Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My parents forced me to marry my cousin, I don’t like him and want divorce

Forced marriage poster for people in the UK

Forced marriage

Assalam O Alaikum,

I was pressured by my parents to marry my cousin. I cried for a month and begged them to not to make me marry him but they didn’t agree and I simply gave in after realising that my parents are not going to change their mind as they were very difficult parents to live with.

I have been married for 15 years and not happy at all because I don’t love my husband. He is a good person but sometimes he is very annoying and acts stupid. I can’t stand being around him and hate sleeping with him. I feel like its disgusting and a punishment and sometimes I cry afterwards. I accepted being his wife as my destiny until I got tired of ignoring my feelings, pretending and lying to myself.

It was hard for me to tell that I don’t like my husband but when I told my mother that I don’t like my husband and don’t want to stay with him, she told me not to be stupid because my husband wants to buy a house now and to just delay it. This was 9 years ago and my husband and I sold that house and invested the money in another house, which we fixed up and sold after 3 years. We moved into an apartment and I was thinking about how to divorce him. First I told my parents and my father told me that I can do whatever I want after buying his house.

But, after I bought his house he was totally against it and refused to let me stay with him for more than 3 days. In those 3 days, my husband called me every 10 minutes to nag me to come back. Even when I told my husband how I feel; he refused to divorce me and told me that it’s all in my head. My father also kept on nagging me to go back to my husband and simply wasn’t supportive after I bought his house. He just wanted me to spend all the money from the sale of my house in buying his house so that I couldn’t afford to leave him and rent my own apartment. In other words he keeps me more attached to my husband. I just wanted him to support me because I have two daughters; the youngest is 11 years old.

Every time, I ask my husband for divorce, he refuses and goes crying to my parents who then threaten to disown me. It is very painful for me to keep arguing with them. Is there a way out of this marriage without having to deal with my parents as all my parents did was to make me delay this marriage and then hushed me up? Can an Imam divorce me from him? There is a hadith of a women who came to Holy Prophet(PBUH) that she isn’t attracted to her husband and wanted divorce; even though, he is a pious, caring, respectful and loving person. The Holy Prophet (PBUH) asked the husband (companion of Holy Prophet PBUH) to divorce her.

Aren’t women in Islam supposed to have full consent and rights rather than being pressured and bullied into a marriage?  Don’t I have rights like other Muslim women to choose or am I supposed to be forced to stay with someone who I don’t like for my whole life so that, my parents don’t have a heart attack.


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22 Responses »

  1. Linda,

    As Salaam U Alaikum. Peace and blessings to you.

    Firstly, what your family did was very wrong, they married you against your will and those responsible will be held accountable on the day of reckoning of that there is no doubt. There is no justification for forced marriages and in Islam they are Haraam, they are Haraam and they are Haraam.

    Secondly, the question that must be asked of you is, why now after 15 years of marriage? You are in your post constantly playing the victim, whilst that may be the case, it's quite clear your family has allowed you to divorce a long time ago, but you gave into their emotional or otherwise blackmail. Even though they threaten to disown you, it seems as if they will not and it's just a threat and not one they will act on. You should express your right to divorce and not fear the consequences of losing family, afterall if you lose a family who try to make such threats and treat you in this way, you are not losing out on anything.

    You have your right to be happy and live in a loving marriage, the one person who you cannot blame is your husband. He is actually from your post seeming to be a good man which nothing but the usual flaws any human being has. There isn't a man on Earth who doesn't act stupid/immature every now and then, I do it too and I'm 25. My dad is 50 and he is silly and immature sometimes. It seems you do not like him full stop and after 15 years you're finally doing something to go away from him, that was 15 years of pain for you but 15 years of developing love, trust and a deep relationship for him, do you blame him for not trying to let go?

    I'm sure you were young when you married and not able to stand up for yourself and express yourself, but you're now a much older woman and there are people all over the world who are they to help you in these circumstances.

    Whatever you decide to do, make it easy for your husband because despite all that has happened, it really does seem he is an innocent party in all this.

  2. As salamu alaykum, Sister Linda,

    What I am going to tell you is my personal opinion about your situation, please take it with a pinch of salt.

    Nobody can force you into marriage and you can divorce, but I would like to share the following with you.

