Islamic marriage advice and family advice

We are living separate lives even though we are married

amnesia sleepy tired no energy tired mum

Hello,

I was born and raised in a conservative family in Pakistan where arranged marriage is the norm. I was 23 when my husband's parents came to see me (While visiting Pakistan from U.S.) and proposed the same day. My parents accepted the proposal and the nikkah was arranged a few months later. I met my husband for the first time on the wedding day and instantly got a negative vibe that I ignored initially. Then we started talking over the phone while I waited for my Visa and I realized that we had no compatibility at all.

I shared my feelings with my family but was told that it all gets better when we start living together. Then I moved to the U.S. 1.5 years later and things only got worse. My mother-in-law forced me to take care of my sister-in- law who was a drug addict and needed help. I was not allowed to step out of the house without her or spend time with my husband.

I tried looking for jobs for my sanity, but everywhere I went (an Islamic school, retail store), she would contact the authorities and lie about me to get me fired. She would steal my belongings (jewelry, clothing, bags) and blame it on me. Finally, after a few years of that torture, I moved to an apartment 5 mins away from the house.

My husband would spend the evenings with them after work and only came home to sleep. I was ok with it as I had my personal space to breath. Then we had children and I got myself busy with them and the Pakistani community. After a few years my husband found a job in another state and we moved. That’s when I actually learned more about my husband and realized that we had no relationship at all.

I brought it up and we went for marriage counseling a few times but nothing changed. He was always in his own world and did not care for me or the children. He never ate any meals or spent anytime with us. He would even take a different flight to the same destination just because he couldn’t travel with children. He spent time going to beach parties with colleagues after work while I took care of our babies at home. His job required some travel but he added more personal travel to it and was hardly home.

I received no love, care, or any kind of affection from him in all these years. Being in a new city was hard for me anyways as there was no family or friend around. I started working for a company to get myself busy and some social life. He didn’t stop me from going out but he didn’t care much about my life. I was now entitled to pay the bills too. We also had different religious views and practices. I do believe that religion is a personal choice but praying, fasting and paying zakat alone never felt good enough. I was questioned by children why their father never prays or observes fasting.

Eventually, after 3 years when he had an option to go remote with a lot of travel, I asked him to move closer to family. One option was my brother, but he rejected the idea so we agreed on moving back to the city where his parents reside. I have a good Muslim community here that me and my children can socialize with and I thought this would be enough. However, after spending and trying and finding distractions for 11 years of this marriage, I feel extremely lonely, devastated, and unhappy.

I cannot remember a single day when I was happy with him or in this relationship. The only good times are when I am with friends or family. There hasn’t been any physical abuse but a lot of emotional and financial abuse is involved. I was never shown what he earns or where he spends, while he has complete control over my salary! On top of that, I have also caught him multiple times talking to girls through Tinder (dating site) with plans to meetup.

Now after all these years I have come to the point where I feel separation is the only way I could get some peace. I have suppressed my feelings for too long that they’re now bursting out and turning into pain and frustration.

I do realize that I have 2 children who would get affected by divorce but a hostile environment at home may not be good for them either.

Please help!! Do you think this is a valid reason for divorce? My family still wants me to compromise and live like I have just for the sake of kids.

- follower

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6 Responses »

  1. Salaam Sister,

    It is so sad to me that you're realizing your worth after 11 years of marriage and bearing children with this careless man. Our desi community has a stigma which needs to change. This notion of that things will get better after marriage when you didn't feel comfortable marrying in the first place is just an excuse. Another notion of just sticking through with the marriage and bearing children even if the spouse is showing bad signs is an excuse as well. I wished you had the courage earlier on and separated from your husband when you had the chance and young. I understand your parents would have been "hurt" or lost "respect" but your sanity and happiness above all is most important to you and Allah.

    After reading through your journey, my best advice for you is to think about your kids now more than ever while they are still young. Kids emulate the behavior of their parents and learn from them. You don't want your kids to emulate the behavior of their irresponsible father. You want them to emulate the strong mother that you are now. I would advise to separate and be done with this person. If he hasn't changed at all after bearing children, what makes you think he will change later on as they get older?

    You said it yourself, you have a strong community and find solace in them and friends. They will support you and be there for you. You have got nothing to lose but more to gain sister. Enjoy life with your children and rid of all the unecessary stresses. Your husband doesn't understand Islam and your rights and clearly doesn't respect you and the kids.

    I pray to Allah you make the best decision. Don't ruin your sanity and your deen over society. The common saying "What will people say?" is just a facade and doesn't have any value. Did our beloved Prophet(SAW) care about society when he was spreading the message of Islam? He relied on Allah and his pure intentions/actions. You do the same as well.

    May Allah protect you and give you the strength to make the best decision for you and your children.

    Your Brother in Islam 🙂

    • Salaam sister so sad after reading
      Leave him it’s going to be very hard at the start But move on for the sake of yourself and children
      If he has not changed in 11 years he will not change
      Don’t get pressurised by your family they do this desi thing every time it’s your life your kids
      You need to decide life comes ones has mother decide now before it starts to effect your children
      Hope that helps well.

      May Allah protect you and give you the strength to make the best decision for you and your children.

  2. As-salamu alaykum dear sister. You might as well divorce, since you have never been married in any meaningful sense. You have a non-husband, a missing entity who does not love you, does not raise the children, does not practice Islam. In other words everything that a marriage is supposed to bring, is missing from your life and from the children's lives.

    Instead of a proper husband you have a man who most likely cheats on you, takes your money, and goes out of his way to avoid you.

    Get out of this miserable relationship and either flourish on your own with the kids, or find someone better inshaAllah.

    Wael
    IslamicAnswers.com Editor

    • Salam everyone,
      Thank you so much for your responses.
      I have been doing istikhara for a while now. At first I did it from the Quran and found the Ayat from Surah al-Ahzaab where hazrat Zaid was asking the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) about divorcing Hazrat Zaynab. I think it was a clear sign.
      However, I tried doing Istikharah again for 7 nights and saw someone asking me to read ‘Surah Ar-Rehman’ the first night.

      I am not sure of the meanings of these results and wanted to ask someone who has knowledge of Istikharah.

      Jazak Allah Khair for all your help.

  3. Salam, I think you have been patient for a really long time subhanAllah. I think it's time for you to take care of you now and your kids. May Allah make this easy for you.

    U have a whole new life ahead of you.

  4. Salam everyone,
    Thank you so much for your responses.
    I have been doing istikhara for a while now. At first I did it from the Quran and found the Ayat from Surah al-Ahzaab where hazrat Zaid was asking the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) about divorcing Hazrat Zaynab. I think it was a clear sign.
    However, I tried doing Istikharah again for 7 nights and saw someone asking me to read ‘Surah Ar-Rehman’ the first night.

    I am not sure of the meanings of these results and wanted to ask someone who has knowledge of Istikharah.

    Jazak Allah Khair for all your help.

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