Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Husband keeps our marriage a secret from his family

Salaam Aleikoum,

secret nikah

I live in North America and reverted to Islam 7 years ago, Alhamdulillah.   I was married twice before but not to Muslims and do have children from these previous marriages.  My children are older now and grown and although they respect my religion, they themselves are not Muslim.  I signed up on a Muslim marriage site and the response was overwhelming but soon realised that most responses were from visa seekers or men seeking a second wife.

When my future husband initiated contact with me, I was intrigued because he was younger and also university educated.  I advised him of my age (more than 10 years older than him) and background and he said it was no problem at all.  He persued me relentlessly and we had nikah at a local mosque 3 years ago.  I knew he was a student at the time, just completing his degree, but he had a promising future, or so I thought.

Immediately after I began living with him he displayed a sickness, and since then did not work one day even with his degree.  I worked to support him, move him, take him to doctors etc. My family of course knows about my marriage.

However up until now, he has not told his family about me.  He says it is because my children are not Muslim and has a bunch of other reasons for not telling them about me.  Before marriage, he told me how his sisters and parents would love me, and would send me jewellery, etc.  but I opted for no dowry when we married.  He has even been back to his country this year to visit his family and still have not told them.  He stopped praying almost immediately after we married (he says due to his illness).

So far, the many doctors and specialists cannot find anything wrong with him.  Our family doctor who is Muslim also suggested that my husband probably knew he was sick or something, and concealed this from me before marriage and that many people do hide this fact. I have not had any rights as far as the treatment of a Muslim wife is concerned, for he has not ever supported me, creates a scene whenever he asks his father for money (he says it is his money).

I am business oriented and stated that to him before marriage. But I have not been able to do business, but got another job to support him until I got sick myself and could no longer do my job.  Now I am on welfare with him, which absolves him of having to support us.  He sits home all day, and all these years he is just on the internet all day and night.  He does not drive a car, cannot help  me at all with anything, shopping,  maintenance, payment of bills or any chores.  I feel I  was manipulated into supporting him and could never keep any of the money I ever made because I have to pay rent buy food, etc.  I never even got a wedding ring, or any jewellery from him - nothing.

When I mention these things, he starts abusing me saying I am materialistic for wanting a gift to live in better accomodations etc.  My parents are mad at me and this makes Islam look bad in their eyes, for my other husbands did support me, I did have houses with them too.  Now due to stress and depression I have gained some weight, I do not even have my nikah rights anymore because my husband is 'sick'.

My husband now frequently threatens me that he in in a prison with me, because of his sickness (which is so far undiagnosed), he has started to insult me and says I am fat now.  I feel I made a big mistake, but wanted to be married and in a relationship.  He has no friends or family here.

I had in my heart to save some money so I can do Omra inshallah but  every penny I get goes to support this household.  I have tried being very patient and did not see the age difference as an issue even.  Some of my relatives say he is using me and will dump me as soon as he starts working or his family arrange a bride for him from his country.  He says his family is rich and boasts about his brothers expensive cars and businesses, etc, and how his father helps them all, but I guess this does not apply to me because I am the secret wife.

I am really disillusioned now, my own health has been failing , for the sake of not being alone and wanting to be married I feel I made an even bigger mistake by continuing on this way with this man who I feel also misrepresented himself.  I had goals to learn Arabic, study Quran with sisters, build my business, etc, but all of that is gone.

I guess I have gotten fatter, older and have lost all hope and even have no confidence in myself anymore.    Any suggestions?  Shokran.

- amine223

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3 Responses »

  1. Salaams Sister

    Sorry for the pain which you are experiencing. I hope and pray that everything gets better for you.

    Sister from you've explained about your husbands health (his sickness is undiagnosed/ cannot find anything wrong with him)-I'm beginning to wonder- is he really sick or could he just be playing it? Before you met him he was studying and completing his degree and now he suddenly can't even stand on his two feet and get to work-how strange! Does he display signs that he is really sick, maybe high temperature, vomiting or whatever else that is visible?

    He could be lying to you or he could be speaking the truth .think of it this way -If he was really sick before you'll got married, would he have completed his degree?

    Sister it seems like this man is using you. He doesn't work or pay for anything in the house.There is no excuse for being unable to work, the fact that he can visit hs family in overseas means that he can get up and go to work. It's not like his bedridden.

    The excuses which he told you for not telling his family about you are just lame. He did mention to you before marriage about how his family would like you, why did he suddenly change. Could he be hiding something else from you(maybe he is married) or he could he just be passing his time with you as what your relatives mentioned. You must insist that you need to speak with his family. That you don't want to be a secret any longer. if he really does have a problem with the kids then suggest to him that you'll take it one step at a time. First he should inform his family about you and mabe later you could tell them about your kids.

    Ssiter do not lose hope. There is a solution for every problem. Do not despair, continue aiming for your goals in life. If this man is nothing else but a burden to you then separate for sometime and decide with a clear mind what you would like to do in the future.


  2. As salamu alaykum, amine,

    His family maybe don´t even know about you, you are his support and listening to your words he is literally using you as a mother, you are feeding him, giving him shelter, taking care of his health, paying for everything, as far as I know he is the one that should be supporting you financially.

    ... I don´t think anybody has to give up their dreams for anyone, if he has interfere in your life to the point of you giving up almost everything, why are you giving him so much power?

    You sound as a strong woman with strong character, he is not giving you anything at all, he has lost respect for you, ..... what do you think you owe to him? I just cannot see it.

