Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Secretly married for 8 years; how to break this to parents and convince them?

Secret relationships are a bad idea

Not that I'm in the habit of taking advice from church billboards, but in this case they have a point. Secret relationships are always a mistake.

These days I'm in great stress. 8 years ago I got married to a person who was my teacher. I've known the man for 13 years, and started liking him. 8 years ago we finally got married secretly. At that time I was 20 years old and not in a position to reveal this to my parents, but now I'm independant as I've completed my education and working . 9 months ago I told my parents that I wanted to marry this man who they also knew very well for 13 years, and they admitted that he is a very wise man but there are two major problems because of which my parents will not allow me. They are that the man is married and has 2 kids, and we have a 14 year age difference.

But I'm very, very happy MASHA ALLAH with him, as we have a very good mutual understanding. I have a blind faith in him as during these 8 years of our hidden marriage he always supported me, helped me, and guided me in every single step of my life and success. These days we both are working together in the same institution. We are very happy with our marital life. My husband's first wife and his whole family know me and accepted me, as they most often talked with me on phone saying they agreed with this marriage. The only problem is from my side.

I'm continuously insisting to my family, trying to get them to agree to that man, but they are not agreeing and are afraid of the society and surroundings where we live about what the people will say about it, like why a young girl would marry a married person with 2 kids etc etc... They want me to marry the person they want. Up until now I didn't tell them that I already got married to this person. I'm trying to convince them, but they are not listening to me at all.

Actually my parents also got married without their parents permission, but later on their parents accepted their marriage . I can understand what type of situation my grandparents faced, so I don't want my parents to face that type of situation and that's why I'm not telling them about my marriage and trying them to agree to that man.

Please guide me what should I do My mother asked me to die, and said we'll never allow you to marry that man. I don't want to hurt them by telling them that I already got married. I want their acceptance so that we can marry openly with blessing of my parents.

Sonia Ali.


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4 Responses »

  1. Asalam alaikum sister,
    Im not an imam or even highly educated about Islam, but I read this website alot to know more from other highly experienced and educated brothers and sisters, but I can tell you first off that your marraige to this man was not valid. Ive read enough of these types of posts to know that an editor will step in to comment that you always need your parents approval first along with a Wali at your Nikkah in order to be halal marriage. Sister, Im sorry to say but you have done a haram thing to consumate the marriage, even though you had good intentions. This man should have known better and asked your parents for their blessing.
    In short, while convincing your parents that he is good to marry may be the key to covering up your mistake and shielding them from pain, you also need to ask forgiveness from Allah swt ALOT for the zina done.
    Again, Im not a scholar, but I know what they would say in this case. Please be advised.

  2. Salaams,

    Sister, 8 years is a pretty long time. If you've waited this long and your parents are being so firm, I doubt giving it more time is going to change anything. You're at a point now where you need to accept the choices you've made as a mature adult and live with the consequences of your parents' reactions. You need to tell them the truth, and without further delay.

    My parents didn't like the first man I married, and their reason was only because he had black skin (I'm white). He and I dated (this was before I converted to Islam) for over two years, hoping that my parents would become more accepting and give us their blessing for a wedding. As time went on, we realized that we couldn't wait forever. So I told my mother that we wanted to marry, and asked her to help me plan a wedding. Her response was, "if you're going to do something like that, do it on your own. I don't want to know anything about it".

    I was discouraged about that, but I knew I wasn't going to be able to change her mind no matter how long I tried to be patient. So he and I went ahead and had a civil marriage, and I told her about it after the fact. I thought she would be irate at me for marrying someone she disapproved of, but once I told her she said, "your father and I did the exact same thing, so I guess I can't blame you. We accept what you've done". As time went on they did seem to be much more accepting of him as part of the family.

    I'm sharing that with you because you said your parents also had a secret marriage. I think the chances are pretty favorable that they will eventually look at things reasonably, because they know what it's like to be in that situation too. I think if you give them enough time KNOWING you are married, they are more likely to accept what's already done and set than if you try to get that to happen while still keeping it a secret.

    Now I've addressed the main issue in your post, but there is actually a more serious issue going on: the validity of your marriage at all.

    If you got married secretly, and your parents haven't known this whole time, it begs the question: who was your wali? Islamically, you need a wali for your marriage to be valid. Typically, a father has first rights to this. If you didn't have a proper Islamic wali, then your marriage is not even valid. All these years, you would've been living more than just a lie, but a sin as well.

    I strongly suggest that you seriously investigate this matter. I've heard some imams say that if you used a "replacement" wali because your father wouldn't approve, that this may not even count. It's something you definitely need to look into, because obviously it's going to affect the whole issue of what you are hiding or not hiding from your parents to begin with.

    -Amy Editor

  3. salam,

    so another point as well.. if you knew your parents got married without their parents permission at first, you knew how your grandparents took it.. did you also know it was wrong? so why did you follow their footsteps? how would you feel if your child does the same? it will just repeat generation after generation. what's been done has been done.

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