Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I chose to marry a cousin in haste, now I regret it!

lonely man, losing her,

Assalam alaikum,

I'll begin by giving a little info about me. I'm 23 years old, and the eldest in my family. Mashallah, I have a big family and I love them all to bits. My mum and dad have a balance between traditional and modern values.

I went with my mum and sisters to Pakistan to visit my family on my mum's side, and to see potential spouses (who were all cousins). The first week and half went well, but soon I was being pestered by cousins and my mum to pick someone. As any educated and smart person will know, it doesn't take a week or a few days to pick a life partner. Mistakes were made, and me and my mum saw everyone's true colours- i.e. her own sisters wanted their sons to marry me, and were being jealous, putting up tantrums, and insulting and backbiting me and and my family behind our backs.

In haste, and with my own voice, I agreed to get engaged to my mum's brother's son. Everyone was happy, jealous, sad and excited. The engagement took place, but I wasn't happy. I could have said something sooner, but seeing everyone happy made me hesitate. I thought I could grow to like the fiancee, but I was so wrong- though I tried.

Back in the UK, my mind began to change and my health began to deteriorate since I have physical problems. Medical problems run in the family and exist on both my mum's and dad's sides, but they are related too. I began to pray, ask for advice and do istikhara, but my mind about the entire thing began to change minute by minute. I should have told everyone in pakistan that I would go back home and have a think, but I told them in haste without thinking clearly. I didn't think about compatibility, hobbies and actual mutual attraction. I only later learned that my fiancee is completely incompatible with me!

I've begun to dislike him more and more each day, and I heavily regret my hasty decision. It's only been 3 months, so I thought I'd tell mum and dad about my thoughts. They were mad! I mean not in the violent way, but heavily confused and disappointed. My mum understands and she has my back, but my dad is being childish about it and ignores me, which hurts! He goes on about shame and honour, telling me that his relationship with my my mum's brother will be ruined and he and his family will forever hate us.

My mum has actually spoken to her brother, and he isn't bothered about any of this! He says he will be upset, but he doesn't want to make me upset and tells me it's my choice. My dad is worried about what people will say, and I've tried many times to explain it to him. He says people will laugh at us and insult us and no person will ever look at me again. I just don't know how to explain! Nothing I say makes a difference. People make mistakes, but the way my mum and dad say it, it's like I'll have to live with it.

My mum has tried to change my mind, but the opposite is happening. My family isn't rich, but we're doing ok. I don't want to be one of those girls that gets forced into marriage to make her parents happy, and lives a dreadful life. Neither can I afford to sponsor a spouse and buy a house and work for the rest of my life.

My mum and dad don't have connections, even though we live in a place where there are lots of Muslims. I'd prefer to marry out of the family, create connections and expand the gene pool. So I don't know what to do. Please help and provide advice. Thank you.


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10 Responses »

  1. Assalam alaikum Sister,

    Your post was a little confusing because it appears that you are only engaged to your cousin, not married. If you could explain this further...are you married? Where is he currently living?

    Based on my personal observation alone (and that you two are only engaged), I don't think you should pursue this relationship if you feel no attraction and compatibility because once he joins you in UK, it will get worse. Sure there will some people who will say this is drastic, but I very strongly believe that you should take the heat now, rather than for the rest of your life.

    May Allah make it easy for you, Ameen.

  2. asalamu alaikum,

    go with what your heart tells you. it seems you were pressured into it, rather then choosing for yourself. I also think marrying out side of family is a good idea. is your parents ok with you finding your own spouse? if so, you can join a matrimonial site with your parents consent. you don't need a connection to find a spouse.

    ma salama..

