I want to live an ideal life with my husband. I love him so much and I am always sincere. We live with my widowed mother-in-law and my sister-in-law. I respect them very much, but sometimes it really hurts when they neglect me as I always obey them. I am afraid if I complain, my husband would get hurt and will disrespect me or will not love me as he does now. I want to go somewhere to be alone with him. I need space, but he does not realize this.
He doesn't have the feeling to go out for dinner with me, for example. All programs set by my mother and sister-in-law, but I want to go out alone sometimes with my hubby. I feel so depressed because of this. Alhmdulillah, I have all the blessings from Allah and I am scared if I complain, Allah won't be happy with me and I will go to Hell because I am not thankful enough.
I am very depressed. Please, tell me what to do Islamically?
In this counseling answer:
• Strive to become assertive which means to seek a win-win situation when dealing with others.
• Get closer to your husband and truly nurturing your relationship with him.
As-Salamu Alaikum Sister,
Thank you for sending us your question. I am sorry to hear about your situation with your in-laws. I ask Allah (swt) to help you through this difficult situation and to change your relationship with them for the better.
I am not an Islamic scholar, so I will not be able to answer from a strictly “Islamic” point-of-view. However, I am a mental health professional and can answer you as such, and I am sure that my answer will not go against our religion’s teachings, in sha’Allah.
It seems you have a positive relationship with your husband, but you are dissatisfied with the way things are done in your household. You mentioned that your mother and sister-in-law are in charge of the way the people of the house must live and act, but you have different opinions and desire to have separate time with your husband as a couple. You mention that you do not want to discuss your feelings with your husband because you do not want to hurt his feelings. As a result, you continue to feel dissatisfied and “depressed.”
Sister, the first thing I would suggest you is getting closer to your husband and truly nurturing your relationship with him. You mentioned that you have a positive relationship and that you love each other very much. Alhamdulillah for that! It is very fortunate that things are good between you and your husband because we often hear the opposite.
Continue to nurture your relationship. Certainly, let your husband know how you feel about spending time with him alone outside of the house! Please do not shy away from telling him your feelings. I understand that you are afraid of hurting his feelings, but that means that it is fine for your feelings to be constantly hurt. As you have already experienced, the more you keep your feelings bottled up inside, the more frustrated and depressed you eventually become.
Strive to become assertive which means to seek a win-win situation when dealing with others. When discussing your feelings with your husband, certainly explain to him how you feel and also show him that you are opened to negotiation and compromise. If, at first, things don’t work out the way you want them to, try to make a compromise: for example, you all go out as a family, but you and your husband have some time alone to walk, shop, eat, etc. before rejoining with the rest of the family. Then, hopefully, with time things will get better and better. But things cannot change unless you try to do something about it. Speaking with your husband is certainly the first and most important thing you can do. Do not be ashamed of your feelings!
May Allah (swt) help you,
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