In this counseling answer:
• I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah, you try to look at your situation from a different perspective. You do have a job. You are striving to support her. You are a pious brother. However, she wants a home. Nowhere in the Qur’an does it state that you must buy a home. You must provide a place for her to live and you’ve done that.
• Please do keep your counseling sessions with your counselor as it will be a very important time for you to have support.
• I’d like you to write down three things that you would like to attain. I would also like you to write down a list of the qualities that you have, that is wonderful.
Assalamu Alaikum dear brother,
I’m sorry to hear about all the issues you’re going through with your marriage. It’s puzzling why your wife does not want to live in an apartment. It is better insha’Allah as you know, for the both of you to live together as husband and wife. It is not healthy for a marriage when the husband and wife live apart unless it is a critical situation like your job is in another area. Even in those cases, living separately should not be prolonged.
Living Together vs. Living Apart
While it is nice to have a home in your name, it often takes many years to attain that. Everyone’s situation is a different brother, and that doesn’t make you any less of a person if you do not have your own home. Part of the fun in a marriage is going through the struggles and joys together.
Most couples while living in an apartment with a set goal to get home, struggle together to take care of the children, to work and partake in daily life tasks. This can be a bonding experience as well as a fulfilling one. It makes it more meaningful when a couple finally reaches the goal of attaining a home together. It makes the success all that sweeter.
Nonetheless, your wife has chosen not to live with you because of the apartment situation. This is sad indeed as well as inconsiderate on her part. It is understandable that it has affected you psychologically. I can imagine it would make you very moody, frustrated and angry. I think that is a natural reaction.
I am wondering brother, prior to your marriage did you discuss your living arrangements? While it is too late now, these are some points that should have been discussed prior to getting married. However, one does not imagine that a spouse would not live with them because it is not a home with their name on it. We assume that when we get married we will live together unless otherwise agreed upon.
Married but Only on Paper
From what you described, your wife stays at your mom’s during the week and you see her on the weekends. You both use SMS or other messaging means. You further mentioned that she does not pray nor try to practice Islam. This is not acceptable. She also took a new job which is close to her home at her mother’s.
It appears she intends on staying there. You try to get the best accommodation to satisfy her and make her happy. She still prefers living at her moms and sleeping in her mom’s bed. I can imagine how this is frustrating to you as a husband. Her love and commitment to you should be based on your marriage vows and Islam- not on what you have or don’t have. It appears that your marital interactions occur only on text messages and sometimes seeing each other on the weekend.
Brother, I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah, you try to look at your situation from a different perspective. You do have a job. You are striving to support her. You are a pious brother. However, she wants a home. Nowhere in the Qur’an does it state that you must buy a home. You must provide a place for her to live and you’ve done that.
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You have tried to provide very nice homes for her. Perhaps your wife was too immature to be married, or possibly she is just selfish, I am not sure. May Allah forgive me if I’m wrong. The way you described the situation it does seems like she still wants to live at home, and she’s not really interested in being a wife at this point in her life. As she is not praying or attempting to follow Islam, the notion of a loving, Islamic marriage is unknown to her. Her not praying and seeking an Islamic life brother is a big part of the problem.
You both have gone to counseling and it didn’t help, and you have tried talking with her with no resolution. It is time for you to decide if you want to continue this marriage.
Unfulfilled Marriage & Negative Feelings
Brother, you mentioned in your question wanting to beat her as you are so upset. You know this is not Islamic dear brother and I trust that you will follow the sunnah of our beloved Prophet (pbuh) when you have thoughts such as these. The anger is justified, but harming your wife is not. It is the whisperings of the shaitan who is trying to make you think and do things you know are wrong. You are responsible for your reactions.
De-Stressing your Mind and Gathering your Thoughts
Brother, one day when you have time, please do sit down and relax your mind. Take a few deep breaths in through your nose, and slowly exhale through your mouth. I want to pick a focal point in the apartment that doesn’t remind you of anything. Perhaps just a blank wall or Islamic calligraphy.
