This also makes me lose respect for him. What can I do? My second question is: My husband refuses to have another child, he says he only wants one child. My relationship with my husband, in general, is okay and polite. I don't think I love him, but we just carry on. We have a lot of difference in the way we want to raise our child (mainly because he is not a practicing Muslim – he doesn't pray and drinks alcohol).
I stopped arguing about this and I pray for him (du`aa') for the sake of my son. We live in a European country away from both our families. My husband refuses to go back because he doesn't like the lifestyle back home. I feel happiest when I am with my son, and when I am at work, and I feel unable to make a decision when it comes to my husband (i.e. leaving him) because in general he treats me well, and loves his son. I pray to Allah a lot to bring me what is best for my deen and my life and leave things in His hands.
I feel lonely and I never share any of my problems with anyone including my parents who are very close to me. Please give me some advice that might help me. Thanks again.
In this counseling answer:
“Consider that as a man, that your husband works full time and gets much less than you, how do you think he might feel? He does not or cannot appreciate your effort, so put your effort where it is much needed. This, in turn, will give you the ability to nurture respect in the house. Respect for you, your children, the home and for him. Maybe by example in sha ‘Allah he will slowly begin to find his way, stop drinking, and resume prayer. Honor yourself enough so that he can, in turn, learn to honor you, but also honor him.”
As salamu alaykum sister,
Although you have asked to separate questions, they are very much inter-linked.
When it comes to responsibilities in the home, the base-line so to speak in Islam is that a wife does not have to go to work. We are told quite clearly in the Qur’an:
“Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property…” (Quran An-Nisa 4: 34)
It is by an agreement that a wife works outside of the home, and her income is at her disposal as the husband takes care of the home. However, where household costs exceed that of the husbands, a decision has to be made as to whether to reduce unnecessary costs or to share the burden.
Naturally, the discussion is necessary between the both of you, but something in what you have said presents a situation whereby there is little room for healthy and balanced communication. You say you do not love your husband, and that you only care about your son and your work.
Even if you have not said this to your husband, he is bound to sense that you are removed from him in some way. You require from his gifts and jewelry like other wives, and possibly, he requires from you love, like other husbands.
Love engenders love, compassion, understanding, and reciprocity, all of which seems to be lacking between you and your husband, and you should not assume that because he treats you well in general that he is unaware. You want presents and jewelry from your husband who drinks, and you want another child.
Do you not think that you need to have a stronger marriage, before embarking on having another child? The son you have will grow up in the domestic environment that you currently have unless the domestic environment changes. Your child may learn to polite, but he will not learn to be caring, to share, to be understanding and to give and receive love. What your son will learn from his mother and father is conditional love, i.e. everything has a price!
“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect”(Quran Rum 30: 21).
In those signs, there is guidance like a loving parent a guidance that seeks what is best for us in the knowledge that we must want that guidance in order to stand a chance of understanding and benefiting from that guidance. Therefore in loving Allah, we love all of His creations including man.
One can also say in loving all of His Creations we love Allah (SWT), but this is not true for we instead love some of His Creations and not others for reasons. When we love for the sake of Allah (SWT), ones love is more objective the rest of creation stands a chance to be fairly treated and respected. We raise ourselves from love based on lower desires to a more balanced and sustaining love. Seek your inner calm and try to avoid being resentful, because this will create a clash between the both of you.
Consider that as a man, that your husband works full time and gets much less than you, how do you think he might feel? He does not or cannot appreciate your effort, so put your effort where it is much needed. This, in turn, will give you the ability to nurture respect in the house. Respect for you, your children, the home and for him. Maybe by example in sha ‘Allah he will slowly begin to find his way, stop drinking, and resume prayer. Honor yourself enough so that he can, in turn, learn to honor you, but also honor him.
“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”(Surah At-Tawbah [9:71])
Continue to seek guidance from Allah (SWT), and may you find the following Istikhara useful:
“Jabir bin `abd Allah recalled: “Allah’s Apostle used to teach his companions to perform the prayer of Istikhara for each and every matter just as he used to teach them the surahs from the Qur`an. He used to say: “If anyone of you intends to do some thing, he should offer a two rakat prayer other than the compulsory prayers, and after finishing it, he should say: O Allah! I consult You, for You have all knowledge, and appeal to You to support me with Your Power and ask for Your Bounty, for You are able to do things while I am not, and You know while I do not; and You are the Knower of the Unseen. O Allah If You know It this matter (name your matter) is good for me both at present and in the future, (or in my religion), in my, this life and in the Hereafter, then fulfill it for me and make it easy for me, and then bestow Your Blessings on me in that matter. O Allah! If You know that this matter is not good for me in my religion, in my this life and in my coming Hereafter (or at present or in the future), then divert me from it and choose for me what is good wherever it may be, and make me be pleased with it” (Bukhari 9: 93 #487).
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