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Author Topic: When to intervene  (Read 1951 times)
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« on: Jul 25, 2010 05:22 PM »

My husband and I are caught in a bit of a situation.  Actually, I'm caught, he's pretty clear on what to do and what not to do...

We have a couple friend that are going through some marital issues. They have been having problems for almost 2 years, and have been married for about 5...

We didn't know anything was wrong, until I got a frantic phone call from the wife at 2 in the morning (sometime in Jan 2009 - just to give you an idea about the timeline) asking me to give the phone to my husband... my husband who was half asleep, had a very incoherent conversation with her, and he kept saying, "I'm sure it's nothing like that... Don't panic, we should check in the morning..." He went back to sleep saying something that they had a fight and he left home, and she was panicking...

Well... to make a very long story short... her parents asked us to intervene last year, to talk to her husband, who (according to the girl's side) had kicked her out of the house or threatened to leave... when my husband spoke to him finally, he confided that his wife was suicidal and had tried to slit her wrists, drown herself in the tub, taken an overdose of medication, etc. numerous times because she was suspicious that he was having an affair... and that he was tired of affirming his love to her, especially since they had a 5 year courtship prior to their marriage - something her parents had no idea about... he said he had ASKED her to leave, to take a break - to go back to her parents' home for sometime while he figured out how to deal with her...

We passed on this info to the parents of the girl, who completely denied that this was possible, and within a few weeks, the girl told us that her suspicions were confirmed - he was having an affair with someone - and that she had spoken to his mistress...

Now... after that, they completely cut us out of the loop, apparently reconciled (and we were happy that things worked out)....

A few months ago, a mutual couple friend of ours asked us if we knew they were having problems.. and we were both surprised that this was still an issue.  They told us that the wife had walked out while the husband was visiting his parents...A few weeks after that the wife called me and told me what happened - according to her, he is a sex addict and has multiple partners... and that she has witnesses (whom she's named) who have told her what's going on...and that he has friends who are helping him by providing him their bachelor pads to use - all of these friends are people my husband and I know VERY well, and who eat dinner at our place once a month - guys who seem fairly practicing when it comes to Islam, and all 3 of whom are getting married this year.  This is something that doesn't seem to fly with me very well...She also said that he keeps accusing her of theft, but that she has only taken her personal belongings from the home...

I have to add here, the girl is veryyyyyy religious but the guy is not. 

Anyway, the guy - we actually see him around all the time - he does in fact hang out with these 3 guys in question. And my husband has spoken to him, and he volunteered the following information: that his wife has left him for no apparent reason, has robbed him of more than $150,000, totalled his car while he was visiting his family, stolen all the furniture and appliances in the home, and damaged the house on the way out... and that he was prepared to take her back, but not after this situation...

Now, my husband keeps telling me to stay out of it. That it's none of our business, because they are very clear that they don't want our help, and that the girl's parents are unreasonable anyway, and that we have no access to the boys' parents.  I somehow think it's our responsibility to at least get their families involved.  The truth could be anywhere in between their two stories (both are technically plausible and compatible)... I think the thing that bothers me the most is that these 3 guys who have been involved by association (my husband has done what he thinks is the extent of our duty, and has in very clear terms told one of them that his reputation is at stake) are being reeled into this without even knowing it.  A lot of people know about only one side of these rumors/accusations...we seem to be the only people that know both sides...

She wants a divorce, we don't know what he wants...

Oh yes, and they have no kids thankfully...

Do you think we should intervene? And if so, to what degree?
« Reply #1 on: Jul 25, 2010 05:43 PM »

As salaamu alaikum --

It sounds as though this couple has involved everyone in their problems except a marriage counselor.  Both parties need serious help which their parents and friends are not qualified to provide.

My personal (unprofessional) opinion is that the husband and the wife should be informed that you cannot take sides or offer any advice or assistance other than the names of some qualified counselors.  And maybe a lawyer or two.

I hope they can work things out without anyone being seriously hurt. This situation just sounds too crazy.
« Reply #2 on: Jul 25, 2010 05:55 PM »


You really don't know both sides of the story, you don't know any side of the story, except what each party has told you, and going by the conduct of both individuals so far, I'm willing to bet neither has told the complete truth, both want to come out of this with their own reputations in tact (both appear to have spectacularly failed already on that part).

Therefore, I second your husband, stay out of it!

If you butt in, and they reconcile, they will hate you.

If you butt in and they part, they may well blame you, and you will also lose the friendship of these other people being dragged into this conflict.

