- Sarah Casey's* husband blocked her on social media, only for her to find out that he had married another wife.
- When he eventually unblocked her, his explanation was that he was forced into it but his family denies it.
- The heartbroken wife, shares her story while she tries to mend her broken heart during this confusing time.
Sarah Casey* has been living separately from her husband since June 2021, but this is because he had to return to his home country, Iraq, after his father suffered three strokes. Months on, in December, his mother passed on unexpectedly.
But she did not anticipate what would follow.
"He [recently] blocked me on social media sites, so I asked his sister if anything had happened or what was going on? She told me my husband has married. You can only imagine my disbelief, and it broke me into pieces," Sarah shares with W24.
Her husband's sister said that her legal marriage in South Africa is invalid in Iraq because she did not have a Nikkah (In Islam, is a contract between a husband and wife and forms part of one of the stages in an Islamic marriage.)
What hurts even more is that the couple was in conversation about a spousal VISA, so there were hopes of seeing each other soon.
Sarah met her husband when she was 48, and he was 33. But the 15 year age gap did not deter their love story from unfolding beautifully.
It was a love connection made online when she was his English tutor. But their feelings for each other grew to the point that they met in person for the first time in India in 2018.
"I honestly was not looking for a relationship or love. I had been single for 17 years. So yes, my feelings for him grew unexpectedly," Sarah says.
They got married in 2019 in South Africa where Sarah currently lives. Before he went back to Iraq they were happy and everything was fine between them, so she thought.
"He told me that he has to marry again as he needs help with his father even though he has five other siblings who live around each other," the she says.
"He later decided not to because he professed he cannot live without me or love another."
But then he did get married and told Sarah he was "forced to marry" when he unblocked her on social media. His family denies it.
"My husband was placed in a position where he has to care for his father and maintain the home. I cannot understand this as he has three sisters and two older brothers who are all married and live within walking distance from his home. I still believe it's just an excuse for him to take a second wife," she tells us.
Sarah says she held on to hope that all would be well while waiting for him to return, but that hope is gone.
"It's left me immensely scarred, but I'm forced to accept. Religion and cultural differences have a huge impact on relationships. The that our government also makes it virtually impossible for our husbands to live and work here," she adds.
Sarah is still in contact with her husband, but she says she will not be moving to Iraq because the situation there is volatile.
* Not her real name