Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I regret my decision to quell my parents’ insecurities and marry

pressure

السلام عليكم,

I am a 22-year-old Muslim woman. I was born in the United States but moved to Egypt when I was a teenager. I had gotten used to my life in the United States and struggled to adapt in Egypt. For example, I barely scraped along in school and had little to no friends in high school and college.

My father no longer wants to live in the U.S.A., but his dream is for me to get married and build a life in the U.S., because he knows it will be easier for me there. However, I've felt like I was not ready, so I’ve rejected a lot of potential husbands. The problem is that the more I said "no," the angrier my father got and the more upset my mother became. I felt pressured so I said yes to the most recent man.

Since he was in the U.S. and I was not, I only saw a picture of him and met his family. I did not like the way he looked and avoided looking at his picture the entire engagement. He has a pushy family...they’re not mean but very nosy and in your business. I did not enjoy their humor or company in general. I talked with him on the phone and mostly did not enjoy our conversations.

I’d like to say that he is not a bad person or Muslim. My problem with him is the exact opposite--he is too nice. I feel like he lacks a personality. We have nothing to talk about and I’ve tried countless times even though I am not a big talker myself. No subject gets us anywhere and I feel like my interests and his do not align. I talked to him for almost a year over the phone looking for more and more excuses to avoid his call.

Against my better judgment, I went along with the wedding, crying myself to sleep most nights. I’ve been married to him now for about four days and I’m getting more and more depressed. The first time I saw him I couldn’t stand the sight of him and we had nothing to talk about. I find myself noticing little flaws and losing more and more respect for him everyday.

After the first night I called my dad...I told him I wanted a divorce. He refused and said that "no daughter of his would ever get divorced." My mom is even on his side. I’d like to mention that my dad is not a bad person but he’s worried about my future. He says women who get divorced in the first week get their chastity questioned and will never marry again. He also said that I won’t get a divorce ever because this society frowns upon divorced women and my life would be hell.

The entire time I was engaged my dad kept talking about how my life would be so much better in America and how I could go to a proper school get a good job and have a good life. I feel like that is why I got married: for my future, not the man. I understand my parents are worried for me; divorced women generally do not get married again and rarely ever to anyone decent. Wanting to marry a good Muslim man in America would be nearly impossible.

I understand all that but everyday I’m getting sadder and sadder and more and more desperate. I’d also like to mention that before I got married I’d been suffering with depression and would rarely leave my room. I felt like I was disappointing my parents so I got married to please them, but now I feel like I’ve disappointed myself.

I pray five times a day. I prayed istikhara before I got married, and I know what that means but I still feel like I cannot do this. I’ve been praying and making duas since I got married but I feel like my prayers have not been answered. If there is a certain dua I can make or salah, please tell me because I know seeking out an Imam and getting Khula is not an option. Requesting an urgent reply thank you.

Sister


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10 Responses »

  1. Reading what you wrote sounds like you're more resentful towards your father for making you get married despite you not.wanting to . And the fact you mentioned your husband is too nice as his only problem. That is a start that you can work with.. you wanna have chats then start having small talks with him so he opens up with you , help him become the man you want him to be .

  2. Assalamualaikum Sister, May Allah protect us from was wasa of shaitaan, sister I would suggest u to take time and not hurry in your decision stop changing your husband or expecting him to be smthing which he can never be , what I have understood from this is your are comparing your husband to someone or maybe an image u alwys had in your mind about a life partner sister Marriage is BEAUTIFUL sunnah do not make it like a business deal ....Allah test us and he keeps khair in everything for us pray and stop running behind ur expectations as this will not take u anywhere if u had not wanted to marry him u should have told him but now leaving him for he has done nothing bad and only for reason he is not like wt u expected is not right .....MARRIAGE IS NOT BED OF ROSES IT IS TEST FROM ALLAH .....and what guarantee u have ur next marriage will be just as u thought.....try to see your husband keeping all your expectations away give time for your relationship....Jazakallahu khair

