Islamic marriage advice and family advice

He says I am not good enough as I am, that I need to change

muslim and western culture

Salam, thank you for your help.

 I am a 31 yrs old female. I think my problems started when I grew apart from my family and religion. It started when I lived in an Islamic country till the age of 10 and then when we moved to North America, I started to westernize to adapt within the culture. Although my parents tried to educate me about my culture I grew distant because I lacked positive role models and because my family is controlling. The more they controlled me the more I rebelled. I started cutting myself. I smoked. I didn´t practise my religion for 2 years. I started to keep secrets from them and started dating men as felt I wanted to be accepted and loved as I felt it was missing in my home.

When I sought comfort from men, I was used in other ways and I don’t blame as I was vulnerable. For years I have wanted to change but have been coming back to my hurtful ways. Now that I’m older I have other issues. I can´t seem to trust men anymore. I feel if i get married I will change my views about life and men, but I feel discouraged when I constantly see negative things in Muslim men.

For instance, the person I am seeing is religious and wants me to dress Islamic, yet I see him looking at other women that dress provocatively. Secondly, he wants me to become religious yet he thinks its acceptable for his female friends to be as open as they wish. He has female friends that he is very accepting and compromising with but he disagrees with me on the same things. He wants me to change a lot about myself and I am willing to do that but is it worth it if that person is not willing to change anything abt himself.

Most of all, I don’t want him to change because I feel he is a good person and who is what makes him unique. Yet he wants to change so much in me I wonder if there is anything good in me that he sees? I am not in love with him but I feel he is a good person and I will be happy with him in our marriage. I don't want to delay as my parents keep asking me to get married but I don’t trust men as I am seeing someone who is not very accepting of me yet still wants to be with me.

I want to share my personal opinion with all of you, I feel that Muslim men are too controlling and marriage is something that they do for their advantage. They want to marry as long as their partner is willing to give everything up for them. I have been very honest with my past but its not the past that bothers them. It´s more to do with my goals and independence that they feel insecure about. I have goals and often when I talk to bachelors about my goals they back away. I constantly see it as a control issue as that’s whats pushed me away from my family. My goals are simple and not materialistic. I want to help poor families in third world countries. I've found that men even without jobs are not willing to support me on this decision. I have even come to the point of accepting if my partner stays home and I am the one that works, yet I still have found no one who wants to support me.

Sometimes I think about just giving up on my dreams and marrying someone who wants me to stay home and be a house wife but then I don’t want to live a life of my mother as her life is not that beautiful either. I don’t know what to do about my life. I want to compromise and I know I will but is it worth being with someone who wants to change everything about me yet doesn’t want to change at all? Should I be willing to change for someone that doesn´t want to change anything for me?

rabia

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5 Responses »

  1. Salaam sister Rabia.
    I am sorry to hear what you are going through and have been through.
    In answer to your question - marriage is give and take. It does require some sacrifices but not only from one person. I do not believe you should have to change anything about yourself for any person. Only for Allah swt and for your own soul. Also it is a bit concerning that he is already trying to change everything about you BEFORE you are even married. This is not a good sign sister and I urge you to think twice before marrying this man.

    Also sister do not be haunted by your past, and don't let a man ever make you feel inferior because of it. Conceal your past, keep it between you and Allah. Seek Allahs forgiveness for your past mistakes and most importantly vow not to repeat them if you are still doing so. If contact with this guy is not within Islamic bounds then make tawbah for this as well.

    Sister seek a husband who is happy with you as you are. Who accepts your faults and wants to walk hand in hand with you on the path and change with you for the better. Someone who shares your goals and supports you and someone who you will share his goals and support him. DO NOT just get married as your parents want you to. Marry for the right reasons and never consider someone without doing istikhaarah first. Please see above links on istikhaarah (at top of page) to ensure you do it correctly.

    I want to share my personal opinion with all of you, I feel that Muslim men are too controlling and marriage is something that they do for their advantage. They want to marry as long as their partner is willing to give everything up for them.

    I understand how you feel. I have (Astaghfirullah) held a similar view for some time due to what I have heard from others. However, it is completely unfair to label all Muslim men this way dear sister. It may have been all the ones you have met. There ARE nice Muslim men with the best intentions who are fair.

    Any potential spouse who wants to change you in every way but is not concerned with changing themselves at all is guilty of double standards. I would stay away from such people, as it will only bring you problems in later life. This is what Yassir Fazaga would call a compatibility time bomb. Also I know some brothers have a problem with their wives being ambitious in matters outside of the home, maybe due to worry that they will not take care of the home well. These brothers should seek a woman who is naturally a home maker, rather than seek to change a woman who is ambitious. There is nothing wrong with you - but avoid men who feel intimated by you - they may seek to control you. And just like there are brothers who want a submissive wife, there are other brothers who may be ambitious who want an ambitious wife like themselves, and will love you for it. Trust in Allah swt. I always hoped to marry someone who shares my passion for knowledge the same way I do, and if its best for me then I know Allah will ordain it. He has a plan for us all and it will work out InshaAllah. The world is a rich place full of many different people, so never seek to make huge generalisations. They're unfair and untrue. Just Trust in Allah.

    Learn to protect yourself from evil men, but at the same time don't be mistrusting. Establish boundaries and if a man begins to become overfriendly or strange then you know hes not right. Give people a chance. If you continue to have trouble maybe consider counselling?

    Live your life. Change yourself for Allah swt only, work to please Him. Follow your dreams and grow as a person and InshaAllah you will find someone. If not consider joining a marriage bureau. Just ensure you that everything is within Islamic bounds and you are both ready to accept one another as you are and are happy to marry.

    Please read this link, I think you will fight it very enlightening InshaAllah.
    http://islamicsunrays.com/category/love/

    Sara
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

  2. Beautiful and Honest Answer !
    Let Allah bless you all for all all your good deeds!

  3. My 1st thought is that he sounds untrustworthy... especially this part:

    For instance, the person I am seeing is religious and wants me to dress Islamic, yet I see him looking at other women that dress provocatively. Secondly, he wants me to become religious yet he thinks its acceptable for his female friends to be as open as they wish. He has female friends that he is very accepting and compromising with but he disagrees with me on the same things. He wants me to change a lot about myself and I am willing to do that but is it worth it if that person is not willing to change anything abt himself.

    He sounds controlling, be careful. I wouldn't marry him. But only you know the answer.

  4. Read about Zainab Salbi. She is a Muslim woman who wrote a book called "Between Two Worlds."

    She is also the founder & head of Women For Women International, a non-profit that helps women in developing countries around the world.

    Her 1st husband is like the men you describe: controlling, threatened by her goals.

    Her 2nd husband, the marriage that stuck, was the opposite. He is also Muslim. He agreed to all of her personal goals IN WRITING before the marriage, including that she wanted to finish University & travel to war zones.

  5. Asalaamu alaykium

    Run while you still can

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