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Did I Make a Mistake Marrying Someone From a Different State?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jul 23, 2019

Question

Assalamualaikum,

I am 32 years of age, and I’ve been married for a year. I am from California and my husband is from New York. I have lived all my life in California, therefore I am so used to this peaceful environment that I can't think of moving anywhere else. However, when I got married, I had to move to NY with my Husband and got into an accident on our way because of his rash driving.

Alhamdulillah we weren’t hurt but we lost our car and we were financially broke. I went through this shock after 2 weeks of our marriage, and I’m financially broke. We were barely living in NY and I hated the lifestyle and how crowded and loud it was living there. Every day, I would get this feeling of “what am I doing here?", "why I am here?" and " I need to go back to my place."

The problem is that I am so attached to CA where I have my life and friends and family, whereas in NY I have only my husband. I started forcing myself to get used to NY and making efforts to like it there, but nothing really worked for me and I had to let my husband know that I couldn’t live that way and that I feel depressed.

I decided to move back to CA in two months, which was partially also to help my husband financially as I had a stable job here in CA. I told him I can save us money while he also works here and make us financially stable. So, I came back with my husband and we decided to stay.

We both started our jobs. The money he makes here is sometimes not even 10% of what he used to make in NY, and so he’s been complaining ever since we moved that he wants to go back. He believes that he will be financially stable there not here and we always argue about this. One day I finally agreed to move back but he still kept complaining.

He blames me for everything even though he is too lazy to work here, saying that there is no point of working here when I am making so little. I am taking care of my own expenses ever since I started working, always trying to help him financially. We are also living with my parents since we can't afford to live anywhere else right now, and he has issue with that.

He never gives time to my family or makes an effort to connect with them, all he ever does is stay in the room and goes to work and come then eats and watches movies and sleeps. I discussed this with him, and he says he is completely different, and he doesn't know what to talk about. Moreover, he tries to pull me away from my family.

He would tell me things that would hurt me about my family, and every time we plan to go out with my family, he will create excuses such as how different he feels from them. I cannot stand between him and my family because I can’t say no to either of them.

His feelings about CA are exactly my feelings towards NY, just alone and isolated. I have discussed everything with him and that I will be moving back only because of his happiness. He gets mad at me because he thinks he is pushing me to move back with him and tells me every time that a woman needs to be where her husband is and not vice versa. He also blames me for being so attached to my family.

Eventually we will move back inshAllah. I made that decision because I know he is not happy, and if he is not happy, he will never keep me happy. We have a lot of issues due to many other things, but the main reason is because he hates it here and he lets all his anger out on me that he doesn't make enough money.

I am scared to go back because I know for a fact that I hated everything there. Please help me with what I can do. It makes me feel that he is so selfish. I am so depressed.

Counselor

Answer


Did I Make a Mistake Marrying Someone From a Different State?

In this counseling answer:

• I think the main thing that your husband is possibly concerned with is his ability to make money and support his family. This is a very important matter and he should be where he can make a good living.

• Try to approach it as a team effort, as one with each, with love. You might want to make a list together of the positives of California and negatives. Do the same for New York.

• If you approach the move differently, with an open heart and mind, you may have a different experience this time around.

• I kindly suggest going to the mosque, get involved in Islamic events, take some classes, join a gym. Do things that interest you. Seek out sisters to make friends with. It’s not hard to do in the city.

• Make Allah (SWT) the foundation of your marriage. Pray and read Qur’an together, and promise to resolve any disagreements based on the Qur’an.


Assalamualaikum dear sister,

It sounds like you are going through a lot concerning your marriage as well as adjustments in how you both communicate your needs. Sadly, the issue of where to live has adversely affected your marriage due to many factors.

Experiencing Similar Feelings

Sister, it seems as though you and your husband are having some of the same feelings and internal conflicts. Sadly, you are taking it out on each other. As I understand, you were raised in California and your husband is from New York. You’ve been married for one year. When you got married you did move to New York and you had a very hard time adjusting.

Did I Make a Mistake Marrying Someone From a Different State? - About Islam

You missed your family, your friends, the familiarity and the more laid-back lifestyle that California offers. After some time when you did not adjust, your husband agreed to come to California and live, so you could be happy.

As it turns out, when he got to California and lived here for some time, he too started missing his home and family in New York. So, he was going through similar emotions that you were going through when you lived in New York.

You hated New York and could not adjust, and he seems to hate California and cannot adjust either. One of the more important factors is that it seems that he can make more money in New York as opposed to California, despite a rough financial setback when you first got married.

Seeking to Please Each Other

Sister, I understand your hurt and anger. However, I can see his as well. You both are seeking to please each other by moving back and forth across the country, only to find one or the other of you is not happy. I am sure that you love each other very much, but the issue of both of you wanting to live in your “home” states is causing anger, accusations, irritability, hurt, and other destructive patterns in your marriage.

