Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I like him but am I making the right decision?

woman worried about her husband's behaviour

Aselam o alaikum,

I need some help and guidance and a third party's view on my problem. I need fresh eyes to view this because I'm not sure what to think. I'm stressed and lost.

I told my parents that I do not want to find a partner myself, I want them to make that decision for me. I don't know a good guy from a not-so-good one. Purely because I trust them and I blindly trust their choice, and I will leave that decision completely to them. They know their daughter well and they will take things into considerations that I probably wouldn't.  So as weird as it sounds, I guess you could say I asked for an arranged marriage.

So my parents met with some people who were proposing marriage for me. Any of them that they were impressed with they told me and then we'd move forward by meeting.

And with all the people, my father would be on the fence and completely unbiased, so he would leave it to me to make the decision. There was a particular one that made me feel...he is the one.

I can't go through all the qualities of all the boxes he ticked (metaphorically speaking of course) but he was everything I admired and more. Very humble, down-to-earth, gentleman, etc. Practising, a sense of humour and physically attractive for me. He had a strange charm about him. Quiet, reserved and mysetrious. I think it's safe to say I was quite smitten but I've always been someone who has good control and check over my emotions, elhamdulilah.

So I did like him, but I asked for some time. So I could think it through, perform istikhara, and get my head out of the clouds and think rationally about such a big decision.The plan was that if I accepted, the engagement would happen after a month, And then the nikkah ceremony 2/3 months after.

He is my brother's friend through my Dad's acquaintances. my Dad used to work in Italy. So my Dad is acquainted with his family from Italy. After our meeting - whilst pondering on the decision, he would come to our house or accompany us to some places. I didn't really mind his company because before the cruise - he would visit our house, and he and I would hardly ever talk- as we're still not mehram for one another.

So we went on a cruise as a family, my brother asked him to come along, as his family had gone on a long holiday too. We met a lot of people on this holiday as one would expect. I was speaking to other people. Learning about other cultures, a pretty normal thing for me. I mean we'd get talking and people would just talk about their lives, etc- as conversations normally go. Out of the blue, he said to me 'I'm surprised. You have a very attentive ear. Does this happen often? People approaching you with their problems? It's strange. People you have never met before are approaching you and spilling out their life problems.' I acknowledged that he was quite observant. That's all. I didn't sense that he was inferring anything.

By the end of the cruise he spoke to me again- and commented on people approaching me again. He asked me why men are approaching me about their problems?  He said they shouldn't be complaining about their wives to me. (I agree they shouldnt really be commenting on their wives to me, but when people are hurt and lost they try to find a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on in anyone. And why was he holding *me* accountable for what they were saying? It's human nature to have good adab and akhlaaq when speaking to others.)

He asked me why random drivers and shopkeepers are telling me their life stories. He asked me why the hotel concierge, where we stayed for a couple of days, kept coming to me and finding excuses to talk. I said it's his job to make sure people are comfortable and help out, I guess. He said that the concierge was not asking anyone else if they enjoyed the stay but just me and getting into a lot of informal conversations with me. I got miffed and said well, I don't know. I'm not in his mind that I know what he's thinking. it's probably because I'm the only one who speaks his language, maybe. I found myself making excuses for these people. Are his concerns completely rational? Am I just getting annoyed unnecessarily? So we came back home. I didn't think too much of his questions and thought he was probably just being inquisitive and trying to make me aware politely.

Another time, he came over to our place because he was going out with my brother and his friends. My neighbour came over at that time (whilst the guy was parking his car) to borrow some gardening tool, my neighbour and I started talking casually- about the weather and his grandchildren. After this, my guy spoke to me - and he said these men are too forthcoming with me and that I should really keep my distance from them. I told him that I really appreciated his honesty, but he was my elderly neighbour, and our holy prophet has told us to keep good relations with our neighbours. And my neighbour was Like my grandfather! Even though he was not my Mehram, it made me sick what he was implying.

