Islamic marriage advice and family advice

In laws issues, husband can’t have children

Male infertility disorder

I have been married for exactly 1 year and 6 months. I’m 24 years old and my husband is 26. I grew up in Canada and lived there for 16 years and then moved to Dubai with my husband, who already lived in Dubai, after marriage. It was an arranged marriage, the proposal came through a family friend and my husband and I talked for 2 years before marriage. During this time, he asked me if I want to work after marriage and that he doesn’t prefer me working. I said ok that’s fine, because I wanted children right away after marriage. It was known that I would move away from Canada to my Dubai with my husband and in-laws living in the same house. I live with my mother in law, father in law, brother in law who is my age unmarried, and sister in law who is 1 yr younger to me unmarried, my husband is the oldest.

I’m the older of 4 sisters, my mother desperately wanted me married off, I guess because of my 3 younger sisters. I wanted to work and all, but at the same time I didn’t mind starting off a family. She always told me, what’s the point of studying and becoming a doc, or a lawyer if at the end of the day they end up having kids and a family. Some people start off early and some late with getting married and stating families. She told me it’s a good rishta (proposal), take it. She also said that u can come visit whenever, after I told her that its too far and what am I supposed to do. She said you’ll have a family soon and you’ll be able to forget. I told her I don’t want to live with in-laws because of past stories I have heard about inlaws. She said how would u like it if a girl comes and separates your only brother from me. All this blackmail really played in my head and I believed her. She said it’s easier to have children at a younger age than at an older age. And deep down, like I said, I really didn’t mind settling down.

So I graduated with a bachelor of commerce and got married and moved to Dubai 2 months after graduation. I have always wanted to work, but was willing to let it go for becoming a mother.

I was very naïve, my mother never once prepared me on how its going to be with inlaws, she never told me that slowly the entire responsibility of the household, cooking will land on top of you, and that if one day u really don’t feel like doing anything, this cant happen, because mother inlaw will be the boss.

I got married and my husband told me he wants to wait on kids for at least 8 months because we want to enjoy our life, travel around. I said ok that fine. In Dubai I didn’t know a single person. To this day I think, why did I make this decision, I regret it every single day. And with inlaws, it is very tough to go out whenever you want, and I cannot build a social life because my inlaws out me in a scheduled task during the entire day.

A maid comes to our house twice a day whom my mother in law fully has control over, 11 am- 1:30 pm and in the evening 7:30 pm- 9pm. She makes the rotis, does the cleaning of the house, and washes the dishes. I would get up around 10/10:30 am and come down and sometimes make breakfast for my father in law (which my mother in law hinted that it is my duty to be making breakfast for older inlaws). And they wanted me to be down before 11am so that I can open the door for the maid so that they don’t have to. I would cook what my mother in law would tell me, mostly salan (curry dish) for dinner a vegetable curry and daal for lunch. My mother in laws father was an army man. So my mother in law is very dictator like, in her life there is no such thing as ‘taking a break’ everything has to happen on time, and if it doesn’t she starts showing me attitude and silent treatment for days. The maid was not allowed to help me with any cooking, ironing or drying up my clothes outside, however she did it for everyone else who lived in the house. When the maid came, my mother inlaw would go around with her to all rooms and get cleaning done, and give her kids clothes and her clothes to iron, but she told me that I’m young and I could iron mine and my husband’s stuff myself.

I would stay down cook, and then serve them lunch and pick it up till 2/2:30 then go upstairs to my room. I had to be down by 5 because they would be waiting for me to serve them tea. From 5 onwards I was downstairs with them or on my laptop, then I would warm up dinner and serve it to everyone between 8-9pm. Technically with my inlaws the entire day. I tried to make friends, with its hard to go out everyday when my inlaws have put so much responsibility on me which makes it tough for me to even step out of the house. My inlaws have a driver, but if I ever ask to use him, I could tell their resistance, it’s obvious they don’t want me using their car or driver. The truth is I can tell that they don’t like me stepping outside of the house to meet people, because of course who will do all the work.

