Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband put me into debt, had a child with me and then left

The burden of the debt is giving me nightmares


I am Macedonian Christian married to a Lebanese Shia Muslim. We both used to work in Middle East which is where we met and got married. My husband resigned from his job on the day we signed the marriage contract. He could not leave the country as the company where he worked held him responsible for a missing $22,000. He said that he can not ask his parents or sister or brothers for help as they will be angry at him.  So I took a personal loan on the premise that he was supposed to find another job in Dubai and take over the loan repayments.

Now it has been more than 2 years and I am still paying the loan. He is back in Lebanon now. I have not seen him for more than one and half years. We have a baby boy aged 1 year and he has not seen him yet. He cannot come to visit as he owes money to another bank here.

I find it very difficult to contact him as he said he has no mobile and I have to call his friends instead.  Sometimes he will not call for 20 days or so.  He did not give me any money whatsoever for the loan or  for our son. He does everything possible to make our lifes miserable.  It took him 2 months only to send me a passport copy to register the baby and another 3 months to send me the necessary papers to make a passport for the baby. And at the end I had to pay again a penalty of $350 for being late. I even sent him the money for the documents but he prefered to buy alcohol and spend them on his own needs. Once he even told me that he was in alcohol rehab clinic and that's why he delayed the papers. Another time he said he delayed the papers as he has family problems. His sister-in-law's father is sick in hospital. So we are not part of his family and we can wait in a foreign country without passport and visa for the baby for 5 months.

As I see the things, he married me only to take the money. For him, life is eating,drinking and chatting on Messenger and Facebook with girls.

His idea of parenting is to miss call me so I can call back and he asks "How is my son?". That's all. I had to take care of the baby for 2 months absolutely alone as there was nobody to help and I was in a foreign country without any relatives present. When I asked my husband what shall we do if my mother cannot come to help for the baby his answer was "What can I do" and he solved the problem .I could not resign and go back to my country as I could not leave because of his debt. You can see how caring a father and husband he is. He does not even call for many days, he does not know if we are dead or alive. Can you imagine how I felt when I had to go to the emergency by taxi to deliver the baby and when we were discharged from the hospital a friend of mine took us by her car home. And then I was alone. There was nobody waiting for us, nobody to be happy for the arrival of my baby.

I don't know how to tell my parents the truth.They don't know anything yet.I told them that he can not come to stay with us as he does not have a job now and we can not live on my salary so many people.I don't know how to tell my parents that one day I could be in prison.

Now I have to live the fear every day what will happen to me if I lose my job and cannot pay the loan. I have to end up in prison and he will walk away free. And what will happen to my baby?Recently my husband said that he left the family house as he had a fight with his parents and he stays with a friend, he does not have a job as well.

And I often have this dream - I am in prison because I could not pay the loan ,my baby sleeps on the streets in Beirut with the father he does not even know. I am wondering if there is any law in this world which can make this person take responsibility and pay for what he has done and is doing to us. I don't know how he can sleep peacefully at night. Should I speak to his family?

I really, really wanted my baby to have a healthy family enviroment but under the present circumstances it is not possible.I have been waiting for more than two years for things to get better but I have realized now that nothing and nobody can make him change.

What would happen in case of divorce?I cannot imagine that any court will give him the child custody just becuse I am Christian.Nobody from his family has ever seen the baby and nobody has participated in his life until now in any way.

Any advice will be highly appreciated.

- Nadia

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5 Responses »

  1. Dear Nadia,

    I am so sorry for your troubles and hardships. You have suffered a great deal. I think you should be honest with your parents as you need their full support. If you endure this on your own for much longer, how will you be able to take care of yourself and your son? It will be hard facing them, but they are your parents and you need them.

    You can still provide a loving environment for your child even without your husband. I think it is in your best interests to forget your husband for the time being and do not even answer his calls. Maybe then he may come to his senses. It is so hard to understand how people can be this selfish and heartless. However in the meantime, you have to take care of yourself and your son. My husband has abandoned my children and I and he has a drug and drink problem. He only lives a few streets away. I found this so hard to deal with at first, but I came to the conclusion that life with him would be worse and I have done everytihng on my own till now so nothing has really changed. If he had passed away, I would have no choice in the matter then and still have to strive on. I think the same applies to you. I know it's hard and painful, especially when a child is involved. Unfortunately there is nothing we can do sometimes to change the way people like this think.

