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An Introvert: How Will I Survive Motherhood?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 20, 2019

Question

Salam Aleikom dear counselor. I am in my late twenties, married for 7 years. We have been through some hard challenges with my husband. We are from different cultures. I feel all this time we were just on the surface but did not really form common goals and plans for our future together. We were living together like roommates. We were working hard on figuring out who we really are, our strengths and weaknesses, what we really want to achieve in life – things we somehow did not do when we were younger. we were just kind of going with the flow, stuck in the cycle of monotone everyday life.

Finally, we are having purely honest conversations, we show our real selves (and not trying to pretend things just so that we do not upset the other one) and we started to realize that we have too many common stuff, we are very similar – which is now a bit in a negative sense as it makes our relationship boring although we are now working a lot on having some fun and break the boring. We have now deeper conversations (and not fights) but there is one major issue we cannot have a clear picture on.

In fact, I myself cannot have a clear picture about it what I want to do about it – this issue is having children. I do not fully refuse the idea because when I think of my future, imagining myself as an older lady, it hurts me to see her without children around. On the other hand, I still want to work on my goals, I still want to travel and live, and the fact that my husband is not the type of man who would share parenthood with me as much as I wish he does not help (such as leaving the child with him for a few hours in the weekend because I have some work or want to be alone).

I am super confused. I think I want to be a mother (although as an introvert I am so afraid of not having time alone with myself. I am afraid to become aggressive or depressed). I am not sure if motherhood is for me. But I do not want to end up living alone if I get older.

I am also confused whether I have these frustrating feelings towards motherhood because I chose the wrong man to be my husband, from whom I do not feel the support and care and I should divorce because we simply do not match (he has a bit the “my way or the highway” attitude. He does not mind me working and achieving my goals I my “free time” but the home, the kids, and him must be my priority) or the problem is in me that I am delaying this responsibility and I should just “woman up” myself and trust in Allah that He will help me arrange everything. please help with my confusion!

I actually have a plan B if he divorces me (I feel he wishes this option, he often talks about having a second wife to “complete me”, or talks about things that he wishes I had). I am just obviously afraid to make this step or let him make this step after 7 years. He has many good qualities actually, and I like his level of faith. I got used to him, but sometimes

I really wish to be single and start my life anew: first focus on my career goals and then find someone that really completes me, go to premarital counseling together, etc.

Counselor

Answer


An Introvert: How Will I Survive Motherhood?

In this counseling answer:

• I would kindly suggest insha’Allah, that you and your husband sit down and talk with one another about new things you can do together to break up the monotony.

• There are many things to think about when it comes to having children and also having alone time.

• Caring for children is just not on the mom, it’s on the dad too. Fathers need to be a part of their child’s life and take responsibility as well.

• You should go for marriage counseling with your husband and try to resolve these issues.


As-salaam Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. You stated that you’re in your late twenties and have been married for 7 years. It is only recently that you and your husband have broken out of the “monotony of everyday life” and started to really get to know one another. Your good news is that now you are both having honest conversations and realize that you have a lot of things in common. You found out that you and your husband are very similar.

Marriage: Too Similar and Compatible?

Similar interests and compatibility a very good thing. It is important to have things in common for a successful marriage. It creates bonds and makes things easier when two people are agreeable on a number of issues. You see it as both a positive and a negative in a sense because you feel it makes your relationship boring.

You did state that you and your husband are working on taking breaks and trying to have some fun together. It seems that both of you have great insight into your marriage regarding this aspect. You found solutions you are willing to try to make things more exciting. This is great!

An Introvert: How Will I Survive Motherhood? - About Islam

So many couples do not know how to “jump start” a marriage that has gotten “boring” but you and your husband do. Insha’Allah, you both will give this a chance to bring you closer as you discover new things and enjoy each other’s company.

Spicing up a Marriage

Sister, finding a spouse that you have things in common with is hard to do sometimes. It is a blessing when it happens. While you do see the good things in this, you also acknowledge that having someone that you were married to be so much like you can be boring.

I would kindly suggest insha’Allah, that you and your husband sit down and talk with one another about new things you can do together to break up the monotony. Perhaps each one of you can make a list of things or hobbies that you would like to try for the first time and put your list together and choose a few of them to do together. Learning new things in life and trying different things from time to time can often lead to an enriched lifestyle. By trying new things together, you are insha’Allah increasing your closeness, building memories, and learning new things. Discovering new interests can produce many wonderful things.