My mother in law is very controlling, everything has to go her way or no way, in the morning she tells me what to cook and I make that. I cannot say no to her or else she minds it and thinks it as me doing badtameezi (disrespecting her) with her. She asked me to make biryani in the afternoon so that it could be prepared by evening and we could eat it and then go out. I told her ill make it later because I have cramps. She minded that so much to the point she stopped talking to me.

After 8 months, we started trying for kids, it didn’t happen for few months, I went to the doctor she said I had gained around 14kg after marriage so I developed mild PCOS and started getting abnormal/irregular periods. She gave me Glucophage and she said within 3 months your cycles will become ok and you can conceive very soon. Simultaneously she told my husband to do a semen analysis. We held off on that for a bit but then when I couldn’t get pregnant he went and did it. My periods became normal within a month and I even started losing weight by diet and exercise. His analysis revealed he has Zero sperm! I repeat ZERO. My life came crashing down. The one thing I had always wanted I cannot have. Problems with my inlaws were always there, I told my husband about then from beginning, that I have no life, by this point I started telling him I want to work and have a life, I didn’t just get married to you for taking care of your entire family and being a live-in maid. One time I told my husband I was tired, and during picking up the dishes from the table after dinner my husband told my mother in law that why don’t you call the maid to come pick up the dishes, she gets tired sometimes. My mother in law got so mad, the next day she told me that she has to divide the chores between me and the maid, because the maid is already doing them a huge favor by doing a lot of work for them (this doesn’t make sense because this is her job). Every time my husband would go to my mother in law with something I said about her, she would tell me the next day that it’s not good to go to your husband complains to him all the time since he already has tensions. This hurt me a lot. She said we can’t afford a full-time maid, if you guys can, so then hire one just to pick up the dishes. She said what do I do anyways, just cook one dish the entire day. This was not true, I would make salad, fresh juice, serve them food, pick it up, cook for us all, and always be around her whenever she needed me to do something.

My husband’s normal work schedule was 9 am and he would return home between 8-9pm every day. I felt like I married my inalws instead of my husband, even weekends we spend with his family, picnics or gatherings.

I started working, I told m husband I would support you with this infertility. The doc said to have another semen analysis done to see what can be done. My husband is obese. I told him listen, can we shift into our own home, I would support u with this long road to infertility but I want breathing space. This will affect my life forever, and I cannot stay being the one responsible for their chores forever. I wanted my own family my own life one day. But this can’t happen to me just yet. My husband is too afraid to have another analysis done because of the outcome, he hates doctors. I cannot go on like this.

Finally husband agreed to let me work after 8 months of our marriage when he realized e are not having kids, he realized the situation. Now came the time to tell my inlaws. He told my father in law and father in law completely disagreed, saying your mother is old, she cannot manage the entire house herself, she needs her daughter in law to look after the house now, and she needs to relax with her life, she has taken care of you all her whole life. He told my husband, so what if Allah is testing you with children, but working is not the way. What about me? What if I want a life outside of just the home, being their home maker? I want to work until kids and father in law does not get that.

My mother in law doesn’t prefer ladies working because one she working during serious financial crisis. She said she would come home and straight away start making food for her 3 kids, and go ask her mother inlaw who lived in the house if she needs anything. She put a maid to look after her mother in law while she worked, and serve her lunch during her absence.

