Islamic marriage advice and family advice

A daughter, a wife and demands of life, sigh!

Unhappy marriage

My husband and I have a comfortable enough life, individual cars, a house and young children. Not a large loan, just a few bits and pieces we are able to pay off easily. I decided to be a stay at home mum even if it meant cutting back on a bit of my expenses as I was finding it hard to juggle a job and a house at the same time. We have absolutely no family here, no support. My husband works long odd hours, as it is the demand of his profession and earns an amount respectable enough to pay the rent, fuel and bills. We do not dream of big houses or extravagant lifestyles. Though we do believe we should have anough money in the future to be able to pay the university fees for our children and help them start a new life when they get married. Our respective families are quite well off, but we have hardly ever needed their help in our everyday life, though they did give us stepping stones initially from where we progressed well Alhamdolillah.
My husband now suggests we are not saving enough to buy a freehold house, which would help in saving money in the future, and he is tired of paying rents every month. He has now come up with the idea that I should go back to Pakistan for a few years with the children, in my inlaws house, which is also quite close to my parents house. The thought of living without my husband breaks me apart. He claims to love me, and for a fact, is also very dependant on me, but it upsets me to think he has to send his family away to do extra shifts, cut down on cost of living and save money in order to buy a house 'so we can save money for our childrens education'.

He has blackmailed me emotionally by saying 'your parents would love to have you and the kids around for a change' I know that is true, but we visit every year for a few months, and they come here every now and then. My dad does stay unwell no doubt but otherwise they are quite busy and active with their life and the education of my younger sibling. They have loads of domestic help and all their relatives, they do keep saying that bringing the kids back would add years to their life, but do you think this is the right way to do it?
I initially objected, cried, refused to which my husband agreed. I said I was happy to downsize our living, but condition he put forward was that I should get a job too. We live in a tiny rural area, where I have applied for many part time jobs. I am a qualified woman who spent years on a masters degree, and a diploma afterwards and gave up everything to be home and provide a stress free atmosphere and hot meals for my family. I hated coming home in the evening tired and moody, having to cook, do the laundry, and not have the strength to hear what my kids did in school. He never helped, he felt he does enough at work, which I agree with, but also feel he has taken it overboard.
On the other hand, my parents, despite being very loving and involved in our lives, I feel are too dominating for a married daughters life. Things like "why arent you having any more children", "come to every relatives house with us, no matter how you feel about them", "take me shopping, drop everything you are doing and get me this from the shop" kind of attitude drives me mad. And if I try to explain to them , my dad goes, 'how dare you treat your mother like that', my mother says 'is this what I get in return for all that Ive done for you all your life'. My husbands behaviour is also getting very irritable with me. He snaps at every single thing I do or say, he has started to find fault in everything. I am sometimes left gobsmacked because I cannot express what I was going to even to explain my intentions.

For example! this morning on my way back from school, I was unable to park my cars bewteen two already parked cars outside my house, so instead of taking a risk , I parked my car elsewhere. He came out and said, bring your car here and listen to my directions. I was very very scared, and got very close to one of his cars. He snapped at me saying I cannot even listen to instructions properly. I did not reply as I did not want to start an argument. I did try to explain I was scared in the first place and thats why I parked somewhere else. And even whilst I was parking, I was thinking in my heart, I wish I could ask my husband to teach me the technique of parking in a tight space bw two cars as in the recent past I had gotten stuck somewhere and had another person come out of his car and help me out, bless him.
I tried to avoid the argument, but he just wouldnt shut up. I ended up screaming in the end because I couldn't take it anymore. I'm also tired of being belittled and felt worthless all the time. He is always telling me off. Though he does regret it afterwards and comes to apologize but it is getting worse.
I try not to get involved with my parents too much in case it leads to trouble, but I listen to them, obey them and sort out everything for them. Just try to keep the interaction less. I am stuck between 2 worlds.

I am very sorry , extremely apologetic for writing out such a long post which is probably a pain for most people to read, but I desperately need someone to point out where I am going wrong, any personality flaws in me, and how I should tackle with these issues.

A bit about me, I am 36, a full time mum, wake up for my husband at any hour he needs to go to work, give him bed tea, iron his clothes, make his breakfast, pack his lunch, and as soon as he leaves wake the kids up and the whole cycle is repeated, drive them to school, do the grocery/meat etc on the way back as per requirement, come home have breakfast, cook, clean, iron, talk to my mum or bhabi (my brothers wife) and drive to school to pick kids up.
Fix them something to eat when they come back, take the kids for gymnastic and swimming 3 days a week. Husband finishes work at the strangest hours, make sure I am there to serve him hot food, give him compaby till hes finished, update him with the day, literally go to bed DEAD!!! And fulfil 'all' his needs anytime of the day or night.

