Don’t Feel Ready for Marriage, but My Parents Pressurize Me

04 December, 2016
Q Salam. I am in a big problem. I want to know about forced marriage. I am 26 years old and have reached the age of marriage, but due to some mental problems, I don’t want to marry now. But my parents have become desperate for my marriage due to social pressure. Here in my country people believe that an aged girl won’t be able to get a good husband of rich family with good status. For a year I have been asking my parents to let me seek help from a psychologist for my mental issues to get prepared for making such a big decision in life, but they cannot understand me and pressure me to start seeing boys. This is really a big pressure on me which I don’t want to do now. Is this considered to be a forced marriage? Although I have reached the age to get married, don’t I have the right to decide myself when and whom to marry despite the social views? Please let me know how to deal with my parents! My father has got heart problem and high blood pressure, so I am also afraid of making him sick due to my decision. I feel so distressed!

Answer

Answer:

As-Salaam ‘Aleikum sister,

We are so glad that you have reached out for some help and advice on this very difficult subject. I know there are many, many girls who are in a similar position like you. I will try my best to advice you, in sha’ Allah.

Forced marriage is a practice in which a marriage takes place without the free consent of the individuals getting married; where pressure or abuse is used to “force” one or both people to marry against their will. Your parents are pressurizing you to get married when you don’t feel ready due to your mental problems. They should be more understanding.

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Your parents might have a lot of pressure from the community and the culture they live in which makes them desperate for you to get married. However, they can’t force you to marry if you don’t want to.

“O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit a clear immorality. And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.” (Quran 4:19)

You can explain to them why you want to wait for marriage. Having mental health problem is not healthy for you marriage, and you should address this to your parents. Trying to sort out your problems before marriage is a sensible idea, as mental health problem can have negative effects on the relationship and it can be hard to maintain the relationship. Seek some professional help and try getting better before you settle into a new life with a person.  Your health is most important. In sha’ Allah, things will get better for you.

Here are a few tips to deal with pressure from parents:

Have you own plan

For starters, decide what is best for you, be it further education, your health treatment, etc. Having a concrete plan will surely help you to have a meaningful reason when you speak to you parents.

Communicate

Always communicate with your parents, it is extremely important to make them understand. At the same time do not be defensive and rebellious with them. It is only going to aggravate the situation. Speak to them in good manner and respect them. Remember, as you feel pressurized by your parents, they might be feeling the same way from the society you live in. You both are in the same boat, so please don’t be hard on them.

Be confident

Whatever you decide to do, be confident and stick to it. Tell them about your plans about your treatment and be clear with them. They are your parents, and I am sure they love you and care about your health as much as you do.

Do not avoid your parents

They have always been there for you since you were little, and you should appreciate their concern. I am not supporting force marriage, but I think you should try to come to an agreement with them. For example, you can agree a suitable month next year when you can get married, until then you can sort out your health problems, In sha’ Allah. This way they will know it is plan and can help you looking for a suitable husband.

Pause and contemplate

Marriage is not something that should be rushed into. It is about your life, and you should not fall into any pressure. When the day’s done, sit down and think about what you want from life. Remember, that it is not a race.

 

The most important thing I can say to you, however, is to seek Allah’s (swt) help and advice. Do Istikharah; I am sure it will make things easier for you. Allah (swt) knows what is best for you, far better than you do.

I pray that everything gets better for you and that your parents show more understanding, In sha’ Allah.

Salam,

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