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When to Declare Our Marriage to Parents?

10 January, 2022
Q Assalamualekum,

I met my husband 3 years ago and it truly was love at first sight. He was married before and has a child.

I myself am a converted Muslim with orthodox christian family .

When we started realizing that we truly wanted to be together we told our parents and family members and we both were denied of the idea.Afterwards we decided that we wanted to respect our parents and even though it hurt a lot we cut the ties completely.

Months later we ended up reconciling and getting married in two weeks on condition of us keeping it as a secret for a while.

Long story short, it’s been more than a while and every time my husband said that he wanted to marry a convert his family denied. And instead offered him to marry some other woman.


Answer


In this counseling session:

Difficulties in a marriage may seem to go against what marriage should be, but in fact, much of the time it is these difficulties that only make a marriage stronger.

Tests in a marriage provide an opportunity to develop qualities such as trust and bonding that are crucial to marital success in the long term. 


Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh 

Alhamdulilah, that you did the right thing in breaking ties at first when you realized that you didn’t have your families support at the time as this could have saved you both from landing into a sinful relationship.

Family support

It is unfortunate that you were unable to win family support and had to marry in secret, but at least you did the right thing in marrying rather than having illicit relations with one another that would have been sinful in the shoulders of you both.

When to Declare Our Marriage to Parents? - About Islam

However, there are still problems with the in-laws and this is causing you great distress, especially when they would like your husband to be with you and have someone else in mind for him. By now, it is becoming very frustrating for you and understandably so. 

Patience

You have been patient until now, but it is now getting to a ton of frustrating points for you. You are now faced with either pressuring him to tell declare that you are married and potentially risking making things difficult between the 2 of you.

Or just remaining patient for some time longer, but at your own detriment and risk damaging your own psychological well-being. Both are options that are going to cause some kind of problems either way so is something for you to consider very carefully. 

Contemplate

Take time to contemplate your options in private, away from distractions where you can think clearly about how to best approach it as well as the potential consequences and how you would deal with them. Consider the pros and cons of each option and leave it aside for a short time before contemplating again.

It may also open the doors mentally to some kind of middle course that suits both you and he. Doing this will prevent you diving in, possibly irrationally in the moment. Giving yourself space to fully consider your options will make you more confident in what to do and be able to approach the matter more confidently and calmly. 


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Declare

If your marriage is to ever work and win the acceptance of each other’s families, it will eventually need to be made public to them. Considering their thoughts on the matter, this is something to be done tactfully to ensure maintained relations.

This may be uncomfortable at first and you will both need to be prepared for this, but with time and getting to know each other and feel comfortable with each other things will get better, in sha Allah once the first hurdle is cleared.

Teamwork

This requires teamwork between you and your husband. And discussion beforehand to ensure you approach it together with a strength that won’t be broken by others who are against your marriage to begin with. Of course, to take this approach would require you to bring the matter up with him.

You don’t want him to feel like you’re pressuring him otherwise it may cause problems between you, but at the same time, if you don’t speak up he may never do anything about it and you will be forced to remain silent about it unless he decides to make that move himself.

Middle ground

Perhaps a middle ground you could draw for yourself before approaching him is to mentally set a time frame for him to do so without approaching him on the matter and if he doesn’t then prepare to be the one to initiate the conversion with him.

This will also give you the time to think about the best way to approach him without feeling like you are pressuring him. By then you will also be clearly able to say that you have been patient enough and waited long enough. 

Another middle ground, once you have reached the point where you are able to discuss it together is to get the support of someone who his family respects and responds well to. Someone who can either soften them to the thought of the 2 of you, or who can be with you when you declare to them about it yourselves.

Be prepared that when this moment comes, they may feel somewhat betrayed that all this happened behind their backs, but perhaps with someone to support you both they will take it more easily. 

Relationship

As difficult as this situation is for you, try not to make it the thing that dominates everything about your relationship otherwise it may cause unnecessary strain on both of you. Continue to make time for other things between doing things that you enjoy doing together as a couple and maintaining the love between you. 

Regardless of the route you take, the most important thing is open communication between you and your husband if this is to work. Even aside from this situation, communication is so important in keeping a marriage strong and stable.

Alhamdulilah, perhaps this very situation has been placed in your way to forge the very development of this quality in your marriage, that without would likely struggle. Likewise, although this is a very difficult situation for your marriage to first in these early days, it is also an opportunity for you to strengthen your marriage right from the start. And build strong foundations for the marriage moving forward.

Conclusion

Difficulties in a marriage may seem to go against what marriage should be, but in fact, much of the time it is these difficulties that only make a marriage stronger; stronger that it would have been if not faced with such challenges. Tests in a marriage provide an opportunity to develop qualities such as trust and bonding that are crucial to marital success in the long term. 

May Allah make this present challenge a source of strength in your marriage. May He guide you to do what is best for you all and most pleasing to Him. May He continue to make you the coolness of each other’s eyes in this life and the next.

Salam,

***

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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris
Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)