I’ve always wanted to move abroad and get away from my life in America. Both my husband and I used to live a very free lifestyle there. Since moving overseas, I feel like I got closer to Islam and became a hijabi. Life is different here. I’m starting over. There are of course ups and downs. However, I’ve learnt patience through the everyday difficulties, and I feel more positive here.
Even though I enjoy living abroad, I feel like I have not considered how my children may feel. We used to cater to all of their wishes; hence, our current financial struggles make life very stressful. My oldest hated being here and moved back to the US to attend Community College there, while my 18 year old wants to move back. I want to follow them but my husband convinced me to stay with him and our youngest.
My family and friends are trying to convince me to leave my husband and move back to the US for my teenagers. They say the boys are still young and need guidance. However, I speak to them several times every day. Furthermore, my whole family is there and checking on them. I feel like I’m put in a situation where I need to choose between my children and my husband.
Even though we lived a free lifestyle in the US, my children did get an Islamic education there, and they pray. However, their friends and the lifestyle is still around them which worries me. My family is not very religious either.
My husband is the type of person who cares a lot about what others think of him. He has wasted a lot of money and energy on this. He has a good heart but is also stubborn. He has changed since the move, and has been helping me around the home much more.
He thinks our children need to learn responsibility. He went to counseling. However, he still thinks that the children are trying to control him which he will not allow. I tried to explain to him that they were born and raised in the US and our move and current circumstances are a dramatic change for them.
My children and I were born and raised in the US, while my husband has lived there for 24 years. Due to his credit being bad and the repercussions of that, he refuses to ever go back. This may be a problem. Our financial situation is still bad. However, my husband got a job in our new country already but I am still waiting for my work visa.
I would like guidance on what to do with my teenagers and family. I tried to pray istikhara but my mind and thoughts are scattered, and I feel lost. Please advise.
Sister, please do examine the pros and cons of moving back to the US either now or later date. Give your new country that you’re living in a chance.
I do not suggest moving back just for your two teenage sons. They are both adults now and seem to be headed in the direction of college, independence and starting their lives as young men.
At this point, insha’Allah try to think of how staying/leaving can strengthen your Islam, your marriage and your family.
You must decide insha’Allah if this is a good move for you too. Only you can determine if this is a right or wrong move for you. We wish you the best.
May Allah swt guide us in our response to you. As I understand the current situation you have moved to an Islamic country. Your initially moved alone with your six-year-old child as you and your husband owned a house there.
Your two teenage children aged 18 and 19 did come later, and your husband eventually joined you as his business in the US failed. Since settling in your new country of residence, your eldest child has left to come back to the US., and your older son who is 18 does not want to remain there either. You feel torn.
The Good Points
Sister, your oldest son who moved back to the US is already enrolled in Community College, and has regular contact with your family there. He appears to be settled and doing well.
Your husband appears to be doing better in the new country, and is not focused on other things such as trying to impress others as you stated. He is also being a better husband by helping out more around the home, and going for counseling alhumdulilah.
Since you have moved there, you feel like you are keeping your prayers; you are away from things that may lead to haram acts, and you feel that you have grown in Islam. These are very important points especially when it comes to practicing Islam, pleasing Allah and growing as a Muslim. You also outlined some difficult points.
Sister, you stated that you feel very torn and like you should come back to the US for your children. The youngest one (6) is with you, but your 18 year old son wishes to go back as his 19 year old brother did. You don’t want your children to feel like you left them, your husband on the other hand feels the children are trying to control him.
There is also the issue of missing family, friends and a familiar community and culture. I am sure there is a lot to get used to in a new country, and it may feel overwhelming or even lonely at times. I am not sure how long you have lived there or what your family/social circle is like but perhaps you are homesick as well. This is normal.
Your Sons’ Decisions
Sister, as parents we worry about our children no matter what their ages are. However, as they are 18 and 19 year olds, they are young adults. You will always worry about them and want to look out for them, but they are considered grown now Islamically. You have given them a solid foundation in Islam, they even went to an Islamic school when they were young.
Their desire to go back to the US is just that, their choice. It is not surprising, as everything they are familiar with is in the US. The oldest one obviously had a plan to complete college which he has already initiated by enrolling in a community college.
