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Long Distance Marriage Problems

04 January, 2018
Q Salam Aleykom. I'm married for 3 years. I'm from Europe, my husband is from Egypt, but he is working in Asia. As we can't find work for me there, we live now on different continents. Our contact is only via phone. Lately, we have many fights as we are both tired of being so far from each other. Also, I face here extreme pressure, because both of my parents suffer from cancer, I can't find a work and I'm in a difficult financial situation for many months. I always ask one thing from my husband which is not to make me worried, because sometimes he can ignore my calls and texts for days. Once he disappeared for 3 weeks. I'm an extremely sensitive person and I love him so much, but as he works in a field with full of danger (and he doesn't hesitate to tell me who died there by this or that accident), my worries became abnormal. And when he gives me this silent treatment as well, wallahi, I emotionally suffer a lot. Then I blame him why he does it to me, why he doesn't want to make me feel safe. But he always has excuses, however, he knows perfectly that it is the only problem I have with him. (I don't ask for money or anything impossible, just not to worry me.) Last time, I said to him if he couldn't respect only this one thing I ask for, then it is better if he divorced me. I felt so desperate, but his answer shocked me. He called me by very impolite words, insulted my femininity, said that he will divorce me to kick me away from his life, etc. I ran out of words. I just got deeply hurt. But I know Allah loves those who can forgive, so after a couple of days, I tried to contact him again, but he closed his mobile and till now it's closed. I don't know if he wants to divorce me or when he is going to talk to me again. I'm quite new to Islam; therefore I don't have enough knowledge. I respect my husband, and I do it with love, but am I wrong if I want that he respects me also and doesn't worry me all the time? He says I can't be a good wife even though he gave me a million chances. I'm a human as well who makes mistakes, but I feel he has no respect towards me. Am I not a good wife, because I BEG him all the time no to worry me and fight with him as he disregards my request over and over again? Thank you for your answer.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

“Financially speaking, if you want to put forth more effort to keep this marriage together, with all of its faults and given that you and everyone in a marriage have the right to love and respect, you have the right to move in with your husband. He should financially support you. However, if you need to stay with your parents to care for them, which have a great reward with Allah, and he is unable to join you, then you need to assess whether you would like to go ahead and seek divorce.”

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As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

Thank you for your question and I am sorry to hear about this hurtful situation. As a new Muslim, I would first like to ensure that you know there are many verses in the Quran and ahadith which emphasize the importance of not harming oneself or others, of gentleness and kindness.

“There shall be no infliction of harm on oneself or on others.” (Ahmad), “Indeed gentleness does not enter into anything except it beautifies it nor is it removed from anything except that it makes it ugly.” (Muslim),

and

“Those in whose hearts is no mercy for others will not attain the mercy of Allah.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

All of these attributes in addition to others are even more important in a marriage which should be characterized by love, mercy, and tranquility as Allah tells us in the Quran:

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“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put Love and mercy between your (hearts), verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” [30:21]

Also, in a marriage, it is the husband’s responsibility to ensure he is taking care of his wife and his family as the Prophet says:

“All of your are custodians and will be asked about your charges. The Imam is a custodian and will be asked about his charges. The man is a custodian of his family and he will be asked about his charges. The woman is a custodian of her husband’s house and she will be asked about her charges…” (Bukhari)

I am not sure how the selection of your husband took place sister, but when considering marriage, the Prophet said:

“If one whose character and religion please you comes to you (with a proposal), you should marry him (to your single women). If you do not do so, there will be tribulations in the land and great corruption.” (Tirmidhi)

Therefore, there is a great emphasis on character and religion when a sister wants to choose a husband.

Also, a man said to Al-Hassan Al-Basriy: “To whom should I marry my daughter?” Al-Hassan said: “To one who fears Allah for if he comes to love her, he will honor her and if he dislikes her he will not oppress her.”  There are many other ahadith that point to the importance of treating women with kindness such as “Take care with regard to women. Verily, the woman was created from a rib and the most crooked part of the rib is the top. So, if you insist on straightening it you will only break it and if you leave it, it will remain crooked. So take care with regard to women.” (Bukhari)

as well as

“The best of you are those who are best with their families, and I am the best with my family.” (Tirmidhi).

With that said, if you feel that your marriage is not serving any of the purposes and meanings mentioned above and by you, if it causes you great emotional suffering, then you need to evaluate the situation, assess both the positives and the negatives in this relationship. Decide on how you would like to move forward.

Financially speaking, if you want to put forth more effort to keep this marriage together, with all of its faults and given that you and everyone in a marriage have the right to love and respect, you have the right to move in with your husband. He should financially support you. However, if you need to stay with your parents to care for them, which have a great reward with Allah, and he is unable to join you, then you need to assess whether you would like to go ahead and seek divorce.

Divorce is never an easy decision to make and has its own implications. However, remaining in a marriage that is causing you great emotional suffering could have even worse implications. Make du’aa’ (supplication) and pray the istikharah (guidance) prayer, asking Allah to guide you to what is best for you. Also, trust that if Allah takes something away, He will replace it with something better, in sha’ Allah as we are told in the Quran:

“Whoever fears Allah, Allah will find a way out for him (from every difficulty) and He will provide for him from sources that he could never have imagined.” [65:2-3]

I pray Allah (SWT) will make things easy for you, heal your hurt and shower you with His mercy.

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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.

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