Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My Marriage is falling apart over money

Assalaam Alaykum

I have been married to my husband for about 8 months but we did not move in together till a few months ago because I have a daughter and it was a case of relocating.  Unfortunately we have been plagued by so many problems (some due to the pressure of events in my life) but now that I have moved in with him, we have spent most of that time unhappy and displeased with one another.

There is hurt on both sides but on the face of it and to an outsider it will be difficult to comprehned that  our marriage is breaking down and literally on the edge before really small reasons which have recently intensified.

When I met my husband I had just lost my job and found a job an 1.5hrs drive away from where I lived, after we got married I realised that my job would affect my marriage and my husband did not like the place I worked at (there was no haraam it was more the owners he did was distrusting of).  I gave up the job and in doing so gave up the only sole income that I had.  I struggled for over a month and I tried to ask my husband for help and the communication side of it was a little misunderstood by both of us.

The pressure of not being able to survive day to day took its toll and it did cause problems in some areas for us.  My brother interevend and gave me his card to use but I felt embarrassed taking money off my brother so I sold him my car in exchange. This displeased my husband but I didn't have the means to run my car which he knew and I needed money to survive day to day and provide for my daughter.

Alhamduallah I got a job temping but in midfield it ended before I moved to my husband's city but the move and as a result of no job cost me home which is now being repossessed.  Prior to the move to my husband's city and home I gave up job offers because my husband had said that he does not really wish me to work and wants us to spend quality time together and for the love of my husband and the future of my marriage I rejected the job offers.

Unfortunately this was to my detriment because since I moved in with my husband, whilst he has put a roof over our heads and provided basic food provisions,I have been left to fend for my daughter and I on my own.  Attempts to discuss financial support from him have resulted in him saying that he looks after himself, everyone else looks after themselves therefore me and daughter should look after ourselves, or what do I mean what "arrangements" if we need anything and that was in response to my question..' what do we do if we need anything?'.

This hurt a great deal and it put an end to me being able to ask him for anything.  I was waiting for my final pay check but my daughter was in her first week at school and I had no choice but to ask him for money for that week. He replied not but before the night was out left £10 on the dining table for me without a word. I received my pay check but I used it for food shopping, school, things for my daughter, personal hygiene things for me to the poiunt where I spent all that I had with a week to go for my daughter at school.

That is when I started to worry about how I was going to provide for her. My daughter snapped at me one day when there was no snacks in the house for and I didn't have the money to get her any but my husband not talking to me made it impossible to ask him.  To add to that since we moved,  in our belongings, clothes etc remained in the van for over 4 weeks until we unloaded them: only to be told to put them in the garage.  We plodded along, the amount of heaving that I'd done I couldn't take my daughter's suitcase upstairds and it remained at the bottom of the staircase until I left a few weeks ago.

Because my husband is renovating his house only certain rooms are usable but it's by no means in a mess, our clothes are hung over things. But since I moved in my husband has literally put a stop to completing the renovation work period as if to point out to  me that he will not do it because he is displeased with me and it makes me feel like he doesn't see the point of completing the work on the house because we will not last.

I am not entirely innocent and please don't not think that I am.  My husband has a caring heart but towards me of late it has hardened and I really do not see the real cause of this nor the jusitification for it.

- sabrah

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2 Responses »

  1. Dear Sabrah, Asalaamualaikum,

    I am sorry for this difficult situation you are in.

    From what you have said, I understand that you have a daughter from a previous relationship and have now married the man you are referring to in your post. You left your job to try and please your husband, but he does not financially support you either. So you are living under his roof, but with no income and no monetary support from your husband.

    Sister, a few questions come to mind. You did not mention anything about the father of your child. He should be financially supporting his child and if he is not doing this then you have a right to demand so through the state, depending on which country you live in. Also, I am assuming that maybe your husband is not so happy about supporting your daughter?

    I would suggest you have a very open talk with him to discuss these vital matters. Ask him if he is unhappy about your daughter living with him? Personally I feel he has some very deep rooted issues, because even if a man is not happy about looking after someone's else child; I am sure that a good man would not put unnecessary difficulties on his wife or let her child go hungry. Maybe he is feeling unable to support you both your financially? Explain to him that you want to share the financial burden with him hence want his permission to work. Although, I think that if you need to feed and clothe your daughter, you needn't wait for you husband's permission.

    Speak to him openly Sabrah and see what unfolds.

    SisterZ, Editor

  2. Salaam My Sister,

    I am sorry for these troubles that you are facing. Money is a common cause of upset between couples, and the first year of marriage is well known to be troublesome and difficult for new couples.

    Your husband's behaviour towards you sounds like passive aggressiveness, which is when a person is angry about something, but feeling unable to express that anger - they withdraw emotionally, become cold and unloving and "show" their feelings of distance in other ways. It's very unhealthy: because all he needs to do is explain to you what the problem is and work with you to find a solution. Sometimes, people do not express their anger because they don't want to look bad, or they were initially OK with something, and then realised very quickly that actually they are not OK with it - it could be anything. The danger with passive aggressive behaviour is in misinterpretation - because it's not clear what is upsetting the angry person: the other party in the relationship is left to guess what is wrong, tiptoe, change behaviours - and all of this only makes the angry person angrier. What would make them less angry is to release those emotions and deal with whatever the underlying cause is.

    You are mentioning money a lot as the source of the problem - but even though money is a big issue in a relationship - a successful couple should still be able to get on with each other and communicate through hard times and bad times. So the money problem is a symptom of something bigger - perhaps an attitude or a way-of-being that is irritating him.

    My advise to you is to try and get him to speak. Explain to him that his upset is very obvious and whatever it is - allow him to speak freely about it. Tell him you don't mind if he has something bad to say about you or the situation you are in: that you need to hear it in order to be of some use to it, because at the moment you are left to guess what the exact problem is and it's not good - you could be guessing wrong, reacting wrong. When he does speak, listen to what he is saying and invite him to find a solution, phrases like: "OK, I head that you are upset about x, how can we make this less of an issue" - offer your assistance in solving the problem and don't allow him to simply blame you for everything because in relationships we must communicate to solve problems. So a problem occurs when one party doesn't communicate adequately to the other.

    Remember that when he is releasing his feelings, there will be the initial period where he may be angry - but that is healthy, and let him get his feelings out before you respond, and keep him solution focused during this conversation. As long as he is speaking about what is bothering him, you will be able to understand and take action.

    One note: the key to a healthy argument is to be solution focused and not turn things into a slanging match, or a bid to bring each other down. It is common for couples to respond to a painful comment with an even more painful comment: however this is just adding fuel to the fire. So try to avoid getting into a battle of wills, and try to avoid saying things that are not solution focused.

    InshaAllah, once he is talking you will be able to move forwards to find a solution. It may be that you might have to work for a little while, it may that he needs reassurance, it may be that he is very stressed about finances and can't say those words out loud - whatever it is, help him (and help yourself) to work through it to find a way to make dealing with whatever stresses there are much much easier.

    Marriage is teamwork, sometimes your team mate is having a hard time and you pick him up, coach him, listen to him and make his life easier, other times you are having a bad time and your team mate puts you back on track. Sometimes everything is brilliant and you can take over the world together, other times everything feels like it's heading towards an early and painful end. It's not - marriage is like a roller coaster with ups and downs, curves, blind spots, excitement, fear and relief so don't worry, stay focused and try to help your husband speak about what is bothering him.

    I pray you success in communication and solution,


    Editor, Islamic Answers

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