- :Sheikh Ibrahim Amini
Adopted from the book : "Principles of Marriage" by : "Sheikh Ibrahim Amini"
It is not wrong if a woman is watchful of her husband, but only if it does not exceed to a state of suspicion and mistrust. Suspicion is a destructive and incurable illness.
Unfortunately some women are affected by this disease. A woman of suspicion imagines that her husband is, lawfully or unlawfully, disloyal to her. She imagines that he is married to another woman or that he is going to marry her. She suspects him of having an affair with his secretary or another woman. She loses trust in him because he comes home late or he was seen talking to a woman. If he helps a widow and her children, the wife may think that he has an interest in her, other than a charitable one. If any woman gives her husband a compliment, saying that he is handsome or well-mannered, she concludes that he is interested in that woman. Upon finding a strand of hair in his car, she thinks there is another woman in his life.
Such women with these thoughts and inconclusive proof gradually assume certainty regarding their husbands' unfaithfulness.
They think about it every day and night. They also tell others, friends and foes about it, who, in the name of sympathy, reinforce the allegations and in turn tell the concerned women about other unfaithful men.
Arguments and rows start to take shape. The woman begins to ignore the affairs of the house and the children and might even go to her parents. She would monitor him and search his pockets. She would read his letters and would explain any trivial matter as due to his unfaithfulness.
With this attitude, she would make the family's life hard and turn the house into a burning hell in which she would also suffer. If her husband brought proof of his innocence, or swore that he had not been committing any thing wrong, or cried, she would not be satisfied.
The reader has certainly come across such women, but it is useful to know of the following cases:
"A woman said in the family court: 'Do not be surprised as to why, after twelve years of married life and three small children, I have decided upon a separation from my husband.
I am now certain that my husband is unfaithful to me. A few days ago, I saw him with an attractive woman walking in the street. I read a weekly magazine which has a proper section on fortune telling. Every week, in my husband's horoscope, it mentions that he would have good times with the people who are born in the month of June. I was born in February; so I am not one of those people mentioned in the horoscope. Besides I feel my husband is not as loving towards me as he used to be'. The husband of this woman said: "Please tell me what I can do I wish these magazines would consider the readers like my wife, and would not tell so many lies. Believe me these horoscopes have turned the lives of mine and my children into ruins. If one of these horoscopes says that this week a large lump sum of money is coming my way, then she comes to me and asks me what I have done with that money? Or, if it says that I would be receiving a letter, then Allah save me! I think it is probably better for both of us to separate, because she does not confront reason'." 56
"A man said in the court: 'It was a month ago, when I was coming back from a party, that of my colleagues asked me to give him and his wife a lift back home. The day after my wife asked me to take her to her parents'. On the way, she looked back and found a strand of hair on the back seat of the car. She asked who this strand of hair belonged to. I was in a panic and could not give her a proper explanation. I dropped her at her parents' house and went to work. When I went to pick her up that night she refused to come with me. I asked, why? She said to me that I should better live with the owner of the strand of hair'." 57
"A young woman complained to the court and said: 'My husband is coming home late every night on account of overtime at his work. I have been worried about this and my suspicion has increased due to what our neighbours are saying. They say that my husband is lying and he is not working at night and that he goes after his pleasure. As a result I am not prepared to live with a liar'.
At his point the husband took out a few letters from his pocket and placed them on a counter before the judge and asked him to read them aloud in order to prove his innocence and to stop his wife's improper attitude.
The judge started to read the letters aloud. One of the letters was indicative of his overtime working from 4 to 8 O'clock at night. Other letters were also related to his work where he was asked to attend certain seminars. The wife came forward and after seeing the letters said: 'I used to search his pockets every night but I did not see any of these letters'.. The judge said: 'He might have left them at his work'.
The young man said: 'My wife's suspiciousness towards me has grown so much that I have become suspicious of her. Every night I have nightmares. I imagine that she is in love with a man and wants to separate from me in order to marry him'. At this point the young wife rushed towards her husband and while crying for joy, apologized to him and they both left the court." 58
"A dentist complained to the court and said: 'My wife is exceedingly jealous. I am a dentist and there are women patients who come to my office for treatment. This has aroused my wife's jealousy and everyday we argue about it. She believes that I should not accept women patients. But I cannot lose my regular patients. I love my wife and she loves me, but this improper expectation of hers is ruining our lives. A few days ago she came to my dental surgery and forced me to leave. We went home and quarreled. She said to me: 'I went to your surgery and sat beside a young girl in the waiting room. We talked about you and she, without knowing that I was your wife, said: 'The dentist is a handsome and well- mannered man' . "The dentist went on saying: 'On account of a girl's opinion, my wife dragged me out of the surgery in a degrading manner'." 59
"A woman, complaining to the court, said: 'One of my friends told me that my husband goes to a stranger woman's house. I followed him one day and realized that it was true. Now I am asking the court to punish him'. The husband, while acknowledging what his wife was saying, told the court: 'One day I went to a pharmacy to buy some medicine. I saw a woman in the pharmacy who was buying powdered milk. She did not have enough money to pay for the milk, so I offered to help. Later, I found out that she was a widow who was poor. So I decided to continue my help'." The judges, after investigating the matter, realized the truth of his claims and reconciled the couple." 60
Such events happen in many families. The family atmosphere changes into an environment of pessimism, suspicion, and enmity. The children would suffer and the mental effects are grave.
