Post # 1
My husband is Muslim.
I converted to Islam after marriage but realised it is not the path for me. My husband knows this.
My husband is a very nice, god fearing man who does a lot for me. But… he controls me.
However he doesn’t realise this control due to his upbringing. It is normal for him to dictate to women (wife, mothers, sisters) what to do.
He wants me to dress more modestly. He wants me to stop drinking alcohol. He wants me not to mix with male colleagues after work at events. I am not allowed male friends. I agreed to all these things but now I don’t agree.
He loves me so much. Everyone can see it. Even my parents.
I want to be more free.
I am only 24 years old and no children.
Would you break up with a man who is like this? Am I just thinking of short term temporary desires? Am I stupid for loosing a man that loves me if I proceed with divorce? Am I selfish?
Post # 2
No you are not selfish.
The question you have to ask is are you happy? Do you think you can stay happy knowing that you will he forced to lead a very conventional life and forever feel like you can’t relax because he needs you to be a certain way?
If it was mutual with mutual respect and if you asked him for a few things in exchange and he happily obliged then that is a fair marriage and can be worked through together as you go. If his beliefs are rigid and any part of it is that you have to obey purely because you are female then no it can never work. Not without you waking up one daybresenting everything you have given up for him. I could never sacrifice my life for someone else’s ideals.
Post # 3
I would leave. Having autonomy as an adult is not negotiable. And you don’t mention that you love him, just that he’s “nice”. That’s not really enough.
Post # 4
I understand that much of his behavior is a product of his interpretation of Islam, but I would argue that real love results in some very particular behaviors, regardless of culture, religion, era, gender, etc. Real love supports, nurtures, and gives freedom to the beloved–it doesn’t try to control. Real love allows for growth, not repression. Loving someone or something means that you want it to discover and truly become what IT is most passionate about or even destined for.
Your husband may indeed feel some real love for you, but it sounds like his devotion to his interpretation of Islam is much more powerful. I dare say you will not see this improve.
Post # 5
You’re not stupid or selfish. Compatability in lifestyles, faith, spending styles, etc. are all important to the success of a marriage. I think it’s unrealistic to think that love alone will make a marriage work. You could try counseling first. I think you’re wise for trying to address this now before you’re more years into the marriage with children.
Post # 6
Comment deleted for violation of TOS
Post # 7
Short Answer: Yes, I would end any marriage where I was unhappy and fundamentally incompatible with my partner. Changing who I am will only lead to resentment and more unhappiness.
Long Answer: It sounds like you didn’t think about compatibility enough before deciding to marry someone you would be sharing a home and a life with for the rest of your life. It also sounds like you converted to Islam for him, not because you actually believe it, and just kind of shrugged your shoulders figuring marriage and changing your religion would magically make everything that was different about the two of you better.
It doesn’t sound like he is “controlling” so much as he is a conservative Muslim man who derives his values from that religion. The things you list aren’t characteristics of just him – those are basic things in conservative Islam. So I dont think it is unrealistic or unreasonable for a conservative Muslim man (or person of any creed) to want a partner who will be sharing their life and their home to have the same values (the unrealistic and unreasonable part is you changing who you are and what you believe to try to become that person for someone else). Sharing the same goals and values is the cornerstone of successful marriages, regardless of religion or lack thereof. And if you were a conservative Muslim woman who actually believed in the teachings of Islam all of these things you list are things you would likely freely do without feeling like it is being controlled or dictated by your husband.
But it sounds like you are not a woman who actually believes in the tenets of conservative Islam. And that is okay – you are free to pick your own beliefs. But…
a) you shouldn’t convert to a religion you don’t believe in to appease other people (some may argue that you are actually mocking the religion by doing so), and
b) it means you just aren’t compatible with someone who derives his values from that religion.
Love alone doesn’t make marriage work. Most people love lots of people in their lifetime in different capacities. But loving someone doesn’t mean you are compatible with them to build a life together – that takes a lot more than love.
An interfaith marriage only works if both people agree to compromise and generally still have the same core values (just different paths to those values). The two of you don’t.
Post # 8
preweddepression : It is not selfish or stupid to want to be free. Free to choose your clothes, your friends (whether male or female), or your goals in life and how to reach them. It is not stupid or selfish to think that a husband should be a partner, not a quasi parent to another adult.
It is not selfish or stupid; it is a right that every woman or man should enjoy. To live otherwise is a slow and daily death.
Post # 9
No it is not selfish to want to leave this marriage. I’m not 100% sure what you mean by him controlling you. Can you specify? Does it go beyond the whole dress conservatively and no alcohol rules and no male rules? Regardless, those rules alone are not something many non-Muslims are open to or comfortable with. And that’s totally okay, divorce is allowed in Islam and if he sees how unhappy you are and really loves you, he should be open to divorce.
Post # 10
RUN FOR THE HILLS and never look back. In that order…
Post # 11
You are not stupid or selfish. You and your husband have a completely different set of values and it isn’t making you happy or allowing you to grow as your own person within the marriage. I would end it and start afresh. Good luck and I hope you find your happiness.
Post # 12
preweddepression : It’s not being selfish for wanting control over what should be basic life choices and decisions for yourself. Because I sure bet that you wouldn’t be allowed to tell him what to do the same situation. If he isn’t willing to change his views on this then you need to get out of there, you will not learn to love that way of life. You will only resent him and your life.
Post # 13
Sorry you’re unhappy OP but I don’t think its fair or true to call this a controlling marriage just because your husband expects you to assimilate into a culture which (according to your other thread, which you started first) you led him to believe you were happy doing.
It is NOT selfish or shameful to realise the life is not for you, and as I said on your other thread I think you’re right to want to leave. Just please don’t put all the blame on your husband or call him controlling if he’s not just because a few bees are banging an islamophobic drum.
Post # 14
Once again, as in your other thread, I disagree with the term “controlling”. He has religious beliefs that at one point you led him to believe that you would accept. You now realize that you were lying to yourself and you really don’t want to adhere to the tenets of his religion. If you can’t find a way to compromise on this, then yes, you need to end the marriage. But I’m not convinced that your husband is the bad guy here.
janedoe27 : There are other religions with similar strictures for women, Hasidic Jews come to mind. And let’s not getbstartes on fundamentalist Christian. Are they cults too?
I am no fan of religion, but people should be allowed their religious beliefs.
Post # 15
The only thing that really pisses me off is the part about male collegues. Either you have a job or you don’t. If he wants a Stay-At-Home Wife then you two need to have that conversation. If he doesn’t then you have to do ALL aspects of your job, which includes *gasp* talking to male collegues.
The rest are things that many people look for in a partner. Many people, even non-religious people, do not have opposite gender friends in their relationship. I think that’s dumb, but it is common enough that this isn’t just a random thing about him or Islam. Many men want their wives to dress modestly, and if they were honest about it I think more would feel the same way. Several Christian sects do not allow alcohol.
But that doesn’t mean that you are compatible. It sounds like you married someone with very different values as yourself just expecting it to all work out because magic.