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Divorce: Dealing with Arguments

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Islam discourages divorce except as a last resort after having exhausted all other avenues to try and save the marriage. If divorce becomes inevitable, then Muslims need to avoid the bitter fights, custody battles and airing of dirty linen in public. Here are some tips on handling arguments that arise at such a time.


(These tips can be used for arguments that arise on other occasions as well):

1. It takes 2 to argue. You can always refuse to participate.

2. A certain amount of tension is to be expected when you’re getting divorced. Expect difficult discussions, but they don’t have to result in a fight.

3. Try to understand your spouse’s viewpoint. Once you understand what he or she wants, you can begin to see how you might be able to help resolve the situation.
4. Evaluate your goals. Are you entrenched in a position that may have another solution? If you want your children on Wednesday night for dinner, will Thursday do?

5. Use ‘I’ statements. Begin sentences with ‘I’, rather than ‘you’. E.g.: ‘I feel upset when I hear you say that I’m a bad father because I have to work so many hours’ instead of ‘You are always accusing me of being a bad father’.

6. Choose your timing. The same comment may evoke a different response if 1) neither of you is tired; 2) neither of you is already angry; and 3) the children are not in earshot.

7. Be prepared to say ‘I’m sorry’ sometimes. ‘I was wrong’ can go a long way.
8. Plan a time to have a discussion with your spouse about a specific issue that bothers you.Limit the discussion.


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