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Social Obligations Wear Me Out

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 11, 2019

Question

Assalamualaikum,

For more than 2 years, I’ve had questions that remain unanswered, leading me to live a pessimistic and negative life. I have a problem adjusting with society and its norm, and I constantly feel the need to separate myself from the culture and norms of society. This is causing me spiritual and psychological issues.

Sometimes social obligations wear me out, such as functions and pre-marital ceremonies where we also must give out gifts and such. It takes such a toll on me and I don’t understand why it has to be an obligation that I willingly accept all these situations.

Am I supposed to always be willing to please society and family or do what pleases the Almighty? There are social situations, especially related to wedding ceremonies, where the relatives must stay till very late and I don’t like it. Am I overthinking and making life difficult for myself?

I recently found out that I am pregnant, and I am not happy about it at all. We made plans to go to Hajj this year, and I certainly don’t want to go pregnant. I am having a meltdown because I have lost my purpose. I’m afraid of the lifelong responsibility of having a child.

I also really hate it when I’m made to look like a trophy or something, because it is the common belief that having children is the only purpose to marriage, and that we are incomplete without them. I just wanted two years of marriage free of children.

Am I a narcissist? How do I heal myself from the darkness that’s raging within me? Please advise me.

Counselor

Answer


Social Obligations Wear Me Out

In this counseling answer:

•Let him know you feel tired, or not want to socialize that much as it mentally drains you. You prefer some alone time during the week, or the constant need to socialize is draining you physically and you are not being as productive at home.

•Do not feel the need to give-in to everything you are asked to do. If something is bothering you, either from your in-laws, or your spouse, be confident and discuss matters with maturity and try to work out a compromise.

•Perhaps reading a few books, or watching a few videos with newborn babies, or being a good parent will relax you and instill in you a feeling of happiness and excitement.

•Pray to Allah for a healthy child and that you feel blessed by him/her.

•Take care of living a healthy lifestyle.


Assalamu Alaikum dear sister,

I am sorry to hear of the troubles that you are currently going through right now in life. I just want to let you know that no part of how you are feeling is considered narcissistic. Everyone is different and

feels differently about different stages in their lives. It is absolutely normal to hate certain things in life.

However, some feelings are overwhelming and cause too much aggravation and loss of instability in our lives if we do not control them and rationalize them and try to see the positives. It is not an easy feat, but no one ever said that having a well maintained and a balanced life was ever easy.

Communicate your feelings with your spouse

Be honest, but not rude. Be serious, but not demanding. Request for him to understand.

Communication is the most effective part of any relationship. When we are overwhelmed, or want to hide our emotions, we tend to get angry easy and let that anger control our emotions. However, we must realize that this is not the way to continue.

If the parties and the constant need to meet with various family members is fatiguing you, I suggest you speak about this with your husband. How your husband will react to this will depend on his nature, and how you two usually communicate. It may be that he will be understanding towards it or he may see it as arrogance, or a means for you to neglect family gatherings. You need to let him know how you feel.

Let him know you feel tired, or not want to socialize that much as it mentally drains you, you prefer some alone time during the week, or the constant need to socialize is draining you physically and you are not being as productive at home. It is possible that he may be on the same page as you and sees the fact that the parties are not really your thing.

Honesty is very important. It is possible that after communicating about your feelings, you may be able to work out a solution or middle-ground. In addition, you did not mention whether your husband agrees to attending all these events or not.

For a compromise, it may be possible to ask him to limit the amount of functions you attend, or perhaps to leave earlier than all the other guests. Or if you want to let your in-laws understand you, it may be possible to speak to them and let them understand that you are not the person who finds socializing this much very comfortable.

Pleasing your spouse is a priority, after Allah

After marriage, it is a responsibility of both the husband and the wife to strife to please each other. Sometimes, parents can be very interfering, and this usually causes unhappy marriages. As a married couple, you need to learn to understand each other. However, this does not mean that you do not express your feelings and just expect agreement and understanding.

You need to let your spouse know how you feel about a certain event, thing, action, etc., in life. You need to work this out with each other. Do not feel the need to give-in to everything you are asked to do. If something is bothering you, either from your in-laws, or your spouse, be confident and discuss matters with maturity and try to work out a compromise.

I understand that this may sound easier than done, but with a proper attitude, patience, and a calm atmosphere, it is possible to thrive as a couple and learn to grow and accept and understand each other.


Check out this counseling video


Every event in life is from Allah

I understand that Hajj is a very important part of life, but so is being a mother. If Allah SWT has blessed you with something you did not ask for, then it is a gift from Allah SWT. Perhaps it wasn’t the time for you to attend Hajj yet, but it was the time for you to become a mother soon in sha Allah.

When you are pregnant, it is absolutely necessary to be happy and stress free. As I am sure you know, the mother’s health condition during pregnancy impacts the developing child directly, and a bad mental state can significantly alter the health of the child and the child may either die or be born very unhealthy and defective.

It is a must to be stress free, relaxed, take proper nutrition, and pray to Allah for a healthy child. I pray that this child will be a blessing for you. Do not curse yourself right now. Although it is normal to be anxious and scared, it is not healthy to be very stressed and unhappy. Perhaps reading a few books, or watching a few videos with newborn babies, or being a good parent will relax you and instill in you a feeling of happiness and excitement.

You need to practice being calm for now, and let things solve with patience and calmness.

1. Practice gratefulness

a. I understand that you are not happy given a certain circumstance. However, dear sister, there are many sisters praying to get married and praying to have kids. Be patient and count the blessings, the storms will quiet down, and you will feel peaceful.

2. Go for walks in early morning

a. Early morning walks are proven by research to reduce stress levels. No matter what stresses you out, will be less stressful after you consider it after a morning walk.

3. Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables as snacks

4. Drink healthy fluids

5. Keep busy in reading Quran

It is also possible that as a result of your pregnancy, you will be able to relax at home and not be obliged to attend every single gathering as everyone knows that pregnancy is emotionally and physically taxing. You need to know Allah SWT knows what is best for you and know that He will give you what is best for you when it is the best for you.

There is definitely more to marriage than having kids. It is necessary for the couple to understand each other and get close to Allah. However, we cannot control certain things, and even when we try to do what we think is right, Allah SWT will do what is better for us. It is simply our job to do the right thing, to strive to do the right thing, and continuously seek guidance.

Therefore, do not let the behavior from your in-laws distract you. You cannot really try to change their feelings, even if they are not really who you are. You must learn to accept your in-laws and not let each behavior from them affect you, as this will cause a strain on the relationship that you will have with your husband.

I pray that my answer will satisfy you and help you relax.

Salam

***

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.

Read more:

How to Overcome Social Anxiety?

Life Full of Severe Hardships; I Need a Break!

I’m Narcissistic; How Can I Love Allah?

 




About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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