He then asked me what my relationship was like with my male colleagues! I was amazed at his questions. His cousin works with me at my workplace, so I assumed he knew that 2 of my colleagues had proposed to me (his cousin being one of them) and some of my colleagues had asked me out to dinner - on a date. Everyone is in each other's business in my workplace and word spreads like fire there. I told him my relationship was perfectly fine with all my colleagues and even with the ones who had proposed- it was very professional.

Another scenario was in this cruise again. So I wear niqaab. A brother was sitting 2 seats down from me on the flight, on the other side of him was 'my guy.'  The Brother came and greeted me and was just starting small talk. Complaining about the heat, cracking jokes and asking me to pass him the  headphones, duty-free magazine as I was sitting closer to it. He looked practising as he was speaking very Softly and lowering his gaze unless he spoke to me. he had the thobe and khimar on and was reciting tasbeeh. Me being the person I am, I talk more with my eyes and eyebrows than I do with my mouth!  Just a habit. So when he asked me something I'd respond with my eyes. So I may have raised my eyebrows or winked at something he said.

The guy picked up on this and reminded me how we should lower our gazes and how the guy was trying to flirt with me. And how I should not have been responding to him! Like he's telling me where to look! i was losing my patience. Am I making a big deal?

I am a very patient person, elhamdulilah, but once my patience is tested, I can blow over quite hard. I felt like he was really testing me with his probing and doubting questions. Am I just overthinking it? Am I over-reacting to his questions? Is he right to ask these questions? even before nikkah?

He said to me that he really wants me in his life as soon as possible. And he hopes that his questioning hasn't put second thoughts in my head (which it has). How will I be able to live with someone who's questioning me like that? If he's doing this before marriage, what will he do after?

He said that he's fallen in love with me, and he's fallen hard. He said he's worried that I'm too innocent and I'm very optimistic. Yes, I may be inexperienced with men, but this does not mean that I am stupid. I know my boundaries and I know how Muslims should behave with one another. He said I don't know the real world and I'm often in the world of the Sufi mystics. He said you don't know what men are like and how they think.

I said of course I don't. And I don't have any intention of overburdening myself by wondering what others think. I'm not someone who lives life by someone else's rules, only Allah's.

He said he's in love with me. He said when he loves, he's extreme in giving love, but he is also extreme in his jealousy. I said to him moderation in all affairs is what is best.

He said he doesn't want a wife that is too 'available' with men. I was shocked to what he was saying and inferring I have never been too 'available' with any men. No one has ever doubted my character. I've never had a Haram relationship, I have always tried my best to keep pure and not mingle more than necessary. Any man that has spoken to me, I've never encouraged the conversation on in a flirty way and I have never given the conversation a wrong turn. I have never been stone-faced and completely rock hard when talking to them that it comes across as rude. But I have never been so "available" and flirty either_ I've kept neutral and I am well aware of my boundaries!

I told him that if he doubts my character then he should find a wife who's character he is happy with. Then he said he absolutely doesn't doubt my character, he just wants someone to be his and his only. He said he's never taken an oath before- but if I want, he can take an oath he doesn't doubt me; he just wants me to himself. He said that each time he sees me his heart does a somersault and he falls in love a new time. Is this just his charm? I'm not falling for his words, but I feel agitated. Firstly, that he's making some confessions to me without the nikkah being done.

What should I do? I'm in two minds. I can see the red flags, but am I overthinking? Is he right? Like I mentioned before, I have got good control over my emotions. So if I do say no, I won't spend my days and nights crying into my pillow. I can move on. I just don't want to make the wrong decision, especially as I feel he is perfect for me.I do like him, I'm not going to lie. But I don't want to flinch each time I greet the postman.

I like the fact that he's honest and he can be a man and honestly tell me what he's thinking. I do like that. But am I making a big mistake? If I agree to this marriage am I agreeing to a controlling husband? I don't want to make any regrets. Does his behaviour seem completely normal to you? And am I just being extra cautious?