    It hurts me so much to listen to you, you are stuck on time living in hatred to a man that the only wrong thing that has done, was marrying you and loving you despite your feelings towards him. I am really sorry for both of you. He has got used to you and he thinks you are the way you are, and he loves you anyway because you are his wife. But you still beating the floor with your hands and your feet annoyed because they forced you, you are not anymore the girl they forced to marry, you are a woman now and if you want divorce, go ahead.

    I understand your complaints and I see how dissapointed you were and you are, but can you realize the big damage you have done to this man, a lawful man that has been 15 years married to a woman that hates to be with him, can you see how damaging can be to have contact with a woman that even regrets to touch you or even being around you, isn´t that painful? He didn´t force you to marry but he has been paying for 15 years to be with you, I don´t think this is fare for none of you.

    What I would like you to think about is what do you think is Love, have you tried to fall in love with your husband, have you given him the opportunity to be your Prince Charm, have you thought about putting under earth the sword of war, ......

    Nobody can force you to love anyone, and I believe you will begin to love this man when you feel free to do it, when you feel you are free from the chains of obligation but I wouldn´t wait until it is too late to realize that you do love him.

    I believe your real fight here is against your parents and your husband was caught in the middle, you should sit calmly and think about what it is the real reason what is moving you beyond all of this turmoil, because I believe this goes beyond" I don´t like him" and it is more "I have to obey you(parents)" and you are still caught by your obedience to your parents. This may give you other perspective of your situation, insha´Allah.

    I would advice you to perform Istikhara related to this issue, but first of all to pray your salat on time, to make dua, and read the Quran, this will bring quietness to your Heart and may help you too to heal the wounds you have been carrying all your life, insha´Allah.

    Why don´t you give yourself the opportunity of rediscovering you beyond the anguish of the girl that didn´t want to marry? You may have lot of treasures hidden inside of you ready to be open and discovered, a big smile, a loving and soft Heart, a joyful sight, sparkles in your eyes, ..... open the door of your real self and you will discover all the blessings you have in yourself and around, insha´Allah.

    All my Unconditional Love, Respect and Support,

    María Editor

    • Istikhara ? Istikhara ? seriously??? is that your best "key" for her?
      when you started I thought you are making the point and you were really kind of helping her but why you are ending it with Istikhara which there is no proof of it work.

      I used to do Istikhara, a lot!
      havent you thought that her parents had done Istikhara to marry her to that guy? of course they did and it was good but you see the result.

      • "someone", how can it ever be a mistake to ask Allah for guidance? Can any Muslim ask for proof that dua' works? Our entire lives are built on our relationship with Allah, and our relationship with Allah is built on worship, istighfar (asking forgiveness) and dua'. That's Islam.

        How do you know her parents did istikhara to marry her to her husband? It doesn't sound like it to me. A good Muslim who would pray Istikhara and follow it is not someone who would force a child to marry against her choice.

        My guess is that maybe you do not understand what Salat al-Istikhara is. It is simply a prayer for guidance, asking Allah to bring what is good, and protect us from what is harmful. That can never be a bad thing.

        Wael Editor

  3. Salaams Sister

    After reading your post, I haven't found a valid reason for you requesting a divorce. "He is a good person but sometimes he is very annoying and acts stupid". Sister you are lucky, at least you have a person that's good, that takes good care of you. Imagine if you were married to someone who physically or emotionally abused you.

    Being forced into a marriage was not the correct thing to do on your parents side but you were in this marriage for 15 years. You probably still holding onto the idea that you were forced into this marriage and you want to get out. Sister you need to let go of this idea. You should face reality and believe it you already with this man for 15 years. Did he ever abuse you, physically, mentally. Was he involved in drugs, alcoholic or other women? If he did'nt do any of these things, I would say he is a good man. Think about your children as well. You have two young kids who need their father.

    You should spent quality time alone with your husband to fall in love with him. Every cloud has a silver lining. Believe it or not your husband has good qualities which you need to discover in him. You were forced to be with him but alhamdulilah he turned out to be a good person. Why let a good person go by?


  4. The fact that he is your cousin is enough reason to divorce him...I stumpled across this website looking for a "help my parents are making me listen to oldies" and this came up on yahoo....I'm sorry for your situation. Do your kids have health problems? Shame on your parents. I would rather live in a cardboard box than be married to my cousin.

