the meaning):
“and live with them honourably. If you dislike them, it may be that you dislike a thing and Allaah brings through it a great deal of good”
“and it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you”
And the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “No believing man should hate a believing woman. If he dislikes one of her characteristics he will be pleased with another.” Narrated by Muslim, 1469.
What this means is that it is not right for a believing man to hate a believing woman, because if he notices a bad characteristic in her and dislikes her because of it, he will find another, praiseworthy characteristic in her and will love her because of it, such as if she is chaste or kind or obedient… etc.
This applies if she has some characteristics that do not please him, so how about if she is carrying out her duties towards him in the most complete manner?.