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Marriage & Family (Counseling Live Session)

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Marriage & Family (Counseling Live Session) - About Islam

Due to the counselor’s limited capacity of answering questions, here are the 3 questions that our counselor has provided an answer for.

We apologize for not responding all the other concerns.

If you have not received an answer below at this time, please submit your question to one of our upcoming live session.

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Question 1. I’m not attracted to the girl I’m engaged with

Few months back, my mother chose a girl for me who was average looking and 11 years younger than me, planning to get admission in university, on the other hand, I’m a well-established software engineer, who earns handsome amount, which is more than enough to live a happy life. After getting so many rejections from other girls, I decided to go with this girl compromising on looks, so much so that I don’t feel attracted to her, but somehow I accepted this proposal and ended up engaged with her, now I regret this decision, even before engagement I asked my mother to stop proceeding with this proposal as I don’t feel attracted to her but yet we did, now after engagement I am feeling regretful, stressful, anxiety and depressed that I won’t be able to live a happy life with her even after marriage. It feels like if I’m not happy now, I would never be happy after marriage and this marriage will turn out to be a mess for both of us. Now, at this stage, I am thinking of breaking up the engagement which was happened just last week, and since then I’m in stress and anxiety, I don’t feel hungry, I cannot work, just because of this thought of breaking up would break her heart and she might curse me, and the consequences of this decision would damage me in the long run, in other word, I’m afraid of Allah’s wrath on me (God Forbid), but on the other hand, I am thinking that it would be a better choice to end the engagement than the marriage. So my question is that, should I go with the marriage and try to reconcile and compromise over my desire or end the engagement here breaking her heart? As for breaking the engagement, the whole world would turn against me due to the social stigma.

Answer:

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

This is a difficult decision to make as it is one that you will have to live with for the rest of your life. It is therefore understandable that you are feeling much anxiety, This is why it is very important that you really take the time to sit and think about what to do here. At present, even though you are engaged, you are not actually married and are therefore not committed to her and you do have the option to walk away. Take some time to consider the consequences either way.

Keep in mind that love is not always something that happens overnight. It takes time and experience together to grow. It wouldn’t be unusual not to feel attracted to someone or have feelings towards them when you haven’t gotten to know them yet. You may get married to her and that lived experience with her will turn to a love beyond what you ever imagined. With that love would then come attraction and you would see things in her that you didn’t before. Of course there is a chance that this may not happen also, but its important that you open your eyes to beyond what you are seeing now. At the moment it seems you are judging her solely based on her looks, but what about her other important quailities? Is she a God-fearing woman that will be a good wife and mother to your children. Is she kind and respectful? Will she treat you well and maintain your rights? If so, then you should ask yourself if her looks are really that important after all because she is a good person and then maybe you should go ahead with the marriage.

On the other hand, like I said, you are not obliged to her and can walk away with no consequences. You have the right to do so. I understand that you may break her heart, but she too should also understand that until you are married there is no commitment on either of your parts. Maybe there would be some social stigma involved, but you must also think of your own wellbeing too and if a life with someone that you don’t love would be the consequence of avoiding the stigma, then you must ask yourself which is worse?

It is a very important decision for you to make and one that whichever choice you make could have either positive or negative consequences. Write a list of the positives and negatives of either choice and add to it over the days. What would be most pleasing to Allah? Perhaps even ask trusted friends and family for their own thoughts too. Continue to take the matter to Allah and when you have made your decision, make istikhara. If you make a decision that is best for you and most pleasing to Allah, then He will facilitate it and if not, then He will place barriers in the way.

May Allah guide you to what is best and grant you a marriage that will bring you happiness and success in both this life and the next.

Question 2. Emotionally Abusive Parents

Is it my fault that I by *accident* being rude to my parents, is it my fault that I don’t like my parents and I wish they could dissappear, is it my fault that I want to be away from my parents, is it my fault and am I the sinner? When I’m only 12 years old and why do I have to give them what they “deserve” when they don’t even give me love. Some would say that oh they give you love, you just wouldn’t understand it. If love, so then why am I depressed, suicidal, cutting myself, hurting myself, breaking myself, hating myself, hitting myself, punishing myself over this “love”.
I’ve been dealing with all these since I was 7. I had a few times my mom beaten me up. My mom insults me. And more stupid things she did.
I already got my first period. Yes.
But do you think it’s my fault because first, I’m 12. What do they expect from a 12 years old? And my whole life I’ve been like this. People keep saying oh no matter what they do to you, you have to be kind and respectful. Sorry, I know I’m not that respectful but I’m 12 and since I was 7, I’ve been thinking about life. Do I even deserve to be alive? I never. Ever. Feel real love. I never. Ever. Feel respected. There are no boundaries. I could never set one. They are in fact Muslims but I think 99% of the time, I have to work it out all myself to find my path to Islam. They never listen to my tales, they don’t care, simply. And they are being overprotective, I’m like living inside a jail. I never have a place that I could call home, simply. Is it my fault that I’m being disrespectful.
I told them I’m not feeling very well, I even had a heart attack, they. Take it easy. I thought parents are supposed to “take care” of their children? I’m tired of everything. I cutted myself, attempted suicide at 9. It hurts? I can say?

Answer:

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakutuh sister,

There are lots of different things to think about in your situation, so it is understandable why you are feeling like this. Firstly, and most importantly, it is never ok for anyone to hurt you, physically or emotionally, however old you are. In this case, I would encourage you to seek refuge with a trusted family member. This will give you a chance to work things out and have a think about what’s going on in a different environment.

