Ex GF wants to Divorce Tunis Muslim husband

frank7859

New Member
#1
Hi,
My ex Girlfriend recently made contact, we had been separated over two half years, it turns out she is still living in the UK but has converted to Islam and is married to a Tunisian man ... she married in a Mosque, and her marriage is only under Islamic law - not a UK marriage.
She tells me she is very unhappy and wants out of the marriage, it appears this man was an Illegal Immigrant, but since marrying her has been granted citizenship, she has also lent him quite a few £1000's.
She tells me she feels very threatened by him, in fact would fear for her life if he knew she was in contact with me (how true that is I really don't know) ... I'm sorry to say it but she must be a bit dense to have got into such a position.
Her freedoms to go out and live a normal independent life (well what I consider normal, friends, socialising) - seems very curtailed, almost like she is under house arrest ... very isolated, stuck at home all the time while he goes out till all hours (again, apparently - I dont know).
I get the feeling that she could simply be stuck in this for a long long time, she is simply too weak and dominated to get out, which seems very sad ... what a bad place to be in your life ... she said she has become really F****d up, and her life is a mess ... and I'd have to agree.
Does anyone have any advice how I could help her escape this hell she seems to have found herself in ... thanks
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#2
Hi Frank, welcome to the forum. I know you say she's married to a Tunisian man, you also say she's STILL living in the UK, where is she from originally? Did they marry in the UK or in Tunisia?

Sounds like she's living a very oppressed life right now...does she have family here? I'm presuming that as she converted to Islam that her family aren't Muslim. If they weren't legally married then no divorce by a UK court is needed. Is he violent? How on earth did he get citizenship if he was an illegal? I know, lots of questions.

I'm afraid to say though that in my opinion all you can do is point out the obvious choices she has..contacting the Police if she is so afraid of him, leaving him, sourcing local refuges and obviously letting her family know so that they can support her. However ultimately it's her who has to do it, we all know that a lot of women will lead this kind of existence for many years before they find the strength to do anything, some sadly don't at all. Hopefully if she can gain strength from those around her she'll get up and go.

Are there any children involved?
 

salim

Well-Known Member
#3
Hi Frank and welcome to tunisia .com ! I am really sorry for your ex girlfriend , i don't know how she accpet to live in this "hell" , maybe her choice for this man was wrong !!! He treat her like a slave not his wife ,what he done with her is definitely far from Islam and how the man must treat his wife !
Come back to what you've mentioned : did your ex was married to this guy in Tunisia or in the UK !How he went to the uk ?What do you mean Islamic law , i never heard about this before , if this guy is a Tunisian citizen why he went to the mosque to marry her ? Did your ex show you her certificate of marriage ?
 

frank7859

New Member
#4
Hi Jane,
Thanks for your reply.
She is an English woman, they married at a local mosque here.
They became a couple almost immediately after she left me, she has suggested she wants me to take her back, but she wants to step from him straight to me - moving back in to mine, which I have said is not a good thing to do - to him or me, I will have her back but it should be done right. I suggested she find her own place for a bit ... she seemed to get quite upset by that thought, she has also said there was a great feeling of oppression on her ... words like 'respect' and 'honour' were bearing down upon her, not just from her husband but from all the 'community' living on her doorstep, some of this 'community' are here illegally and so outside UK law, so they dont care ... it appears she is being closely observed, maybe they dont trust her .. which in my experience has been an issue I must admit.
BUT what ever - she should feel free to walk and not afraid to say 'I want out', which country is she living in ?? and under which laws (sorry to say that, but ...) - Islamic marriages are unrecognised here in the UK, so surely she could just walk out - does she really have to petition the local Islamic Court for a divorce ?.
But she seems trapped by something - something that is threatening to her, to stop her walking away and having her freedom, and its making her very unhappy - what really was the pull, why did she do that without thinking how she might end up ... I just wonder if any other women have experienced this and simply walked out, and what happened ?
 

