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Traditional upbringing in England. Married to Pakistani. Can you relate?

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  • Traditional upbringing in England. Married to Pakistani. Can you relate?

    Assalaam alaikum.
    I specifically signed up to this message board for one issue. It’s a long thing. I don’t feel ready to share just yet, I’d like to know about the backgrounds/lives of people on here.
    I’m 36. Live in England. My parents were born in Pakistan, my siblings and I were born here. We were all married from “back home”. Our family is very involved and influence each other’s lives.
    Can anyone relate?

  • #2
    Seems like a typical British Asian family.

    Why is this in the marriage section?

    Comment


    • #3
      The issues I have are within my marriage. I’m a new member, I’m not sure what type of people frequent the boards.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Alayna View Post
        The issues I have are within my marriage. I’m a new member, I’m not sure what type of people frequent the boards.
        There are people from different backgrounds and ages on here.

        But I can understand where you are coming from, in a cultural capacity. I'm British Pakistani too, and family is very much the core of our existence.



        Comment


        • #5
          It's a mix

          But there are a good number of South Asians here

          I am Bengali, not a huge difference between us and fellow bakistanis

          'Whatever it be wherein ye differ, the decision thereof is with Allah: such is Allah my Lord: In Him I trust, and to Him I turn.' The Holy Qu'ran Al Shura (Consultation)

          So, which of the favours of your lord will you deny? ~ Surah Ar Rahman

          Comment


          • #6
            Totally ready to lash out on the cultural nonsense when you are ready to post sista

            'Whatever it be wherein ye differ, the decision thereof is with Allah: such is Allah my Lord: In Him I trust, and to Him I turn.' The Holy Qu'ran Al Shura (Consultation)

