I am a female from Pakistan. I got married in April 2018 based on love. My final departure from my parent's house is scheduled on Jan 2018. My problem is that my husband is a Dr- house job trainee. He doesn't get any stipend or salary. Whenever we go to any restaurant or shop then it’s my responsibility to pay or purchase things.
I wasn’t aware of his financial situation before marriage. He told me lies regarding his financial condition. My departure from my parent's home is approaching and I am suffering from severe depression. Things are not working. His expectation from me is to contribute a lump sum amount or support him financially.
I would be highly obliged if you can give me good advice or suggestions in this regard.
In this counseling answer:
Perhaps he may need to consider switching to a part-time position so that he can fulfill these things
If you feel uncomfortable to bring it up with him, you could consider doing it with a third-party present.
Don’t forget to spend time together doing something fun to nurture your relationship and make it stronger.
Assalamu alaikum wa Rahmatullah wa barakatuh sister,
Entering a marriage is supposed to be a joyous occasion upon the uniting of two people coming together. Of course, this will almost always require some sacrifice or another, but this should not be to the extent that it causes depression to one or the other party.
In this case, you now have the added burden that he told you lies about his situation before you got married. This is not acceptable, and it also sets the stage to tell further lies in the future and sheds light on an element of dishonesty in his character. On top of this, you are being expected to provide all the financial support. As a result, it is understandable why you are feeling so depressed, especially as you will soon be leaving your parents’ house.
Generally, it is the man’s responsibility to give financial support to the wife
Men are in charge of women by [right of] what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend [for maintenance] from their wealth. (Qur’an, 4:34)
However, it is possible with an agreement that the wife can work and provide financially for the family, but it is not a must. This responsibility is primarily for the husband. She is not obliged to or be forced to provide for her husband.
Consider the long-term
One thing to consider that may ease your current psychological burden is how long his scenario is expected to last. Is his current lack of stipend or salary just a temporary thing whilst he is training? If so, how long will it go on for? If it is just a short-term thing, understanding that it’s only for this time may give you the drive to continue being the financial provider in the understanding that in a certain amount of time you will be able to step down and allow him to step up to the role instead.
If it is something that will be in effect for the longer term, then this might require more detailed discussion between the two of you. It can suggest that he finds some other way to help financially as you cannot carry the entire burden all by yourself. Be it that he gets a part-time job or ask a family member for some assistance. Perhaps he may need to consider switching to a part-time position so that he can fulfill these things. But these are the issue that could be discussed if this is going to be the long-term scenario and you feel you cannot cope as it is anymore.
Why did he lie in the first place?
You feel betrayed right from the start as he lied to you before marriage. This is not conducive to the development of trust in a relationship and may make it hard for you to trust anything he says. However, do take some time to consider why he told the lie in the first place. By no means does this make lying acceptable, but it may ease your ill feelings towards his behavior which will make it easier to overcome any trust issues should they arise.
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Regarding the financial situation he said he was in, perhaps he was referring to how things will be once he has completed his training; that he will be working a stable job with a salary sufficient to support you. If the lack of salary is just a very temporary thing then perhaps he saw it as an insignificant gap of time where he would be unable to support you, compared to the rest of the time where he would be able to.
Furthermore, since it was a marriage based on love, perhaps he feared that if he told you that he would not be able to provide financial support then he would lose you and you wouldn’t marry him.
Talk to him
Of course, these reasons may ease your concerns, but they not make it ok to tell such lies. In fact, if you let it pass without drawing his attention to it, you may only be leaving the door open for him to tell further lies as he sees that he got away with it this time. Perhaps he doesn’t even realize how much this situation is hurting you and causing you such problems. If you don’t tell him, then he may never know.
If you feel uncomfortable to bring it up with him, you could consider doing it with a third-party present. For example, if you draw attention to the situation in front of a neutral party, such as your local imam, it will give you a chance to vent your feelings in a safe place whilst allowing your husband to understand how you are feeling. It would also give space for the imam to advise him regarding his responsibilities as the husband.
Do fun things together
This may seem like something far from a need of consideration at this point when it has nothing to do with the financial situation that is presently causing trouble, but unfortunately, monetary issues can cause a multitude of problems in many marriages which results in the demise of positive feelings towards one another. With so much focus on these negative things, couples often lose touch with the good things and those that make each other happy.
Based on this, don’t forget to spend time together doing something fun to nurture your relationship and make it stronger. This does not have to be anything that involves money; go for a walk together, watch a movie, or cook dinner together. These things will heighten positive feelings towards one another which will make it less likely that the difficulties you presently have will upset your marriage at this early stage. This will enhance the feeling of what marriage is supposed to provide for you in Islam.
And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them, and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought. (Qur’an, 30, 21)
The financial burden you face as a result of your husband not bringing in an income has placed a great financial strain on you to the point that along with the lies, you are feeling depressed.
There are some things you can consider doing to try easing this pressure. Talking to him about how you feel and what you can do together to ease the burden is a good step to take to work on the issue collaboratively and strengthen your relationship.
In addition, doing things that deviate from the pressure of finances is also important in these early stages of marriage in order to reinforce your love for one another outside and away from the burdens you presently face.
May Allah bring you happiness and contentment in your marriage and make you the coolness of each other’s eyes in this life and the hereafter.
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