Some women like it when their husbands are jealous over them, I don't. I don't like the overprotectiveness and jealousy, I find it suffocating! I feel like I can't breathe.

He is a good man, every bone in my body can give testimony for that. He has impeccable manners and wisdom. I am physically attracted to him. He makes my heart flutter and my answer was 95% yes, but now after all this it's like 70% yes. But my heart feels uneasy after his little investigations on me. Is this waswasa? Or is it a sign from my salat-e-istikhara? I'm really lost, I need some direction and guidance. Am I overthinking something that is simple and straightforward? Am I being extra cautious unnecessarily? Is he right in what he is saying? Am I just being insensitive and too soft?

Or should I leave and say no to his proposal?

I have been performing istikhara when I can, I have not received a clear sign apart from this uneasiness in my heart. 2 of my istikhara prayers got interrupted with my monthly cycles. But I've being praying whenever I can, and they'll be expecting a answer. Do help me decide.

What would you advise? Please give me honest and sincere advice, sisters but  brothers especially; as you may be able to explain to me what he is feeling...maybe...

Your Sister,


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23 Responses »

  1. Salaams Sister,

    Im not going to presume to know so much but I honestly believe that we are judged by our intentiins during our interactions. If the brother isn't able to trust you now an deeps questioning you this will get worse during marriage because he will have more control over you.

    I have experience with a jealous husband. I'm divorced today because it add a lot of pressure on the marriage and eventually makes you doubt yourself even though you aren't doing anything wrong.

    Best of luck to you. May Allah guide you to make the right decision.

  2. Sister I think you really need to humble yourself and not think too highly of yourself as we as Muslims shouldn't think of ourselves as "special" we are just meet humans being guided by the Almighty InShaAllah . Sounds to me like you like to create problems by talking and flirting to other men infront of your husband to be , I believe it is not good to start a marriage this way, may Allah guide you .

    • You are using your common sense, stick with it. Leave him now, find a person who respects you the way you really are. Teach your female friends and colleagues to do this. I am surprised how sensible you are.

  3. Your instincts are telling you that he will be a controlling man who will suffocate the joy out of your life. How are you going to live with a husband like that? He will never change and this character flaw of his will make your life miserable.

    Trust your instincts when they are telling you not to go ahead - your own instincts are almost always right, don't override them.

    As a man I know other men like that, it's not just that they are worried about you having an affair, there is something more sinister going on, its all about controlling everything you do. Now ask yourself, how can you possibly live with someone who doubts you with your elderly neighbour? Are you willing to stop talking to all non-mahram men to please your to be husband?

    This person is very insecure and a poor judge of character and in all honesty he would make a terrible husband for you. So if you want a life of being doubted, of being controlled, of being accused go ahead and marry this guy. Otherwise, give this person a wide berth.

    Marrying this person is the worst thing you can do and in your heart you already know that!

    • Sister if he isn’t able to trust you before the marriage after marriage will go worse it’s jealously he says he loves you that’s not love
      He will be controlling husband
      I had experienced this myself I thought it’s just one of those things but after my marriage it got so worse I was pressured everyday not to even talk and sit with my father and brother
      It’s better to say no now rather then regretting all life with the future child
      I would not go head if I was you
      it will make you upset for few days after saying to him that you will not going head with marriage but they are still nice and better people out there
      he will not change his controlling mine ex said before marriage he will change but he never did it’s better to say no now

  4. Salaam aleikom
    Even though he otherwise sounds nice guy, he's doing wrong to you. If he's already doing wrong to you and being disrespectful to you now, I wonder would how would he treat you you when you would be together.

    Maybe he would be still be good choice, I don't know. But take to discussion with him that he said that he's extremely jealous and that's something muslim should not be - especially while spouse is wearing correct hijab and acting according it as you are (and you told that you are wearing not only hijab but niqab). Allah has told us to control our jealousy and it seems that he's not having motivation to do so. Tell him that you like him but you're conserned that in all cultures violence towards women which sometimes leads even death, is mostly about jealous, and Quran story about jealous of Adam's (as) son. So this is something that must change and you need to know that he's ready to change.

