In this counseling answer:
• Speak with your husband to determine if he wants to heal the marriage.
• If he does, seek out counseling or a mediator. Practice non-confrontational communication and show support for his emotions.
• Communicate honestly with him about your feelings and desires.
• Seek out an Imam and make time to worship together.
• If he does not seek to heal the marriage, seek out a counselor for yourself.
• Identify a positive coping skill that will help you vent and deal with difficult emotions.
• Speak openly with your parents and work on healing yourself before you look for someone new.
Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatuulahi wa barakatu,
Thank you for trusting us and writing in with your marriage concerns.
Dear sister, let’s break these topics down.
To begin with, you mentioned getting pregnant then having health concerns. It is stressful to be pregnant, but of course, developing health issues creates even a more difficult situation. This is not something that he should use against you or blame it on you as your fault. This is the will of Allah (most honored, most revered) and a married couple should work together during these hardships.
As you mentioned being strict with shariah, in accordance with Islam if a family member or even a friend becomes ill, we should take care of them and serve their needs, Inshallah, to help them recover and become healthier. I sincerely hope your husband has helped you with your health struggles. If he did not, that is a red flag and it is not in line with Islam.
Please, understand, I am not a scholar so my advice regarding Islamic actions is not a fatwa and cannot be taken as one. Please refer to The Ask the Scholar section if you need legislation.
You mentioned he did not like your family and would not send you to them. Sister, please understand a spouse cannot keep their spouse from being a part of their family’s life.
Additionally, Muslims cannot cut ties with family unless it is dangerous, such as an abusive family member.
As you did not mention any type of abuse or danger with your family, your husband mustn’t keep you from them.
Financials and Separation
You mentioned that you are separated for 3 months and he has not sent any money or helped you during this period. Sister, this is his obligation under shariah to be your provider and maintainer.
It seems unjust that he asks you to do anything he wants to, yet he is not fulfilling your rights. Please understand this falls under abandonment as he has left you for 3 months without taking care of you.
Saving the Marriage
From your question, it seems you have a desire to repair your marriage inshallah and be with this man. It is very important you ask him how he feels. If he loves you and wants to fix the marriage then inshallah you can do this. If he expresses no desire to heal the marriage and wants to leave, then you cannot force it on him.
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If he expresses that he wants to stay married, then I suggest the following steps.
• Seek out a marriage counselor. This can be an Islamic counselor or secular, both can help with your marriage. This will ensure both of you learn healthy communication styles, how to handle marital disputes, set proper boundaries and have the ability to work through the pain of the past few years with an unbiased mediator. It will benefit both of you inshallah and your marriage. Our counselors can help you with the process.s
• If you do not utilize a counselor, I suggest finding a mediator. Someone that can help both of you talk about your concerns and keep things calm as well as respectful. This could be a trusted friend or family member. Ensure it is someone who has both of your better interests at heart.
When talking with your husband, utilize I-statements. Instead of saying “you abandoned me for months” you can say, “I felt abandoned and really hurt when you were gone for so long”. Both statements get the same main idea across, but the 2 nd one is less confrontational so he is less likely to get defensive.
• Validate his emotions during conversations. You can do this by using statements like “I understand you felt overwhelmed by what happened”.
• Let your husband know how his comments impact your emotions. If he threatens divorce as a way to argue, let him know “I feel very hurt and emotionally attacked when divorce/separation is said so often”.
• Create new memories. Think of activities you would both enjoy together and do them. For example, you could take a walk in nature or watch a funny movie together after sharing a meal from the same plate. The idea is to foster positive feelings and remind one another why you chose to get married.
• Ask an Imam you feel comfortable with to speak with both of you about marriage as well as about family. You mention he is a strict Muslim. Perhaps, he is unaware that it is not Islamic to deny your parents’ their rights in regards to you. He might also not be aware that he is obligated to financially support you even if he leaves you with your parents.
• Set aside time to worship together. Read the Quran together and practice your recitation. Go to the mosque during times it is not busy so you can pray together and discuss your religion.
Ending the Marriage
Sister, if he does not want to seek out marital help and says he doesn’t want to repair the marriage, then you must prepare yourself to move on.
Sometimes marriages just don’t work out and that is okay, it happens. Even during the time of the Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) and his companions (May Allah be pleased with them), people got divorced and remarried to other people. This is a part of human life; it doesn’t mean you won’t find love and it doesn’t mean you did anything wrong. It just means this marriage was not meant to last, but it was meant to teach you.
If he does not want to work on the marriage, then I suggest seeking out personal counseling. Please be aware you can do this online if you prefer to be home and have more privacy. You are already with your parents, so you have a safe place to heal, alhamdulillah. Talk to your parents and let them know what you struggle with.
Do not rush looking for a new marriage. It is better if you take time to heal and work on yourself before someone else. I also suggest finding a healthy coping skill to help you vent and cope with difficult times. Some examples of coping skills include gardening, exercise, creating art, prayer, singing or reading a book. Something that brings you joy and allows to release those negative emotions.
To summarize your next steps moving forward, sister.
Speak with your husband to determine if he wants to heal the marriage. If he does, seek out counseling or a mediator. Practice non-confrontational communication and show support for his emotions. Communicate honestly with him about your feelings and desires. Seek out an Imam and make time to worship together.
If he does not seek to heal the marriage, seek out a counselor for yourself. Identify a positive coping skill that will help you vent and deal with difficult emotions. Speak openly with your parents and work on healing yourself before you look for someone new.
I know this is a difficult time for you emotionally Sister, inshallah you will move forward and find happiness in marriage one day. May Allah (swt) heal you and your husband’s heart and guide you both to the best decision,
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.