  5. After 15 years of marriage , you have now realized that you don't love your husband .

    Forcing you into marriage was wrong . You should have created a mayhem and chaos if you were forced as this permission is given to you by ISLAM , but now you have children and 15 years with your husband .

    He is so rare man . He has some faults , so what. You are also not perfect , are you ?

    I would suggest you to make this marriage work . Although I am getting this impression from your question that you love your children not your husband . I guess your husband is not your priority any more and you are married to him just for the sake of your children and yourself . How selfish !

  6. I think i totally don't agree with d opinion of grossed out.. He is making conclusions based on his own suggestion and contrary 2 d quran and sunna.. And u have 2 know dat it is wrong 2 advise someone based on ur own personal thinking in dis islamic site... I really know it is harram forcing a lady into marriage but there is absolutely noting wrong in marrying ur cousin..but dis is by d way. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Salaams sister linda... . . . I totally agree with d advice giving 2 u by rumaysa and truthseeker. . . . . I wish 2 say some harsh truth 2 u...,, u have 2 admit and know dat it is a very big blessing from ALLAH 4 u been married 2 such a man.. There are countless number of sisters out there ( of which i can inform u of some).. That are despirately in need of men 2 marry.. Some have spend more than 30 yrs, some even more than 40 yrs without even having 1st husband.... I just want u 2 put ur legs in these wowen's shoes and feel how painfull and frustrating it is.. U should'nt miss use this oppurtunity giving 2 u and try 2 prevent ur self from falling into d problem dat these ladies are facing.. I really know dat forced marraige has no place in islam and ur parent are wrong 4 them forcing u, but At least u have 2 children with dis man in a long span of 15 yrs and u claim dat he is a good man having fault., but u have 2 know dat we are human and we are bound 2 make mistakes., even u cannot genuinly testify 2 ur own self dat u don't make mistake. . . . . I think it will be good and fair on ur part dat u should give dis man a chance so dat he can display his love and care on u. . . Be grateful 2 Allah 4 giving u a good husband otherwise u will loose d oppurtunity and u may find it very difficult 2 have it again...

  7. You should never have married this man. What makes anyone advising here think that this woman will somehow start to love her husband when she hasn't loved him for 15 years?

  8. No, I get that Islam says it's ok. Biology tells us it's not. It is unnatural to be attracted to your cousin, and DANGEROUS to have children with a family member. I've worked in the medical feild for 10 years. I've seen what effects incest causes, in all cultures even other species. For example, India allows incest and the large amount of Birth defects are devestating. 2 headed babies, babies born with 4 legs ect. Dogs are another example any of the "teacup" breeds are inbred over and over and over again to cause the smallest size dog possible. (teacup size is a genetic defect) with that teacup breeds have a shorter life span, multiple health problems, and usually and exessive amount of toes. I don't have any advice to give you on what to do OP, I feel for you. I know your religon and culture tell you that divorce is wrong and that you need to be happy with what you have. For the most part, I agree in normal circumstances. But because he is your cousin....I have sympathy for you. I hope life works out for you.

  9. As per the marriage institution of Islam, you are free to ask for divorce anytime from your husband if you dont want to continue. As per customs and other family obligations, we do think twice before making our move but this is also true that this is your own life and you have take decisions all by yourself.

    I think you should ask for divorce and if he resists, you can reach the concerned authorities or NGO's who could help you out in your case. Some parents do black mail their children and indirectly play with their children's lives. This is also the case with me.

    I and my wife who really love each so much but her parents threatened me to leave my wife before the ruksati and did every damage to m that they could so that they could get their daughter remarry a gold medalist and a PHD from the USA but i made sure my voice reach all their family members. I made my move and stopped her second wedding that her parents were planning. After that I resisted and tried to negotiate with my in laws because I and my wife wanted to live together since it was our love marriage but people forcefully made me sign the divorce papers and tore us a part. They even ruined my business connections and made sure they leave me high and dry on the road. Since then, my life is up side down. We both tried our level best to stay in contact and do the needful in order to get back but failed. Her parents when got to know that their daughter is still in touch with me, they stopped all her mode of communications. I don't know where she is now. There has not been any contact with her since August 2011. I love her so much and I want her back but I have no clue what's on her side.