  5. A good solid foundation in religion is important..we shouldn't be talking to a stranger.. you should know better..shaitan plays with a weak heart... he whispers evil casts doubts....If you are I treated in marriage then questions should be asked eg .what is your purpose in life what is your goals what do you think of you like shopping movies ..In this way we can check his Iman..5 times a day and at mosque and wearing the sunnah dress at times shows his Iman..because in this is blessings!!! is short and today somany people are divorced sexually physically abused..what do you want...Do not rush things .understand life and life around you focus on education too.because life will only get harder and restrict you too do certain things...or else you will be a depressed stay home mom

  6. Not sure what you are waiting for. JUST GO AND MARRY HIM!!!

    ///Am I overthinking something that is simple and straightforward? Am I being extra cautious unnecessarily? Is he right in what he is saying? Am I just being insensitive and too soft?///

    Yes, you are overthinking. You are being extra cautious. He is absolutely right. You don't know us. We, men, even the seemingly religious ones, are very predatory in our demeanour. Don't trust us since satan is running in our veins. Only trust those men who practise Islamic guidlines. And these guidelines are that YOU NEVER EVER TALK TO A NON-MAHRAM UNTIL IT'S AN EMERGENCY!! So talking with that cruise guy, that concierge, that neighbor is not an emergency! You should avoid that! Masha Allah, you have listed so many beautiful qualities of your husband. And to top that, he also has Islamic ghairah and haya. Subhan Allah!! Please convey my greetings to him. He is absolutely right when he says you're too naive and you don't understand men. Well yeah, you might feel he is a bit overcontrolling but look what he said. Didn't he say that he can vouch on your character? He knows you have an impeccable character but the thing is as a true, manly religious man, he has that ghairah and he doesn't like when a non-mahram talks to his lady. So, don''t let go of this brilliant opportunity. Marry him and you wont regret. And I'm sure 5 years from now, you would write here as to how this was the best decision of your life. I'm glad that men like your husband still exist today. Proud of you, buddy! So, I would request you to tie the knot with him asap!

  7. Look, he is not a dayooth or an emaciated cuckold. He is protective about his wife-to-be as any Muslim husband should be. You should also realize that you cannot talk to non-mahrams even if your intentions are pure. Only in emergency cases can you engage with them!

    Also, it just came in mind that does your husband-to-be (I hope he becomes your husband soon) show his controlling behaviour in other matters? Or is it limited to only interaction with males? If it's only your engagement with men that's bothering him, it's fine. It just shows his concerns which are natural. He is not over-controlling!

  8. Thank you for all your advice. I actually submitted this question 4/5 months ago, if I’m correct.
    I really wish I knew this then, there are So many perspectives offering something I didn’t even consider. That was my main concern that most of you guys are saying- to not be in a controlling marriage.

    Brother Hussain- very good and insightful advice. Thank youIt’s reassuring to know that there are brothers like you who think like that.

    • Roses, it seems you didn't marry him. Did you? Well, it's kind of unfortunate and disappointing. But hey, it's okay. God hadn't written it this way and we must at all times be content with God's decision whether we like it or not cos He is the best of writers. And well, it's still strange to me why you are confusing his possessive nature regarding talking to non-mahrams with his domineering attitude. Ask yourself. If you hadn't actually talked to non-mahrams, would he have created ruckus over these things? Well, game over. So, forget it and move on. May God protect you and be you best Guide.

      • No, Not Roses.

        I did accept his proposal after a lot of thought.
        We were about to have the engagement ceremony, but unfortunately his Father passed away. And his family needed him back in Italy.
        Understnably, he decided he would live in Italy for permanent.
        Because of my commitments and other personal reasons, I wasn’t able to live in Italy. So for that reason, we decided to go our separate ways.