They were perhaps not ready for a big adjustment such as moving to another country. While the move may be good for your husband and his career, perhaps your sons feel more comfortable and have more ties and opportunities where they grew up in the US.
Trying to Make Good Decisions
Sister, it is quite apparent that you love your children very much, I’m sure they know this. Given that they are young adults now starting college, jobs and so forth, it really does not make any sense for you to move back to the US unless you personally would like to.
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There are questions that you would need to ask yourself as well as discuss with your husband. These questions would have to do with happiness, ease of living, adjusting to a new culture, missing family and friends, as well as your Islamic growth and financial future. All of these are important aspects to consider when deciding to move back.
It seems that your husband has already made up his mind based on his failed business, resulting in poor credit scores. He may be fearful that this will limit him and you in any effort you may make to get re-established. This may be true, it may be harder with poor credit; however, is not impossible.
Your husband may also be more familiar with the country you are now living in than you are. Therefore, he feels he may be more comfortable and feel more successful there. As you and your children were born and raised in the US, that is what you knew and what you are comfortable with.
Good Points and Negative Points
You pointed out that living in your new country has good points and negative points, and things to get used to. You have great insight when you stated that no matter where you live there is always good and bad. This is so true.
Some say that living in an Islamic country makes it easier to follow Islam than living in a non-Islamic country. Those that live in a non-Islamic country do face greater tests and trials, and perhaps this makes them stronger Muslims on the long run.
With all the changes that can occur when one moves to another country, it is understandable that you are torn regarding whether to live in the country where you have recently settled, or to go home. This may be especially true since your two oldest sons do not want to live here.
Making a List
Sister, I encourage you to make duaa to Allah and istakharra prayer regarding your situation. Allah knows best, and surely He will guide you regarding a decision.
In addition, make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of you and your husband staying. Discuss this with your husband, and try to make a decision based on what is best for the family as well as where your heart lies.
This is important because if you are truly not happy there or feel that this is not the place Allah has for you, it will eventually affect your marriage.
I am not sure what initiated the move in the first place; however, now that you are there perhaps this is an opportunity to strengthen your relationship with Allah and to increase your knowledge of Islam. Perhaps you will find over time that you have greater peace and contentment there and you may wish to stay.
It may also be that you miss your family and friends very much and you cannot get used to the different culture and you decide to go back. It could be that your husband may agree to live there for a few years to get back on track with his finances and career, while you study Islam and grow in knowledge and iman.
If you and your husband do decide to go back to the US eventually, perhaps you both will come back with a greater sense of unity, strength, and determination to live a more Islamic lifestyle. This move could be seen as a blessing in this way.
Perhaps you can speak with your husband to see if it is possible to stay there for a few years and come back to the US. In any event, I do not advise leaving him (unless he agrees) as he seems like a good husband, one who is trying to make your marriage and family life work.
Husband’s Possible Reasons for Staying
Your husband may be reluctant to go back to the US because of the failed business and poor credit scores; however, that is not something he should ignore. Rather, he should try to resolve it so he can move forward no matter where he lives.
It also seems that this move has been beneficial for your husband as you stated that he is getting counseling and is generally a better husband to you. This may be because he does not have the stress of the business or worries about finances like he did in the US.
On the other hand, he may now realize that the true values of a successful marriage and homelife lie within Islam and family, and seek to be more Islamic with his relationship to the marriage. Perhaps in this sense, he views this move as a fresh start.
Sister, please do examine the pros and cons of moving back to the US either now or later date. Give your new country that you’re living in a chance. It takes time to acclimate to a new culture.
I do not suggest moving back just for your two teenage sons. They are both adults now and seem to be headed in the direction of college, independence and starting their lives as young men. They do know you love them very much and your oldest seems to be making his way regardless of the distance.
Sister, moving to another country can be very stressful as well as lonely as you have to recreate all of the connections that you had in your home country. Insha’Allah give it some time, weigh the benefits and negatives. Speak with your husband about a possible compromise of staying for a few years if you cannot adjust.
Your sons know you love them, Sister. At this point, insha’Allah try to think of how staying/leaving can strengthen your Islam, your marriage and your family. Only you can decide, Sister whether or not this move will continue to be possible for you.
It is good that your husband is very happy there; however, how you feel matters as well. You must decide insha’Allah if this is a good move for you too. Only you can determine if this is a right or wrong move for you.
We wish you the best.
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