Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I feel my husband is weak and does not tawakal al Allah


How do you see yourself?

Assalamu alaikoum,

My husband is a very loving and kind man.  I love him very much.  We have been married for couple of years alhamdulah and have a new baby.

I have been working and supporting my husband 100% financially etc since he is trying to get his  licence to work.  I have only recently just stopped (i worked until 2 days before labour subhanallah) because of the baby and also i lost my job but alhamdulah i am not too worried about that.  I have saved up money and have high hope in Allah to help my situation.

My issue is that my husband is the type of person who eventho he prays regularly, fasts, sadaqa and is good to me, he has a problem with trust in qadar and trust in himself and is the kind of person who says "why me?"  This bothers me tremendously because this kind of thinking is very wrong in Islam and completely opposite to me.  His mother and his sister are the same way.

I am always telling him, this is naseeb and qadar Allah for whatever reason or situation he complains of. I try to give him support and encourage him and make him feel better, i have even given him links from this website with duas regarding stress/anxiety etc etc but its VERY hard to get to his brain.

He becomes fixated on things more than necessary and usually in a negative way.. for example, his cousin (who he barely has contact with) died, may Allah reward him with Jannah and he was very sad for couple of weeks and has kept his picture close by for almost one year.  I told him his fixation on the death is not healthy and almost like 3ebada and he should stop.  So i changed the picture myself to a picture of our baby and told him that he has to focus on his life and move on.

Another time, he was getting his driver licence exam and in the car the examiner started to write things down on the paper and my husband freaked out (thinking he was failing) and told the examiner that he forfeits the test. The examiner was shocked and did not continue with the test and then told my husband that he had passed everything up until that point ! if only my idiot husband continued ! ya subhanallah !  I couldnt believe how scared and easily jumped to the wrong conclusion and to cancel the exam after already paying!  It seems so childish to me.  I work so hard to pay for everything and its so easy for him to just dismiss it (I know he doesn't do it on purpose).

He is like this with everything.  He looks at other people who are successful and compares himself and pities himself. I tell him he too will be successful inshallah and should be thankful for Allah that he has a good wife who is taking care of him (I doubt many woman will accept this responsibility) and a healthy baby.  He says alhamdulah and acknowledges that what am saying is right but I can feel it in his face and his attitude that his iman is weak. Astagfirallah its like he does not trust Allah or accept what happens.

NOW we are in a situation in our life where he has finally gotten to the last step to get his work licence and all that is left is a few months assessment period.  After YEARS of hard work and me being patient !  Unfortunately, the examiner is a bit difficult with him and my husband is already freaking out and thinking about failure and he has only just started the assessment ! i am telling him to have patient and have trust in Allah and that whatever happens is naseeb and that Allah will not forget his hard work and MY hard work.

I told him that I am waiting for him and that i cannot continue more years supporting him and he is taking his sweet time. he needs to be a man, stop being so afraid, have trust in Allah and appreciate what he has and go forward and do a good job !  Life is not supposed to be easy !

It makes me so mad that I try my best to make him not feel scared and encourage him, but he acts like a kid.  He has to get with the responsibility as my husband and father of our son.  He says he knows and that what i say is right. now he tells me that this is the way he is and he cant help it. i told him he better change his ways because I can't deal with it for so long and its not acceptable by Allah. i told him its ramadan and to make dua and have given him specific duas and things to say etc etc and he says ok and his attitude is still the same.  He reads quran, prays taraweeh.

He is a sweet man but he is weak and has very low trust and confidence.  It greatly bothers me.  Some times, I feel more like a mother and father to him than his own wife while i am many years younger than him 🙁

He has a problem with implementing "tawaqal al Allah".  He can make dua and pray istekhara and do all of that but something is missing.

What more can I do? What can he do? am I wrong in what I say? His fear and lack of confidence makes me feel like he doesnt appreciate what I have done for him and my patience (tho when I tell him that's how I feel he says that he does appreciate).  More importantly I hope his attitude does not anger Allah and jeopardizes his success.

There is no power but in Allah and alhamdulah for everything. I accept whatever Allah gives me and I am extremely grateful.  I pray that he accepts my efforts and does not punish me for complaining and feeling this way. 🙁

Am sorry for the long post.  Your comments are appreciated.

Jazakum Allah alif khair,

Sister R.

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2 Responses »

  1. Salaams,

    Have you ever heard of the "serenity prayer"? It's something that is often used to help with those who have struggled with addictions, and is said at addiction recovery meetings. It goes like this:

    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    When we are married to someone, some times it can be hard to watch them deal with certain inadequacies and not be able to do anything to help them. A lot of time we wives see things that could "use some improvement" in our husbands, and we tell them these things with good intentions hoping that they will take our views into account and work on those weaknesses. Sometimes, when it doesn't work the first time, we do it again...and again...and again...until we are no longer seen as helpful and caring, but just straight-up nags. Don't let yourself get caught in that cycle. In this case, you have to begin to recognize what is within your control to change, and what is not.

    You can't control your husband's level of faith, and you can't force him to see things differently if he is having inner and spiritual obstacles he still needs to work through. A lot of times, the only way we learn to increase things like faith and dependence upon Allah is to go through tests and trials. We have to be put in positions where we have nothing else but Him in order to learn to rely on Him consistently, no matter what challenges we face. Sometimes the best thing we can do as supporters to those we love is back out of trying to "fix" everything for them. Let them deal with some situations on their own, even if that means they don't get a license or fail a test. We learn from these things, and what we learn is that we can do nothing outside of Allah's support. This is exactly what builds faith and security, but if you (though meaning well) are always rushing in to save the day or teach the lesson, how will he ever see that on his own?

