I Want to Escape from My Family Home

28 September, 2020
Q Assalam alaikum.

I'm 20 years old. I'm currently a high school student in my last year Alhamdulillah. I do not have any mahram apart from my father in the country that I live in.

He is the main person because of whom I cannot get married. There are many reasons I want to find someone suitable to marry. Apart from fulfilling a sunnah that completes half of the deen of a person.

I've grown up in an abusive household where close family members turn out to be oppressive, namely my father and my grandparents; I thought if I could get married I wouldn't be oppressed by my family anymore. Moreover I could start life anew with a peaceful mind : these are my actual intentions 1) to escape oppression from family members 2) to follow the sunnah of prophet Muhammad s.a.w.

But no matter how much I beg my mother to open up about me getting married (since my father doesn't want any good for me anyways, so I figured no use asking him) they simply keep refusing.

Another problem is since I'm a final year student, there is no possibility of marriage till I completed higher studies and only Allah knows how long it will take to complete my education. Moreover in the background I grew up in it is considered a social norm to marry at an older age, in fact some of my relatives still haven't allowed their children to marry say for example because they are assumed to be too poor to provide for their wife, so even if their past their 30s or they are doing a decent job it doesn't matter till he gets a promotion.

Another problem is it's difficult to find someone to marry, as I'm almost invisible on social media. I don't have any pictures of myself that are public so that I can uphold my privacy. Also my friends are few. I don't mix with too many people as I'm happy to have few friends whom I can deeply trust. In this way I can't find someone compatible to marry.

Also if there is someone I'd like to marry I can't yet tell them out of constant fear that they might think I'm either too desperate or refuse simply due to any unrealistic expectations they might have.

It feels like all my paths in life to get married are blocked and there are no end to my obstacles. Insha allah I'm working hard to complete my last year of school. But, I don't know if I will ever get married after that.

Moreover due to family problems and financial difficulties I'm not sure I can ever go to university to get my mind off marriage for a while. Please advise.

Answer


In this counseling answer:

  • Don’t rush marriage as an escape mechanism.
  • Consider getting a job or finding a way to attend University to get out of the house more.
  • You can consider seeking independence and working towards your own home.
  • Spend more time with hobbies that bring you happiness.
  • Identify 3 positive coping skills.
  • Speak gently with family about your feelings.
  • You may want to consider counseling for your family as well as personal counseling.

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatuulahi wa barakatu.

 Thank you for writing in and sharing your concerns with us. It is my understanding you are finishing high school, want to get married soon in order to escape from your family, and be a part of the sunnah of marriages.

I understand it is difficult for you at home and you disagree with the family practice of not allowing marriage until they have sufficient money, even if this means waiting into the ’30s. 

Escaping

Sister, marriage should not be rushed. If you seek out marriage and know you’ll be happier getting married then you can work towards this but it is not advisable to marry the first person you find attractive or think can help you escape your parents. This could land you in another abusive situation that is difficult to get out of. 

You mentioned financial and family difficulties making it difficult to attend University after high school. Sister this is an opportunity for you to branch out and meet people. If you cannot attend University then seek out a job.

Think about the career future you want and get a job that lines up with this or if you do want to attend University one day then you can get a job that lines you up for that type of degree.

While working you are likely to meet new people and possibly a potential spouse. Even if you don’t meet a potential spouse you’ll make new friends and this can help you escape from your home more often. 

If you want to attend University, you can also consider finding jobs that help pay for your schooling.

Some organizations will help finance someone’s education if they agree to work for them for X amount of years after graduating. University and/or working are great ways to expand your social connections and get away from the house more often. 


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Independence

Sister, you do not have to rely on a man to move out of the house. While you may not have the finances right now to facilitate this, you can work towards saving money and giving yourself independence instead of depending on a man to save you.

Typically this will require you to get a decent job and may require schooling dependent on the career path you choose. If you move out independently then you are not risking putting yourself into another unhappy home because it will be the home you manifested. 

Hobbies

Sister, you may also consider taking on a new hobby to get your mind off of family issues and marriage. For example, if you enjoy photography then you could dive more into this and try to develop your craft.

Hobbies are positive ways to redirect our thought patterns to something positive and they give us a positive coping skill that helps us manage our emotions. 

Think about what activities you enjoy doing and which ones you could feasibly do more often. This is also another way to expand your social network as you may meet more people involved in the same hobby and interests. 

Stress

You also mentioned that you want to live a stress-free life. Sister, I must be honest with you. Marriage is also stressful, while it should not be abusive, and living in abuse is not acceptable, life is never truly stress-free. You will always have to deal with life’s stressors and difficulties, but you can learn how to cope with them in a healthy manner and move forward with a happier quality of life. 

I encourage you to identify 3 positive coping skills that help you manage your emotions, feel happier and let go of stress. They can be anything that works for you as an individual. Here are a few examples of coping skills, feel free to try any of them and incorporate your own. 

  • Exercise
  • Nature walks
  • Prayer
  • Dancing
  • Photography
  • Drawing
  • Cooking
  • Walking animals
  • Writing poetry
  • Hot baths

Family Communication

I would also encourage you to consider how to improve family dynamics. This is up to you to decide if you are comfortable with this. You can speak to your family about how you feel in a gentle manner. Perhaps with a mediator like a trusted family member that understands your perspective.

During these conversations trying to get closer with family, I encourage you to use I-statements such as “I feel pressure to stay home when I want to attend University or get married” instead of “you make me feel pressured and upset”. 

Utilize active listening skills to try and understand their perspective. This looks like putting down all distractions, such as phones. Look them in the eye and allow them to finish their statements before you respond. 

Counseling

You and your family can also consider family therapy. A professional counselor can help all of you understand the toxic communication patterns and how to fix these. A counselor can also help your family better understand your needs and why you don’t feel happy right now.

This can be done in person or in the comfort of your home with online counseling. Islamic counselors is available to provide an Islamic perspective combined with psychology. I suggest Noor Human Consulting as one online option for Islamic counseling. 

I Want to Escape from My Family Home - About Islam

I also encourage you to consider personal counseling if you feel it is too difficult to navigate all of this on your brown right now. Again, you can do this privately from home if more comfortable with online counseling versus face to face. 

Final Thoughts

My dearest Sister, here is a summary of your next steps as you move forward towards a happier and better quality of life. 

  • Don’t rush marriage as an escape mechanism
  • Consider getting a job or finding a way to attend University to get out of the house more
  • You can consider seeking independence and working towards your own home
  • Spend more time with hobbies that bring you happiness
  • Identify 3 positive coping skills
  • Speak gently with family about your feelings
  • You may want to consider counseling for your family as well as personal counseling

Inshallah you can find this situation easier and find a healthy way to manage your emotions. May Allah (swt) protect you and guide your choices, ameen.

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 Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"