He is a good father and husband otherwise.


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9 Responses »

  1. I'm a single mum and I do everything all alone. It is hard but not that much when time come. Maybe working alone is not enough money for future not now maybe thats what your husband scared about 'future'. Like I'm thinking I need extra job for safety of future. Also I cook n do all household alone and being under pressure of a lot things still life have to move on. I think if you won't agree in goig back Pakistan then u can do some part time job at home.

  2. Assalam'alaykum,

    It is just normal for a husband and wife to have these mini arguements but these should not go on for long time because then it will lead to bigger troubles and problems. Therefore, for every problems there has to be a quick solutions. Some times a couple may experiance 'mood change' wherewith they get 'annoyed' or 'irritated' more easily. These feelings are temporary insha'Allah and has to be tackled, this might be done with understanding, compromise and sacrifice.
    Furthermore, I envy your courage, efforts and patience . You did well by doing all your duties as a housewife. You even worked to support your husband, which is great.
    It is very difficult for a woman to work fulltime and takecare of the home, especially when the main bread winner has also long working hours. Its also great that your husband has changed his idea of sending you and kids to Pakistan. I believe that the solution to your problems has to come from your husband. He has to help you in household works, if its not possible, then he should appreciate your efforts and not find faults. 'Finding faults will only corrupt you or nearly corrupt you', it is also that you have many good in you but your husband only points out your fault thus making you unhappy etc which is a sin, thats why you've got to try to sit down with him, explaining to him your sad feelings, ask him that you need more driving practise ( amazing that my mum also finds it difficult and scary to park in between two cars lol ), tell him its impossible to be away from him for too long, you can't stay without him ( so the idea of sending you to Pakistan won't pop up again), ask him what else can you do to make him happy, tell him you love him soo much etc basically, have an honest open conversation with him calmly and wisely and control your anger even if he initiates, try to calm the situation down.
    Regarding your family, its obvious that they would ask odd questions like ' why don't you make more kids ' etc, you should try to ignore these questions by not paying too much attention to it ( most parents ask the same questions too ). Regarding visiting your relatives, if you're free then go ahead, basically this shouldn't be the cause of you going mad. I guess your parents are in their late 50s or early 60s. They wouldn't be around for too long, therefore we should obey them and show love, mercy and kindness. We should not show any sign of disrespect. Since your parents are far away from you, there is no harm in just listening to them and don't take their tasks and questions personally. Perhaps this might be a way to drive your negative feelings away.
    If your husband is willing to buy a freehold house, then you've got to start saving money immediately. Few possibilities are, firstly start a savings account to put in extra cash without ever withdrawing and then try shifting to a smaller home ( less rent ), if your kids are small then maybe one room is enough, go shopping for foods, clothes etc only when absolutely in need, if you do not need car you may sell it, avoid taking out loans, cut down outside environment like eating out etc, get rid of stuffs you don't need, etc and if you and your husband wishes, you may take up ' part-time ' job in halal environment. By taking up partime or full time jobs you'll once again start feelling the hardship of life by working outside and inside your home. You'll get mad, irritated, annoyed etc more easily once again. You'll feel very tierd to do all things a housewife should do if your husband doesn't help etc. Therefore, I believe that, there is no use in buying a home now if you both are incapable and unwilling to make great changes without sending you away, just stay a very simplistic life and save all the money for your kids future. But if buying a home means you've got to shift to Pakistan temporary then I feel sorry for you. Just protest for he loves you. Your husband should think about your feelings, wellbeing and his kids and he should not do selfish decisions.
    Since you have a good husband and a father to your kids masha'Allah, try to avoid any more arguements, fights etc. He seems a nice man when he apologized and regrets after ignorantly scholding you for poor driving. Therefore, I see that there are plenty of rooms for improvements, mending ways, compromises, sacrifices etc in your marriage. Do not shout at him, this will dent your respect for him etc.
    Finally, Pray regularly all the 5 prayers. Ask Allah for help, guidance and mercy. Make tawbah. Know that you're a great woman, wife and a mother. You've made great hardworks, sacrifices etc, you will be rewarded by Allah. And last but not the least, have patience patience patience. Make lots of dua for Allah will answer you insha'Allah. May you feel happy once again. " Verily with hardships comes ease ".