Next time either couple or family member approaches you for help, have the numbers for marriage counselling, and the nearest Islamic marital mediation (possibly at your local masjid), at hand. You can do no more.

« Reply #3 on: Jul 25, 2010 06:21 PM »

It's a very dangerous scenario. Anyone involved in this mess is going to get hurt.

There appears to be quite a few lies being bandied around as well.

Sounds like a fair bit of projection going on as well.

Someone with no interest or stake, or anything to lose, should get involved. Your involvement now will only cause pain and trouble for you. Let some time pass.
« Reply #4 on: Jul 26, 2010 03:44 AM »

Agree with the above advice given. Are you seriously trying to "fix" this "marriage" single-handedly? Without any professional training or objectivity? And neither party has asked for your help either, so why? And you're not family either? Stay out is my advice. You're not responsible for someone else's marriage and should not get involved unnecessarily. Direct them to people that can help them. The rest of the choices are theirs.
« Reply #5 on: Jul 26, 2010 05:56 AM »

Sounds like the replies are completely unanimous... and thank you, I appreciate it.

My intention is not to "fix" the marriage.. it's just to offer whatever help for someone who is a good friend...and it's not a thought I came up with overnight, there's more than a year and a half of thinking going into this, and a long friendship behind it as well. 

This might be a longstretch, but there is a thought gnawing at the back of my head... if a loved one of mine was drowning and he kept saying, 'i'm okay, i don't need help', and all of his friends were standing on the shores watching it happen, I wouldn't want them to shake their heads and say 'what a pity. wish i had professional lifeguard training.'  I'd want them to either jump in or to let me know so that I could. (I do realize this is not the same thing).  But at what point am I morally accountable for my silence?

Leaving that aside, the reason I asked about it now is that I'm going to meet the girl tomorrow at a party. Judging from the last two, the conversation always turns to her situation, and I usually add very little to the conversation.  But it starts to bother me when the other 3 guys are thrown under the bus ('all these guys are the same, they treat women with no respect, they all have had women on the side'). 1 of these guys is moving, but the other 2 are bringing their wives back into our close knit community by the beginning of Ramadan.  They have asked me to introduce their wives to my social circle. Can you imagine hearing about something like this through the grapevine about someone you have just gotten married to? These are enormous accusations... Firstly, I just can't believe it... but secondly, true or not, I would like to avoid this discussion altogether. And how am I supposed to introduce their poor, unsuspecting wives into the social circle which has very visciously labeled their husbands to be maniacs?

I feel like I'm really caught in the worst spot - because I can't take sides.
« Reply #6 on: Jul 26, 2010 06:50 AM »


i know everyone is going to say that we dont know who is lying , this and that

but I REALLY THINK THE HUSBAND IS LYING.  Because my husband was a big liar and it sounds of course the truth is that HE WAS LYING AND ONLY I KNEW THAT OTHERS DIDN'T.

Some facts are that the wife wants a 'divorce' what woman wants a divorce unless there is something serious?
the husband has no explanation therefore he accuses his wife of stealing.. by totally changing subject. the husband sounds bogus. Im not being bias but think yourself he just changes the subject and puts a whole new accusation. You have to think with a clear and open mind. The thing about my ex husband was only the professionals caught him very easily

Anyway Allahu alim

my advice is just be there for the girl. Just be there for her that is all.
And keep your eyes and ears open and think reason.

take care

« Reply #7 on: Jan 20, 2011 05:10 AM »

My advice would be to help... Help them... They are your friends.
« Reply #8 on: Jan 22, 2011 02:15 AM »


you can always make dua for them or for your friend anyways....

you can advise her to see a marriage councilor ...

you can advise your friend to stop talking about the 3 lads who she accuses of shoddy behaviour .. and that you will not listen to her backbiting them.  If she is religious as you said, she will realize that it is not right to spread around what these guys allegedly do, even if these things are true.   Tell her that the truth always comes out in the end. 

you/your husband can advise the 3 men in question that something sinister is going around and explain in clear terms what the accusations are ...

if people talk behind my back about me and accuse me of things that tarnish my reputation and my friends heard it/knew about it without defending me and/or telling me about it so that I can have a chance to clear my name, then they are not my friends anymore.  End of story. 

What I am saying, intervening does not have to involve solving the problem.  You can help by trying to point her in a direction that may lead to a resolution.  You don't have to be a bystander if you don't want to.   But be clear with her that you are giving personal opinion and that you maybe right or wrong. 

oh dear what a drama indeed ...

take care
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