Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I’ve been married for four years and have a toddler. I live with my son in a different city from my husband because he does not want me to leave my job. He makes no attempt to keep us with him. He doesn’t give me any financial support as I’m earning. I’m constantly distressed and depressed because I want to live with my husband.
He visits me once a month but we end up fighting because I feel he’s irresponsible, selfish, stingy and pushes us away. I pray and try my best to practice Islam. My husband doesn’t pray no matter how much I insist. His lack of interest in deen bothers me a lot.
He doesn’t understand my situation and gets angry and things get worse. I always reconcile with him because I fear Allah and I try to be patient but things aren’t getting better. A few days back I came to know he’s in touch with some woman on the phone to whom he talks flirtatiously and this might be the reason for his lack of interest. I’m completely shattered.
Thank you for your question. I am sorry that you are stuck in a situation like this. The cycle is vicious, he doesn’t live with you, his desires are not fulfilled, so he talks to other women and so on and so on.
I don’t need to tell you that the crux of the problem here is that you all live apart. This detracts from your rights as a wife and from his own rights as well. All for what? For financial gain? This is a shallow reason to keep man and wife apart.
Forgive me for saying this, but you are a fool for listening to him. He cannot make you work and it is his obligation to spend on you and live with you. You must quit your job and move in with your husband immediately. Then his foolish behavior with other women should stop and you and your husband can find solace in each other. There is no easier prey for the devil than a single man who doesn’t live with his family and who doesn’t need his money.
Do confront him about his behavior, but maybe after you move in.
Please take a course on Islamic Marriage at Seekers so you can learn your obligations and rights in marriage. Your son also has a right to see his father and be raised by him. If your husband gets angry, don’t worry, he will calm down, you have to be strong and bring out all your femininity. Tell him that you and your son are unable to survive without him and the value of his presence is much higher than an extra salary.
As for his not praying, you will have to live with him first in order for him to see that this is important. It may take years for him to change. I daresay that when one misses prayers and other obligatory actions, it leads one to commit other immoral deeds. May Allah protect your family and unite you and may you grow together with barakah (blessings), afiyah (well-being), and salamah (peace).
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied Aqidah, Fiqh, Tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied Fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.