    Those are my thoughts about your situation. My suggestions are the following:

    1. If you feel uncomfortable with your weight, first accept you as you are right now and love yourself the way you are now, (Beauty is inside of you, see the Light in your Heart) don´t complain about your weight, accept yourself and then eat healthy and do some exercise, the message of doing this is:" I love myself as I am, because how I am now is a result of a process of learning a lesson, I have learnt the lesson ( I am responsible for my wellbeing) and I take care of my body and my health, any improvement I will have as a consequence of taking care of myself, it will be welcome to my life", insha´Allah.

    2. Write down all your goals, begin with the easiest and finish with the most difficult, leave like this. Then next day, write all the steps you have to do to achieve your goals, one after the other one, this is done. The third day, feel and write, how can change your life after achieving your goals, insha´Allah.

    This will take you three days, much better if you choose a quiet time of the day to do it, this is a powerful exercise to move and recovering hope. If you need two days to think about the next step, it is fine. This is something for yourself too, it is up to you to do it or not, insha´Allah.

    None of your dreams are gone, they are waiting for you to learn the lessons that will make of you the woman that will follow her dreams with no doubt or hesitance. You have the power to do it, nobody can take that power from you if you don´t allow them to do it.

    Then recover who you are, do the steps to make your situation with your husband clear and don´t accept excuses, go for actions, little by little, but without stopping, insha´Allah.

    Some of your words brings to my mind the fact that you feel pity for him and how you regret the decision you took. From now on, build up the life you want to live, don´t let him to loose respect to you, talk to him always in a nice tone of voice, if you feel boiling inside, don´t go to eat and don´t shout, do the ablution and pray, when this is over, you can go to talk again. You will know what to do, and you will see everything without the veils of strong emotions around, insha´Allah.

    To take decisions always remember to have a "cold head".

    Being old is a concept, I would love you to see how many 60-70-80 years old women I know and are amazing young hearted women, never giving up, they are a Light to me in my Path of Life, Alhamdulillah.

    If you do your salat on time, you will find the Peace and Love you long for in your Heart, Insha´Allah.

    There is two posts that I want to share with you, both of them written by Wael, one is about loosing weight and the other one of relaxation. I hope they help you, give yourself the gift of some time for yourself (praying your salat on time, eating properly at the right time, exercising, relaxation, ... step by step, you will get it, insha´Allah)

    All my Unconditional Love, Respect and Support,

    María Editor

  3. Salaam Aleikoum,

    This is the author of the original post here. Thank you so much Sisters for your responses and good wishes, Inshaallah.

    I came back to this post by accident. I forgot that I ever posted this until I googled the same headline and got my own post. Wallahi I did not know it was me however it sounded familiar and then I remembered!

    My original post was written almost a year ago in March 2011 ~ I can remember the dispair. It is almost mid-January, 2012 and I would like to post an update regarding the situation.

    Shortly after the posting, I had asked my estranged husband to leave, again. The situation was becoming intolerable as he was becoming increasingly agressive especially towards my daughter. He was constantly interfering with my job as well and behaving very disrespectfully. I would like to add that I had separated my self from him emotionally since November 2010, so by the time of the original posting, March 2011, I was prepared for and wanted a physical separation.

    Through all of this I kept my dignity and performed my job, mashallah. It took months for me to centre myself again, by wudu and salat, tzoum, surrounding myself with positive people again, and making du'aas. I lost the excess weight of 4.5 kilos that I had gained when I lost myself.

    It is interesting to note that my estranged husband not only moved out but moved to a different province and I do not know where he is living or have a phone number either. Suddenly he was able to live with friends, take the bus everywhere, and even get a job. Also interesting to note, at the time he started fighting with us he was nearing his elegiblility for his Canadian Citizenship, as my sponsorship term was almost up.

    I had repeatedly requested a divorce and he has kept denying me or I would have long periods of silence when ever I asked for it. I could start civil proceedures by myself however I do not have an address for service. I also am prepared to ask for Nikkah Fask because I do not know his exact whereabouts and none of my rights are being met.

    I did not give up on my dreams and kept praying with a cool head. I freed myself mentally, physically, spirtually and emotionally ( should I add, financially, too?) I prayed Istikhara in November, 2011. Suddenly the prayers were starting to be answered in abundance mashallah. I opened up myself to Allah's abundance and became ready to receive any gifts Allah bestows upon me, inshaallah.

    I have met another man, also younger and I have met his beautiful family too, Mashallah. This wonderful, sweet and considerate man has asked me to marry him over the last few months. When I opened myself up to what Allah has to offer me, I took the chance again to find new love, a husband that will be committed and devoted, serious but gentle, mature but patient, Inshallah. I have decided to end this marriage on paper that I have as I cannot bring myself to accept things now any other way.

    Incidentally, my estranged husband has also had a change about him and is seeking to return to this province and my home in the future ~ he is assuming that I will still be available for him and waiting to fall back instead of spring forward. He tells me he is still sick and he misses me very much. When I confronted him about telling his family about me, he said he will (it has only been almost 4 years). I say too little, too late.

    I got my direction so far after praying Istikhara Inshaallah. I pulled on my strength and feel that I have been released from slavery. My faith has been strengthened by my prayers as I pray without ceasing, inshaallah.

    I truly know that patience is a real virtue. It is only by being patient that one can really achieve sincere results.

    Jazak Allah Kahir!

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