Yes, it is right that you must respect your parents and obey them (except if they tell you to do something that is not ok in Islam), but you also have rights over them too and they should be nurturing you and supporting your growth and ensuring that you get the best Islamic upbringing that they can provide. You are at an age now where you are becoming more independent and able to do things for yourself and this can be hard for both the child and the parents. You need to learn how to do things like an adult and make choices for yourself and this will often come with making lots of mistakes along the way. That’s ok, because that’s how we learn. Your parents also need to accept that you are growing up and are able to do more things for yourself now. That’s something that is very difficult for parents to deal with too. This will result in them coming across as protective like you say they are. It’s not because they dislike you or are trying to be unkind, they want to protect their child from any harm and are afraid for you to go out and do things for yourself without them anymore. As you can see, this is a difficult phase for everyone in the family. It’s not unusual for this to come with conflict between parents and their children at this stage.

With this in mind, it’s important that you are also able to have some level of sympathy for what they are facing, as much as they need to be like that with you too. This might help you to feel a bit more positive towards them too and treat them with more respect. This in turn will help them feel more positive towards you too. However, I will just say again, that whilst thinking like this might help to improve your attitudes to each other, it doesn’t ever make it ok for them to abuse you if you should slip and be unkind.

Keeping this in mind as you move towards more independence, thinking about your feelings towards them not supporting you on your path in Islam, you could always link in with your local masjid and other sisters your age, see if there are any classes going on locally that you could be a part of. If your parents have a hard time with this, then you could come to some kind of compromise where they are the ones to drop you there, or they can speak to the imam or person delivering the classes so they can know that they can trust the teacher who you will be spending time with.

As for hurting yourself, it would seem like this is a response to your frustration with what is going on, and once this is resolved you will stop. However, I think it would be best if you sought some ongoing support for this. What is often helpful for people in this situation is to have some talking therapy, a space where you can talk to someone who is not part of your family openly about what is on your mind. Being able to talk through things in an environment like this can often be enough to help with emotions and make you feel more stable. If your parents are aware that you have been hurting yourself then I would hope that they will support you in getting this needed support for all of your sakes. Otherwise, you may turn to a trusted family member who might be able to help you get this kind of support.

May Allah make things easier for you and may He bring you much happiness in your family. May He make you all happy and content with one another and help you all through these testing times.

Question 3. Sexual Abuse – Have I been deceived into marriage?

My 30 year old husband (smokes) has an erectile dysfunction, so he tries other sexual means to seek pleasure. He forces me to perform oral sex on him, and forced me to have anal sex when I repeatedly refused. He even tries stuff when I had my menstrual cycle and I was in utter pain from my symptoms but he didn’t care about haram or halal. I always complain to him with no use. He also avoids intercourse as much as he can because he cannot maintain an erection and doesn’t enjoy the feeling apparently. I can tell he was a porn addict because he proudly brags he used to masterbate 8 times a day. I am scarred by his misbehaviour and disgusting acts. Do I have a right to seek divorce. It has been 1 month and he’s already struggling and refuses to admit to me his dysfunction. The emotional abuse I go through has affected my mental health so severely I am depressed. I do not enjoy our sexual relationship and tried to avoid him several times for his misdemeanours. This is the way he treats me from a sexual narrative, let alone emotional or financial etc. what do I do?

Answer:

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

From what you have presented here, this certainly doesn’t read like a happy and satisfying marriage. This is not what marriage should be and so it is understandable why you are feeling the way you are. Of course, I’m only reading one side of the story, but even if you are only highlighting this one thing and not presenting any of the other less offending, or even positive things, then even so, the presence of abuse is not acceptable. You should not be forced to do these things against your will, especially those that are haram. I’m sure you feel violated and I believe have grounds for divorce on this alone. However, I am not a scholar so cannot advice on this so would urge you to get scholarly advice on this.

Given the situation, I would strongly suggest that you seek refuge somewhere with family for now. This will take you away from the abuse and give you both the chance to reflect on what the future holds for you both. Contemplate on whether there could be any chance he will change? Does he feel remorseful when you are gone and seek your forgiveness? Would he accept going to counselling together to talk with someone through your issues to try and make positive change in your relationship? If he is willing and favorable to any of these things, is it worth the risk? Or is there a chance things could work out if he changes his ways? What do you love about him? If he changes his sexual ways, would his positive traits be enough to bring you contentment in your marriage? Think about why you accepted his proposal in the first place. There must have been something that made you believe that he was worth marrying.

If divorce is permissible and this is the route you chose to take, do give yourself enough time to be absolutely sure about it so that you never look back with any regrets that perhaps things could have worked out. Ideally, have some counselling first to know that you have at least tried to make it work, but it didn’t. You have been through a lot of trauma with him in just a month so make sure you have the support you need around you too to make things easier for you. If you choose to try again, then make sure clear boundaries are set so that he doesn’t force you into anything haram again, there will be no second chances and if he does that there will be consequences. If it is that he has a porn addiction, then support him in getting the help he needs to deal with that too. You may need to get someone else to support you with this is it is something that he refuses to admit.

Whichever path you chose to take, its very important that you take care of your mental health. If you are able to see a counsellor for a bit of talking therapy to get that ongoing support then this could be an option. Otherwise, just generally taking care of your wellbeing, by looking after yourself is needed. Spend time with friends, do things that you love to do and find happiness in places in other than the home too.

May Allah guide you to what is best for you and most pleasing to Him. May He grant you a loving spouse who brings you happiness and contentment in this life and the next.

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022 | 10:00 - 11:00 GMT

Session is over.
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