            So, which of the favours of your lord will you deny? ~ Surah Ar Rahman

            Comment


            • #7
              Ok pre warning- this will be long.
              So I got married at 19. Nobody asked me my opinion, it was a given that I wouldn’t object. I didn’t mind at the time, it didn’t occur to me that I was allowed to “mind”. My brother in laws (husbands brothers) said when I was 16 that I didn’t need to go college as I wouldn’t work anyway. Therefore I didn’t bother to ask. Grades good, better than others at the time. Still, not up for discussion.
              Anyway I had spoken to husband sneakily here and there. I liked him. After marriage, within a few days, one of the first talks we had we discussed hopes, interests. I said I had always wanted to travel. I wanted to be an air hostess. When I was 4 I would cut out cruise advertisements in the newspaper! That sort of obsession. I’d watch tv shows about the world, etc. He said he also wanted to travel and it was his dream to work overseas but was never allowed.
              Over the years I knew that holidays weren’t possible at this time. We SAVED, lived with family. Few years ago alhamdulillah bought a house. After 14 years. No mortgage. Two kids. One with autism, diagnosed pretty quickly. That was a very difficult time. He has never helped with them. He works 9am to 9pm. No parents evenings, no doctors appointments, no assessments. My very first appointment as a pregnant woman I asked him to come with me. He came, his brother cussed him out saying he was whipped and that wasn’t the done thing. Never came with me again.
              I’ve had multiple surgeries, due to different medical issues. He’s never helped in the house after these surgeries. In the house he does nothing except mowing the lawn every couple of weeks which he moans about. DIY, self assembly etc I do it. He can’t even hang a picture. Can’t drive. Doesn’t give me money for anything like clothes, food, school trips, dinner money, kids treats, Eid presents, family/friends presents. On Eid he gives the kids £10 each and gives me between £50-£100. That’s all he gives us, period. I pay the gas/electric. He pays other bills.
              Spending time with the family, it’s like it’s painful for him. He whinges, sulks and moans and spoils it for everyone. So I take the kids out myself or with family mostly.
              Every year or couple of years he goes back home to see his mum for a month. I’ve never objected. I don’t go much because of the kids. School etc. I send her gifts, phone her here and there. He sends her money too- I don’t mind even though she doesn’t need that much. She gives a lot to charity. His brothers go and stay for a much longer time- up to 6 months. So that’s 6 months out of the workplace (family business)
              He used to say “when we move out, we can do what we want”. So I held onto this hope. However he hasn’t changed. He gets angry at the weirdest things.
              Example- a few days into the marriage he was going for a shower. I said “catch!” And gently threw a bottle of shower gel at him, from about a metre away. He got very angry and said it was disrespectful, I should have put it in his hand. I was terrified.
              I put this down to cultural differences. I was young, I thought in time he’d mellow and it wasn’t a big deal. He hasn’t. But he’s very strange. He asked me to wear jeans and dye blond streaks into my hair, and cut it short. I said my mum would kill me. I cut it but didn’t do the other things. Id put make up on before he came to the room (not during daytime as we were living with family)
              His brothers said I have to wear niqab. I didn’t want to. He pressured me into wearing it. However if we went somewhere together (to shop for his clothes) he would say “take it off. People are staring”. It wasn’t religion, it was culture for him.
              When I moved to this house and my daughters school changed I stopped wearing it. I still wear a hijab and abaya. My choice. I was never comfortable in niqab. I said now all your mates can’t see me it doesn’t matter. (they’d be doing the school run)
              Now, when it’s his day off I will wear a nice dress, full face of bright makeup, the works. I do all the cooking or whatever before he wakes up. Then I spend the whole day with him. Watching tv. That’s it. He doesn’t want to go anywhere or do anything interesting. I get that it’s his day off and he’s tired. Asked a few times if we could go out for lunch. I sensed he didn’t want to so dropped it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Couple of years ago I saved and said I want to go on holiday now. He said his brothers and extended family would mind. I said I have saved up the money myself. Why would they object? All I’m asking is for permission. That’s it. Two weeks. (They have a family business). He refused to ask. I went and asked his brothers, and my dad. They sort of smirked and hesitated and eventually said ok. I went and booked it without his help. He wanted to go Dubai. I wanted to go Turkey Bcos I thought it’d be cheaper. He said no that’s “basic” so I chose Egypt as he and my daughter are very interested in history.
                During the holiday he said “take your hijab off”. I said no it wasn’t bothering me. He was relaxed during the holiday. He played with the kids in the pool. Still moaned a bit- didn’t want to leave the resort etc. But it was really nice.
                Last year he went to Pakistan again. I said “can we go with you and we can stop off somewhere else for a week?” This was HIS suggestion previously. He made excuses and said “we can take turns. I’ll go pak now. Then next time instead of me going pak we will do a family holiday”.
                I said, you’re just saying that to shut me up. And he insisted he was serious and that from now on that would be the deal.
                Of course, now he’s backtracked. He gets angry. REALLY angry. Whenever a holiday advert even comes on the telly he makes faces. My daughter made a little video montage of holiday pictures and he got annoyed when I showed it to him.
                And the main thing is I can’t trust him. I’ve lost all respect for him. I know in the big picture it may not seem like a big deal. But I feel like I’ve been a single parent for 15 years and this is the one thing I’ve asked of him and he won’t stand by his promise.
                I do absolutely everything for him. Take his clothes and socks out ready for him to wear. Make his lunch for him to take work. All those little things. I don’t mind it. I’m frugal. I get everything done, I don’t go into debt or buy brands, or waste money. But I get nothing back. He isn’t violent. He’s never had an affair. He thinks that’s enough for me to be happy.
                After discussing it briefly he texted me the next day and said he didn’t want me to be upset and he wants to make me happy. I said I’ve given up now and accepted that this is the way things are and they’ll never change.
                I haven’t said it to his face but I don’t care if throughout the year he doesn’t participate in family life or day to day finances- as long as he takes us on holiday. As that’s when I need him as a mahram. I’ve been doing everything myself up til now. I know it’s become a trend now. That’s NOT the reason. Like I said before, it’s always been an interest of mine.
                I’ve found myself drifting off into periods of silence and hate. I sit there depressed and he sometimes says “you seem upset” and I say “I’ll get over it”. What’s the point of me saying any of this? I asked him about marriage counselling a few weeks ago. He didn’t get what I meant.
                I don’t know where to go from here. It’s his day off. I’ve given him breakfast. About to tidy his dishes and then go tart myself up. It’s like I’m on autopilot. I still do everything for him but my heart isn’t in it. There’s like a bitter taste in my mouth when we talk.
                I know this has been REALLY long. I just feel really alone now. I don’t feel like he’s my partner anymore. He has betrayed my trust before - telling people our discussions. I’m not a confident person. I always feel vulnerable and self critical. So I needed to vent somewhere where people would get it. And hopefully get some advice from people who know the Pakistani family issues.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I'm not from Pakistan. I have been married for 16 years and got married at your age. I have had my share of marriage issues that most sisters would probably never tolerate. Alhamdulilah it's getting much much better now, but I had to put my foot down. I won't deal with nonsense anymore.