  3. I am not married. But I know that feeling you have. My pushy aunt had me talk to a guy on the phone. He came from a good educated family and well off but he had no personality and was very odd during communication. He lacked personality and there was no conversation that was lasting, always a dead silence and I was the one trying hard to bring some connection. I was not attracted to his pictures. Not only that but he lacked etiquettes and didn’t know how to talk to a girl. Telling me that I smile weird on my pictures (not true, I am photogenic) and I sound like too religious so, he made me promise to not nag him to pray. I told my mom and she agreed that it was not right, my father past away, so my mom was my guardian. My mom told me to keep talking to him (not marry him) to please my aunt. Allah answered my prayers. When he came to meet me and my family alone, my aunt and family didn’t like him right away, they were turned off. He didn’t know how to present himself- how to talk, dress up, didn’t bring a food/gift when meeting visiting a new home. The only reason he was talking to me was for green card.

    My point of sharing my story is that he is at least nice to you, even though you have nothing to talk about. Try to give it a shot one more time. See what his interests are and show him that you want to explore his interests. Having a phone conversation is not enough to know, face to face interaction and being alone in a halal environment of course by parents permission is so important. If you still don’t see yourself happy then I don’t know what to say but to make dua for a change. These days it’s not hard for divorcees to get married again, so many are remarrying again around me. In fact it’s harder for singles to find decent never married men.

  4. Assalamualaykum Sister,

    You write: "I’d like to say that he is not a bad person or Muslim. My problem with him is the exact opposite--he is too nice."

    Sister..it seems like everyone is picking up on this one statement of yours, which should tell you something! It is a good problem to have! 🙂

    Honestly, if you'd experienced a truly bad partner, abusive or neglectful partner, or a cheating partner, this guy may start to look better, no? The reality is that if this guy is around your age--an adult--there's no chance that he has "no personality." Everyone has a personality, which develops the longer you live. So I'd chalk it up to your not having known him long enough to know what his interests or style is, or not perhaps crossed the "shy stage" that some guys have. I'd give him some more time, personally.

    Hugs,

    Nor
    IslamicAnswers

  5. Hey
    I think he's a good human. Nice is good, believe me
    You haven't seen abusive guys yet. I know someone who has apparently has a strong personality and is very confident and talkative. 6 years down the line, his wife is so depressed because he's manipulative, lies, abuses, tortures in every way possible. Believe me, nice isn't bad at all.
    He just needs to have a backbone which he can later, as he grows and feels like a man around you. There are alot of self help books that teach guys how to talk to women. Perhaps you can buy him those.

    You can push him to take the lead everywhere by acting feminine, and letting him do everything. You can do a lot.
    There's a hadith, every gentle and polite man will not go to he'll fire. You've got a great nice human.

  6. Your problems are discussed in this book "Before you Tie the Knot" written by sheikh Mohamed Magid and psychologist Salma Abugideiri.

    A chapter in the book discusses the reasons people get married:
    1) Preserving chastity: protecting oneself from seeking physical enjoyment in an unlawful way
    2) Companionship: Seeking a to live out the zawjiyyah concept, when a person stays with another for a long time, sharing each other's lives, engaging in mutual experiences, and enjoying each other's company
    3) Family and children: finding a good co-parent
    4) Financial security
    5) Escape: escaping native country or family/community pressure to marry,
    6) Settling down
    7) False Hopes and Dreams: Idealization of the person in the leadership position (ex student marrying teacher)
    8) Feelings of obligation or guilt: feeling pressure to give back to a person who helped you before, or have a sense of obligation or guilt related to family pressures.

    You seem to have gotten married for 4, 5, 7 and 8.
    4 and 7 because marrying this person would help your future like you mentioned. Or maybe you just made these excuses to make you feel better; to know that you're getting something out of the marriage because you're really marrying because of 5 and 8.

    Important note the book has on 8: "Parents may plan or arrange for their adult child to marry a relative or other person without really considering their child's input. The adult child may be completely opposed but remain silent out of desire to please and obey the parents. In these situations, difficult as they may be, it is critical to voice your opinion and remember that making a marriage work requires you to like the person and have many things in common. It is also important to remember that the intended spouse has the right to a partner who wants him or her; an injustice occurs when you marry someone and cannot be a proper spouse due to lack of attraction or compatibility".

