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Husband Married Me for Visa

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Sep 18, 2019

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom. I have been married for almost 5 years now. For the first 2 years, my husband was very different in terms of how he treated me. He was patient and always tried to be nice and resolve any arguments we had. He is from Pakistan, and I am a British born Muslim. It was an arranged marriage, but we used to be happy. We have two daughters mashallah.

Once he received his indefinitely leave to remain in the UK, his family began ringing him constantly and were telling him to leave us and live with his divorced brother. His family is motivated by money and as I am a teacher and from a well educated professional family, they believe I should be the one working and paying for everything in my house as well as sending them money.

It was as this point, 2 years into the marriage, his personality changed along with his behavior towards me. At the moment, I have serious health issues and struggle to look after my kids, but I am also very emotional. He tells his family every little thing such as what jobs my family members do and their earnings. His father also told me to tell my brothers to buy him a shop and work in it for him. My husband is just interested in sending money to Pakistan and doing haram things such as doing the lottery. He does not fast nor does he pray.

At times, I feel he is ok and my children will have a father, and he will change, but other times I feel he has destroyed my life and is only here as he gets a roof over his head. I have tried to talk to him and make him understand he should think of his daughters as a priority. But he becomes angry. My mum and dad and brothers and sisters are telling me to fight with him. He still hides money and talks on the phone while sitting outside for hours. I am getting sick of this and I just don't know what to do. My family wants me to stay with him for my kids’ sake as they say it could be worse. He doesn't drink or do drugs, and he isn't violent and doesn't swear or shout at me. But I have no emotional support, no love, no companionship and no adult conversation with him. I wake up alone for suhur and eat iftar also alone. My parents have tried to talk to his parents but they didn't respond. My parents spoke to him but he just argued with them.

By reading what I've wrote I know I should just divorce him, but I am scared for my kids and for myself. I performed istikhara before I agreed to the marriage and it was very positive and I keep thinking this is my test from Allah and things will improve; he will realize and change and I just need to be patient. I was afraid to perform istikhara to help me decide to leave him or not, but in sha’ Allah I will perform it tonight. I am sorry for such a long email. Please make dua that I regain my health, and for my children as they will be the ones who will suffer the most.

Counselor

Answer


Husband Married Me for Visa


In this counseling answer:

• Go for marriage counseling.

• Seriously consider divorcing him if all else fails.

• Make istikharah.


As Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

I am sorry to hear of the situation that you are going through. I know it can be painful when a marriage is not working out, or when one’s spouse changes and not for the better.

There are many red flags here of warning. First, he changed once his status as a citizen became secure. His parents are telling him to now leave you and the children. They believe you should be working and supporting him and the family as well as sending them money. Your husband is reporting your family’s earning status to his family which is rude and invasive. He does not fast nor pray.

Sister, based on what you have said, yes, things could be worse. However, he (and his family) are in violation of the Islamic requirements for marriage. One example is lack of financial support. The man has the duty of caring for the needs of his wife in every aspect. She is to be provided with proper shelter, clothing, food, healthcare, education, and help in her duties in the home, to the best of the man’s ability to provide. Extras are expected when the man is able to provide them, such as fine jewelry, beautiful clothing and other finery within his ability. This is an area that many of our brothers are not paying close attention to in these days”.

Husband Married Me for Visa - About Islam

Secondly, he cannot provide Islamic teachings, guidance or leadership to the children or you as he no longer prays or fasts. While it appears my dear sister that this marriage was designed as a free ticket to a better life for him and his family, I cannot say for sure as only Allah knows.

I would suggest dear sister that you approach your husband and suggest that you both go for marriage counseling to try to save your marriage. In addition, if he is willing, you both should seek the advice of a trusted imam in regards to his responsibilities as a husband as well as how to create a more fulfilling Islamic marriage.

You stated you had health problems, but you did not say what, or if it was caused by the issues from this marriage. I strongly feel that in any health situation, reducing stress as much as possible is vital to healing. Please see this link for further advice on stress reduction, while seeing a counselor in your area to help you through this difficult time in sha’ Allah.


Check out this counseling video:


Lastly, given the fact that he is not fulfilling his Islamic requirement of a husband, and you are an educated, professional woman (self-sufficient), you are pious, and you do have the right to divorce, I would seriously consider divorcing him if all else fails. There are worse things than being a single mom, and being used as a lottery ticket for an ungrateful man and his family is one of them.

Please, make istikharah in regards to this decision. Please also know that there are many supports in place for single mothers. It is my feeling (and I may be wrong) that your family will become supportive when and if you do make the decision to divorce him.

You are in our prayers sister. Please let us know how you are doing.

***

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:

New Muslimah – 5 Things to Consider Before Marriage

Ex-Husband vs. a Foreigner: Whom to Marry?

Top 10 Reasons Why Marriage Fails




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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