                  Looking at your issues, I can honestly say there is a lot of communication problems going on. To be honest, you let your husband get away with a lot in terms of helping you out and taking care of responsibilities. Most men don't understand that being a husband and father is much more than just paying bills and not cheating.

                  Looks like your husband doesn't take the religion seriously. He doesn't seem like a practicing husband, so this will cause issues. You need to talk to him about deen and getting closer to Allah. Does he pray? Deen is the most important part to me in marriage. How is your relationship with Allah?

                  Your marriage could be saved and improved. Three things will help you:

                  1. Improve your relationship with Allah. Nothing really matters but this. You need to increase your faith. This will make you strong. When you have this you are able to do anything.

                  2. Your husband needs to improve in his deen.

                  3. Marriage counseling. You really need to go together. Why? Because you two don't understand each other. You are having communication issues. He doesn't get that he needs to do more in the relationship. You have to go.

                  I would suggest before you go, may be sit down with him and tell him your concerns. How you feel. See what he says. Maybe he doesn't know since you let him get away with his bad behavior all these years. If he gets anger and your unable to communicate with him, say you need counseling. I couldn't get through to my husband, so involved other ppl imam, family etc.. suddenly he realizes he took me for granted. I wish I did it sooner, we wives put up with too much.

                  I understand. When you get married young you don't say much because you don't know any better. As the years go on, you still don't say much because you were young and busy rasing the kids. Then you're in you're 30s, kids are older, and suddenly you realize that you deserve more. And it's not a back home thing, because I was raised in the West and married to a man who was raised in the West. I should have known my rights, I should have known how I was to be treated like a wife, but no, I was too young, I tolerated a lot.

                  But let me tell you, you do deserve kind treatment, happiness, and a good husband. What do you have to lose? Why not work on your marriage instead of keeping it all in and just living on autopilot. If you never say something or take action to improve your relationship with your husband things will always be the same story.

                  A lot of factors in your marriage:special needs child, in-laws who seem to encourage bad behavior, you're overworked and unappreciated, lack of deen in the marriage, communication issues. Go to counseling. Muslim counselor would be best.

                  If he doesn't change after your efforts then at least you tried. But if you don't then what's the point of complaining.

                  Don't nag him, shout, scream, or yell. Just know your rights and what you deserve and take some action to improve your marriage.

                  Meanwhile, take care of yourself. Working out, eating healthy, spending time with friends and family, enjoying time with your kids, your deen. Why? Because this is going to be hard, so you're going to need to build your confidence and get stronger.