    So I can understand what pain your are going through. If you don't want to continue your relationship with your husband. Finish it off, get separated. If you are educated enough to find yourself a job then things can work out. Prove your point that you are able to live without your spouse and family's help. Eventually, parents will take you back even if they don't, they really don't worth staying with. Whats the point in being with the parents when they couldn't understand their daughters feeling.

    All my prayers for you.

  10. i have been in a forced marriage also have 3 kids but still dont love him no one can understand how you feel .you feel like hanging in middle of no where its hard i dont know y parents force kids been in for 12 years not a single day with out thinking what was my fault.

  11. My sister I have been in force marriege,just be patient , no one could understand,but our only hope is Allah.

  12. Assalamu alaikum

    Can somebody please help me. I want to marry somebody i love but my family are forcing me to marry my cousin. I dont want to marry my cousin i find it disgusting. I dont know what to do. I love my family but i also love the girl i want to marry. Its not really my mum and dadsfault ifs all my uncles aunties brother in law who have brainwashed my mum and dad. My parents were never like this. Theyve always given us everything loved us and educated us.

    Im absolutely heartbroken. Please advise me somebody.

    • NM, Walaykumsalaam,

      Islam does not permit anyone to be married against their will. You must find the courage to speak up and object to this marriage if you do not want it. Please read previous posts by brothers and sisters in the same situation.

      If you submit your post separately, we will be able to offer you further advice in'sha'Allah.

      SisterZ Editor

  13. I believe that you should stick with your husband because it will be extremely hard for you to live alone once you get divorced. You will also never be able to forget your children.

    Secondly, You only want to be divorced to suicidly avenge your forced marriage. I believe that you should leave everyone responsible for the forced marriage to the judgement of Allah at Judgement day.

    Since you are a victim of forced marriage and have wasted about 15 years, you must combat this practice by following methods.
    Raise your children and ensure that they get to choose their partners freely. You must also use your influence in your circle to voice against this Un-Islamic practice. Such a strategy will calm your avenging spirit down.

    Your marriage was not done according the principles of Islam according to the information provided by you. But still if your cousin was not a culprit in this forced marriage, it is my suggestion to get along with him in this world.

    If you show patience(Sabr) and do not harm any then Allah will definitely reward (If He wills) you in Heaven with something unimaginable.

  14. If you keep shutting doors...u will never live. If you open doors...It may be scary to go through...but you will at least live!! I can so relate to you. I'm trying to focus on all the other areas of my life first and fix those areas...raise my self esteem, try to get a job, and to be independent...then I will reevaluate things. I don't think u have to be with anyone you don't want to be with. I've seen bitter old women walking around in our communities...and this is why. We all make mistakes. I chose to marry my cousin out of fear of the unknown...he was safe...moving to an exciting city...I wanted out of my house and I wanted to have fun. I was dumb. I was 19. I had parents that were not great at giving life advice. I have 3 kids now and I am friendly with my husband but he has put me thru hell and back bc I basically raised an unruly teen....and it makes things worse. He is physically attracted to me...but he is a narcissist and thinks everyone is here to serve him. I am numb when it comes to him. He has also changed...he used to like to listen to music, Go out to dinner...all that...but now he just prays when he is not working, he is at the mosque and that is all he does. I can try not to be selfish and stay for the kids...but the hardest part is not knowing if I'll ever snap...or can I get thru hard times with this man. It was all my choice. But I ***** up...And brought 3 kids into a ***** up situation. When do I stop hating myself for decisions I made at 19. They were grave decisions. I gave up my I'm eager to get it back. I need control in some area of my life. I want doors to open. I don't want a family war. I don't want to hurt my kids. He is fine...he gets what he wants, a good meal, clean house, kids homework done, but doesn't want to have a true marriage with love. He blames me and says that I wanted it. Allll the time. I spend a lot of my time fantasizing about fiction worlds. I listen to everyday things in my sister's functional marriages and I want to die inside. Why couldn't I have been more independent?? I took every wrong was wrong..

    • Thanks for the comment but do not use foul language please. This is an Islamic website.

      Wael Editor

      • I'm sorry Wael. That came out of anger. Can I request a deletion please. I'd like to add something positive instead.

        • I removed your name from the comment in question. Do you still want me to delete it?


          • Thank you Wael...if you don't mind deleting appreciate it...negative words are affected me so negatively today. Thank you for taking the time, I'd much rather add something positive. Thank u a thousand times. Salam.

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