frank7859

New Member
#5
Hi Salim,
He entered here illegally, they met and married in a UK Mosque under Islamic Law - whilst he was illegal, then he applied and was allowed to stay by the UK border Agency.
I think she preferred an Islamic marriage as she was very interested in the Tunisian type of Islamic religion - prior to meeting him. What seems bizarre is that she should have to petition an Islamic Court here in the UK for divorce - why cant she just walk away ?? its not a legal marriage here in the UK - she should be able to walk away ... but for some reason she cant ...
She has not shown me a certificate - but I can imagine her marrying him (she was after me for ages to marry her), but what ever - she seems very sad .. sitting opposite you could tell she wasn't having much fun.
She really regrets having got into all this, I have spoken to several Muslims, and they all seemed mostly OK, but maybe this is a bad apple - what would be her obligations as a wife under Islam, she tells me she can have no friends (male, which she always had many), she cant go anywhere on her own, unless its with him, apart from to work and back, she's just stuck at home all the time, it sounds like a prison sentence - surely its not like that is it, and if it is why would someone want to marry into all that ?
Should I be fearful if he found communications between us on her mobile and PC ? some of it has become quite personal about intimate matters, as a precaution I have told her to cut communication with me, which she has ... but knowing what is happening I think something should be done to help her ...
 

Jane BM

Well-Known Member
#6
Hi Frank...firstly absolutely yes I'd want all forms of past communications being removed from his view, he sounds quite extreme in his beliefs to me, so I'd imagine if he did see any communication between her and you he'd flip...

As you say, she's not living in an Islamic state, fortunately for her I'd say, within the laws of the country where she lives, the UK, she's not legally married to this man, she CAN walk away, to be fair she can walk away even if she's married!!! What on earth attracted her to this man in the first place though? Did she convert to Islam for him?...

I'm married to a Muslim, I'm not a Muslim, yes they do have certain 'ideals'...like her not having male friends etc, I'm sure my husband wouldn't want me going to the pub with a male friend, but then I wouldn't particularly like it if he did, however, what you're describing its like their living in Saudi or something doesn't it???? Ridiculous.

I think you're right not letting her just move straight back in with you, she needs to concentrate on herself first before embarking on another relationship rather than going from one to another. You never know she may actually like being on her own.

I'd say that the thing that is stopping her right now is fear, maybe she feels she's let her 'faith' down and would be ostracised. Whilst divorce isn't as common place amongst Muslims (although I have my own theory it's more to do with putting up and shutting up as much as anything else), one of my husbands aunts divorced her husband, this was in Tunisia, he didn't treat her well, over a period of time and she just had enough, got the gumption and upped and left, if anything people were patting her on the back. Fortunately the husband found himself a younger model and moved on pretty quickly!!!!

Has he been physically abusive to her or is it more psychological?
 

Essem

Moderator
Staff member
#7
Hi Frank and welcome to the forum.

From what you write, your ex sounds like the type of woman who can't live without a man/partner in her life - maybe she's not capable of living on her own.

Sounds like she's bouncing back and forth to whatever situation is best for her at any given time.

And also sounds like she's allowed herself to be controlled in this relationship - if he's out all day, why can't she up and leave - has he imprisoned her?

Maybe she wants to be rescued. Maybe be coming back to you immediately is the only way she'll be strong enough to keep him at a distance.

Sometimes we make decisions and never really think things through as to what could be the end result - rose tinted specs and all that, we've probably all done it. And we're all probably guilty of thinking that our good situations will last forever. Things can happen that can change the best of relationships in a heartbeat and you'd need to be psychic to know the outcome of our decisions.

Could be just that they type of woman she is, or has become, is what's holding her back from walking out and moving on. She maybe wants someone else to take the decision out of her hands so that she's not responsible for her actions and what's happening.

If there is an unlocked door, regardless of who is looking, she should be able to walk. Divorce could be dealt with at a later stage, Main thing is she's out of there and safe.

Didn't really understand the trust bit - did she give you reason not to trust her?

As for the illegals, I'm sure UKBA would be interested in their whereabouts.

BTW will she change back to whatever religion she had before she converted or was that just to please her hb?
 

