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Husband Refuses To Maintain Me Due To Long-Distance Relationship

13 January, 2022
Q My husband refuses to maintain me as his wife because we are in a long-distance marriage initially seeing each other 3 days and 2 nights per week for the first year and 3 days 2 nights every 2 weeks in the second year of our marriage.

He has not paid one penny for maintenance since our marriage ( we’ve been married for over 2.5 years and now I’ve asked for maintenance he has called talaq and blocked me from contacting him on all platforms even though I’ve just started the Iddah period. He has enough financial security to maintain me as he always makes reference to the amount of money he has been earning and saving.

I do all the traveling to see him in respect of our marriage, but he doesn’t travel to see me. When we are together, he gets his marital rights on demand. I feel completely disrespected and used by him. Am I being unreasonable for requesting maintenance I requested £10 per day?

Answer

In this counseling answer:

His refusal to maintain you financially because you are in a “long-distance” marriage is not Islamically based nor is it legal under Islamic law as far as I know.

If the wife offers help, ideally, this is discussed prior to the marriage and not brought out as a surprise or a demand post marriage.

With this said, you are not being unreasonable to demand your marriage rights, specifically financial maintenance. It is alarming, however, that when you asked for your rights to this, he blocked you and started to call talaq. It is a red flag.


As salamu alaykum sister,

I am sorry to hear about the issues you are having with your husband, sister. As you are relatively newly married (2.5 years), this must be a devastating situation for you.

No woman gets married thinking they must “ask” for financial help to maintain themselves or a household, and one certainly does not expect to be divorced for doing so! As Muslims, you both must know that it is a husband’s responsibility to provide full maintenance of the wife and household. 

A Husband’s Obligation

As you are both Muslims and you are married legally, it is your husband’s financial obligation to maintain all your needs and financial expenses. This is mandatory under Islamic law.

Sister, even if you were very wealthy, your husband must still provide for your finances. The maintenance of a wife includes a home, clothing, food and so forth. You are not obligated to pay any of the expenses related to the home or your maintenance unless you so choose to do so.

Other Arrangements

Of course, there are certain situations where a wife may agree to share in the financial costs if the husband is not making that much money at his job, if he is sick, or otherwise unable to fully provide for his wife.

The important factor is that the wife offers to help. Ideally, this is discussed prior to the marriage and not brought out as a surprise or a demand post marriage. This situation is not one that is forced upon a wife as she has no obligation to the maintenance of the finances of the household – only the husband does.

However, it is a blessing should she contribute until the husband is able to fully support and maintain her and the household. While this is not an ideal situation, it is one that may be needed in certain situations today due to the high cost of living. However, according to what you wrote, your husband is making good money and is even saving some of it.

Refusal to Maintain Wife

Sister, it appears that you are maintaining yourself financially and you may even be paying for your trips to see him. He should be paying for these trips. His refusal to maintain you financially because you are in a “long-distance” marriage is not Islamically based nor is it legal under Islamic law as far as I know.

I am not an Islamic scholar so you may want to check out our section “Ask the Scholar” for a more definitive answer on some of the smaller points that you brought out. However, it is well known that the husband is the financial maintainer of his wife and his family. Using the excuse that you are in a long-distance marriage is just that, an excuse.

As a Muslim, he should be aware of his responsibilities as a husband and realize that just because the marriage may be a long-distance one, does not negate his responsibility to support you.

Alarming Responses

With this said, you are not being unreasonable to demand your marriage rights, specifically financial maintenance. It is alarming, however, that when you asked for your rights to this, he blocked you and started to call talaq.

This is truly a red flag and yes you have the right to feel disrespected as well. It is a very cruel and irresponsible way for a husband to treat his wife. Does he not know you are a blessing from Allah? 

Divorce

Sister, given your husband’s careless attitude towards you, the lack of his desire to fulfill his Islamic duties as a husband concerning maintenance, his anger at your requests for financial help, as well as his immediate response to block and seek divorce upon your request-maybe divorce is best.

Perhaps it is best that the talaq goes through and you are divorced from him. While Allah does hate divorce and it is best to seek resolution prior to divorce, his seeking a divorce immediately kind of negates this option.

Conclusion

Sister, my heart goes out to you regarding this situation. However, your husband’s refusal to provide maintenance, his disrespect, and disregard for you, as well as his quick response to want to divorce says a lot.

It also says a lot about his regard for Islam and Allah’s commands which is really most frightening. Insha’Allah sister perhaps this is a blessing. Perhaps it is that Allah is saving you from a worse fate should you stay married to this man.

Please make duaa to Allah for ease and mercy in this situation, trusting in Allah that if your husband files for divorce-it is a blessing for you.

We wish you the best.

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Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general. They are 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
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.