I've been facing difficult circumstances in life. I had a very strict mother, no moral support in family. I feel stuck in career and personal life.
I'm not pessimistic but want some clarity and hope. There are a few aspects of my life where I feel completely lost and would like some guidance for:
Marriage: We live in a very small town. My family isn't sociable. Actually, my mother is very paranoid about socializing and leaving the house at all.
She refuses to move out of town to a better place. She won't even let me go out and hang around with my friends. She wants me to be in her surveillance 24/7.
The people here are mostly from villages that have moved to the city for some reason. So, it feels quite hard to meet someone who can turn out to be a good life partner, or even socialize with educated and decent families.
I want to get married and don't want to be humiliated during the process of being 'picked' by the families of a guy.
Also, I don't need someone too rich or handsome, but I do want someone pious, positive, loyal, and cherishing. I don't want to end up with someone who'd suffocate me for my whole life and with whom I won't have similar core values.
Online matrimonial sites are also full of scam. So, I don't know what perspective to adopt in the area of marriage.
It's quite confusing. I have a phobia of misogynist and abusive people, as this is what I’ve mostly seem the women in family face in marriages. So, I don't know where to find God-fearing life-partner.
Productivity and self-growth: I feel rather stuck in this area too. I do have a lot on my 'to-do' list, but I suffer from procrastination and lack of motivation.
Mostly, because I feel I need a little social exposure and the freedom to be with my friends sometimes. I feel it could do good to my motivation and creativity if I had the sense of being able to connect with likeminded human beings without the scrutiny and fear of my mother.
Another reason might be my fear of failure, my sense of being unworthy and useless. Whatever the reason, I don't know where to start.
Fear: As you can already tell, I can't stand up for myself. My mother's extreme behavior is wasting my life. But I don't know what to do.
I feel very weak and alone in this fight. I'll probably end up wasting my whole life if I let my mother control me forever. I don't know how to be better at decision making, because all decisions are taken by my mother.
In this counseling answer:
•Establish your boundaries; being an adult, know that you do not always need your parents’ consent, approval or permission to do what you want to do.
•Break down your bigger goals into small chunks.
•It’s Ok to make mistakes.
•Listen to your inner child who wants love, care and attention.
•Ask your friend’s circle to help you find a spouse.
As-Salamu Alaikum Sister,
From your post, it appears that you feel very sad and miserable in your current situation. In your post, you have mentioned three areas where you would like support – that is in marriage, being more productive and managing your fear about wasting your life.
You have also mentioned that the underlying cause of all the problems you are currently facing in life is because of your mother’s rigidity and controlling nature.
From your post, it sounds like your mother may have a very dominating personality – and she does not approve you of doing anything she does not like. It also sounds as though she fears your success.
Looking at things from her perspective; your doing well, or finding a partner would also mean that she is left all alone in her old age. So, perhaps she is consciously or unconsciously stopping you to find a good partner, mingle with friends, or pursue a career.
Considering your situation, here are a few suggestions I can give you to help you improve your current situation.
Establish Your Boundaries
As children, we are often taught the rights of our parents, and how we need to please and obey them all the time. While this is absolutely valid, sometimes you need to be able to draw a line where your parents are taking unlawful advantage of you or hindering you from experiencing your life.
You need to clarify, not just to yourself, but also to your mother about what your boundaries are and how much you are willing to bend.
You Do Not Always Need Your Mother’s Approval As An Adult
Sister, it seems like you are incapacitated by your mother’s fear. Be aware that you are an adult, and you have a right to your life. In our culture, it is often supposed and inculcated in girls that women cannot be independent till they are married.
On the contrary, I believe girls should also be encouraged to be independent and pursue their dreams; whether or not they get married.
Being an adult, know that you do not always need your parents’ consent, approval or permission to do what you want to do.
You Have the Right To Disagree
Another important thing that you should understand is that you are not a carbon copy of your mother, so you will naturally have different ideas, visions and dreams than your mother’s.
You need to let your mother’s thinking take a back seat and let your own thinking surface. You are just as capable of knowing what is right for you.
While conflict seems intimidating initially; but it is time that you stand up for yourself and disagree with your mother on things that hurt you, bother you or make you feel sad or lonely.
Set Achievable Goals
Sister, with regard to productivity and procrastination, I think it is important that you set small and achievable goals for yourself, instead of two or three big goals.
Break down your bigger goals into small chunks. This way goals become more achievable, in addition you also become more confident. Achieving small goals will make you happy.
Also, be sure to reward yourself after every milestone you have set for yourself.
Let Go of Perfectionism
A lot of times, the reason why we procrastinate is because we are striving for perfection.Know that it is okay to make mistakes.
Also, know that as humans we are bound to make mistakes, or have some flaws in whatever we do. Accept those flaws and “being human” whole heartedly. Once you accept this, you will notice that it will become easier for you to work on things.
Be Kind To Yourself
Sister, we all need validation and approval from others for who we are and what we do. It is evident that you do not have anyone give you emotional support. Such a situation often creates feelings of self-doubt, feelings of worthlessness and emotional neglect.
Therefore, it is important that you are there for yourself. Listen to your inner child who wants love, care and attention.
Finding an Appropriate Spouse
No matter how much we try to assess or control our choice of a future spouse, it is Allah SWT who determines what our future will entail.
Sister, we as humans are weak, and we cannot know the inside of a person until we marry them or live with them.
In the western world people spend years dating a person, to see if they would turn out to be a good spouse; and yet sometimes the marriage may not work.
Ask Allah SWT for guidance and mercy, and pray that He makes the way easy for you.
Allah SWT has made us all in pairs. And in the Quran Allah SWT says:
“Women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity” [24:26]
While your fear is not unreasonable, but ultimately the way to finding a good spouse is to let go of your fear and let people know that you intend to marry.
Ask your friend’s circle to help you find a spouse. Look out for a God-fearing person, and InshaAllah, since your intentions are good – you will be able to find the right partner.
Check out this counseling video
This Life is A Test
Sister, this life itself is a test. Allah SWT tests us all in different ways. Some people are tested through relationships, while others are tested through health, yet others by children or financial problems.
Allah Jalla Shahnuhu says in Quran,
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested?” [29:2]
The important thing to remember at each step of life is to be aware of what is expected from you in a particular situation by Allah SWT.
In another place in the Quran Allah SWT says,
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” [2:286].
I pray that may Allah SWT make everything easy for you.
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