If a couple continues to live in this situation, then they would both suffer, and if they show stubbornness towards each other, they would surely lead to a divorce. In the case of a divorce taking place, both man and wife would be losers, because on the one hand the man would not be able to find another wife who is any better than the previous one. On the other hand, the children would suffer and would not be able to enjoy a healthy life. The children might even confront new problems due to a step-father or step-mother.
The man may think that by divorcing his wife, he can marry a 'perfect' woman, with whom he can live in peace. But this is nothing more than a dream and the realization of it is very remote. By divorcing his wife, he may encounter new problems with the new one.
Divorce is also not a path to comfort and happiness for the woman. Although she might feel satisfied that she has had her revenge, remarrying would not be easy for her. She may have to live alone for the rest of her life and would probably not even enjoy the presence of her children. Even if she gets married again, it is not certain that her new husband would comply with her expectations. She may even have to bring up the children of a man whose wife is dead. Therefore, neither divorce nor arguments and rows can save the couple. But there is a way to salvation.
The best attitude is that both man and wife give up arguing and try to be logical. Men have a greater responsibility in this matter, and in fact the key to the solution is in their hands. Men can, through patience and forgiveness, save themselves from trouble and also help eliminate the element of suspicion in their wives.
Now a few words to the men:
Firstly, dear sir! you should remember that your wife, even though suspicious of you, loves you. She is interested in your children and the family home. She is afraid of separation. She would definitely suffer from your deplorable life situation. If she did not love you, she would not have been jealous. So she does not like the present situation, but what can she do if she is ill? Some patients have rheumatism and some have cancer. Your wife suffers from a mental disorder and if you do not believe it, then take her to a psychiatrist. You should treat her sympathetically and compassionately. You should not be angry with her or have arguments. No one could quarrel with an ill person. Do not react harshly to her impoliteness or allegations. Do not end up fighting with her. Do not go to any courts. Do not ignore her. Do not talk about divorce and separation. None of these acts can cure her illness, in fact it might become worse. Your unkindness would serve as a source of her suspicion.
You must be as kind to her as possible. You might resent your wife deeply because of her attitude, but there is not any other way. You must treat her in a manner so that she becomes certain of your innocence.
Secondly, you should try to create an understanding between yourselves. Do not hide any thing from her. Let her read your letters even before you do. Leave the keys to your private desk, drawers or safe within her reach. Let her look into your bags and pockets. Allow her to monitor you. You should not express displeasure with any of the above- mentioned points, but regard them as normal procedures in a healthy and friendly family life.
After work, if you do not have any other business, return home as soon as possible. If an urgent matter arises that you should attend to, then inform your wife and tell her where you are going and at what time she should expect you back home. Then try to be on time. If you are late in coming home, then immediately tell your wife the reason. Be careful not to lie, otherwise she will become suspicious. Consult her in your affairs. Do not hide anything from her. Talk to her about your day. Keep her trust in you. Ask her to question you on any vague subject which may be bothering her.
Thirdly, you may be innocent of the subject of her suspicion, but the suspicions of women are mostly not baseless either. Perhaps, through carelessness you have done something which has affected her mentally and made her suspicious of you. You should ponder over your previous acts carefully. You might then find the cause of her suspicion. In this way you can solve the problem better. For instance, if you joke a lot with other women, try not to do it any more. What is the point of being called handsome or well-mannered at the expense of your wife's suspicion and her distrust towards you? Why should you trigger her suspicion by joking with your secretary or a woman colleague? Why should you employ a woman to work for you? Do not joke with other women in parties. If you want to help a poor widow, why should you not inform your wife? You can even help the widow through your wife. Do not think that you are a slave, or a person in chains. You should not be a slave, but a wise man who, upon an agreement with your wife, is taking care of her. You should help her overcome this problem. Through patience and wisdom, you should remove the dangers which are threatening the foundation of your sacred family life. You would then cure your wife's illness as well as save your children from unhappiness. You would do a great deal of service to yourself both mentally and materialistically. Moreover, Allah rewards men who are willing to sacrifice at vital moments such as this.
"Imam Ali (AS) stated: ' Act moderately with the women in every instance. Speak to them nicely in order that their deeds become good'." 61
"Imam Sajjad (AS) stated: 'One of the rights of a woman upon her husband is that he should forgive her ignorance and foolishness'." 62
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: ' Any man who copes with his incompetent wife, the Almighty Allah, upon his patience (towards his wife) on every occasion, would grant him the reward of patience of Hadrat Ayyub (AS)'." 63
Now the women are reminded of few points:
Dear madam! the subject of your husband's unfaithfulness, like every other subject, needs proof. As long as his guilt is not proved you do not have any right to convict him. Neither law nor one's conscience allows one to accuse someone on the account of probability of a crime having taken place. Would you not be hurt if someone accused you of something without any proof? Is it possible to consider your foolish and baseless theories as proof of an important crime such as adultery?