  3. Don't let your dad's tantrums and your mom's sadness weaken your resolve. Marriage is but a bond of mutual love, not the sort of bond one should be forced into. If you feel he isn't right for you, and you are averse to the thoughts of where all this might end up, then it would be best to turn down the entire thing, even if it means throwing your parents into anxiety. Make your parents see reason. Tell them you feel he isn't right for you. If they dismiss what you say as nonsense, tell them again. They are bound to come around sooner or later.
    The fact that marriage prospects are bleak in no way implies that you tie the knot with someone you utterly resent.

  4. Assalaamualaikam

    If you don't want to marry this guy, and haven't yet had your nikah, then I'd advise that you don't marry him. There is clear precedent in ahadith that a woman has the right to choose her own spouse and to reject suitors if she does not like them.

    If you have had your nikah, though, Islamically you have married him, and ending the relationship would require divorce. If you have married him, I'd suggest that the two of you try to work through your difficulties - maybe even try speaking with a marriage guidance counsellor? Marriage is a significant commitment, and Allah brings people together for a reason (although we may not understand the reason at the time), so it might be worth getting to know each other a bit more before deciding whether or not the two of you need to divorce (assuming he isn't being abusive or cruel - if he is, then leave now). Divorce is permitted, but should never be undertaken lightly or without exploring alternatives.

    Midnightmoon editor

  5. Don't do it Hun. If you are uncomfortable, just say so.

    Better to live alone and wait for the right person than being pressured into something that feels wrong.

    Pray iistikhara, let your parents know, and put your foot down. No one can make you marry a person without your permission, and who cares about what people say! Let them talk till their ears fall off, people gossip about all kinds of things so forget people who are addicted to talking about others and find a righteous person to marry and make you happy else where.

  6. I agree with everyone's advise masAllah.

    If you are engaged PLEASE BREAK IT OFF, your honor and respect can still be saved! Engagement are nothing but a marriage is has you will be RUINED with shame. Ignore your dad or parents. Forced marriages are not valid.

    I also say if your not happy say NO you are entitled to be happy. Marriage is about 2 people connecting not for the sake of family. Your parents only care about their families not you. Stand up for yourself and look for someone outside the family. Marrying in the family is not worth it alot of baggage comes in including gaining you for money and then later abusing you when your not in the wrong etc. Think carefully and do what you want and don't please your parents for the sake of your happiness you will REGRET IT.

  7. Salam,

    If you have not done your nikah, you should be happy that you can get out without making even more damage in your family relationship. I know it sounds easy for us to advise you not to proceed the marriage but when you think about it, it is also so unfair to the boy's side. There are so many posts in this website about unhappy forced marriage, you do not want to repeat their mistakes. Your case even though is not "forced" per se, you still should not bend down to those family pressure.

    I am sorry I need to be harsh with you, you should not please anyone by agreeing something that is not from your heart especially marriage in the first place. You better be brave enough to stand up for your mistake and apologize to your cousin and his family as you do not know how much damage you've done.

    Another thing that noone has pointed out is about your health issue. You should not or should be very careful to consider close knit marriage if you have genetic disease. The chances are high to carry on genetic disease in your next generation.

    Sister, stand up for your mistakes and apologize to whoever got hurt in this proposal and move on.

  8. Sister,

    When all is said and done, this is your life...your happiness here. Please don't end up just another girl married to a guy she knew she didn't want to marry in the first place. All too often that is the case. Your gut instinct tells you that this cousin of yours is not the one for you. Just stand your ground and tell your parents you love them very much but your cousin is not the man you want for a husband. Your defense in all of this is that you were pressured into making a decision...end of story.

    Let your dad be mad and let everyone say what they want to because none of it matters in the end. What matters is that you end up married to someone you choose to be married to because it is what you want.


  9. If your are not married you can choose to not marry. If you are already married there are prayers to increase love between husband and wife. If he is a good person i would suggest trying somewhat to work things out before giving up because good men are hard to find. Some things might not be compatible but if you talk to him he might be willing to compromise or adjust to suit your needs.

  10. My dear sister. You can make things work for you tooo PRAYERS IS THE KEY....

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