Recently, my soon to be ex-husband suggested we continue to live together for the sake of our daughter. This way she would have his influence daily. Is this allowed?
He says he could not be intimate with me if we were married. I am a Social Worker and I know of situations where that has been changed and relationships prospered. Is it possible for affection to be rekindled in a relationship?
There is no one to help community members having relationship problems. What can I do to become more prepared to supply family services to the Muslim community? I do not want anyone else to feel as alone as I did after searching this state for help but not getting any.
The well being of a child is indeed a very positive reason to live together and thereby provide the child a more congenial and complete family environment. However, what I do not understand is that if, for the sake of their child, a man and a woman can resolve to live together even after such grave mutual differences, which have led them to resort to divorce, then for the very sake of the well being that child, why can the divorce not be avoided.
Living to together, after divorce, is like living under the same roof without marriage. Though such ‘living’ per se cannot be termed as prohibited, however it can so easily result in something, which is clearly prohibited in Islam. Being lonely for a time can so easily air strong desires within us. Under these circumstances, even a slight opportunity of fulfillment of these desires may weaken our physical and emotional defense and lead us to do something, which the Shari`ah (Islamic law) has not allowed us to do.
I would, therefore, suggest that if the man and the woman are willing to live together – even after divorce – only for the sake of their child, then they should seriously consider avoiding divorce – for the very sake of their child. They could resolve to have a distant relationship and not to interfere in each other’s affairs without breaking-up their formal legal relationship of marriage. This would not only provide the child with the required congenial complete family environment, but would also keep the doors open for the complete reunion of the man and the woman – which indeed is desirable in the Shari`ah.
In case you feel that the avoidance of divorce is not possible, then I would like to know what exactly is the reason for which divorce is being resorted to and how would that reason be fulfilled by living together after divorce?
You have asked: “Is it possible for affection to be rekindled in a relationship”. Though I am not expert in human/social psychology but I can still say that no one can reject the possibility of the rekindling of affection in a relationship. We – humans – are very complex beings. We can even develop great association with material things. The case of another responding (negatively as well as positively) human being is altogether different. However, because of this responding nature and the unpredictability of the responses, it is only possible – and not necessary that the affection be rekindled in a relationship. The feelings can as easily run the other way round.
Finally, you have asked: “What can I do to become more prepared to supply family services to the Muslim community”. This, unfortunately, is a field in which I cannot offer much advice. I have neither the experience for it, nor the necessary direct knowledge of your society (I live in Pakistan) and its norms. I can, therefore, only offer you my apologies for not being able to help you in this sphere.
15th January 2000