    People get married for different reasons, and the reasons don't have to match perfectly, but spouses should be able to fulfil each other's purposes of marriage. You seem to want a companion, a person to talk to and share your life with. This may not be the reason he got married, so he isn't giving you what you want. Discuss this with your husband. Tell him this is what you like/want. It'd be good if he gets to know your purpose of marriage and fulfils it, and vice versa.

    There is such a thing as "acquired taste" (mainly in food). It's been a while since this was posted, so do you like how your husband looks lately? or do you still not like how your husband looks?
    This point is often ignored, but it shouldn't. I personally tried so hard to ignore the looks when I was looking for a husband, but it's very difficult. Physical attraction is important. You might like something others don't, and vice versa.

    As far as your husband being "too nice", and you thinking it's a problem. It's probably because you think it's not genuine, or you think that you don't deserve it. Since you mentioned that you're depressed, it might be the latter.
    Here is a video on overly friendly people: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3npvris_TA

    If you try to make things work, and talk with your husband, and you just don't see things improving, then it might be a good idea to do khul3. Better now than later. Resentment might fester if you're not content with your marriage, and that's not good

    Your marriage has nothing to do with your parents. You seek their counsel, but the decision is up to you.
    When your dad says "no daughter of his would ever get divorced", he's basically using his daughters to construct part of his self-image, and that's wrong. You are not your father/mother. You are separate.
    If the answer of your istikhara is khul3, then go ahead.

    Why did you say that "seeking out an Imam and getting Khula is not an option"?
    It is an option

    Let me know if you have any questions, or need any help

    • I want to thank everyone for your advice and guidance. It’s been about three months and not much has changed regarding my feelings honestly. Multiple things have happened but I don’t want to get into it. Bad parts of his personality have been shown and honestly if you ask him he’ll probably have bad feelings about me too. I’m trying my hardest to do what pleases Allah. At this point I’m leaving it in His hands.
      Keep me in your prayers
      Thank you and Salam.

      • May allah help you

        Sister do you see things working out and you're relying on Allah? or have you given up and wish for a miracle?

        Consider having couple-counseling sessions. A good organization is called Khalil center, you can do it online. It's good because they're Muslim Psychologists/Therapists.
        It's not cheap, but they have discounted price.

        You can also find another organization or counselor.

        If not, you two can work on the relationship on your own. I highly suggest getting the book I mentioned before "Before You Tie the Knot" and read it together and discuss the questions at the end of each chapter

  7. Asalamu Alaykum,

    I would like to start and say that my parents are not bad people they're the kindest people and deen following people, they care for me a lot I know that and I know they want the best for me. I'm sorry I'm not good with words so this message may be all over the place.

    I have something to ask, please advise me on it. I have been in an arranged marriage for the past 4 years. I have not seen the man in these four years at all. I agreed to the marriage because of my parents, I didn't want to hurt or disregard and disrespect them, even though I did not want and still do not want to be in this marriage, I was emotionally manipulated, forced to go with this marriage because he's a good man and that I will never find a man like him in my life (he's a relative). They say they didn't force me and that and I made the decision to go through with this and I made a promise I can't break. I agreed because of the immense pressure I was under, I was scared and wasn't thinking properly. I refused 3 times and my parents didn't listen to me nor did he, everytime I refused they kept shouting, ignoring me, saying horrible things to me. We keep on getting into fights that have become problematic to me it's so disgusting and unbearable. They keep saying things like: "elders are involved in this, what are people going to say about us, people are going to think we are people who break promises, Your going to ruin your sister's chances, our face/reputation will be finished". They're not thinking of me at all. The mental health I have struggled with within these 4 years, fits, severe anxiety, and panic attacks, and that is disregarded to and I get called names for it. What I'm trying to tell you is, is this OK or is this wrong. Should I be in this marriage for the sake of my parents or should I leave for my sake? I really need help, I don't know who to talk to anymore. Please help. (I know I have rights in marriage and the right to refuse but unfortunately, I have been robbed from it) .

    I hope this message comes to you safely. I hope you can read this message and advice me on it.

    Regards

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