I have been married for 6 years now. Since the beginning of our marriage, his family hasn't been nice to me. The first time I came to visit my husband after mullah his elder brother (who older than my father) made me stand to see my height which made me very uncomfortable and mad because I felt humiliated as if I was a cow or goat. Maybe it was funny for him but not for me.
He has 9 siblings and I have two. Things really were not good. My husband didn't really like spending time with me on the weekends. All he wanted was his family or always babysitting the kids of his entire family. His father was living with us.
Once we went to a wedding in another city, all his siblings went to their rooms in the hotel and my husband, father in law and my left to share a hotel room which I was not comfortable with. I was 2 months pregnant as well. We had a fight.
It was only six months after our marriage and after that incident, we had no intimacy in our married life for almost 3 and a half years. Then I wanted to have another baby. During all this time, we always fought because of his family. He even hit me once.
He complained of me making fewer potatoes. This made me really upset because I made like 10 different foods for his family and we had a huge fight when he hit me. After all those years, finally, I got pregnant again and I was happy but his father passed away and he blamed me for not letting his father in the kitchen and told me to get out of the house and almost divorced me.
I got my local imam involved my family and got back home but now I have so much hatred towards him for doing all those things to me for all those years. I can't forgive, it hurts so much.
Even his brother’s sister slapped me during a family gathering. According to her I was not working enough. He stood there watching all this. My local imam thinks I am going through post baby depression but the truth is I am so hurt. Deep inside I don't want to be with him but I have kids and I don't want divorce.
In this counseling answer:
As you know, marriage is highly regarded in Islam and we must do all we can to protect it.
Seeking counselling with your local imam can help you with this.
However, at the same time, sometimes marriages won’t work and it is best for all involved, including the children, that a couple does opt for divorce instead.
Sometimes raising children separately with two happy parents is healthier for both couple themselves and the children.
Don’t neglect yourself, take care of yourself and the things you enjoy. This will be good for your psychological well being.
As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,
It sounds like you have been going through difficulties with your husband for quite some time. The fact that it even goes beyond difficulties to his extended family makes the whole thing even more difficult for you.
You did the right thing to involve your local imam to get some impartial advice in the situation. Perhaps he is correct that you are suffering from post-natal depression, but it does also seem like there are a lot of other things that cause you to have a rational response to a difficult scenario.
Certainly, after giving birth, many women go through emotional difficulties. Without the support of close loved ones, especially the husband, getting through such emotions will be even more difficult and will only enhance the negative feelings.
I would advise continuing to seek the support of your local imam, but perhaps make him more aware of the broader scenario and the difficulties you face as a marital couple. He will be able to give you some counselling and guidance in accordance with Islamic principles.
This is something that you should do with your husband too so that the imam can directly advise your husband also and help him to see his own part in the current scenario.
One of the most pertinent issues here being the abuse that both he and his siblings have subjected you to. This is not acceptable and he needs to know this otherwise he will continue to do so feeling like he is doing nothing wrong.
You have stated that you don’t want to be with him anymore, but understandably, with children, you do want to do your best to make it work for their sake. As you know, marriage is highly regarded in Islam and we must do all we can to protect it. Seeking counselling with your local imam can help you with this.
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However, at the same time, sometimes marriages won’t work and it is best for all involved, including the children, that a couple does opt for divorce instead. Sometimes raising children separately with two happy parents is healthier for both couple themselves and the children.
Otherwise, the children will grow up seeing your marriage as the best example of marriage and will end up in the same scenario themselves as they know no difference. Take time to consider how you would feel if this were to be the case in the future. How would you feel if they should end up in a relationship where they face the same kind of abuse?
Look after yourself
Aside from this, you’ve been through a lot over the years. Don’t neglect yourself, take care of yourself and the things you enjoy. This will be good for your psychological well being generally as well as better placing you to successfully manage the current difficulties you are going through. Make sure to take some time for yourself each day, even if it is just 15 minutes a day to be by yourself and do something for yourself.
Even aside from what’s happening within your family, having children can be a very demanding role. As parents, we often spend so much time caring for others that we forget to take care of ourselves. Take up a new hobby, meet friends, read a new book, study a new course. Doing anything you enjoy or would like to try can be incredibly beneficial.
May Allah (swt) make it is easier for you during this difficult time, and may He guide you to do what is best for your family.
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.