Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband won’t tell his family about us after 5 years

Secret marriage

Keeping a relationship secret is damaging and unsustainable.

Assalam aleikum.

I have a problem in my marriage, I have now been married for over 5 years, a little history...

When I met my husband years ago, he wanted to marry me despite my parents choosing another husband for me. He is Asian so his parents refused. I didn't know what to do, but he gave me an ultimatum and I agreed to marry him. After a while my parents became ok with it, my husband on the other hand was afraid to tell his parents that he had married me when they had refused me because of race. I of course did not like the deceit, but he promised to tell them soon, he used to come see me during the weekends and spend the week with his parents.

We moved countries when he had to go for further studies and we spent a wonderful time living together because there was no interference. All this time his family still did not know.

After 2 years I got pregnant and came moved to UK to have my baby on my husband's insistence that it will be a better life for our child here and also go to uni.

Our child is now 3 years, and I am still living here since my husband has not joined me. When I complain he gives one reason or another, at one point he told me he was worried about leaving his old mother there even though she lives with his two older unmarried sisters. I cannot talk to him when I need to in case a family member is around, I cannot travel to go see him because I can't get a visa (because I overstayed my last visit to be with him). He knows I cannot go to him, yet he only started making efforts to come here recently.

I don't know if it's the stress of raising a child alone and attending school but him not being available is stressing me out, his hiding of us makes me feel very unworthy. Every time I tell him this he tells me he will tell them soon, he knows I have never been ok with him hiding. He had put me in the same situation before and I argued with my family to accept him, I don't see why he can't do it when he is a guy. When I visit his town he didn't use to walk in public with me for fear of being seen by his peers but far from his country he was fine since no one knew him.

I feel very alone in this, and betrayed, I have lost trust and losing respect in him because of this. I feel like his family comes before us and he is never there when I need him most (I suffered 2 miscarriages while he was away with his family when he knew my pregnancies were very fragile, and I always want to blame him for it but accept that it was Allah's will). I have been through a difficult pregnancy, pre-mature birthing and raising of our kid. In the last 3 years I only saw him for 1 month when our lil was 9 months and for one day last year when he was in a neighbouring country, both these times I made the effort to visit him instead of otherwise.

I have asked him if he is ashamed of me or does not want me anymore, he says negative, but he is not proving other wise, I feel that I am just an idea of a wife to him but not an actual one. I gave him an ultimatum recently to tell his parents or I will take action, it has been 4 days and he has yet to do anything. My parents feel very disrespected and keep putting pressure on me to push him more for the future of our child.

Please advice me on what to do, I do not want a divorce because I love my husband, but he is not acting the same and I am stuck. I want to be with someone who is proud of us and not ashamed. Several times he has made oaths by Allah's name to tell them soon but breaks those promises.

Please advice on how to cross this desperate hurdle without causing permanent damage, I have been patient for 5 years, should I stop demanding this? Is this not my right as a good Muslim wife? Are his parents worthier than mine because they are Asians? Should I take matters in my own hand and call them myself?


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7 Responses »

  1. He gave you an ultimatum once, now it's time for you to give him one: either he tells his parents about you and your child or this marriage is over. You don't want a divorce, but frankly you're barely married as it is. If you're willing to put up with this disrespect and lack of consideration indefinitely, consider your child. He is 3 years old now, pretty soon he'll start asking about his dad, why he can't see him or talk to him when he wants to. He'll ask about his grandparents and his dad's family. How do you think he'll feel when he realizes his dad is keeping him and his mother a secret from those closest to him? This is the kind of thing that can scar a child for life and completely destroy his sense of self worth. You're already feeling unworthy, do you want this feeling for your child? Do what's right for him and end this charade, and make sure that if it does come to divorce, your husband does not escape the responsibility of child support.

