I want to get married to this man whom I have known for nearly six years. He lives in a different country than mine. We told our parents and our families of our intentions and they said they will go along with getting us married even though they are not happy about it.
The families are very different: I am from a somewhat dysfunctional family and my fiancé is from a very happy one. The problem is that I have graduated and have a good job, ma sha’ Allah. My fiancé, due to some problems, is, in sha’ Allah, going to graduate in May. We love each other and have waited so long to be together. We have been so patient. We told our parents two years ago about this. His family says that we cannot marry until he has a good job, which will be in about 2-3 years. I am 24 years old and we do not want to wait that long. We suggested to his parents that they could make our nikkah (marriage contract) now, then I could go to live with him when he has a good job. I would not mind waiting because we would have our nikkah and I could go to see him freely.
However, his parents said they could not agree to this and insist we wait three years. They say that my fiancé is not responsible enough, even though at the moment he is living away from his family at school. I just wanted us to do our nikkah so that we would not be sinning when we talk to each other and meet each other, but his family just does not want to do it. I know if his family suggested it to my parents they would agree.
My parents are not really happy with me finding a husband for myself. They think I am very bad and I have had to endure two years of mental abuse, particularly from my mother who has never shown me any love in my life. She still says she will never accept this marriage and she wishes I had died when I was a baby.
My dad, even though is not happy, says that if it is what I want then it is fine. However, I am so unhappy living at home and I find no love from my parents, particularly my mother—she has always been uncaring towards me all my life. I have had a very unhappy life so far and that is one reason why I want to marry my fiancé urgently. My fiancé and I are thinking of making our nikkah without telling our families. I am thinking of leaving my family after we make our nikkah.
Please advise me on what you think.
In this counseling answer:
• Are you mentally and emotionally prepared to get married? You need to step back from the situation and attempt to answer some of the questions we have posed to you. Write down your responses. Review them.
• Talk to your fiancé. Are you satisfied with his defense of himself?
• Seek out professional help to resolve some of your childhood experiences.
• Strengthen your relationship with Allah (swt) through prayer, fasting, and giving charity regularly.
• In preparation for your marriage, learn about the rights and responsibilities of husbands and wives.
May Allah (swt) Most High guide you and grant you the strength and perseverance you will need to choose what is best for your faith, your family, and your future.
We understand how fed-up you are after having waited so long to marry your fiancé. However, in the following advice, we suggest that perhaps you should think twice before making another move.
First, we want you to spend time getting to know yourself and answer the question: why am I in such a rush to get married? You have talked about how your parents are uncaring and how you “find no love from my parents.”
Being a victim of mental and emotional abuse is not something that one can resolve on one’s own. You need professional help to process your feelings of anger, frustration, and shame. We fear you are emotionally scarred due to your mother’s abusive treatment and her saying things like she wishes you had died as a baby. You then go on to say that you have had a very unhappy life and you really want to leave home and that “is one reason why I want to marry my finance urgently.”
Re-read this point over and over again. Do you see how awkward it sounds for you to be saying that you are in rush to get married and move out of the house because of unresolved issues with your parents? Are you mentally and emotionally prepared to get married? You need to step back from the situation and attempt to answer some of the questions we have posed to you. Write down your responses. Review them. Are you ready to get married?
Second, you say very little about what your fiancé thinks about all this, but you say a lot about what his parents want or do not want. That is very odd. If you are such a strong proponent of getting married soon, how does your fiancé feel? Why have you not mentioned him? What does it matter if his parents do not think he is responsible? Why have you not shared with us any attempts at your fiancé standing up for himself, or defending his own ability to be responsible and to take care of you, in sha’ Allah?
We are sure he and you must know that more emphasis is placed on the woman and the involvement of her guardian. When it comes down to it, there is almost no stipulation in Islam for your fiancé to have his parent’s permission to get married. So what gives? Talk to your fiancé. Are you satisfied with his defense of himself?
Third, you have said clearly that neither family is happy about the marriage, and so the obvious question then is does it really matter to you that they are not happy about the marriage? Based on what you have written, it does not seem to matter to you whether or not your parents are happy. You are unhappy and have not resolved fully your relationship with your parents. If your mother is never going to be happy and your father has given a silent nod, then you could get married. But then the question would be what kind of a relationship, if any, will you have with your parents after the marriage?
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And again, you make no mention of how your fiancé feels about marrying without informing his parents. It is important that you do not pressure him into disregarding his parents’ wishes because in time he will come to resent you for doing that. We cannot foresee a situation where it would be acceptable to get married without informing your respective parents.
Finally, it is important to feel loved. It is your right to feel loved. However, it seems you have been tested by Allah (swt) with parents who did not love you and who instead abused you emotionally and verbally. May Allah (swt) grant you comfort and solace.
We suggest strongly that you seek out professional help to resolve some of your childhood experiences. Strengthen your relationship with Allah (swt) through prayer, fasting, and giving charity regularly.
In preparation for your marriage, learn about the rights and responsibilities of husbands and wives. Before making your final decision to marry, turn to Allah (swt) through the Istikharah Prayer (supplication for guidance in making a decision) and seek His guidance. Make du`aa’ (supplication) to Allah (swt) to grant you a husband who is a blessing for your faith, your family, and your future!
And Allah (swt) knows best,
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 be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.