Recently we had a huge fight. My husband cooked for me during the weekend and he chose to out of his own will. And seeing this mother in law couldn’t stand her son cooking on his day off, so she kept saying to him (in front of me) the entire day, poor guy why you got to do this. Then one day I came from work and she told me it is not acceptable that he cooks ever, especially on his day off. Everybody in this house has a job, and a man’s job is to go earn, a woman’s job is to look after her kids and house. I got mad and said its everyone’s house and if he wants to cook for his family, what’s wrong with that. I started crying and told her I did not get married to keep listening to their insults. She raised her children up so that they won’t do any housework, not even lifting a finger, because she had maids, or she herself would do it, never her children. Now I am suffering because of this upbringing, my husband is fat, and we cannot have children. And my mother in law cannot let us live peacefully. So she got upset of this and told her husband. My father in law confronted me and my husband with our mother in law present. Father in law told me, today he doesn’t consider me as a daughter, and he will treat me as a daughter in law now, he is stuck with getting his son married to me and made a mistake which he now has to live with forever. Honestly, I had listened to everything my mother in law told me, I served them lunch, cooked, served them tea when they wanted on the right times. But they never see past it. It’s never enough for them and he also said that we live like paying guests. The truth is I don’t live like a paying guest but their son does. However, they will never see that. Father in law told me that we put a condition before marriage that you cannot work, but yet you chose to do it. You don’t listen. Does he not get that his own son cannot have children. Why they got to ruin my life. Now the problem is I cannot live with my inlaws and my husband said he will never leave his mom. I feel bad, but I practically do not have a life here in Dubai. I go to work rush home and start cooking whatever my mother in law tells me to do. Sometimes I feel like resting or taking a break, but I can’t even do that. If I only lived with my husband, he would understand and say its ok you don’t have to do it today. But with in-laws it’s become my duty to cook for them and serve everyone dinner. It’s like taking care of unwanted children. And the work load is even more for 7 people as compared to 2. If I have to fry something, its 3 trays for the 7 people because my inlaws are big eaters.
Imagine, my mother in law is extremely traditional. For her, men have the job of being out of home and earning and she thinks they shouldn’t even help at home with anything. She always criticizes her nephews who take care of their own kids. She said that the mothers of the young children should be feeding them not the men helping his wife out. She finds this lame and blames the wife/mother for not taking care of her children properly. Her nephews, one feeds one child and the mother feeds the other She always gives her example of how she took care of her 3 young kids all by herself and fed them all together, never let her husband do it, (she had maids/nannies for each kid).. I know for a fact this lady will make our life hell, going forward.

Now the case if, I have bought up divorce with my husband. I told him I can’t go on like this. I don’t have a life. Your parents expectations are too much. For them it is never enough and will never be. And frankly speaking, I don’t seem to be having a life with my husband either in the future if we continue living with inlaws. I cannot be treated like a little child I want to make my own decisions, I did not get married to become caretakers of his parents. A desi girl gets married to eventually start a life. Its fine If I lived with my inlaws but had my own family, eventually I would hire a maid or something when they see I can’t manage housework. But now they don’t believe I do enough and they think a daughter in laws job is to just be of service to her in laws and not have aa life.

The problem is I love my husband, he is a caring man and kind. But our fights over the months have been crazy, we have said very mean things to each other. Also he is not Islamic, he doesn’t pray a single namaz, except for some Jumma, doesn’t read Quran. He also does not clean himself properly, doesn’t take showers (once a week, maybe). But he has a good character, he would never cheat on me or he would never physically hurt me, just verbally he and I Both have said very rude things to each other when we lose control. He does not want to move out, neither does he want to get tested. He said I can’t live without my mother or you. But I can’t go on living like this, on the weekends I can’t even go to my parents’ house or friends. Also when I do go for a dinner or something, my mother in law makes me cook dinner for everyone, she told me, you will be out but we will be home, so you make this. It is not fair, it is my right in Islam to have my own home, and have children. I have accepted that children for us is a test. But everything else affects like life every day, my inlaws. I feel so deprived, I feel I’m walking on egg shells in my own home. It’s like I live in a prison where there is a schedule for everything. Before going somewhere alone I have to think 10 times and then I cancel because of my MILs attitude. And if I disagree with her, she can’t stand it. In this life, I cannot continue? I gave up my family, career, home, friends to move so far away to start a family with my husband. That can’t seem to happen soon. It’s up to Allah. But everything else is screwing up with my brain. I have cried myself to sleep for the entire year, every day. I keep telling my husband one day I will just run away to Canada. What

Should I do? I’m very distressed. I don’t have the strength to consider divorce, but I want to change my life. I can’t continue like this. Please tell me what to do? My life is stuck.


