Islamic marriage advice and family advice

How should I address these issues with my husband?

hijabi sister

My husband and I have been married for two years. He is Pakistani (straight from Pakistan) while I am of Pakistani descent but born and raised in the United States. On both our sides, both parents are doctors. He is a doctor as well, but is having difficulty getting residency here in the States and furthering his career.

I have my Bachelor's degree and he knew I was not a doctor or a master's degree holder at the time of our marriage. He consistently worries about money (even though he has a few thousand dollars in his personal account and more in our joint account) because his salary is only about $33,000 a year. In comparison, I am also struggling to find a good job in my respective field and am only making $600-900 a month and have to pay taxes on these earnings as well. I also receive $800 a month from my parents because of a property my father purchased on my behalf.

From the very beginning of our marriage to this day, our arguments center around money. He wants me to contribute to the household expenses, while I believe it is his duty to provide. Keep in mind, he makes $3000 a month and he is obsessed with saving money. I make only $600-900, plus the $800 I receive from the rental property...and I still pay the bills like wifi, electric, etc. My personal savings are trivial compared to his because I also pay our credit card bill every month (which is usually $2000 a month or more). I am also trying to find a better-paying job but have not had any luck despite my best efforts.

Yet when I say that it is his duty to provide, he argues with me and says I am being unreasonable and says, what about your mother, my mother, and so-and-so? They are all earning and they help their husbands.

I do not know about my mother-in-law, but I know my own mother does not contribute to household expenses and uses her income to save money for my younger siblings' college education. The other two women he mentions are also doctors or master's degree holders, and I know that one is very upset because she has to support her husband. Also, my mother and the woman he mentioned have both asked me why I even pay any of the bills at all. Truly, I do not want to, but my husband put pressure on me to do so at the beginning of our marriage and I agreed just to stop the arguments for a time.

I am also interested in earning my master's degree, but I would have to get a loan to pay for it and bringing this up only gets my husband irritated. How can he expect me to earn at the same level as these women, and at the same time argue about the expense when I am trying to get to the same level of education?

In fact, he gets so upset when reminded that Islamically, providing for me is his duty, that he says he thinks we should not have gotten married because he believes both men and women should ALWAYS contribute to the household and therefore our beliefs are incompatible. Otherwise, it is a happy marriage, but EVERY TIME we have an argument about anything, he says that we should not have gotten married, that we can get divorced, etc.

All I did was remind him of his duty and my right in Islam, and he said I said "something wrong."

I support my husband's career goals, offer emotional support, cook and serve him his meals, in addition to working and looking for jobs, and I also do not ask for anything extravagant. I purchase my own clothes, my own jewelry, makeup, and also pay for a portion of our groceries as well. All I am asking is for a roof over my head and a bed to sleep in. Even when he goes out of his way to ask me what I want for a gift (on occasions such as my birthday, our anniversary, etc.) I tell him I don't want anything, because I am used to getting/paying what I want for myself.

At times, he compares me to my cousin's wife, who is more meek and submissive, and at others, he compares me to these women who are independent and high earners - so he wants me to be submissive when it pleases him, and financially independent when it pleases him? I don't understand. I NEVER compare him to anyone else, yet that is all he does!

What should I do? I cannot express this to my husband without him saying, oh, we shouldn't have married, or, we can divorce, or, I don't want to talk to you.

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5 Responses »

  1. Salaam alaikun
    It is his responsibility to provide. Period. What you earn is yours. Period.
    If he cant man up and live according to Islam then why would you continue to stay with him?

  2. I am so sorry to hear of your dilemma. However, your husband is manipulating you and is clueless about what He should actually be doing as a Muslim husband. Perhaps when he repeats his comparison of another woman, you can remind him of what your own mother does in her marriage. He certainly can not have it both ways: making comparisons and not expecting you to return the favor. This in fact, is one of the worst things a man can do -- to compare his wife to another woman. First, it damages the bond of the marriage relationship and more importantly the man making the comparisons set himself up to be told, "So and so might be good/ excellent/ wonderful at whatever but you know I am not married to so and so's husband."

    You do not have spend 5 cent on managing your household. That is what men are supposed to do. And for your husband's information, if he fulfilled his Islamic financial obligations, then maybe you might be kinder, sweeter, and whatever it is he expects you to be. So much like an ugly person wanting their partner to be beautiful and complaining they are a 8 not a 10.

    You already have grounds to divorce this mistake of a human being. He in turn should consider studying Islamic concepts of marriage a bit more thoroughly before he goes any further in being the narcissistic "I want my way" man he is. That behavior is so sad and childish and usually makes women rethink their life plans with a man who behaves this way. If you are not seriously in love with this man, it might be best to tell him to find some other woman who will support him. And not to hold his breath.

    I am curious. Wasn't this matter discussed prior to your wedding?

  3. This arguing habit could lead to worse arguments over time. Money should not be chosen over peace. Your husband should also help in cooking and cleaning. Ask him what exactly he wants you to pay for. Once he gets his residency and a good job, he may not need any money from you to run the household.

  4. If your husband is such a big believer in equal contribution, why are you cooking and serving him his meals? As an equal contributor, he should be cooking and serving you your meals, just like he expects you to help him pay the bills. Seems to me like he only believes in "equal contribution" when he's the one that benefits from it.

    Don't be such a doormat, sister, this man is clearly using you and uses threats of divorce to manipulate you into getting his own way. He may be pressuring you, but don't be weak enough to succomb to his pressure. As I understand, your husband is only in the US because of you, so that gives you some power over him. Tell him if he wants a divorce he can have it and go back to where he came from in Pakistan. See if that doesn't change his tune. I don't think manipulation and mind games have any place in a healthy marriage, but clearly, you are not in one of those, so you have to play along with the same game your husband is playing, if you want to remain with him.

    I would advice you to keep all of your money to yourself, because that is your right. If your husband doesn't like it, well, then, tough luck. I personally think it's so awkward when men ask women for money. Men in my culture are extremely proud and would never hear the last of it from their family and the community if they took money off of their women - because they know it's their job, as men, to be the providers of their family.

  5. mashAllah , what a nice advise to manage the situation.

    Have you heard the other side of the story? And your advise doesn't reflects any way to make things better without any offense. No one is perfect and neither her husband.

    Sister , speak to you husband with love and respect. Trust me by will of Allah he will listen and then if that doesnt owrks then sometimes with consultation with your husband get someone from familt (Neutral person) to hear and advise in the best manner.

    InshAllah things wil get better ...

    One thing i have learnt from my life is that you can not snatch your rights by force or by telling or making someone realise that its my right etc because if that person has no fear of Allah that realisation wil work against you. Rather take it easy .. take a deep breath and get the right help ..DONOT get in to conclusion and assumtions of he getting USA visa or you are stong etc etc .. thats not going to help .. If you value nikah and this relationship then it might be a test of your pateince ...

    for these small reason dont bring divorce in to discussion and fear Allah

    your pateince will be highly rewarded and try to kill the problem with patience ...

    the whole idea is try everything and try to see the positives in him .. i am sure with all his negatives you have mentioned their must be positives and pleas consult people who can actually help..

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