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I Want Another Baby, But My Husband Refuses

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Jan 26, 2017

Question

Salam. I am 37 and have a five-year-old daughter with my husband. He refuses to give me another child because he says we can't afford it. I'm afraid I'm getting too old. I already have fertility problems and would need medication to get pregnant. The longer we wait and the older I get, the more I resent him. I feel I'm falling out of love with him. I am mad when I look at him.He is distant, and selfish, and lacks understanding or compassion. I have been begging him to visit a marriage counselor, but he refuses. I don't want to divorce since he is a good father, and he provides for me and our daughter. He prays and is good to his and my family. I just don't know what to do to help this failing marriage.We have sex once in every few months. Last week, we didn’t talk or taught each other at all. Watching this happening saddens me. I don't know if he even cares that our marriage is in trouble. He says he loves me and he cares, but why can't he show it? Why can't he work out a plan as to when we can have a baby? I don't know what to do.

Counselor

Answer


I Want Another Baby, But My Husband Refuses

Answer:

As Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for writing to us with your most important concern. It is a difficult situation as you already have fertility problems, and he desires to wait due to finances. While it is the right of both women and men to have children, often it becomes an issue when finances are difficult as primarily the man is responsible for taking care of the family. It appears your husband has a big fear concerning this, and it bothers him and hurts him more than you may know. As you know, in Islam a man’s ability to maintain his family is extremely important which is tied with his “manhood”.

I would suggest dear sister that you leave the topic alone for a little while. Let things cool down, let the anger dissipate in sha’ Allah, and give both you and your husband a “time-off” from talking about this as it is driving a wedge between the both of you. I am by no means suggesting you do not pursue your desire to have another child; I am merely suggesting you give it maybe 2-3 months so you both have time to regroup and heal.

Since he is not willing to go for family counseling, I suggest that you go for individual counseling. It will help you vent your hurt and anger and provide you with further supports and skills to utilize for future communication on this topic. If possible, try to find an Islamic counselor due to the need to understand your rights within the marriage as well as his rights and feelings as a man who is trying to support a family. If this is not possible, I would, in conjunction with counseling, speak with a trusted imam on how to handle the situation.

After the both of you have regained some normalcy in your home in sha’ Allah, I would approach him about your desire to have a child and utilize Qur’anic verses to back it up from an Islamic standpoint. I suggest dear sister that when you approach him, you do so with empathy as to how he may feel as a man; he may have feelings of inadequacy and failure as a husband and provider as well as feelings that he has let you down. These are some of the issues men may have, but don’t always tell their wives.

While I am not an Islamic scholar, IslamQa states that “It is permissible to delay having children for a certain amount of time if that serves an interest, such as if the woman is weak or sick. But it is not permissible to do that for fear of poverty or for fear of raising the children because that implies thinking negatively of Allah, may He be exalted.” And “The Islamic Fiqh Council affirms unanimously that it is not permissible to limit the number of children in general, and it is not permissible to prevent pregnancy if the reason for doing that is fear of poverty because Allah is the Provider and Owner of great power, and there is no living creature on earth but its provision is due from Allah, or if that is for other reasons that are not acceptable according to sharee’ah”.

As we can see, Allah (swt) is the Provider of all, and we need to trust in Him (swt). While this is not meant to be used against your husband, it is stated to show you that women do have rights to have children as Allah (swt) will provide, which you probably already know. However, as suggested, these may be some points you may want to discuss with your husband after you both have tried to repair and find peace between you.

In addition, IslamQa does suggest for the wife that in situations such as this she tries to maintain a happy, calm home despite the longing she may feel for a child. Keep busy with your other child, make your husband feel valued and respected, and involve yourself in outside interests. Get together with other sisters and do things that are enjoyable for you. Increase your hobbies, take an exercise class, study about Islam and draw closer to Allah (swt). In sha’ Allah, your husband will have time to think and reflect during this “calm” period, and Allah may touch his heart towards what is right.

Make du’aa’ that Allah (swt) guides you and your husband so that you can forgive each other and re-bond with each other as well as with Allah (swt). Pray together sister; this is a most powerful and unifying act that a husband and wife can do together which will bring many blessings in sha’ Allah.

While this may not be what you want to hear, dear sister, I do think by stepping back for a little while, getting counseling, re-grouping your emotions (which your husband will also do in sha’ Allah), and focusing on nurturing activities as well as social and Islamic endeavors, you may find your husband changes his mind after a period of calm reconnection with you and, more importantly, with Allah (swt). Your husband does love you very much, sister; he may just need some time to build up the confidence within himself to ensure he will be able to provide for his family and trust more in Allah (swt) that He (swt) the Most High will provide.

We wish you the best dear sister. Please let us know how you are doing.

Salams,

***

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About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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