Islamic marriage advice and family advice

I love him but I hate him.

Assalaamu Alaikum.

I am writing this email to you in great distress and I hope you will be able to help me with some advice. My question probably is longer than what you usually get, but I feel it is necessary for me to give you some context so that you comprehend my position. I am going through a very hard time getting along with my father.

I am a 21 year old male, currently studying. As the subject of my query mentions, I am going through a stage where I love my father, yet I hate him. He is a loving father, I won't deny that. He worked hard throughout his life to provide for us and never hesitated to do that. He has been more of a provider, but less of a father.

Long story cut short, my father over the years has become very aggressive and overly sensitive. He has developed a considerably inflated ego, and adamantly holds his sense of self-righteousness. He would act in a certain way at home, and be completely different outside in front of people. He blatantly disrespects and devalues my mother in front of me and my siblings, and this has been going on for years. He would react wildly to the most minor things like what kind of clothes I wear, or how I style my hair etc (and I assure you my clothing or my "hair-do" is far from indecent). He completely refuses to understand that I grew up in a different era.

Basically, according to him me, my siblings and my mother are not allowed to refute or disagree with him in any manner. So whenever he crosses his limits and any of us of us react, he responds furiously and holds a grudge like it is a sin to go against his opinion (which most of the times are very irrational). My mother is a very patient woman, therefore she keeps patient and advises us to do the same too. She suggests it is probably because of my father's poor health that he behaves in such a way, which I think is untrue because he seems to act fine around other people- especially around his cousins and nephews.

To sum it up in one word (and I hate to say this) he is very hypocritical. My mother says that Allah SWT will reward us for our patience, and me and my siblings sincerely have been doing that. But I am finding it very difficult to stay silent any longer. Our patience and silence only makes my father think he is right, and hence he continues being the way he is. I think it is very important that he knows the morality of his actions.

Concerning me, he is very over-protective. I know every father is, but I am a 21 year old adult on my way to become a man, and I really need my space to do so. Therefore, I sincerely request you to advise me on how I should go further with this issue which is tearing our family apart.

Due to all these factors, me and my siblings try to stay away from him as much as possible, which he takes as us "not loving"  him and hence reacts the way he does. Should I cease being silent (which I really want to), or should I continue being patient? Jazak Allah khair for your time.


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6 Responses »

  1. As-salaamu 'alaikum wrwb Brother,
    I cried so much while reading this. It was almost as if I wrote this...but I feel that there may be more important details to your story. Your dad seems to have a narcissistic personality and is probably emotionally and verbally abusing you and your siblings. Your mom is trying to come up with excuses for him and the fact that she's so patient about it makes me wonder if he's been this way throughout their married lives. You're reacting because you're young and see that it's wrong. Your mom might be in a state of helplessness if he's been this way for a long time. I would advise you to help your mom to be positive and make her know that you are there for her no matter what happens; Try to help her heal emotionally. You're not a kid, alhamdulillah, so you're in a good position to get a job soon if you don't already work. Make sure you also make your siblings understand that the way your dad is treating all of you, including your mom, is neither healthy or from the teachings of Islam. As for his silent treatments...I personally absolutely abhor silent treatments and grudges. They make me want to run away from home or just wish either I or dad weren't alive. I would suggest doing your best to be a good son (yes, I know it's extremely difficult and painful) and try not to let his attitude affect you. Most importantly, do your utmost to be an obedient servant of Allah because only Allah can heal you, protect you, and guide you; only Allah can show him the evil consequences of his actions and destroy his arrogance. To help you be an obedient servant, tread on the path of Islamic knowledge, starting with the Qur'an. Lastly, this is a very crucial learning opportunity for you, not only in seeking to better your character, but to take a lesson from how your father has lived has live and where he has reached thus far. Your dad may possibly be at an age where he's looking back on his life and isn't satisfied; he is probably having spiritual issues too...Is that how you want to be? I don't think so, so make wise plans for your future in shaa Allah.

  2. I believe that love ammends even the most corrupt person. It'll take time and a lot of patience but maybe you should break the ice between you and your father... try building a bond with him which will enable you to get your message across to your father and he'll be open to listen to you... in my opion by ignoring him and withdrawing from him you'll only be pushing him further away disabling any means of being able to make him understand.

  3. You tried to be comprehensive but unfortunately you did not provide any factual details. An example would have appropriate for the proper justification of your father's acts.

    Anyway from my point of view, if he insists you in any sins which are strictly prohibited in the Quran then definitely I would say listen to Allah instead of your father or mother. Perhaps it seems to me that your father is not doing so.

    You mentioned he doesn't like your certain hair style and dress up! Well I would recommend you to take time, be respectful and discuss with your father peacefully regarding your perspectives. Never offend your parents. You will get enough time to live your choice of life but you may not get the chance to make them smile always because it's obvious that everybody must perish.

    Read Quran, its details, complete, final testament, last scripture of Allah towards mankind, protected from all manmade fabrications and deceptions. You will get all answers of your queries and justifications in the Quran.

  4. Imran,

    You could be one of my sons. My home is a lot like yours on many levels. My sons stay out often to avoid coming home just because they don't like the confrontations with their father. One of my daughters needs to take prescription meds for anxiety whilst one of my sons suffers severe bouts of depression. One of my other daughters swears up and down her father is bi-polar. Their father is absolutely blind in regards to the damage he has done. In his eyes, we are the ones with the problems.

    When my son was in high school, he would have to call me and tell me to come and get him. When I would ask him why he would just say he needed to get out. I understood and did whatever necessary to offer him the space he needed. His father is very critical and even if my son brought home a good grade, his father would tell him he should have done better. It's never good enough. Never.

    My children are older now but the damage is done. Their father like yours is a good man and a good provider but too arrogant to see that his ways are unhealthy and do permanent damage to the soul. As a mother who has seen it all, the best advice I can offer you is keep yourself busy. My sons stay out, go to friends, go to University and pretty much are never here. Even if they are here, it's like their father looks to create problems. Seriously...who needs that?

    Hold your tongue and like your mother says, Allah will reward you for your patience. If anything, it is all this drama and unnecessary garbage within a family that will make you an even better father to your children and husband to your wife. one will know better than you how it tears you up inside and rips at your very being to never feel good enough on any level. Be there for your mother because if you think it's been hard for have no idea the hell she has been through. Hang tight, the ride will get better and that is a fact.


    • Aslaam

      Have you spoken to your husband about his behavior? Because all I'm imagining is that if/when your children get good careers (inshallah), are financially stable, independent and married - they will want as little to do with their father as possible

      • Asim,

        Many times over the years I have spoken to my husband but he is in denial. He is not the problem. We his family are.

        Allah is merciful and even though things have been tough at times, his children adore him. They know that in his own way, the things that he has done and continues to do are because he does love them and wants the best for them. It's just a shame that he is unwilling to see the damage that all the negativity does. Like many before him, he is blind to the fact and unwilling to change.

        May Allah guide us all.


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