Muslimah (V9-I30)

July 19, 2007 by  


As-Salaamu aleikum, sisters:

This week I have questions that I will respond to.

Reader Question:

As-salaamu’alaikum wa rahmatullah. I just married for the second time in the summer to someone I met here in the states, but due to immigration problems, my husband had to go back to his country. I went to his country and married him, but I met him in the states. I have a child from a previous marriage who can’t leave the states due to health reasons. My husband knows this, but he is begging for me to stay with him in his country until he can come back. He says that he understands that a child needs his mother, but a man also needs his wife. I have read many hadiths that state the rights a husband has over his wife, and those rights are greater than those of a child or a parent. lately I have been so depressed about the situation and thoughts have crept into my mind that I really wish would go away. Even before I met my husband, I began to resent the life I was living. I hated being the only non-married girl in my group of friends, I would resent my family for mocking my situation.

Since I gave birth, I felt that my options in life were few since my child has health issues and I can’t really take him anywhere. I was engaged before and the man decided to marry someone else (a girl who had never been married, and obviously no kids) without even telling me; another brother wanted to marry me but his mother got scared and moved out of state.. The list goes on and on. My husband was the first man I met that stood up for me when his family didn’t approve. The thoughts I have been having anger me and I feel guilty for thinking this way. I feel that I want to leave to be with my husband. I have always lived with my mother and my child is very close with her. I don’t feel that I am doing much good with my child because lately I haven’t been sleeping well so in the day I am too tired to do anything. I am moody, short tempered, and tend to want to be alone all the time. I am afraid that if I stay as I am, my depression will get worse and I am afraid I will start lashing out at my mom and my son. Sometimes I blame him for my situation and I hate myself for thinking this way. I am beginning to think I am a monster. All I think about is going to be with my husband. what do I do? Should I stay or go?

Answer:

Asalaam u alaikum.

Dear sister,

I will start by dealing with the issue of your depression. Dear sister you say that you are depressed and that because of that you are unable to care for your child properly. I want you to take these feelings of depression seriously. You have to get treatment for the depression. You need to go to a family doctor or an internist and tell them of your symptoms, and have them first diagnose the depression and then give you treatment for it. This is very important. Depression is often ignored because of the stigma attached to it. People think that it is in one’s control, and that they can shake off the feelings and that maybe it is a sign of weakness. This is not true, depression is an illness, and it affects millions of people. Some of the most intelligent people in history suffered from depression–Did you know that Abraham Lincoln and Winston Churchill suffered from depression?

The good news is that in these days, Alhamdulillah there are wonderful ways of treatment. There are some amazing medications available. Please do not hesitate to use the medications. People say that they alter ones personality, that they are addictive, these are all myths, and not true at all. If you follow the instructions of your physician you will Inshallah recover.

Secondly, I understand your feelings of wanting to be with your husband. It is only natural to want that connection and companionship that Allah has provided in a husband for a woman and in a wife for a man. You are confused because you are torn between your child and your husband. First of all, I wish I knew a little more about your child’s illness and also more about where his dad is?

Anyhow, both your husband and your child have rights over you. Generally speaking, your husband has more rights, however, your child, especially with his health problems, and if his father is not in his life at all, is also your responsibility.

Assuming that your child is not in a life threatening situation and taking everything into consideration, your child, new marriage and your health, I think that you need to do the following: First you need to have a straightforward and thorough talk with your husband. You need to express to him your desire to be with him and also your concern for your child. Explain the whole situation. You can plan to go and be with him for sometime, but discuss, this with your husband, that you will come stay with him for a set period of time and that you will need to come back after that. He should understand your feelings for your child and that the child is helpless and needs his mother more than anything else. Prophet Muhammad SAWs also prohibited separating a woman from her child. Also you need to find out how long is his visa processing going to last. When you go there I would advise you to keep your passport and ticket with you. This only a precaution, many times what a situation may seem like from far away turns out to be very different when one enters into it directly.

Also before you go, you need to make sure that you make all the arrangements necessary for your child. You say that your child is attached to your mother. You need to also have a talk with your mother, explain to her what you are going through and what you are planning to do. Reassure her that you care for your child. Another important thing you must do is to contact the physicians and teachers of your child. Express to them your concern for your child, explain to them that you are going overseas due to necessary reasons, and that you want them to update you on your child’s condition and progress weekly. They can do this via e-mail. And give them all necessary information they would need to contact you in case there should be a reason to do so. Once you are away call the doctors and teachers frequently yourself also.

And most importantly, you do not mention your child’s age, but if he is over 2 years old, talk to your child according to the evel he will understand. Tell him you love him and that you are leaving but that does not mean that you do not love him and make sure he knows that it is not his fault and that you will be coming back. Tell him that you will call him a lot. And once you go there, call your child and speak to your child. You need to do these things and they are very important because, depending upon the state you live in, anyone who is a provider for your child, that can be his doctor, nurse, teacher, or even grandmother, who thinks that you have abondoned your child can issue a court proceeding to charge you with abandonment or with taking away your parental rights. And believe me you do not want that. The bond between mother and child is so amazing and deep, that right now you are not well and therefore you do not realize but in the future you will regret it more than anything if it comes to losing your child.

IF you get the treatment you need for the depression, get your husband’s cooperation, take all the steps I advised for child, and then you go and stay with your husband for a little time, you will begin to feel better and start to feel more confident and strong.

And above all pray to Allah and put your trust in Allah. I will advise you also to perform Istikhara before taking any steps.

{Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him). } (Aal `Imran 3:159)

I pray that Allah will help, guide and protect you.

9-30

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