    Does your husbands family even know about you and your son? Although, he's told you he has argued with them and left, thus they may not have any influence over him.
    Also this debt that you took on is a big worry for you. Would your parents be able to help? Is there any way that the debt can be transferred back to your husband? Perhaps if you could get some legal advice? I'm sorry, I don't know the system there.

    Do not despair, I hope thinks can work out for you.

    Take care,


  2. Dear Nadia, As-salamu alaykum,

    I'm sorry about everything that you have gone through. It seems that you were taken advantage of by a man with no scruples. Or maybe he had good intentions but is an alcoholic and cannot manage his own life, let alone be a husband and father. I don't think it matters much which of these scenarios is true.

    I agree with sister "Hopeful" that you should tell your family about everything that is going on.

    As far as your husband, I think you should request a divorce from him. If your description is accurate, then it seems that he used you for selfish purposes and has never treated you as a real wife. I don't see any benefit in waiting and hoping for him to change, when he never demonstrated any good faith to start with.

    Ask your family to help you pay off the loan, then you can pay back your family in installments. At least that way you won't have legal repercussions hanging over your head and you can get some peace of mind.

    As Nadia said, we don't know the legal system in your country, but maybe once the loan is paid off, you can sue your husband (or ex-husband as the case may be) to recover your losses.

    As for informing his family, I don't know. That's up to you. I don't see any upside to it, except to put him to shame or put pressure on him, but where is the benefit in that? The only benefit I can see is that maybe your husband's parents can contribute some money for the care of the child, or they might like to send gifts on their grandson's birthday or on Eid. Think of it as a courtesy to let them know they have a grandchild. If they are happy to hear it, great. If not, so be it.

    Wael Editor

  3. Nadia,

    Tell your family everything as soon as possible. If they are financially able, they will probably pay the debt for you, then you would be free to leave the country and go home.

    If you find this an unacceptable solution, seek legal advice for divorce. Explain that this man married you with the sole intention of getting the $22,000, then he walked away. See if you can't get a divorce along with a financial settlement to equal the amount of money you owe on the loan.

    I think these are the only two solutions. Once out of the situation, I hope you don't let this man have visitation with your son or have any further contact with him. He doesnt deserve it.


  4. Dear Nadia,

    You got some really good responses from the ladies. I too am married to a Lebanese man. He has been absent for a couple of years now but it is due to his financial situation. He is poor and comes from a poor family.

    Nadia, first and foremost, put him on hold for now. It's hard because you want IT to work. But believe me I know it's hard to put your feelings for him on hold.

    Secondly, the DEBT. You say you're afraid to go to jail? I am in N america and I am not familiar with arab laws on not being able to repay debts. Going to jail sounds absurd! But if that is the case my dear, than borrow money from friends and family to repay it to avoid jail! Your precious baby needs you since his dad is a no-gooder!

    Thirdly, be careful with the request for divorce. In Lebanon, if a man or woman files for divorce, he or she has to pay a penalty of $20 000. In your case it's best if you get the idiot to divorce you. Or if he agrees to allow YOU to divorce HIM, than he needs to sign a legal document waving the penalty on you.

    Lastly, please take care of yourself and baby. You must feel alone and scared and worried. Your child will pick this up and you may not even know it. Coming home with a new baby with no homecoming party for your little baby is heartbreaking. I know my dear. The only way to get through it is this, I've tried it and at first it seemed fake but after all these years it's helped me succeed...Try smiling and laughing through your pain. If it;s your son's b-day throw a big party,l decorate your place, get a cake and a present for him. Pretend like all is well....I did this and guess what? There was only me, my son and no one else. My son was 3 and he was so happy and he knows nothing else. God is watching you, sees your perseverance, your hurt, your lonely anxiety-filled nights, but he hasn't forgotten you. You probably feel like months have gone by, now years ans nothing has changed...that your husband hasn't changed.....well, the sad and painful truth is YOUR HUSBAND MAY NEVER CHANGE.

    The only thing that can change is YOU. Take control of this debt bu finding a way to rectify it. If yur family is able to help financially than ask them, if they don't have the means, tell them anyway, maybe they can take a loan in your country and help you out......

    Please be safe and God are not alone, I have been left in debt, with 2 children, no friends and family. It's lonely and it makes you bitter, but you can make it better by cutting him out and solving the debt problem, worry about the idiot later.

    God be with us all during this difficult time, At least for the sake of our precious innocent children.


  5. I feel like I'm drowning into debt also. It's not a good feeling when you can't save money. Especially when family members keep asking for help. Long as you're healthy you can always find a way to live on. Just don't end up like your husband and run away from trouble.

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