  3. U have tangled yourself so much into serving the whole family that I'm not sure if you can manage a job with all your routine. I very much understand your situation. I am a full time housewife.educated but did not work outside home since I had a child.
    I think because of living away from family, we never get a break from our spouses and so we start valuing each other less.
    You have a very monotonous routine and your husband does too.he could be overworked and he is taking it out in this way. You need to get extra patient when he is around.just follow instructions as he likes.that should please a Pakistani husband 😉
    Instead of going to Pakistan every year you could cut down on the money you spend on tickets and instead take a short holiday with family somewhere more local. That would refresh you and your husband.
    Try saving some little money and show your husband that there r other ways of saving for the future too instead of closing an entire household and going and living with in laws..which I believe is not a good idea.your in laws maybe very nice but once you are used to managing your own house according to your wishes it is very difficult to adjust into someone else's routine.
    I would also suggest that you offer namaz and two nafils of istikhara everyday and ask Allah to make you take the best decision. All the best! X

  4. Assalamualaikum sister,

    I think your husband is taking on too much. Rizq is upon Allah. Shaitaan makes a person scared and puts into grief. He also makes the person stingy and insecure.

    Allah Says:

    وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ ۚ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ ۚ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا
    And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a [decreed] extent.

    Allah Has Decreed how much a person will earn and when he will earn. No one has the power to take the Rizq of anyone away. One should have this belief in his heart. And this comes from knowledge about Allah, His Oneness and about His Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. Love of Allah and His Fear is what makes the heart contented.

    Ask your husband to have this belief in his heart and obey Allah and His Messenger Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam, and in sha Allah he will find Barakah in whatever he earns. Contentment is a gift which is invaluable.

    You can very well save money by keeping aside a small amount everyday. Other options are: have a smaller house, smaller car, etc. totally avoid riba' based loans. They are haraam and they take barakah away from one's earnings, however large they maybe in magnitude.

    Concerning your parents, my sister, they have a right to seek what they are seeking. There is a beautiful Hadith which you should read in this regard:

    When Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) set out to Makkah, he kept a donkey with him to ride when he would get tired from riding of the camel, and had a turban which he tied around his head. One day, as he was riding the donkey, a bedouin happened to pass by him. He (Abdullah Ibn Umar) said: "Aren't you so and so?" The bedouin said: "Yes." He (Abdullah Ibn Umar) gave him the donkey and his turban and said: "Ride this donkey, and tie this turban around your head." Some of his companions said: "May Allah forgive you, you gave to this bedouin the donkey which you enjoyed to ride for change, and the turban which you tied around your head." Abdullah Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) saying, "The finest act of goodness is the kind treatment of a person to the loved ones of his father after his death," and the father of this person was a friend of Umar (radhi allahu anhu)." [Saheeh Muslim]

    Subhanallah, your relatives deserve your visit, at least, whether you like them or not.

    And their demand that you shop with them and shop for them is very much reasonable. Allah Says:

    وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا
    And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], "uff," and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.

    وَاخْفِضْ لَهُمَا جَنَاحَ الذُّلِّ مِنَ الرَّحْمَةِ وَقُلْ رَبِّ ارْحَمْهُمَا كَمَا رَبَّيَانِي صَغِيرًا
    And lower to them the wing of humility out of mercy and say, "My Lord, have mercy upon them as they brought me up [when I was] small."

    I know you obey your parents, but do not feel bad at whatever they say.

    Additionally, sister, the thought that more children means less sustainance is not true. Allah Says in surah An'aam:

    نَحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّاهُم
    We will provide for you and them.

    As I said earlier, Rizq is Allah's. He Gives hiw much He Wills, to whoever He Wishes.

    I hope this has given you some idea about what you can do. I pray that Allah Makes it easy for you. And remember that such difficulties are a part of life, tests from Allah to see whether you trust in Him or you turn away.

    Muhammad Waseem Editor

    • I forgot to mention: if you do not wish to work, you need not work. No one can force you to work. A woman can work only if she wants to, in a Halaal environment. So enjoy your life as a mother 🙂

      Muhammad Waseem Editor

  5. Salaams,

    I just would like to make a few brief and practical suggestions that may help your situation:

    1. If you are not working, downsize to one car. It is possible to make it work- you can use it on days that you need it as long as you pick up/drop off your husband from work. Schedule all your errands for one or two days a week so it doesn't have to be an everyday thing where you are taxi for him.

    2. Don't worry about financing your children's education at this point. For one, the cost of education climbs every year and no matter how much you may be able to save between now and then, chances are it still won't cover everything. For two, it's a headache you don't need right now, and if it's something you are able to do when the time comes then alhamdullilah. For three, I think there is a value in children working toward and paying for their education themselves. They can do this by getting good grades in high school and winning scholarships and grants, doing work-study programs, or enrolling in financial aid. A child who has to work for his education usually appreciates it more and makes more of an investment in their own futures than those who have it handed to them with little effort on their own part.