salim

Well-Known Member
#8
Hi Salim,
He entered here illegally, they met and married in a UK Mosque under Islamic Law - whilst he was illegal, then he applied and was allowed to stay by the UK border Agency.
I think she preferred an Islamic marriage as she was very interested in the Tunisian type of Islamic religion - prior to meeting him. What seems bizarre is that she should have to petition an Islamic Court here in the UK for divorce - why cant she just walk away ?? its not a legal marriage here in the UK - she should be able to walk away ... but for some reason she cant ...
She has not shown me a certificate - but I can imagine her marrying him (she was after me for ages to marry her), but what ever - she seems very sad .. sitting opposite you could tell she wasn't having much fun.
She really regrets having got into all this, I have spoken to several Muslims, and they all seemed mostly OK, but maybe this is a bad apple - what would be her obligations as a wife under Islam, she tells me she can have no friends (male, which she always had many), she cant go anywhere on her own, unless its with him, apart from to work and back, she's just stuck at home all the time, it sounds like a prison sentence - surely its not like that is it, and if it is why would someone want to marry into all that ?
Should I be fearful if he found communications between us on her mobile and PC ? some of it has become quite personal about intimate matters, as a precaution I have told her to cut communication with me, which she has ... but knowing what is happening I think something should be done to help her ...
Hi Frank ,
This marriage is illegal we don't have a marriage under Islamic law ??? if she someone want to marry then they have 2 choice : under UK law if they lives there or Tunisian law , in this case they can go to Tunisia to get married but what you talk about they never look a legal marriage you are right ! We are not in Egypt where they use this kind of engagement ! Apparently this guy use your ex and from what i concluded she is agree for that :confused:She forget her rights and she forget that she is a British woman , she can let him go home "barfooted"
The religion is something precious but the Human is precious too and his rights comes first ! she need to stand up for her rights , sorry she is really unlucky because she wasn't with you , if i was in her place and i see you care about her i will be happy and upset at the same moment !
 

frank7859

New Member
#9
Hi All, thank you for your perspective, as an Englishman myself it is so difficult to know how to judge the situation she is in, apart from the fact she looks thoroughly miserable, knowing her she can be very malleable and overly quick to assimilate and want to please if she feels that person will provide some 'eastern promise', yes I can imagine she converted to Islam to please him, I think she also liked being 'married' - I can only imagine this man charmed his way into her heart, just before she ended the relationship with me - I'm not spiritual, just me - and maybe she wanted someone who was, it is not the first time she has walked out all starry eyed and charmed by another ... leaving me ... well need I say more.
Regardless though I think she needs help, and as a fellow human - who has had an intimate relationship with this person you feel duty bound to help.
How did she end up in this position, naivety ... I wont call her thick, although that's whats she said to me she thought she was ... thick, why would you trust a man who has lied and cheated his way into our country, I can assume an illegal immigrant would be quite uneducated, and untrust worthy, simply by his position - she wouldn't date a man from the UK like that, in fact she came from a reasonably wealthy background, well I guess she only has herself to blame.
Why cant she just up and go, I think she's too insecure to leave, she needs someone to move onto, to cling onto for comfort and security - I dont know what this man has done to her head in the last two years, is he controlling or is it the culture ? - someone explain please ...
Does she want to remain an Islamic follower - she said she wanted to - but when I explained the Iddah (3 month cooling off period) she thought otherwise ... as you say why she can't simply walk I dont know, I know one of the group of men known to her husband is her ex boss (in fact she met her husband through him), maybe she doesn't want to upset him by simply walking out ? I can imagine all sorts of promises were made in the run up to the relationship starting and marriage, so maybe she feels duty bound towards all sorts of people she has met since leaving me, I mean she has lived another life for 2 1/2 years since we split, of which I have little idea what that is -
I also know she has a financial commitment with him, ie he owes her £0000's and to get that back she needs to remain in the relationship whilst he pays it off ... I guess she'd have to write it off if it came to it ...
Do you have to wear a wedding ring, or jewelery or other item to show you are married under Islam ?
 

ROULLA

Registered User
#10
Hi Frank and welcome to the forum!
Frank I have read your posts but the last one caught my eye because from one of your sentences which says

(and maybe she wanted someone who was, it is not the first time she has walked out all starry eyed and charmed by another ... leaving me ... well need I say more.)

From the sentence above I get the feeling that she was using you to be honest with you because if she really loved you then she would have stayed with you and not going backwards and forwards into other relationships.
She obviously knows that everything that you have told her is correct and by the sounds of it she sounds depressed but that does not mean that you have to always pick up the pieces when things go wrong in her life.
Frank you sound like a decent bloke but if I was you I would just help her as much as possible to get out of the situation that she is in by telling her places that can help like the women s refuge and there are loads of them about its not like we live in a village, the UK help so many people in all kinds of situations.

