Marriage and divorce cases COVID-19
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Abu Dhabi: When it comes to technology, there are boundaries to consider. Perhaps one of the most common points of contention is phone passwords. Is it ok to have your partner’s phone password? Should you give them yours? Or should you be able to trust your partner enough that you don’t feel like you need to have it?

During the signing of the marriage contract, a Saudi woman stipulated that she be given the passwords of her fiancee’s mobile phone or that his device be unlocked, in order to have access to it at all times.

But when the marriage official took the fiancee’s opinion before registering the condition, he refused, considering it was an encroachment on his privacy and the marriage was not concluded due to the woman’s insistence.

Marriage official Saleh Bukhari said whatever conditions set by the fiancee are registered in the marriage contract after taking the opinion of the fiancé.

“There are weird conditions, yet they are accepted by some husbands. In Islam, marriages are not considered to be ‘made in heaven’ between ‘soul-mates’ destined for each other; they are not sacraments. They are social contracts which bring rights and obligations to both parties, and can only be successful when these are mutually respected and cherished,” Bukhari said.

He added, “If and when such contracts are broken, either party is entitled to seek divorce. It is not assumed that a couple will remain together ‘till death do us part’. Islam is realistic, and aware that many marriages go wrong and break down for all sorts of reasons. However, most marriages commence with the best of intentions, and the state of marriage is regarded as the ideal way for Muslims to live.”

The strangest terms

Bukhari continued, “Among the very commonly conditions are access to studies and work, an independent house, and among the strangest are luxury cars, housemaids, and — the most recent demand by many women — not preventing them from driving, as well as not to marry another woman.”

It is important, therefore, that persons getting married should do their utmost to make the partner happy and satisfied in every respect. Truly practising Muslims will keep the rules, and may only have one sexual partner in the whole of their lives.

However, one difference between Islam and other faiths is that to this day a man may have more than one wife, up to the limit of four wives simultaneously — so long as it is not done to the detriment and hurt of the existing Muslim partner(s).

The refusal to hurt or abuse another Muslim is a basic requirement in Islam, and is assumed in polygamous marriage considerations. If a man feels unable to treat all parties with kindness, love and scrupulous fairness, he is ordered by God not to take more than one wife. Muslim women are required to have only one husband at a time — they may still marry more than one man in a lifetime, but consecutively.

Social Counselor Ali Al Ghamdi said whether or not you have your partner’s phone password is totally up to you and your partner, but it’s still crucial to understand the why behind it. “If you want to know your partner’s passwords because you don’t trust him/her, then there are bigger issues that need to be discussed together. Why are you having trust issues?,” Al Ghamdi said.

He added, “Trust isn’t about checking in on someone constantly, or always being around to see and know what they’re doing. Trust isn’t about controlling who someone talks to or what they wear. When there is trust, we don’t feel a need to do that. It’s a lack of trust which makes that feel necessary. When we trust someone, we’re believing that no matter what our partner does, with or without us around, they will honor the boundaries of the relationship that we’ve agreed upon.”

Al Ghamdi confirmed, “Nobody should ever feel pressured or forced to share their passwords if they don’t want to, and everyone should always have the right to as much digital privacy as they want. If you and your partner decide to share passwords and one of you changes their mind, that person has the right to renegotiate that boundary and change their passwords, at any time, for any reason.”

Sharing passwords is not replacement for trust in a relationship.

Al Ghamdi advised, “If you’re finding that trust is an issue in your relationship, first ask yourself where this mistrust is coming from. Is it an internal or external factor, or a combination of both? Once you know that, you can address your trust issues in the best and healthiest way moving forward. That might mean a conversation with your partner or individual counseling, or it could mean moving on from the relationship if you just feel like your partner is untrustworthy.”

Whatever the case may be, Al Ghamdi said, it is important to remember that it’s never okay to allow a lack of trust to result in unhealthy behaviors that aim to limit or control your partner.

“A healthy relationship is founded in respect, equality, safety, and support. If you don’t have trust, you can’t have any of those,” Al Ghamdi concluded.