Enriching your Islamic Foundation

To further enrich your times together insha’Allah, you and your husband may want to do something simple such as take a walk, go to a movie or out to dinner. This would enhance your quality time together just enjoying each other’s company.

Also, you may want to spend time studying the Qur’an together or take an Islamic class. The benefits of gaining more Islamic knowledge and drawing closer to Allah is the foundation for successful marriages as I am sure you know.

I suggest this because often times when couples get into “the daily grind “of working every day, coming home and doing the same thing, yes it can become tiresome. By incorporating time for Allah and Islamic study on a regular basis will help keep you focused on the Islamic principles and foundations of a marriage.

Children, Time and Supports

As far as wanting a child, have you had a discussion with your husband about how much he would help out? Are there others who live near you such as the family who could help with a baby? Is either of you in the financial position to hire a babysitter so that it may free up some of your time?


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There are many things to think about when it comes to having children and also having alone time. True, once you start having children, a lot of the focus will be on home and family. However, many women do still have their careers and their families as well. They often seek a supportive balance, so one or the other does not have to suffer.

In your case, you are worried about free time for yourself and career. Time is a much-needed thing for moms. Oftentimes when women start having children, they also have other women friends who have children. This can lead to playgroups taking turns babysitting as well as a support system in general.

Sometimes when you have been “child-free” for a while such as yourself, thinking about giving up your freedom and thinking about having all the responsibility can be a bit overwhelming. This is a natural thought, sister.

I encourage you to talk with other moms about how they feel, and if they went through any similar emotions before they had their children. It is most definitely a big adjustment, but it is more so a blessing. 

Supportive Dads

You discussed the possibility of getting divorced because your husband is not supportive concerning the issue of children. Sister, it seems as though you both have a lot in common, you get along and possibly have the same goals. That makes for a very good marriage.

If this is the only thing that is bothering you (the child issue), I would definitely encourage you to discuss it with him. Does your husband even want children now? Is he pressing you to have a child right now? If he is, or even if he is not, the conversation is still an important one to have to make sure that you both understand the commitment that it will take to raise a child. Caring for children is just not on the mom, it’s on the dad too. Fathers need to be a part of their child’s life and take responsibility as well.

Feeling Complete

Possibly the bigger picture is that you may feel as though you do not love your husband. You stated earlier in your question that you and he had lived like roommates for so long, and that you were so much alike that it was boring and monotonous. Perhaps this is where the problem lies.

Are you in love with your husband or do you just love him because he’s a good person? I understand you may be craving a very exciting and different type of man, someone who may be less like you. This is natural to want to have excitement and something different in our lives. However, in long-term, if we are not able to agree on things or we are too different, it may not work out either.

You stated that your husband talks about taking a second wife to complete himself. I would ask him where he feels that he is incomplete and focus on how to resolve that. It could be he feels the same lack of excitement and difference that you feel. If that is the case insha’Allah, both of you just need to work harder spicing up your relationship and trying new different exciting and fun things.

However, sister, if he does take a second wife that is his Islamic option. It is also your option to stay in the marriage or not.

But I would kindly suggest really looking at the situation and decide if it is something that you want to risk losing. He sounds like a really great guy, and you both sound like you do have a good marriage despite the fact that it lacks what may be termed as excitement.

Marriage is Valuable; Marriage is Work

Please, do talk with your husband about these two main issues of having a child and taking a second wife. Discuss what that might look like and how each of you would adjust. Insha’Allah, propose that you each write a list of new things you would like to try together. As you both have been married to each other for seven years, you grew together and there is a familiarity which is good and comforting.

Marriage is a valuable relationship sister, and it is worth putting the effort into it, especially when you both get along and have things in common. Perhaps, sister, you should go for marriage counseling with your husband and try to resolve these issues.

I think you both have a lot of positive things going for you and your marriage, and insha’Allah you will give it 100% efforts.

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:

Career Wife and Children’s Responsibility: Any Role for the Husband?

Exhausted of Being a Working Wife & Mother

Quitting Job For Kids; Will I Turn A Nobody?




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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