        It was disappointing for a little while. But everything happens for a reason. And Allah is the Best of Planners.
        And if it is meant to be, it will happen.
        Strangely though, I felt a sense of relief.
        Still not sure whether it was a sign from Allah or waswasa.

        • Oh sorry but it was best for you since God made it happen!

          but haven't we interacted before? Didn't you post this under the comment section of a question where we had this discussion already? Aren't you the same lady?

          I hope and pray that you find a good spouse!

          • Yes, you’re right. I am the same one.
            But not ‘Roses.’
            ameen to your duas

          • Dua123

            OK . You didn't proceed due to other reasons but few points from my side

            As Sherry said most men by default look women in sexual way and if there is opportunity most of men will like to have sexual relationship except few who are strong in deen .

            I m not sure about his complain about people coming to you for help . Even if there is niqaab and men continuously interact for help , there are chances of forming sexual relation ship .

            When people say boundaries ,nobody is sure exactly what is that boundary . This part is always GREY .

            In the same website we are reading stories of Hijab ,Niqab wearing girls falling in to relation ship with men and ending up in Zina . So its very tricky .

            I agree if some body is too controlling it will suffocate but this part is little tricky if some body want to follow it properly .

            I remember one example of current Pak Prime Minister Imran Khan who has married his spiritual mentor(niqab wearing woman) recently . She is mother of 5 kids and divorced with her husband .
            When he was going to her for spiritual help she was married to her ex husband .
            Through they deny about any relationship when she was under her nikah with ex husband but no doubt there is no smoke without fire . She too is Niqab wearing lady and very few people might have seen her face .Even though she is wife of Prime minister but there is no proper picture of her in media .
            If this can happen at that age to people then what to say about young men women .

          • You made good points, Cool! Thanks!

    • Salam Dua123,

      I'm the same as you in that people like to talk to me, open up to me, and even strangers feel comfortable asking me for help. Not the person standing right next to me, just me. And people have made the comment that why strangers come to me and not others. The thing is, it has to do with how approachable the person is. The more you follow Islam the more your face, voice, and the way you deal with people will change. Making you someone others like to approach. That in of itself is a plus but there is the negative to it with the opposite gender.

      Spouses of your friends may become drawn to you and it will then affect their relationship. This in turn will affect your friendship as that friend may want to keep you and their spouse separate. You may also get more proposals from the opposite gender just like you already did from your workplace when you may not have thought anything was going on there. Lastly, your spouse may not feel good that a person of the opposite gender is sharing personal details with you. To them it may feel no different as if the guy you were talking to were sitting naked and you had no problem with it. So overall I would recommend that you try to cut down on conversations with the opposite gender once you're married. Be helpful but give closed answers and don't carry the conversation.

      Another thing, guys are attracted to girls that are near the age of 20 the most. This is true for 60 year olds too. It sucks for guys but that is how it is. So when a 60 year old guy is talking with you a lot he may hope for more but usually knows that it won't go anywhere, but it's still nice talking to a young attractive girl. Then there are richer guys that do get a girl half their age. So I think this is what your guy was talking about. His perspective is that all guys are interested and to be aware. And they are but not all will act on it. His worry is that after they progress the verbal relationship enough they may chose to spring a proposal on you.

      As for the jealousy thing, it usually does not go away. If you're with a guy that's open to girls like you're open to guys he may not have a problem with it because he does the same thing. But then you have to deal with watching him making random girls giggle and laugh and carrying on deep personal conversations.

      • Very good! Thank you for offering a female perspective on this!

        • Salam sherryyyyy,

          I didn't want to reveal my gender because I feel that some readers are playing gender wars and ignore truth if it comes from the gender they don't like. But at this point I guess if I stay silent I will encourage falsehood.

          So I'm actually a guy. Always have been too. I'm also not gay or look feminine. Never birthed kids either, cause you know, as a guy I can't.

          • Thank you for your advice, M. Very insightful.

            Yes, I probably would get annoyed and irritated if my other half was doing that.

