Question: My husband, like yours, was raised in Europe because his mother is European. His father is arab. When I met my husband he was an atheist, he didn’t believe in any special religion, but he said he believed in God. I am Roman Catholic, and my faith and belonging to the one true Church is extremely important to me. He respected that and admired it and said he would consider becoming catholic. He asked me to marry him.
For a little more than 6 months we went to my church to talk to a priest every week. Since I am RC, I can never divorce, divorce simply doesn’t exist to our church, nobody can divorce, ever. My husband needed to understand that and promise he respected that. In catholicism marriage is sacred, it’s a sacrament, like the communion or confession. It’s a holy oath to God as well as the spouse, and can never be broken. My husband respected that. He promised never to go against the sanctity of marriage, he promised before the priest. He also promised that I would be allowed to bring up our children catholic.
So we got a dispensation and were married. We have been very happy. Now we have a 4-year old son and a 2-year old daughter. My husband converted to catholicism 6 months after the wedding. I have been very happy.
4 months ago suddenly he came home and said he had become muslim. He said he wanted to reconnect to his culture and that he thought becoming muslim felt right. Since then, he has started to go back on the promises he gave me. He’s been talking about wanting me to wear a headscarf. I refuse. He says we have to bring our children up muslim. I refuse. He says that being the man, he is the one to make those decisions. I say that a promise before God is a promise before God, whatever religion you are, and him being a man has nothing to do with it.
Now, he says he will be marrying another woman next week. He says he can do that. I said not in Spain you can’t, because bigamy is against the law. He says he will marry in the mosque and that it is legal because it will only be a religious marriage, not a legal marriage. He says a new wife will help him live islamically and will help raise the children muslims.
I think I am going to die. I don’t know what to do. I love my husband. I am crushed. I can not allow him to bring up our children in islam. I can not have a daughter in headscarf, I can not have a marriage when my husband breaks the sanctity of marriage by being a bigamist. I will go to hell if I allow this to happen. But if I leave my husband, I will still be married to him forever. I can never be with another man again in my entire life. I will be alone for the rest of my life. Married to him while he is married to other women. I don’t know what to do. Help me. I am destroyed. You seem to be so strong, have you any advice?
Answer: I can’t believe what he is doing to you. Does he realize what this is doing to you? I wish I could help you. I don’t understand how a husband can suddenly turn into a monster the way you describe.
As I see it, you have to leave him. Now. Right now. Take the kids and go! Do you have family there? Go to them. A smart thing might be to first talk about the things you mention above, the second marriage and his intent to become a bigamist. If you can have him talk about his rights over you as a man that would be good. And – record it all. That way, you will be able to prove he’s an unfit father, and you can keep the children. Especially if you can make him say that he wants to take the children from you by force to have his second “wife” bring them up islamically…
So my advice is: GO! Take the children and run!
One thing: If he contacts you once you have left and promises to change, promises to skip becoming polygamous, and allow you to raise the children RC – Don’t believe him! In islam, men are allowed to lie to their wives in order to keep them happy. In islam men are allowed to take their kids from their mothers. If your husband takes the children to his father’s country you will never see them again.
So take the children today and run and hide! And get yourself a lawyer. Make sure your husband is never allowed to be alone with the children again.