If she really wanted to get and and go then she must of had loads of chances and if she did not have the courage then maybe you can now persuade her or even better direct her onto the right organisations but I would not let her move in with me straight away because firstly you maybe placing yourself in danger and secondly how healthy do you think it is for someone to have had experienced a bad relationship with someone then crying on the ex's shoulders.

The thing is if she was born and breed here she should know that people who live in the UK get plenty of help and that no one is judged just helped no matter what the situation is.
As for being married in the Mosque I too have heard of this but there is no law in the UK that states if you get married this way then you are husband and wife.

If she had changed her religion then surely she would be the first to know that as a Muslim then the man should respect and honor not treat her like muck.
The best thing that she can do right now is to get in contact with some sort of women's organization that help women that are in violent relationships and she can rest assure that he her husband will not be allowed no where near her as they have security and cameras day and night so tell her not to be scared and try and pluck the courage to do something before it gets out of hand.

Good luck Frank with trying to help this lady but also watch your own back because you never know who's behind you. There are some nasty people out there.
 

Scottochott

Well-Known Member
#11
Hi Frank and welcome to the forum? Where to start? Your ex is obviously in a very difficult position and as others have mentioned the impetus really needs to come from her, however if I was in your position and an ex or merely a friend felt like this I too would feel the need to do something.

Without knowing all the facts it is difficult to advise, but I would say that the Islamic fundamentalist world she is in is not typically Tunisian, I suspect her mosque is run under the influence of other Islamic countries and cultures. Her marriage is not illegal as stated by some, but is not recognised under uk law, but depending on her depth of faith can be walked away from or indeed if she wishes to stay within her newfound Islamic community may require her to petition the Islamic court.

Personally I find it abhorrent that a uk citizen should be made to feel like this in her own country, I would do everything in my power, together with her family and previous friends, to instantly remove her from this situation. I would invoke the full force of the law and involve the police, immigration services, women's charities, refuges, the press, and any other possible body to confront these people, especially given the fact they are here illegally and sound like they are acting illegally.

Forget any money due, it is gone. Think very carefully about rekindling a relationship, given the few facts you have shared, this on the face of it would do neither of you any good. Simply be a good friend, marshall all the support you can and act strongly and quickly.

Sorry to appear blunt, it is always easier to give advice as an outsider without being aware of all the facts, but trust me it seems very clear to us...get her out! I'm not sure what else you expected us to say, maybe you just need a push for action, there is no easy answer apart from firm action to confront a bullying husband/boyfriend and his cronies. This is 21st century multicultural Britain, not an Islamic state stuck in the Middle Ages. Even in Tunisia this would not be acceptable.

Good luck and stay in touch, we will give you and her support if needed, I wish you both all the best
 

frank7859

New Member
#12
Thank you all, to have all your different perspectives helps a great deal.
Personally I would like to meet this man face to face - see how much of a man he really is, but I would sooner want a criminal record than jump off a cliff.
I will arrange a meeting with her to see how I can help, although she seems quite entrenched in what ever she has got herself into, I have not been in contact with her mum and dad for a while - and I would have thought they should be the first port of call for her not me, they live a fair distance away - so at least she could escape - unless of course the husband has been to their place. Then again her parents are away from the UK for long periods.
I myself have thought of reporting this to the police, but I will sit back and not get too involved for now as I too could become a target which I really could do without, I have elderly parents to think of and take care.
I am unsure whether to keep her at arms length ... what if something bad happens ? then again I am sure she has normal friends at work she could turn to.
 

salim

Well-Known Member
#13
Thank you all, to have all your different perspectives helps a great deal.
Personally I would like to meet this man face to face - see how much of a man he really is, but I would sooner want a criminal record than jump off a cliff.
I will arrange a meeting with her to see how I can help, although she seems quite entrenched in what ever she has got herself into, I have not been in contact with her mum and dad for a while - and I would have thought they should be the first port of call for her not me, they live a fair distance away - so at least she could escape - unless of course the husband has been to their place. Then again her parents are away from the UK for long periods.
I myself have thought of reporting this to the police, but I will sit back and not get too involved for now as I too could become a target which I really could do without, I have elderly parents to think of and take care.
I am unsure whether to keep her at arms length ... what if something bad happens ? then again I am sure she has normal friends at work she could turn to.
Good luck Frank do your best with her but Please don't put your self in trouble with this guy !God bless you , don't forget to let us know your latest !Good luck:)
Salim
 

Mezoo

VIP Member
#14
don't waste your time Frank.
 
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