  2. I feel for you really very much and your child. You say that you love him and want to save your marriage. In my honest opinion it's not a marriage, his playing you.
    Five years a long time sister and he still not told his family about you., I don't think your so called husband will ever do the right thing. Just look at all the excuses his using, his old mother, hiding away from his friends that they don't see you two are a couple. This man I believe might be in an arranged marriage previously and probably still is. Otherwise he would come clear,
    you need to really put your foot down and give him the ultimatum and then stick by your guns. Otherwise your going to carry on suffering and yes your going to put your child through a life of misery. You and your child deserve much more. Put your child first and think about how it will affect him,knowing his got a father which he barely knows.
    You know your husband is a lucky man because you waited five years,I don't think in your situation anyone would do that.
    You must really love him but this is going to destroy you if you carry on in the hope that one day he will come. Why waste your youth on a person who doesn't seem to care.Just give him his final warning and then move on.
    I would say you have a right to knowing him his family plus being with him openly. No more excuses for him and yes your parents have every right to put pressure on you. Maybe this way you will realise that this game your husband is playing needs to end,and end soon.
    I do hope that he realise how disrespectful his been and makes it up to you, and if that happens push him to tell his parents. You are his wife and you do have rights to live a perfectly normal life.
    Good luck and please no more excuses of his, just take action.
    There are bad eggs in every society, nothing to do with religion.
    My husband and I married against all odds and I told him that his parents should know and that did happen immediately.
    Take care and sort it out,and please be strong for your little ones sake, you need a good decent husband not someone who's full of nonsense. A.h

  3. Assalam alaikum,

    Dear Sister,

    Life is about choices and consequences. You may choose to not divorce and retain your marriage, but the consequence of that is you will continue to live as you are. Your husband is not going to tell his family or change and 5 years of action or lack thereof speaks louder than any empty promise that he has made to you.

    You have to choose. Do you want this marriage in which nothing will change? Do you want to try for a better marriage with your husband? Do you and can you face the consequences of trying to make matters improve? You have to decide all these things.

    The marriage you have described is indeed sad. May Allah ease your difficulties, Ameen.

    I suggest that you very calmly tell your husband that you are going to call and tell his parents about the marriage. You have a 3 year old to think about. Don't fight. Don't yell or cry. Be straightforward and really calm. If he puts up a fight, tell him that you have made a decision that is in the best interest of yourself and your child.

    At the end of the day, you will have to live with the consequences--so whatever you decide be sure.

    May Allah bless you, your child and your marriage, AMeen.

  4. Sister,

    Give him some deadline . Else you yourself call to his parents and tell them the reality .

  5. I think from your husband's side it was just a paper marriage and later it turned to a physical relation only. What charm do you get from him??/??? If I were you, I would divorce this man before getting pregnant. He is kind of a fraud.

  6. Salam everyone,

    i really need to talk and get some advices.

    i married an British Pakistani about 3 years ago.

    He is already married to his first cousin and I accepted to be a second wife, it was a love marriage alhamdulilAllah.

    It wasn't easy to get there. He was scared of the unknown and also scared of his family. What they would think of him marrying another woman and he was also worried to hurt his 1st wife's feeling who obviously was totally against me.

    A couple of weeks before getting nikkah, he informed me that he wouldn't tell his parents about me and he wouldn't tell his wife up until we are officially married. In his opinion it his family would have to accept the situation rather tell them before and give them a chance to refuse. My family and I accepted on the ground that he would introduce me soon after the wedding.

    It has been 3 years now.

    His 1st wife knows. He told her indeed a week or two after the wedding ceremony. Her and i have cordial and respectful interactions. We will never be best friends but I try to maintain a respectful relation. The problem is that he still has not found the courage to tell his family.

    This is a great source of problem between us because I feel completely isolated.

    I am never part of any family gathering, that he and his first wife obviously attend together. He never spends Any Eid with me. He travels back home with his 1st wife on summer break, to weddings etc.

    I also happen to have no family around. I moved with him away from home once we got married.

    He keeps telling me, that his family will not accept me right now and that the right time will come.

    I happen to be 5 months pregnant, I thank Allah for this blessing. We tried and wanted to have this baby.

    I thought, that maybe, with a baby on the way he would be encouraged to talk to his parents about me. But no.

    I had a massive argument with à months ago and he has been giving me the cold shoulders since. He sleeps in the guest room. Comes very late at night and barely calls me during the day. The reasons? He traveled to Pakistan for the his sister's wedding and he did not tell me... he mentioned he had a business trip and will be back in a week time. When I found out from a colleague of his, i was devastated.

    I really feel completely isolated and have the impression that he does not consider my feelings. Why would he hide such an information from me?

    When I confronted him he said I did not have to know because it is of no relevance to our marriage...

    I don't know what to do. Shall i tell his parents. Leave him. Leave this marriage. Raise a child alone.

    I do love him but this situation is causing me so much pain.

  7. I think he will not tell his parents. Who knows, may be he married someone in this 5 years.

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