                  You're not alone, many sisters struggling. I'll make Dua for you.
                  Last edited by LaylaAb; 11-02-20, 03:46 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Jazakhallah sister for your reply. I feel like you understand and know what I’m feeling.
                    I was hesitant to post this message as I was afraid I was asking for too much and I should be content with what I have. If I take my feelings out of it, there’s nothing actually wrong with the marriage is there?
                    If I sat him down and discussed all this, just say read out what I’ve written above, for example. He would be incredulous. He’d say I’m making something out of nothing. After all it’s not behaviour that I’m “putting up with” because he doesn’t see it as wrong. His brothers behave the same way, but they have different restrictions on their wives that I don’t have. They do more for their children though, and spend time with them.
                    You asked about him, he is practicing but doesn’t pray all 5 prayers a day. He picks and chooses Hadith when it suits him. I am the same regarding prayers-I know my relationship with Allah is something I need to work on.
                    He has no idea what counselling is. I have tried to explain it to him but he cut me off saying we don’t need that.

                    I will take your suggestion on board though. I suppose I have to try again and really there’s nothing to lose. I just get scared because he gets angry.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I am very young so I cannot offer much advice. Pray that your situation gets better and do not miss any prayers.

                      You should try to get a middle person.

                      Sometimes these things happen and people do not communicate with each other very well and your personalities are clearly different so it is possible there is not much compatibility between you two.

                      Also stay strong and do not lose confidence.
                      https://www.ummah.com/forum/forum/lo...-qur-an-courseI am just a simple nomad.

                      Ephemeral reader

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Alayna View Post
                        Jazakhallah sister for your reply. I feel like you understand and know what I’m feeling.
                        I was hesitant to post this message as I was afraid I was asking for too much and I should be content with what I have. If I take my feelings out of it, there’s nothing actually wrong with the marriage is there?
                        If I sat him down and discussed all this, just say read out what I’ve written above, for example. He would be incredulous. He’d say I’m making something out of nothing. After all it’s not behaviour that I’m “putting up with” because he doesn’t see it as wrong. His brothers behave the same way, but they have different restrictions on their wives that I don’t have. They do more for their children though, and spend time with them.
                        You asked about him, he is practicing but doesn’t pray all 5 prayers a day. He picks and chooses Hadith when it suits him. I am the same regarding prayers-I know my relationship with Allah is something I need to work on.
                        He has no idea what counselling is. I have tried to explain it to him but he cut me off saying we don’t need that.
                        I will take your suggestion on board though. I suppose I have to try again and really there’s nothing to lose. I just get scared because he gets angry.

                        What exactly do you want?

                        ​​​​​​Do you want him to help you with the children?
                        Do you​​​​you want him to improve in deen?
                        Do you want him show love and affection?
                        Do you want him to spend quality time with you and the children?
                        Or do you just want your vacation deal and are welling to deal with everything else?

                        See, when you know what you want, you will know what to communicate. But when you don't know he can easily confuse and shout you down, because you're confused yourself and don't even know what you want.


                        ​​Only you know what you can handle and only you know your husband and how he will react. Are you willing to deal with the consequences?

                        For now, don't rush. Think things through. Improve yourself and deen slowly. And don't forget to continue being a good wife, not for him but for the sake of Allah.