    It's going to take YOU trusting in Allah to back out of your husband's personal journey with his Lord. Allah is not going to question you about your husband's choices on the Day of Judgment, but you will be accountable for yours. Do YOU trust Allah enough to leave your husband in His hands, and redirect your focus on the areas of weakness that still remain in your life?

    It sounds like your husband has a lot of redeeming qualities, so you need to focus on what he's doing right instead of what he's still struggling with. Remind yourself (and him) about all the wonderful things he does for you and your family, and forgive him for what he lacks. Pray for him and make the intention that you will support him in a healthy way, instead of trying to control his personal development. Refrain from giving him advice about things if he has not asked for it, because by doing so you are taking the role of "mother" which makes you an accomplice in continuing the parent/child cycle of relating, instead of it being one of husband/wife.

    If he starts complaining or making negative statements about himself, you have a few options:

    1. Reflect the feeling he is truly trying to express. If he says, "I'll never pass this test" instead of saying "you always think you're a failure"...say "it sounds like you are really nervous, is there anything I can do to help?"

    2. Get him to find the solution: Say to him, "It's understandable why you're worried about the outcome of this test, so what are some of the things you think you can do to prepare for it?"

    3. Distract him: While he's going on about his fears etc, ask him to do something else you need done: "Honey, while you're talking to me about that, can you come help me do these dishes?" At which point you can talk to him via one of the two ways above. You have to validate his experience of what he's feeling, without validating the cause or trigger. You have to empower him to find a way to solve his own problems and fears, instead of being the one to constantly try to rescue him (this, after all, only proves to him on a subconscious level that the threats he perceives ARE real and that he is not strong enough to deal with them, and make him less motivated to try to do so on his own!)

    There is a very fine line between truly helping and supporting someone, and enabling them (doing things that will keep them stuck in the same maladaptive patterns). In marriage, a lot of the ways husbands and wives relate to another are dynamics that BOTH create, so part of what is going on is because you have contributed as well. Try to find the things you are doing that may be reinforcing the dynamic, and work toward changing it. This is usually a lot more workable than identifying what he's doing, and asking him to change. Often, if you can change the way you react to his ways, he will start to change the way he reacts as well; creating a positive growth cycle. Use the examples I gave you above to get started, and insha'Allah with time and patience you will see the results.

    -Amy Editor

  2. Salaam sister R,

    Alhumdulilah that Allah has blessed you with Tawaakul Allah - it is a beautiful gift and you are certainly right that it is so important in Islam.
    Also Alhumdulilah that Allah has blessed you with a kind, loving husband and may He grant your husband tawakkul in Allah.

    Sister Amy has provided some fantastic advice MashaAllah which I suggest you follow because it is likely you will better get through to your husband. But I want to offer a more personal perspective. I am sorry to sound harsh but do not pressurise your husband too much. One cannot force themselves to feel a certain way - it just doesn't work like that. Sometimes a harsh 'pull yourself together' can help if someone is completely spiralling downwards but most of them time, support and love is what is needed.

    I know how your husband feels - I too have had problems with tawakkul Allah. I wanted it so badly and I would try so hard but I just couldnt force myself to feel it. It was so frustrating. So I do sympathise with him in that regard.
    So dear sister the most important thing is support him, and of course he needs to be aware and working towards trying. It's not going to come overnight. So dont expect him to 'just have tawakkul' in Allah. But lower your expectations. Give him lots of love, let him know you appreciate him and ask him to work on it. Make dua for him and ask him to make dua.

    As long as your husband wants to change this and works towards it then Alhumdulilah. For me it was an ongoing trial that has helped me as well as Ramadan, Alhumdulilah. Lack of tawakkul is still something I struggle with but tests do help. I still pray that Allah removes this difficulty from my life but I know now there is some good in it if it brings me closer to Him.

    What I am saying is it takes time. Your husband also seems to suffer from low self esteem and negativity. I can relate to that as well. Try this - it really helps. You say your husband is kind. I bet deep down he is not very kind to himself. I am sure he constantly feels a faliure, in social situations he feels awkward - he puts himself down - shaytaan does play on this. Sometimes that horrible voice sounds so much like our own we dont even notice it. "You looked well stupid when you did that" "How do you expect to pass, you must have failed, you can't drive," "you're not good enough."
    Do you know what it does to you to have these negative feelings all the time? It is not good for you. So if he experiences these its no wonder he compares himself to others and feels a faliure. He is actually bullying himself.

    So do compliment him, let him feel and know how special he is and if you can get through to him try to make him realise he himself needs to realise how special he is. There is certainly nothing wrong with him.
    One fantastic way (if you can ask him to do this): which works really well for me Alhumdulilah is each day write down:

    1 Blessing from Allah to think about:
    1 Good thing that happened that day (however small)
    1 Thing I did well at today

    Doing this everyday will help a person to focus on the positive. Alhumdulilah I actually find myself looking for them throughout the day now. And praise yourself for small achievements (whilst acknowledging of course that it is with Allahs barakah you achieved it)

    I hope this helps you understand a bit better InshaAllah
    If your husband would consider temporary counselling it would be good (but a lot of men are funny about it) for expressing feelings and many healthy people would benefit from occasional counselling especially for self esteem.

    I am not a pyschologist by the way - but low self esteem and negativity could affect tawakkul as well as lack of thankfulness. I mean how can you be thankful when you naturally only see the negative.
    I hope this gave you a good insight sister. May Allah reward you for your concern for your hubby - keep praying for him - dont give up.
    Remember me in your duas InshaAllah

    Sara Editor

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