Difference in way of life in our marriage
Answered by Ustadha Zaynab Ansari, SunniPath Academy Teacher
My problem has been hurting me since I got divorced. My husband and I have had issues since the beginning of our marriage. We disagreed on many things getting into the marriage like how big the wedding should be. If getting a ring was the right thing to do. How big should the house we're buying going to be. I know these could be very trivial issues compared to many disasters in the world and I realize this now but the point is we entered this marriage with many stresses. I know I wanted more than what he wanted to give but like any girl in my position I had many suitors ask for my hand with great offers. I picked one and hoped he will give me what I want. We had nikah right away after the engagement and it lasted for a year before the wedding. I felt helpless because I was already married and I wondered had I stayed engaged , would he have granted me my wishes with much of a struggle. We have a beautiful child now but we are divorced. We kept having issues from his mother--incredible interference in all of our affairs...where we live, when we should have a kid, how much money my husband should spend on me and so forth. My other issue with my husband is that I put on hijab right before I met him. We met and got married. I felt that hijab got me into this mess. Now I'm accepting the qadar of Allah more that I ever did before and I'm hoping for a better life. He handled his mother's issues he says but the remaining issue is how religious I am. I don't and never smoked or drank or dated. I alhamdullilah am very pretty and I know that I could do all of that and have fun but I don't want to. Allah's path is better that any other. I just can't wear the hijab anymore. I emotionally and physically suffer when I go out with it. I tried personal and family counseling to fix this problem but we got nowhere we got divorced at a time of anger. I asked for the divorce and he gave it to me. Now we both regret it and want to get back together but the deciding factor is me wearing hijab. He says that he won't expect much from me but he needs some minimums and hijab is one of them. I really really understand his point of view and he has every right to feel that way but I'm really confused. I told him that I always tried to force myself to do things for him so we won't destroy this marriage but this time I'm having such a hard time and I am not good at explaining my feelings. He asked me to stay with my parents until I have figured out what I will do about hijab and based on that he will decide whether we should stay together or not meaning divorce if I take it off. I am lost. I don't want to break this family and I don't want to suffer everyday. I pray and ask for guidance believe me and I will continue to do that but for the mean time what do I do? I think sometimes why couldn't he be more reasonable with me. Out of all of his friends he one of the most strict ones I've met and yet he enjoys his life too. I feel that my decision will affect my life, his and our son's and it won't be pretty. I know I must have confused you already and I swear I'm much more confused than I ever was. Many women don't wear hijab but they aren't necessarily not religious. He has no faith in me now and doesn't trust that I can be a good wife. I went through a lot with him and what got to me the most is how ready he was to divorce me whenever we had an issue. I hope your answer will guide me a little.
In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Thank you for your question.
Given the seriousness of the situation, I strongly urge you and your husband to seek marriage counseling.
There are only a few observations I can offer based on what I could understand of your situation:
- You and your husband have a child together. You owe it to your child to consider the impact of a broken home on his future. Are your and your husband's issues irreconcilable?
- You seem to be very conflicted about the purpose and status of hijab. Hijab is a command from Allah Most High. To make the hijab a bone of contention between you and your husband is a mistake. Are you really prepared to sacrifice your marriage over hijab?
- There are obviously deeper issues than whether or not to wear hijab. You and your husband appear to have some compatibility issues that absolutely must be resolved before you go any further.
- There are valuable lessons that can be learned from this situation. You and your husband need to decide if you can make a fresh start. (I'm assuming the divorce is non-finalized). You both need to make the Guidance Prayer and mutually agree to seek marriage counseling to help you work through these issues.
- You both need to change the way you handle conflict. Threatening divorce every time an issue crops up is unhealthy and, from a fiqh perspective, risky.
I pray you can work things out.
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