I think the main thing that your husband is possibly concerned with is his ability to make money and support his family. This is a very important matter and he should be where he can make a good living. It is probably very frustrating for him to have to depend on you to help with bills or give him money when he does not make enough his current job.

Yes, he probably misses his family and the familiar surroundings of New York. However, I think that the main issue is the financial portion of him not being able to make as much money in California as he made in New York. I can imagine, that for a man who is newly married, he is concerned with providing for you.

The back and forth arguing about moving to California was probably a concession he made, to make you happy. However, as it turned out, he is not making it here financially. This alone can lead to frustration and tension in the marriage, especially since he agreed to move to please you.

Empathy and Discussion

Currently, there is a lot of stress, hurt and anger between you and your husband. You stated that he currently tries to pull you away from your family and tells you things that hurt. He is also withdrawn and doesn’t want to socialize with your family. You also stated he just goes to work and then stays in his room.

Sister, it does sound like he may be worried and even possibly depressed at this point. Insha’Allah, try to think about how you felt in New York. He may be feeling the same emotions you that you did.  Only as head of the home and the husband, he has the responsibility to support you which may be his main worry right now. Additionally, I am sure he wants to appear as capable in front of your family and he may be feeling insecure and not very adequate, thus his withdrawal.

Perhaps sister, you and your husband could sit down when things are calm and discuss your move. Try to approach it as a team effort, as one with each, with love. You might want to make a list together of the positives of California and negatives. Do the same for New York. Write down the things you like and dislike about both places, and your husband can do the same.

Insha’Allah, if you each review the lists and cross out the points that are not main factors, you may be able to narrow it down to something that is workable for you both. At the same time, look at the negatives for the place you will be living in and brainstorm together how to turn it into a positive or at least find a workable resolution to try. Look at the situation as your first challenge together, and vow to resolve it in a loving, unified way.

At this point, you have agreed to go back to New York as it is causing a lot of problems between you and your husband. You may wish to discuss with him how you can adapt to the area better. Perhaps he has some points or tips that would be useful. As he is from New York he should know how to make you feel more at home.

You both may want to draft out a plan together which includes him securing a job and place to live prior to moving there again. If you approach the move with the basics in place (a job and home) it may make the transition easier for you. Security is important when making a move and does take some advanced planning and getting things in place.

Changes and Adaptation

Sister, I understand this is a big change for you.  I feel your emphasis and pain about feeling so alone in New York.  Naturally, you will miss your family, but that is a part of marriage sometimes. When we get married, we often do have to leave the area where we grew up, leave our families and start a new life.

Sometimes that change is hard, it’s understandable. Perhaps you can work out a way that you come back home a couple of times a year to visit your family and spend time with them. Living in New York is a big difference from living in California. It is a much faster pace for one. Additionally, depending on where you lived in California, there are a lot more people, living much closer together in New York.


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The upside to all this, however, is that there are a lot of Masjids, Islamic centers, and things to do depending on your interests. Perhaps sister, part of your inability to adapt to New York may stem from missing your family and feeling resentful that you must leave them. This is never easy, but insha’Allah you will adjust.

Insha’Allah, if you approach the move differently, with an open heart and mind, you may have a different experience this time around. I kindly suggest going to the Masjid, get involved in Islamic events, take some classes, join a gym. Do things that interest you. Seek out sisters to make friends with. It’s not hard to do in the city.

You may be pleasantly surprised and how welcoming and loving they are. While they can’t take the place of your own family, our sisters are a great source of support love and strength. Increasing your social life in New York will insha’Allah help you to adjust better.

Making Marriage a Stronger Bond

Sister, try to repair the relationship with your husband. I realize you are hurting right now, but he is your life partner, the one who Allah (SWT) gave to you. Insha’Allah, you can both start out on a new path that includes comforting each other, showing love, empathy, and mercy towards each other.

Make Allah (SWT) the foundation of your marriage. Pray and read Qur’an together, and promise to resolve any disagreements based on the Qur’an. If you apply Islamic principles to your marriage, insha’Allah things will become much easier for you both.

You and your husband may want to consider going to marriage classes at your local Islamic center or Masjid. Many do offer these classes and in addition to learning more about marriage, you learn about communication skills, how to resolve differences, and other useful skills. The classes can also be fun and engaging and bring you both closer to each other and to Allah.

Conclusion

Lastly dear sister, once you move back to New York, if you’re still feeling alone despite trying to have a new outlook and new activities, please do seek out a counselor in your area to help you with adjusting to your new life. Make duaa (supplication) to Allah to grant you ease in this process. After all, as we know, Allah is most merciful and does love us and wants us to be happy. Trust in Allah.

We wish you the best, 

***

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:

Can Married Couples Live Apart?

Long Distance in Marriage: A Major Handicap

Can a Wife Ask Her Husband to Move out of His Parental Home?




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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