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7 Responses »

  1. It is a very hurting situation for you here, you have self respect, you are not a servant of anyone except Allah the Almighty, you should talk to your husband and tell him the boundaries and sort it out, if not possible keep doing istekhara sister, and whatever will happen, it will be good for you and your husband, and inshAllah you will have a great life Ameen
    I had been through tough situations, ex husband was not also capable of having children at all, hisfamily knew but was very nosy and annoying and interfering, his mom is control freak, so we had to let it go, he divorced me and it ended, and believe me, i am living a non stress ful life, i miss my ex and I am sure he misses me too but sometimes we have to let it go for some reason and for some betterment.Its part of nature of missing the one who loved you and took care you and vice versa, but if you are afraid to let it go, you will end missing and or maybe regretting and society mocking etc etc, then you can never be true to yourself, you will keep on hurting yourself and let others do the same with you.It can lead to bad conditions and worse situations too.
    Work out, talk to your husband, do istekhara, ask him do istekhara, and take what comes from Allah as a gift.You will never regret then inshAllah.Lots of duas for you sister.Take care.

    • Salaam alaikum FAtima,
      I read your post and if you still love your husband and he still loves you, then please read my possible solution to your problem with not having children. It is possible that you could have had children by him. If you will not go back to him, then please be so kind as to send on my post below so that he at least can check to see if he qualifies and can have children by the way that I told the poster below.
      Salaam alaikum

      • Thank you so much, but i do not want to be his wife anymore, as his family and situations never change
        I hope you know one hadith which i am going to share in my words(not exact hadirh words) that once a momin is betrayed (bitten) from one hole, he/she would never put the face again in it.
        I cannot make this mistake again, may Allah keep me on right path and make it easy for me.Ameen
        I have been deceived and having children or not is not the main issue here, the main thing (point) of being married to a man is that he should be capable and strong enough to stand by your side at any cost.This is true relationship of husband and wife.Children are mercy, miracle of Allah, the marriage should never be affected by this with having or without it.

  2. Assalaamualaykum Muslima123,

    I read your story and understand the frustration you must be going through, as it seems to you that you sacrificed a lot for this, nothing is going according to plan, and your dreams seem to be coming crashing down. You also state that you haven't the strength to consider divorce, perhaps because of a combination of your husband's good qualities and the extreme efforts you are putting into the household work/chores. May Allah bless you with a solution, as there is one for every problem, but sometimes, we need to put in the creative energy to find it.

    This difficult and unique situation will require you to have a shift in perspective and attitude, as you do not feel you have the strength to consider divorce. And because Allah does not want to burden us, but rather, wants ease for us, divorce is perhaps not written for you at this time.

    First off, you could choose to live life one day at a time and think of each day as an entire lifetime,,, a lifetime complete with ease and difficulty, ups and downs, work and rest. With regards to work, working in the house may not be what you had envisioned, but perhaps this kind of work has more baraqah in it than working outside would have in your situation, which is why Allah gave it to you. Perhaps it is more needed, which is why your in-laws have so much trouble giving you up! You could see it as a compliment, in fact. They may not be the appreciative type, but in a way, their refusing to let you go is appreciation in itself, because it enforces how needed you are! You could learn to appreciate yourself and pat yourself on the back, knowing you've done good work for the family and for Allah. With regards to rest, it may not seem like you are getting enough rest, but Allah has prescribed rest for the night, which is one of the reasons it grows dark outside. Does your mother-in-law demand work at night, other than giving your husband dinner? If she does, you should inform her that Allah, our creator, has prescribed this as a time of rest, and that anything to the contrary is unislamic and will not come naturally to anybody. If she refuses to acknowledge this, you will have to change your mindset and consider your "rest" period as your sleeping time only, and the day as your work.

