I got married about 4 years ago.It was an arranged marriage and I never felt happy, as we had different thoughts and concepts on everything. However,my husband never understood that I was unhappy and never bothered to change anything.I could not connect to him at all,maybe because of the 10 year age difference.
He worked in Dubai, and was around for one month in every six months, so I put up a show and acted like I was happy at that time for my family. (Everyone reminded me daily of how lucky I was to have such a handsome husband, with no bad habits at all). But,I felt suffocated and trapped, and whenever I tried telling my family, they brushed it off. My friends told me that I was not able to make him fall in love with me.
However, 2 years into the marriage, he cancelled his well paying job and came back home. At first,we thought he’d go back, he even said so, but he didn’t. Instead,he sat home all day, sending hate messages on Facebook to people of other religious groups.
I told him that if he felt the need to respect Islam, he should probably start praying all times, except Jumua ,but he didn’t budge. He abused brothers of other religions online and got obsessed with the likes that poured in.
I also got to know that he quit his job,because the company head was non muslim, even though they didn’t discriminate him any way.He made me write hate mail to them, and he pestered me till I obliged.
I fought and cried and was upset, but my feelings had never bothered him. I was already struggling to stay with him during his visitations and now being stuck with him, I got depressed and on top of that,I also got pregnant.
My emotions were all over the place, I locked myself in bathroom ,all night crying to myself, but he wouldn’t even come check. It was like he didn’t know that it’s part of his responsibility.
Slowly I copied his behavior and accepted everything he said, without questioning his morals, and he bonded with me. He was against all my ideologies but I chose peace.
Meanwhile, he provided me the bare minimum,(from his dwindling savings), but it didn’t matter as I lived with my parents, so my expenses were covered.He rejected various job opportunities and told people he was sick.
I persuaded him to go to doctors, and after many fights, we visited many specialists and nothing was found wrong with him. Still,he kept saying that he didn’t take a job since he is sick,as an excuse to cover up his laziness.
5 months back, my father persuaded him to go to Bahrain. My dad has found him a job,and I paid for the ticket and sent him. He calls me daily and complains about the situation, even though he had no hard work, a great room, food, but he had something to blame. He always complains when I remind him about the responsibility towards our child, he tells me that the baby will grow anyways.
3 months into the job,the job executive asked my dad to find him another job because he’s not smart enough,and spends a lot of time on the phone. He was allowed to stay there until he finds a new job,which is hard, given the pandemic situation.
My husband does not want to find a new job and is ready to fly back home, once the flights are ready. It took a lot of buttering and persuasion and money to get him this job, I’m sure he’d never try again if he comes back.
My baby is slow in achieving his developmental milestones and everyone keeps blaming me.I pray and recite Quran and make dua every day, but it’s hard. I don’t feel like I’ll be happy again. I already had an unhappy childhood and now I’m stuck in an unhappy marriage, and every one blames everything on me.
It gets so hard, that sometimes I feel I can’t breathe. I make all these duas and take a lot of effort for a person who doesn’t care about my happiness, because I have no alternative and everyone tells me that I’ll be happy if he is. They blame me for him being so. I’m so tired.What do I do?
In this counseling answer:
Practice visualizing yourself with him and without, compare and contrast how each visualization made you feel and which you prefer.
If you stay, consider counseling, and try to communicate your feelings to him honestly.
If you leave, consider personal counseling/coaching to help you grow and think about your next steps logistically to care for your child.
Consider a child developmental specialist as a way to ensure your child is healthy and also to reassure you that you are doing great as his Mother.
Always remember to keep making duaa, praying and pray istikhara during this difficult time.
Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your concerns with us. It is my understanding you have married 4 years ago to an older man in an arranged marriage, he quit his job and became hateful towards anyone that is not Muslim.
I also understand you have long felt caged by this man, unhappy and feel that family, as well as friends, blame you instead of assigning any accountability to your husband and currently you do not prefer for him to come back home once flights resume and expect he will continue to behave with laziness and not concerning himself with your happiness.
My dear Sister, this is a difficult situation but perhaps being in Bahrain right now is a blessing in disguise for you, as you can act without him physically being present. Sister, you have a few options in front of you. 1, You could choose to remain in this marriage and seek to fix the issues between both of you. 2, You could remain in the marriage and not try to change anything. 3, You can divorce him.
In order to explore your actions and how to act, let us begin with determining what you want for yourself and very importantly what you want for your child.
I want you to visualize two different realities and ponder over them. To begin, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. While your eyes are closed, imagine he returns to you and he is with you right now in your home. Now look at how you feel, do you feel happy, sad, anxious, scared, angry? Think about how it impacted you to imagine that.
Now imagine another reality. Close your eyes again, imagine that you and he divorce, and you are a single mother. You make your own income and are taking care of your child independently. Imagine that you work on getting your own place if applicable.
Now, look at how you feel, what emotions does this cause you to feel. Compare how this made you feel compared to how the first visualization made you feel. Use this as a guide to what you want to choose for your life.
If you Stay
If you decide you want to try and fix the marriage, then I encourage you to seek out marital counseling. Your family and friends are displaying a cultural bias, so they are not a good mediator for both of you. Seek out a trained professional who can help both of you communicate better and work on your concerns.
Perhaps your husband did not realize you were crying in the bathroom or simply does not know how to handle this because he was raised in an emotionless home. A trained marriage counselor can help both of you navigate this.
I do not encourage you to remain in the marriage as is without trying to change anything. If you choose to stay, please consider marriage counseling.
You can attempt to communicate with him using I-statements. This is a non-confrontational way to express your emotions and inshallah get him to better understand how you feel. As an example, “I feel neglected when I am crying alone without you asking me what’s wrong or helping “ or “I feel worried when our savings are dwindling away and we don’t have a stable income for the family”.
Check out this counseling video:
If you Leave
If you decide to leave, please understand such a decision only YOU can make, and your family and friends do not have a right to make this decision for you. They may or may not support your decision but ultimately you are the one who must live with him if you stay with him, it is your decision, your happiness.
If you leave him, you will have to determine how you plan to make an income and support your child. Think about all the logistics involved with this and write down plans for handling this. At the same time you can investigate local organizations that help recently divorced women become independent.
Also you may want to consider personal counseling and/or coaching to help you recover from this and become stronger as a woman. You can do this online or in-person dependent on your preferences.
Development of Child
Children develop at different rates; while how you raise him does make a difference in this, ultimately some children just develop slower than others and there is nothing wrong with that. This blame game people are playing with you is negative and only hurts the family, it does not help anyone.
I would not allow people to keep blaming you. Kindly tell them unless they have a proposed solution or want to help, they can keep such negative opinions to themselves. Negativity is not healthy around a baby; it will impact your emotions and overall mindset.
I encourage you to consider speaking with a child development specialist in your area to ensure the child does not have any type of disorder and simply to give you a healthy and educated perspective. This can help to reassure you that you are doing a great job as a Mother and this is simply the developmental path this child is taking.
To summarize your next steps forward.
- Practice visualizing yourself with him and without, compare and contrast how each visualization made you feel and which you prefer
- If you stay, consider counseling, and try to communicate your feelings to him honestly
- If you leave, consider personal counseling/coaching to help you grow and think about your next steps logistically to care for your child
- Consider a child developmental specialist as a way to ensure your child is healthy and also to reassure you that you are doing great as his Mother
- Always remember to keep making duaa, praying and pray istikhara during this difficult time
I know this is exhausting and difficult, inshallah you will find resolution and greater happiness in time. May Allah (swt) heal your heart and guide your next steps, ameen.
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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.