17 February, 2018
As-Salamu Alaikum. I am emailing you to seek help. I am an Asian and have been married for 3 years. We have a one-year-old girl. It was arranged marriage. Both of us work and live apart due to our work is 300 miles apart. On weekdays, I am at my parents’ place, and on weekends when he comes home, we go to his mother's place. From the beginning of our marriage, I have been unhappy. He seems like a caring, loving guy, but he isn't. He doesn’t like hugging, and he doesn’t show affection. When we fight, he always manages to turn everything to make it seem like my fault. We agree on things, but only I stick to them. He says he can't support me. (I don't know why as we both have good salary). He says yes whenever I ask something, but when it comes to doing it, he punishes me by doing it in a way that I feel sorry for asking him in the first place. I take care of our child in every way with the help of my parents. He says he can't help as he is far away. Whenever we fight, he always claims I am the crazy one for demanding things from him. I lived in such turmoil until I stumbled upon articles about passive aggressive husbands. Everything I read is him. I can't believe I married a man whom I think is PA. I tried talking to him, but he refuses it. I am now very depressed to have married such a man. I don't exactly want to leave him. But I do not know how to cope with a loveless, trustless marriage. I married him based on faith alone, that Allah has chosen the best for me, but my faith is also being put to test now. I am scared. In addition, his mother is such a controlling, overbearing woman even after our marriage. We have had our differences, but he always takes her side saying that his mother has always been that way, and it is easier to say yes than talk back to her. He has this obsession to stay with her every weekend (he says he is compelled to) and punishes me by giving me his cold shoulder or not coming to see me at all when I refuse to go to his parents’ place. Our financial situation makes it not feasible for us to get a place of our own since we are working far apart. I have thought of moving there with him, but I am afraid of being controlled totally and stuck in an unhappy rut. (At least now I have weekdays to do my stuff). I am afraid and lost. I really need help. Please help me. I am at my wits end. Jazak Allah khair.
Wa `Alaikum As-salaam Sister,
I read the sad story of your 3-year marriage. Long distance relationships seldom have a chance to mature into happy and healthy ones. On top of it, arranged marriages, where parents do not exercise care in properly checking out the prospective spouse and his/her family, tend to turn out to be total disasters. Besides, men from our Muslim cultures often find it difficult to balance their responsibilities between their mothers and wives.
Regardless of your husband’s Passive Aggressive Personality, one of the major handicaps in improving your marital relationship is you two not living together.
I understand that you both have jobs in different cities, but do you have to live and work so far from him? Is it not possible for you to move in with him with your child and find yourself a job there? At least, this would bring you an opportunity to build a functional marital relationship and may reduce your expenses as well by not having to maintain two households.
Then, if he wishes to go visit his mother in the weekend, you may choose to go or not go depending upon the circumstances. This may also pave the path to solve the problem of dealing with your mother-in-law.
The issue related to his inability to show love in a physical way is also a common cultural issue amongst Muslim men. Hopefully, when you are together all the time, and you have an opportunity to readily give him your love; it may make it easy for him to reciprocate.
I hope that this helps you. I pray for your health and well-being.
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