    The other attitude shift that might help you is to remember the Akhira and realize that this temporary life is not for enjoyment, but rather for testing. Remember that every good deed you do is being recorded for it's reward in the afterlife. So you could wake up in the morning and proceed as if you know that you will not get everything you want, but will get what you need and that and more in the Jannah if Allah grants it for you. You can think about this whenever you are preparing a meal, and more love will go into it. You can think about it whenever you are tired, and Allah will grant you a better sleep at night. You can think about it whenever you think you cannot go on anymore, and you somehow will survive by the will of Allah, because He knows what's best for you.

    Inshallah with these changes in perspective, your marriage to your husband, who sounds like a very caring and understanding person, can continue.

    May Allah grant you ease, Amin.



  3. Salaam alaikum. I have worked in the infertility area for over 30 years. I have had many patients with the same problem as your husband has. There are only two reasons why he cannot have children- one is if he is truly sterile, but the other reason is that he has a cycstic fibrosis gene that does not allow the vas deferens to develop which means the sperm he makes cannot leave the testicles and gets reabsorbed by the body. They can do an ultrasound and a physical exam to check to see if this is the case. If it is then There is a solution and you can have children. Your husband will need to go to a special urologist who does the TESA or MESA procedures where they do a little surgery and take sperm out of his testicles. Then they inject the sperm into your eggs. You have to do IVF to do this procedure as your husband's sperm is not capable of swimming and penetrating your eggs. THis has worked for many decades for many people. It was invented by a person in Belgium decades ago. NOTE: You must make sure taht the doctor you choose to do this surgery is experienced as if he is not, it can damage your husband's testicles and they will get scar tissue and not make sperm again. But usually this only happens after the second or third time. Anyway, give it another chance if you love him
    Good luck salaam alaikum.

  4. Salam,

    To answer your question: Move to Canada and file for divorce in that order. Then work out and get rid of the extra weight so you feel better about your self. Once you're ready you can try looking for marriage again.

    The situation you're in is not a normal extended family situation People don't marry their sons so that they can control their daughter in laws to do work in the house and pay less to the maid. They have a maid that did everything before you came. It's not like they were starving and didn't eat before you came. You show up and now suddenly they can't live a day without you working? It doesn't work that way, they should accept you as another family member and they should pull their own weight too. Why can't they make their own tea sometimes? If everyone gets to use the driver why can't you? If your father in law really felt like your his daughter then why was your laundry not done for you like it is for their real daughter? To say that he used to think of you as his daughter and now he doesn't, what's the difference in treatment?

    They're basically trying to control your every move. The schedule is designed such that you can't do anything on your own or see anyone to tell you that the situation you're in is abusive. Even if the tasks aren't a lot, they are spaced out so that your schedule cannot support having friends. To top all the abuse from the in laws, you now also have to deal with your husband not being able to have kids and wanting to live with his parents forever. Please leave now. You're 24, you can get married again and possibly have kids you don't need to be in this situation where you're in a different country from home and are treated like a slave. I would tell the in laws that I need to visit my mom and I'm going. If they complain that who will take care of us when you're gone say you need to see your mom now and whomever took care of them before you came can do it again. Leave and don't come back. These people need a free maid and you can have a better future than this. Your mom didn't raise you so that you could be a free maid to these people. Please leave now. Forgot about the logistics, book your ticket and go. If they don't agree, book the ticket anyway and leave. Do not come back to Dubai ever again, just stay in Canada. If they want to see you, they can come to Canada and live there.

    • I believe your advice is great, if she follows it, its better to get out of that toxic relationship rather to stay, when her husband cannot take a stand now, he would never be able to do that ever, whenever she will in need of,i hope she makes a wiser decision and stop being used.

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