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Divorcee Asks How to Balance Life With New Husband & Children With Ex-Husband

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Fatima Barkatulla

Channel: Fatima Barkatulla

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Episode Transcript

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Just saying, I saw multicam, I was divorced with five children, and my children stay with their father, I'm married to another person now, is it except it is exceptionally difficult for me to complete my obligation towards them staying under another man and taking care of my first husband's kids, please advise a question like that it's quite hard, because I don't have much information, right? Like, how old are the kids? What, what exactly is the context? How far do you live from, from your ex husband? Right. But yeah, I do sympathize. You know, that's

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must be difficult must be a difficult situation to be in,

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you know, to be remarried, and then to have five children who are living with their, with with their father, with your ex husband, and of course, trying to juggle the needs of the two households, right? Well, I guess, the way I would look at it is that your husband, you know, your husband has rights, you know, he has the greatest right over you. In fact,

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Islamically speaking, okay. And your children have rights. Okay? Well, they also have their father looking out for them, right, and he has his responsibility towards them. So really, just as, like most things in life, it's a case of finding the balance, right? It's a case of trying to be as fair as you can, and uphold the rights of, of each household, or of your children and your spouse.

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without

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upsetting and causing any kind of imbalance, right? Because I think it's when there's an imbalance that problems can't, right. So if you're completely ignoring your children, and you're fully focused on your husband, then that's probably going to, that is definitely not going to be a good thing, right for your children in the long term. And hence, not for you either. And if you're completely, you know, involved with your children, and your husband is feeling neglected, or your new husband is feeling neglected, of course, that's also going to be have a negative effect for him as well as for you, for your new life, right for your, for your marriage. So, I would actually recommend in a

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situation like that, that you have, you know, you meet, you have a proper family meeting, perhaps with your ex husband there, with your new husband,

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you know, have some kind of family meeting, could be a phone call, where you're all present, but you're fully present. And you really discuss, you know, how you're going to manage this. Now, I know, a lot of families don't like having meetings, okay? They don't like having these explicit discussions. Because we'd rather just, you know, just go along, go with the flow, and see how things happen. But, you know, I think that's too, that's too kind of trial and error, you know, and it's probably not going to have a very positive result, if you just go with the flow, I think it's really important when, when so much is at stake, right? So much is at stake, you've got these kids, their

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lives, you know, already they've gone through their parents being divorced, you know, which is a big thing for children, right? That's a big thing for them. And, you know, I don't want to like highlight the negative statistics. But statistically, you know,

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children who are from divorced families, there are certain things that they're going to experience or that they're more likely to experience. And you want to mitigate that, right, you want to mitigate the negative effects of that divorce, right? While at the same time you want to nurture your new marriage, and you know, the whole situation in a positive way. And I don't think you can do that without having a family meeting with your ex spouse, with your husband and yourself present, where all of you talk about what your needs are, you know, but each of you go into that meeting with, with with, with real sincerity, wanting the best outcome for each of you, as well as for the

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child for the children, you know, because so many lives are at stake here. Those children are going to be the human beings of the parents of the future. You don't want them to have traumas in their lives, you know, more than is necessary. You know, all human beings are gonna have ups and downs. But you don't you want to like minimize the negative effects of this setup, right? And so in order to do that you

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Gotta have a family meeting, you know, your husband also, you know, understand what his needs are, where he feels, there might be an imbalance, where you think they might be imbalanced, where your ex husband might think, you know, things could be done better, and try to find a win win solution, you know, what more can you do? Really, that's really the best approach that I would say you could have, right? Like, each of you, you know, be willing to compromise a little, be willing to think about what would be the best outcome, especially for the children, but for each of you, as well.

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And do that with the spirit of, you know, being considerate, wanting the best for your fellow brother and sister in Islam, as well as for the children. And I think anything that you explicitly discuss and you come to an agreement about is more likely to succeed, right, it's more likely to be to have a positive impact for people to have to feel heard. Right, to feel that their their needs were listened to.

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I think, you know, that's probably going to be the best approach. And then, maybe every year, you want to adjust that. Because as children get older than needs change, etcetera, etcetera. So maybe every year, you want to do a little appraisal, and just think, you know, is it going okay, can we adjust this a little bit?

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Yeah. So

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I don't think you can get away with just going with the flow, and just letting things happen haphazardly, and,

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you know,

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improvising, I really don't think so I think it needs to be done properly, the adults need to get in a room, need to discuss it and need to come to some conclusions come to some agreement. With a positive spirit positive intentions.

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There's a really good book that I would recommend that you read, it's called the boy crisis by Warren Farrell. Okay. And in that book, he talks about like,

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if a couple of divorced, what, you know, how can they kind of minimize the negative effect of that divorce on their children, and four of the things he mentioned, so I'll just tell you, of course, there's, there's a lot more in the book, so I recommend you, you have a look at the book, because it's based on research.

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One of the things he mentions is,

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you know, having as much time with each parent as possible, you know, is beneficial for the child. So it's not like too imbalanced in one direction or the other. Right.

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Also, he says that, the father and mother, the actual father and mother of the children living close together close to each other,

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that really helps, you know, so if you're like, in completely different cities, completely different countries, that's going to be like, really hard. If you can live,

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like 20 minutes away from each other Max, or something like that, you know, something that's

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you can actually travel to each other easily, then, you know, he's he actually recommends that that's, that has a positive effect for the children, because then it's not like,

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you know, when they would one parent, their whole life has to shift to that household, and then when they're with the other parent, their entire life has to shift.

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So if it's possible for you to live not too far away, that will be good.

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He also says that the spouses shouldn't badmouth each other.

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You know, like, Don't criticize your husband, your ex husband in front of your children. And he should not criticize you in front of them, you know, because

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that has a negative effect on children, when

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husband and wife or ex husband and ex wife criticize each other in front of their children. Well, what happens is, because the child sees themselves in their parents, right?

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They feel they take it very personally.

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They take it very personally. And of course, it's going to harm the relationship with the other with the other parent, right? So don't do that. avoid that. Don't use your kids as a as a space for venting about your ex spouse. And the last thing he says is to have really good communication between the ex husband and ex wife.

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He says if you need it, get counseling in order to get really good communication. So that you can see that each other you know, you each have the best, the best intention there for the child, and that you can come to a conclusion that will produce the best results for each other and for the

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Child write for the children. So those are just four things that he mentioned in order to minimize the negative effects of divorce.

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Okay.

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So yeah, my recommendation is have a family meeting everyone talks about what their needs are, what the what what needs to be done for the kids what the kids needs are.

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And as your kids get older, you want to include them as well, you know, like have a session where you actually hear them out as well, what their needs are, what's working and what's not working for them. Right.

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But yeah, I think meetings are always a good idea.