Try to clear your mind of all thoughts insha’Allah. You may want to do dhkzir (remembrance) to attain this mental and emotional state, as a remembrance of Allah is healing. Try to clear your mind. You have a lot on your mind and you’re worried about a lot of things. You’re experiencing much pain, depression, and anger. It’s important that you have some time every day to de-stress.
After you have cleared your mind, I want you to focus on three things that you would like for yourself for the near future. Insha’Allah, please try to stay focused on you. I know you love your wife very much and you would love for her to live with you but put that aside for now. What would you like to do or attain within the next few years? Would it be a different job, moving, advancing your career, taking up an enjoyable hobby, or another goal?
I’d like you to write down three things that you would like to attain. I would also like you to write down a list of the qualities that you have, that is wonderful. It could even be as small as smiling at someone because you’re polite. Make a list of all your good qualities and points. Next, please make a list of the ways that Allah has blessed you.
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I am sure that you will have a long list to reflect upon. Dear brother I would like you to look at your list daily insha’Allah. Add to your list as you see fit. This process inshallah, will help you to see things from a bigger viewpoint.
A decision needs to be made
Up until now, the past three years your life has been wrapped up in trying to please your wife, trying to hurry up and buy a home so she will live with you. It has been a lonely, frustrating and depressing chapter of your life. It is time you thought about your own self and your direction in life. This is not a healthy or productive situation.
In fact, it is harming you. I tend to agree with your counselor. He asked you if you really want to spend the next 20 years doing this. Do you? I think you deserve better. Given your reactions to all this pain and disappointment, it is even affecting your Islam, so it is a serious matter.
After you have completed a few weeks of practicing stress reduction as well as writing and reflecting upon your list of goals good points and blessings, insha’Allah you will have a deeper clarification about which way you want to move with your life. Perhaps you can speak to your wife one more time and tell her that you would like to try to make the marriage work.
Insha’Allah, the first two conditions are that she begins to pray/practice Islam and that she lives with you. If she refuses, you at least know you tried. You do have the option to divorce. As you know Allah hates divorce however there are certain circumstances in which we are permitted to divorce. You are basically living as a single man.
Your wife is not with you and she refuses to live with you. She is denying you of your rights, the things that having a wife provides for. As you stated, it has begun to affect your prayers and your feelings towards other women. Naturally you wish that you could have your wife, however, she refuses to be there for you. More importantly, it’s affecting your Islam and your relationship with Allah (SWT).
When we get married, it is our hope that we choose somebody who will be good for our religion. From what you have illustrated, the relationship is not good for your religion and it has damaged your self-esteem. It has made you feel angry and hurt. This is not what Allah intends for marriage.
I understand you love her and divorce is not what you want. However, if you have tried everything to resolve the situation and she does not respond, this may be the only option left. I ask you to contemplate this option after speaking with her about the seriousness of it. I kindly suggest that you make istikhara prayer (asking for guidance) regarding this decision.
Should you decide to proceed with a divorce, I also ask that you look at this as a fresh start in life. It will take some time for you to heal from this whole experience. It has only been three years since you married her. You are still young and insha’Allah, you will meet a wonderful, pious woman who would love to be your wife and live with you. When we put Islam first, we never know what blessings Allah has for us.
Allah Loves You
In the midst have all this pain and hurt, please know that Allah does love you very much. Oftentimes when things do not go the way that we want, and we keep banging on a door for it to open and it does not open there’s a reason for it. Trust in Allah and depend on Him for guidance throughout all of this.
Please do keep your counseling sessions with your counselor as it will be a very important time for you to have support. Continue to go to the Masjid and try to go out with the brothers for social times. We all need friends and a balance in life, especially when we are going through hard times.
Please reach out to those who are truly there for you.
Lastly, please remember this is not something that you’re doing to hurt her or the family. You are exerting your rights over your own life. You do deserve to have an Islamic marriage which has love, mercy, kindness, and companionship. It is your choice. We wish you the best, you’re in our prayers.
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.