    3. If both your parents and your husband's parents are well-off, then ask both of them for a gift amount of money to put toward a down payment for your own home. Usually coming up with the down payment is the hardest part, as the monthly payments usually run less or comparable to what you might be paying in rent now. A lot of families from all backgrounds usually make some sort of financial gift to help their children purchase their first home, so if that is your intentions then there is no harm in asking them to help you out with that.

    4. Find a marriage counselor to work on the communication and relationship issues you are having. Stress and these type of issues are a part of life, and they don't go away with time necessarily. You need to have good communication skills and a strong bond of trust and commitment to last the long haul, and there's no shame in having a professional help you work on improving those areas.

    I agree that sending you to live with your family is not the real solution. Even if you did go, Islamically he is still supposed to financially support you and the kids while you are there, so it doesn't save that much money in the end.

    I hope my advice and the advice given by others will help you make a way out of your current struggles, in shaa Allah.

    -Amy Editor

  6. Sister,

    In regards to your statement of you and the children going to Pakistan for a few years....I say, "no". A wife living in one place and the husband in another is not healthy for the relationship at all. God willing you will both work things out.


  7. I am happy to downsize further. We have already dowsized our house rent by 50% literally. I have even proposed to move to a smaller flat.
    We have to have 2 cars due to his odd hours. Like if he finishes work at 4 in the night my kids would be in bed and I cant leave them or wake them up at that hour.
    Did I mention we have 3 cars by the way and we go on mini holidays almost every 2-3 months? Thats what actually makes me laugh.
    I have surrendered like a good wife, eventually, after many discussions. He has convinced me enough to send me away. He will be paying maintenance. I have convinced myself so much Im actually looking forward to it now. But it secretly shatters my heart to think he can consider living away from his children and wife, and that too little kids who need his participation in upbringing just as much as a mothers.
    He attempted to do this in the past when we were married only a year and half. I fought to be back with with him and told him he has to decide if he even needs a wife. What was the point in being married if we couldnt live together? He promised never to do it again... but he after 9 years.
    I believe we are quite an attached couple, we are both funny, romantic and sensitive. We both pray, but not 5 times, I must admit, and are practicing muslims.
    We may not have come upto each others expectations 100% but we have had a fairly happy life. Allah knows how devoted, sincere and full time loving wife Ive been, like a puppy in love, so has he I know, he cannot bear to see me upset for even a few minutes. If Im cross he will go to any extent to make me happy.
    But this time when I cried and told him Im not happy with this decision he agreed for a while, but again, brought the topic up when I was in a better mood. I do not have the strength to fight any further. All the time I strive for peace and calm in the house. As his wife I just feel I have to go along with his plan. Thought it makes me laugh to it all that necessary? We are saving well enough I think. We hardly even eat out because where we live there are no halaal restaurants.
    I have told him how proud I am of him as a husband who looks after his family (though it took years for me to make him realize he has to look after us) very often. I have never un my whole married life asked for the tiniest bit of gold or anything like I know many friends who do, I never ever buy anything except a few chocolates I like to indulge in, on holidays. When I go to Pakistan his parents give me spending money as a gift and my parents fulfil every other requirement and spoil us all with presents. I have no social life, so no outings, or meeting up with friends for tea outside. My life completely revolves around my house my husband and my kids.
    I had never been given any pocket money for myself. Not even enough money to buy my children books or art stuff they wanted to buy and had to ask ask and ask my husband all the time for the smallest things. For my pocket money 'I had to work; till one day I put my foot down and said "if I have to work to buy myself a coat or cream in the winters then why the hell did I need to have a man in my life, just to slave over, feed and please?" No offense to my brothers who are reading this but he could very well afford to hand over a few extra bucks I wouldnt ask him otherwise. Love isnt just about holding and cuddling 🙁
    Just as he started improving, he came up with this idea of sending us away. He thinks the kids need more exposure of our culture....I dont know what he means by that, my children know more about Islam in a western country than I did growing up in an Islamic country.
    It makes me wonder if he is involved with another woman. I hate to sound so cheap, but I have started to consider this possibility. We had an arranged marriage but we were allowed to get to know each other within certain limits and we were both very happy with our marriage.

  8. I may love him all my life, but I dont think I will be able to forgive him, ever. I still havent gotten over or forgotten about the the previous episode, and here it rises again.

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