"O you who believe! avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin...(4:12)."
"Imam Sadiq (AS) stated: '(The weight of) accusing an innocent person falsely is heavier than the high mountains'." 64
"The Prophet (SA) of Allah stated: " Anyone who makes false accusations upon a believer, Allah, on the Day of Resurrection, will place him upon a heap of fire in order that he receives the punishment he deserves'." 65
Dear madam! do not be foolish and do not jump to conclusions. When you have time, sit down and write down all the proof and grounds regarding your husband's unfaithfulness. Then in front of each point, write down the other aspects to the problem and the probability of their occurrence. Next, place yourself as a fair judge and think deeply about the written points. If they do not convince you that he is guilty, then you can either forget the matter or make further investigations.
For instance, the presence of a strand of hair in your husband's car may be easily explained by one of the following:
(a) It may belong to one your husband's relatives such as his sister, mother, aunt, or their children.
(b) It may be one of your own.
(c) He might have given a lift to his friend or relative accompanying his wife and the strand of hair might be hers.
(d) He might have given a lift to a helpless woman.
(e) Perhaps one of his enemies has dropped the strand of hair in his car deliberately in order to make you suspicious of him.
(f) One of his women colleagues might have been given a lift in his car.
(g) There is also a probability that he had been out with his beloved. But this case is far more remote than the previous ones and therefore should not be taken very seriously. At least one should not regard it as firm evidence of guilt while forgetting about the other possibilities.
If your husband comes back home late, he might have been doing extra work; or might have been at his friend's house; or might have attended a seminar or a religious meeting; or he might even have walked back home.
If a woman thinks of him as a handsome man, it is not his fault. Being well-behaved is not a proof of being guilty! Would you prefer him to be a bad-tempered man from whom everyone would be repulsed?
If your husband attends to the needs of a widow and her children, regard him as a charitable person who is doing this for the sake of Allah. If your husband has a private desk or a safe; and if he does not let you read his letters, do not think of him as having a mistress. Men generally have a sense of secrecy and modesty. They do not like others to be informed of their affairs, perhaps they possess secret materials which are related to their work. Perhaps he does not regard you as a person who could keep a secret. Any way, a possibility is just that, and it should not be considered as a firm proof.
Whenever you suspect anything, you should discuss it with your husband in such a manner as to find the truth of the matter out and not in a way of protest. Be frank with him and ask him to explain the subject of your suspicion in order to clear your mind and set it at peace. Then listen to him carefully. Think about his explanation. If you are satisfied with it then the matter is over. But if you are still suspicious, then investigate the matter yourself until the truth is revealed. If, while investigating, you come across a point that your husband had lied about, then do not regard it as a proof of his guilt. This is because despite his innocence, he might have deliberately not been telling the whole truth lest you become more suspicious. Again it is better to go to him and ask why he did not tell the whole truth. Of course, it is not good for one to lie, but if your husband made this mistake, then you should not, in turn, act foolishly. Ask him firmly to tell you the truth. His inability in explaining the subject of your suspicion is not indicative of his guilt. It is possible that he may really forget something or he may be in a panic. At this point, do not pursue the matter further and leave it for a more appropriate occasion. If he says to you that he has forgotten something, accept it. However, if you are still in doubt, investigate through other channels.
Do not voice your suspicion with anyone you see, since they may be your foes. Enemies always endorse your claims and might even add a few lies to it in order to shatter your life. They may not be foes, but a bunch of foolish, simple, and inexperienced people who reinforce your claims sympathetically. They may be you r close relatives or close friends. Consultation is only useful with wise, clever, and genuine sympathizers. If you need to consult someone, then find the right people and discuss it with them.
If the proof of your husband's guilt is not a firm proof towards your husband's guilt, if your friends and relatives think that the evidence is not enough, if your husband regards himself as not guilty, and finally if you are still suspicious of him, then you can be sure that you are ill. You are suffering from a mental disorder in which the element of suspicion has grown beyond your control. It is vital for you to turn to a psychiatrist who could treat you accordingly.
Therefore, it is not wise for you to argue with you r husband or make complaints to the court. Do not talk about divorce and do not degrade him. Such an attitude will only lead to more anger and rows which may result in divorce. Be careful not to act foolishly, or decide to commit suicide. By killing yourself not only would you lose this life, but you would also be tormented in the next world. Is it not sad to lose your life for the sake of a baseless thought? Is it not better to solve your problems through patience and wisdom?
If you are still suspicious of your husband or you reach the conclusion that he is certainly having an affair, then again you are to be blamed, because you have not tried enough to win his heart. You have placed a gap in his life in which other woman can find a place. But do not despair; there is still time. Review your attitude and act in a manner that would attract your husband towards you.
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