                        Can someone from your family help sit with you two? How about the imam of your local mosque? Marriage counseling is something that would help.
                        Last edited by LaylaAb; 11-02-20, 08:34 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Alayna View Post
                          Couple of years ago I saved and said I want to go on holiday now. He said his brothers and extended family would mind. I said I have saved up the money myself. Why would they object? All I’m asking is for permission. That’s it. Two weeks. (They have a family business). He refused to ask. I went and asked his brothers, and my dad. They sort of smirked and hesitated and eventually said ok. I went and booked it without his help. He wanted to go Dubai. I wanted to go Turkey Bcos I thought it’d be cheaper. He said no that’s “basic” so I chose Egypt as he and my daughter are very interested in history.
                          During the holiday he said “take your hijab off”. I said no it wasn’t bothering me. He was relaxed during the holiday. He played with the kids in the pool. Still moaned a bit- didn’t want to leave the resort etc. But it was really nice.
                          Last year he went to Pakistan again. I said “can we go with you and we can stop off somewhere else for a week?” This was HIS suggestion previously. He made excuses and said “we can take turns. I’ll go pak now. Then next time instead of me going pak we will do a family holiday”.
                          I said, you’re just saying that to shut me up. And he insisted he was serious and that from now on that would be the deal.
                          Of course, now he’s backtracked. He gets angry. REALLY angry. Whenever a holiday advert even comes on the telly he makes faces. My daughter made a little video montage of holiday pictures and he got annoyed when I showed it to him.
                          And the main thing is I can’t trust him. I’ve lost all respect for him. I know in the big picture it may not seem like a big deal. But I feel like I’ve been a single parent for 15 years and this is the one thing I’ve asked of him and he won’t stand by his promise.
                          I do absolutely everything for him. Take his clothes and socks out ready for him to wear. Make his lunch for him to take work. All those little things. I don’t mind it. I’m frugal. I get everything done, I don’t go into debt or buy brands, or waste money. But I get nothing back. He isn’t violent. He’s never had an affair. He thinks that’s enough for me to be happy.
                          After discussing it briefly he texted me the next day and said he didn’t want me to be upset and he wants to make me happy. I said I’ve given up now and accepted that this is the way things are and they’ll never change.
                          I haven’t said it to his face but I don’t care if throughout the year he doesn’t participate in family life or day to day finances- as long as he takes us on holiday. As that’s when I need him as a mahram. I’ve been doing everything myself up til now. I know it’s become a trend now. That’s NOT the reason. Like I said before, it’s always been an interest of mine.
                          I’ve found myself drifting off into periods of silence and hate. I sit there depressed and he sometimes says “you seem upset” and I say “I’ll get over it”. What’s the point of me saying any of this? I asked him about marriage counselling a few weeks ago. He didn’t get what I meant.
                          I don’t know where to go from here. It’s his day off. I’ve given him breakfast. About to tidy his dishes and then go tart myself up. It’s like I’m on autopilot. I still do everything for him but my heart isn’t in it. There’s like a bitter taste in my mouth when we talk.
                          I know this has been REALLY long. I just feel really alone now. I don’t feel like he’s my partner anymore. He has betrayed my trust before - telling people our discussions. I’m not a confident person. I always feel vulnerable and self critical. So I needed to vent somewhere where people would get it. And hopefully get some advice from people who know the Pakistani family issues.
                          From your posts, I didn't notice issues that could be related to cultural differences (British vs Pakistani).

                          That's nice of you to do all those things for him (for his clothes, food, and doing something special on his days off, etc.). But if he works 12 hours a day, that will thoroughly exhaust a person. I think you should do some marriage counseling. Maybe he has some underlying issues in the marriage himself. He may also have to be told to ease off from the work schedule, to help his wife and children when they need him (during illness or following surgery, etc.).

                          Lastly, since this seems to be the main issue, you need to find out why he doesn't want to go on vacation while it's so important to you. One good thing about men is that they are usually straightforward. If he's not hiding anything from you (second wife, sending all his money to family, etc.), then you should be able to find out why he gets angry about going on a trip with you. You can also find out the issue by means of marriage counseling.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LaylaAb View Post

                            What exactly do you want?

                            ​​​​​​Do you want him to help you with the children?
                            Do you​​​​you want him to improve in deen?
                            Do you want him show love and affection?
                            Do you want him to spend quality time with you and the children?
                            Or do you just want your vacation deal and are welling to deal with everything else?
                            .
                            This, the bold bit is what I got from your post. What is it that you want from him? But more importantly, What is it that you want from your self? your life?

                            The first step is for you to figure yourself out, what is it you want? You said, you went with the flow all your life not realizing you had an option. You got married, didn't go to college, did everything for him, put makeup on for him..etc.. because that is what you thought was expected of you. But now you are older & at different stage in life & those suppressed desires that you put away (like vacation) are bubbling up. You are not happing living a routine, which is very normal. We all get tired of same ol thing & change things up a little. You need to figure out what change you want to see in your life. How do you want your life to be in 5 years from now or 10 years from now & work towards that.

