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Parents Are Ruining My Marriage, What to Do?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jul 12, 2018

Question

Asalamalikum,

Most probably I love my mother, my kids, and husband more than anything in this world. My husband and me loved each other and asked permission from my parents before marriage. They liked him and his family, only was waiting for his job. He got a private company, but my parents’ expectation was a government job. So they refused the marriage. They tried to marry me to someone else, locked me at home, stopped my study, and verbally abused me through 3 years in such a way that I started having mental and physical illnesses.

My condition was so bad. My parents agreed to the marriage with a heavy heart. My father visited him and his family with my grandfather and uncles. After visiting their house, they agreed to our marriage. My mother who was most abusive asked for forgiveness to me as her misbehavior made me sick.

I forgave her. I start taking anti-depression pills and revived in a few months. The day of my marriage arrived. My parents start getting extremely unhappy with my husband and in-laws as they were not sending me expensive gifts according to their expectations. They considered my husband and in-laws lower and misbehaved with them and with me on my marriage day. My in-laws became very angry with their behavior and had hot conversations with my family. Helplessly I cried hours. My husband who was in love with me felt so insulted that he kept himself little isolated from me and my family for few days.

My mother continued and increased her neglect towards my husband, in-laws and me. It became very hard to visit her. My in-laws started abusing me thinking I am all alone. My husband became screwed off of two-sided pressure. After 2 years of struggle, my husband and me got a very good job. I forgave both side parents and started helping and taking care of them. My mother was still highly abusive with the concept that once she said no to my new life, she will always remain a big “No”. One day she reacted in front of my husband’s face that how ugly looking he is as he is skinny.
My husband couldn’t take this. He stopped talking to my family. Wished to not keeping relation with me for 3 years thereafter he hated me and my family. Now I am again depressed. His oppression towards me is reduced, but, the love between us is already destroyed because of all the hardships. I cried to my mother several times in these 11 years of continuous abuse to stop it and explained my pain, explained how it is breaking my marriage. She isn’t ready to hear anything. Now, how I can save my marriage, I have two kids, I feel bad for them.

I feel bad for my lost love with my husband. I feel insecure and depressed. My husband and me still help my parents. Can I stop talking and financially helping them until they become nice to my husband and me? They have their rich sons. Can I pressurize my mother to behave well with my husband? What does Islam stand in this situation?

Counselor

Answer


In this counseling answer:

•Focus on your husband and your children. While we cannot cut off family in Islam nor do I recommend you to

•Please do check up on your mom and make sure she’s okay, do what you can financially, always show respect and love but do remain strong in your stance to have peaceful relationships.

•Marriage counseling can help bring out issues that you or your husband may be feeling but unable to state.


As salamu alaykum sister,

After reading your question I just want to make one thing very clear. In Islam, you cannot be forced to marry anybody. Your parents also cannot deny you a marriage. As long as a prospective spouse fits the Islamic criteria for a husband, you are permitted to marry him regardless of what parents say. There was no need for you to go through two or three years of verbal abuse which caused you to have mental and physical illnesses.

If you would have understood your Islamic rights as a Muslimah, you would have known that you and your husband could have married much earlier despite parental disagreement. However is that is now in the past you are facing much of the same issues of abuse, disagreements, disrespect and generally un- Islamic behavior from mainly your parents but your in-laws as well.

As I understand, your husband has put up with a lot of abuse from your mother and it is still going on. Your in-laws were very offended and upset and rightfully so, as your parents were treating them as if they were lower class citizens. I am sure this hurt your husband deeply after all-those are his parents.

Abuse, Depression and Islam

Sister, I am sorry to hear that you have been going through depression off and one since this all started. The depression and sadness has now returned due to all the stress, fitna, and anxiety surrounding your family. It seems that your husband has been affected and he can’t take any more either.

This abusive type of relationship with your family (mom) has affected your marriage in a negative way. It is understandable that this type of stress that you and your husband are under will put a strain on a marriage. As you love your parents as we should, it is a difficult situation to be in. However, sister, I argue to look at this from an Islamic perspective.


Check out this counseling answer:

 

Is it Islamic to be abusive towards one’s daughter and her husband? Is it the Islamic thing to do -to constantly criticize somebody, say mean, wicked things, among other things you have outlined here? No… As you know these are not Islamic behaviors.

In Islam, we are to treat each other with love and kindness especially family members. It appears that your mom and your family members are caught up in a self-righteous frame of mind, thinking that perhaps they are better than others (or wish to be better than others) due to money and status.

May Allah forgive me if I am wrong. How your family has been treating your husband and his family is horrible. I think you know how this must feel as you have been the victim of their abusive behaviors yourself.

A Healthy Marriage

I kindly suggest you sister, that you focus on your husband and your children. While we cannot cut off family in Islam nor do I recommend you to, I do kindly suggest that insha’Allah, at this point you try to have as little contact as possible with them.

Please do check up on your mom and make sure she’s okay, do what you can financially, always show respect and love but do remain strong in your stance to have peaceful relationships. If your mother starts complaining or acting abusive, kindly explain to her briefly- that you and your husband’s strive for a peaceful Islamic life and that you will talk to her another time when she is not angry or upset.

As this abuse has been occurring back and forth for all these years within the family structure, I will kindly suggest that insha’Allah you and your husband get marriage counseling to try to repair your marriage. There may be many factors which may interfere with healing that is why I am referring you to a marriage counselor.

Unspoken Pain

Marriage counseling can help bring out issues that you or your husband may be feeling but unable to state. Such as, it is possible your husband may feel hurt and angry as he feels maybe you could have prevented your mother from being abusive or you could have stopped it.

This may be a feeling that he holds in his heart but does not say. A good marriage counselor will be able to bring out all the issues that you both are holding in your hearts and insha’Allah, help resolve them. I’m not stating sister that this is how he feels. I’m just giving this as an example of how we hold on to conscious or unconscious thoughts regarding abuse and traumatic experiences.

Insha’Allah, sit with your husband when things are calm and tell him how much you love him and how sorry you are about how he has been hurt. This is a way of validating and empathizing with his hurt. Ask him if you both can start over, and that you would like to start over with the help of a marriage counselor.

Explain that this will help to get everything out in the open, cleared up and to start the journey towards healing. Insha’Allah he will be receptive to this. He sounds like he loves you very much sister, he is just hurt and probably at the end of his rope with all the abuse and disrespect.

Healing and Islam

Insha’Allah, please do focus on your husband and your children and limit your time with your family. Insha’Allah, you will find that by focusing more on your husband and your children, as well as actively seeking counseling to heal your marriage, you both will be happier.

Sister, focus on your own little family unit, going to the Masjid together, praying together, having social times with other young Muslim couples with children for fun, as well as learning and praying together as a family. All of these things of Islamic worship and practice are some of the best healers.

May Allah (swt) help you,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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