            And funnily enough, I didn’t take that into consideration.
            So thank you very much for holding the mirror up. Sometimes we forget to do that.

            Thank you to everyone for your advice and pearls of wisdom.

            Your Sis in Islam,

            Dua123 / Ruby

  9. Allah saved you from marrying him. You were so confused. You would have been annoyed with him. He sounded controlling and insecure. I am not sure how you are with opposite gender but when a girl is too nice in nature, guys can take it as you like him. I know it’s sunnah to smile but woman have to be careful how they are smiling. Avoid being too available to speak to a guy. Keep small talks. I am not saying your flirtatious but men like it when someone accepts their attention and listens to them.

  10. Run run !

  11. Al salaamu alaykum wa rahmatu Allahi,

    I realize this is an old post, and no longer relevent to the needs of the OP. However I wanted to share my thoughts for anyone in a similar situation who comes across this post in the future.

    I am writing as a woman who grew up in the west and converted to Islam in adulthood. Two years ago I made hijra to an Arab Muslim country, and adopted the culture and values as my own. I know what it's like to have friendships with men, even safely; and I know what it's like to be seen as a paragon of virtue from the society at large because I avoid men like the plague. I was recently married to someone with a similar nature to the man the OP was writing about, and unfortunately the marriage was not able to part due to some of the issues brought by these aspects. Here are the lessons I've learned in my journey:

    1. If one person has an open orientation about talking to and engaging members of the opposite sex, and the other has a more restrained position, the marriage will have a lot of conflict and strain. People generally don't want to change what they are already comfortable with. So a marriage between someone who is conservative about engaging non-mahrem, and someone who is permissive about it, is going to be challenging to say the least. Men who are conservative won't feel comforable being more flexible. Women who are social with non mahrem will feel -as the OP said- suffocated to be more restricted. It's better to marry someone who already shares the level of values you are comfortable with, because marrying someone and hoping they will change (or worse, trying to change them) is not a good start.

    2. Men who have jealous natures aren't always satisfied with their women just behaving themselves with others. Sometimes that jealousy extends to past marriages and relationships. It could well be that a woman in such a marriage will be questioned at length about her behavior in past situations with the opposite sex, or even forced to reveal any thoughts or feelings she had for others in the past or in the present. In my case, my recent husband wanted to eradicate all traces of my previous marriage, asking me to get rid of anything my ex ever gave me as a gift, and editing out any diary entries that detailed any warm times in my former marital life. I was not able to see these requests as reasonable.

    3. If a woman is very comfortable being "friendly" with non-mahrem men, then she must accept that most likely the only kind of man who will consider her for marriage is a man who also has a way of being "friendly" with women. It must also be accepted that such a woman will most likely not be viewed by conservative, traditional families as someone who is the most pious or honorable. Likewise, even if she happily marries a man who is similar in nature to herself, in a conservative society this man may be seen as having lower character, and miss out on opportunities because of his less than stellar reputation.

    4. If a woman is serious about being seen as conservative and chaste, then it is absolutely imperative that her interactions with non-mahrem men in public be efficient and somewhat cold...WITHOUT EXCEPTION. The reason for this is because it is unfortunately true that even a small amount of warmth or friendliness can be misconstrued as flirting or interest. Being seen as "rude" should be a secondary consideration to preserving one's honor. Again, this advice is for the women who are serious about carrying this standard. I personally follow it, and Alhamdulillah I can say that I have never had any unwanted advances or treated with less than respect.

    5. If a woman is conducting herself as I described in #4, and her man is expecting of her the same, BUT he is engaging with women freely and openly....RUN. That is a huge red flag.

    In my opinion, behaving like #4 should be more than enough for average Arab "jealous" types. It is, after all, the standard Allah expects of us. Jealous men or women who need more than that probably are not going to be satisfied with anything, and will continually unearth issues that will require the person under scrutiny to comply with to prove themselves. That by itself is exhausting, and detracts from the joy marriage is supposed to give.

    -Amy Editor

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