                            This is your journey of self actualization, not your husbands. He is happy with how things are going, he too will have a phase when he is bored & wants to change thing up & at that phase you might be happy with how things are going. That is life. For now you, need to figure out the things you want to do & ask for his assistant. It sounds like your husband gets bullied by his brother a lot & that might be why he gets angry at you. He sounds like he is just as trapped as you are in the family business where he has no saying & he is working hard giving up most of his desires while his brother takes 6 month vacations. He gets mad at you about vacation because he is too embarrassed to ask his brother for time off & he is even more scared of being made fun of by his older brother for asking... so he rather not. You both sound very similar in personality & you both need to find your ground.

                            If you can do counseling that is great but I doubt either of you will. alternative, I suggest reading some self help book (if you are into reading, that helped me a lot). Writing journals for yourself & then reviewing it time to time. You can write about:

                            - Places you want to visit. Make your bucket list & then share it with your husband and have him make his bucket list
                            - Places/things you want to do local that you can make date night out of
                            - Things you want to change about yourself or improve
                            - Things you want to stop doing
                            - Something you want to learn, maybe you can take short course in something fun while someone in your family watches the kids. How old are the kids btw?

                            I knew several girls who had similar life to yours (routine, kids at young age, serving husband/home, & not much personal activities). They had to shake out of that routine. Most got out of the rut by finding a part time job while kids were in school. It was a nice easy way to get out there. Slowly they turned them into full time job & few years later started family vacation with their own money. Husbands came around. What's amazing about the 2 girls I know who lived your life is they found jobs in non-profit organization or school or Islamic organization. They are doing amazing job for the community since money wasn't their main goal

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Kiro Jazakhallah for taking the time to reply.
                              LaylaAb Jazakhallah youve hit the nail on the head. What do I want? It’s something I hadn’t actually asked myself. He won’t accept someone from the family sitting with us to discuss. It’s not something we do, he would see it as a betrayal and it would escalate the situation. Also the imam isn’t someone I could go to. He’s a friend of the family, and my husband would hate it.
                              Abu Abdur_Rahman Jazakhallah for giving a mans insight. I understand his work schedule is tough. As it’s a family business he can’t leave until everyone else does. He is the youngest and it would look “bad”. I asked him previously and he said it would make him look weak and lazy. I did point out our children were the youngest, they needed him more etc but no effect. Over the years I’ve tried in different ways to explain that they really need to work less hours but he says it’s not the way things are done. He doesn’t have a say.
                              Also worth mentioning is that he complains often about work. Tired, being irritable with his brothers etc. All understandable and I’ve tried to offer advice and solutions but he shuts me down. “We don’t do things like that” I said this is exactly why people go on holidays- to get away from the stress and repetitive routines of everyday life.
                              This is connected to the cultural differences because he blames everything on “this isn’t how things are done”. He picks out the bad qualities of his friends and says “this is how other people live” but I also know their wives and I know they actually participate in their family lives- he doesn’t want to hear that.
                              Kya you are absolutely spot on when you describe the relationship with his brothers. It’s amazing how you’ve just filled in what I didn’t say. That’s the reason he won’t go on holidays. I am stuck in a routine but I’m not allowed to work outside the home or have much of a social life. I have a small home business but he doesn’t approve of me doing that. It’s out of sight out of mind- I don’t work when he’s home or mention it, for example. I asked him previously if I could help with Islamic charities, but he said no. He said there’s no need to be out of the house I can just donate money or spread the word etc. My brother has his own businesses, he is very successful and I could easily work for him just for the social aspect of it. He would never give me permission.
                              Growing up my dad used to say “a woman’s Jannah is in the house” meaning if it’s not a necessity you shouldn’t leave the house. It’s something he’s taken to saying.

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