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In the Name of God بسم الله


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  1. Ok, I look white so I actually understand this issue. Let me give you advice that is realistic. I was the only Muslim in high school and one of 5 in my university 2 of whom I was related to. So, hanging out with Muslims wasn't so easy. But, what I did do is I made Islam a topic of discussion. Now my friends when they are with me don't drink around me or at the same table as me. I didn't make it a harsh religion I told them about how Islam is something we can't drink and it makes me uncomfortable when people drink around me. If we go out to dinner they will go to the bar and drink before or after we hang out. It is just something they know I wont be around. Drinking is something they choose to do, but it's just like if you praying made them feel uncomfortable you would do it away from them. I know that seems ridiculous and silly, but for some people saying Allahu Akbar is scary. They know I'm not a terrorist, but they are uncomfortable. Talk to your friends about it in an open honest way. Make it a light conversation. Interestingly enough one of my friends majored in Arabic and did some Islamic Studies as a result of these conversations. Educate your friends. If they still don't listen then trust me those aren't the friends you want. No true friend will not care about something important to you.
  2. Usually the 1st year of marriage is the most difficult, but you survived. But, once your inner circle was expanded you began to have issues. Your husband is going to love his mother unconditionally. And that isn't a bad thing. Think about it like this he wouldn't be such a good husband if he didn't love the first woman in his life so deeply. That being said, it is sometimes hard for mother's to see their sons replace them. Especially as for most mother's their sons are their entire lives. Don't challenge her. I know that sounds crazy, but if she feels threatened it's worse. The second issue of your husband talking about your family and his "true colors". This is his family. His inner circle....his siblings. Don't get mad. Instead of fighting or arguing. Sit him down preferably when you are alone in the evening my psychologist side recommends touching in some fashion. Explain to him that you and him are your own family. That your personal families issues and his should be kept separate. Tell him its SWEET that he feels comfortable enough to share issues as though both families are his own, but you prefer if your new family was the only place information like this was discussed. Yes, it's hard saying kind things when you are mad. But, he will be way more responsive if you talk to him in a kind way. Plus, most likely he does feel comfortable with your family enough to share it with his own family as I am sure you discuss problems about your siblings with other siblings. He may not even see the issue. As for him sharing your plans. I think this is a great opportunity to tell him you understand that his mother's advice may be very helpful and you understand why her guidance is needed, but you want our family (ie him and you) to build your life together. You want to plan as a team. You want to be his confidant and go to planner. You are being harsh on him. I know you are upset, but you lived with this man a YEAR. You know his good and his bad. But, you have forgotten every man is a son. And for him heaven is beneath her feet. As for the month and all of those other issues...STOP. Just Stop. You need to let it go. Water off a ducks back. Let it roll off. Here is why....you will be with him forever (inshallah)....she won't. They have been in a relationship for YEARS....your relationship while it has depth you need more time to grow. If you attack or fight it makes you look bad. Don't just let it go. Instead focus on making sure your husband is happy. Bite your tongue with your mother-in-law. FYI My father is Iraqi so culturally I would say the love of their mother's runs deep. But, her behavior is definitely unique. But, the best way to deal with it is with sugar, honey, and everything nice. Pick your battles and don't battle with vinegar.....use honey. Second issue...DONT TALK ABOUT YOUR MARRIAGE TO ANYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even your sister-in-law. Whether you realize it or not talking like that creates more animosity inside of you. STOP. Every time you get the urge to say something....go pray or read Quran. Soothe your soul. Trust me. Now, your little argument.....don't fight. Just don't. When you get all mad don't talk about it wait till you calm down. When you talk to him do it after he is home from work, he has eaten, and prayed. Make sure you are touching in some way. And tell him all the things he did right, and when you tell him you don't like him talking to his mother about your fights...go back to this..."my dearest(or pet name) I know that you feel that your mom has helpful advice as I often think my mother does. But, I want us to work out our problems together so we can grow together from them. If you have an issue with me lets talk about it. I will do my best to not get into arguments with you. I don't like to fight with you. When I fight with you I miss you. Please if we argue again lets take time to cool down and work it out together just the TWO of us." I hope you noted that when you talk to him you should use kind words....be sweet. Don't attack. Show him how much your love him. Iraqi men or men in general love to know they are cared for. They need respect and arguing can become disrespectful fast. So don't do it. I am not saying this will happen overnight, but once you master this he too will become better. Then you both can become better together. As for your words on losing respect for him....that is not fair. You seem to be the individual who can see the entire picture. You are wise enough to see the problem so don't let your emotions eat you up. Be smart about it. And tell him that you want stuff to stay between you...in a SWEET way. Next issue, WHY would you try to have a baby if you lost respect for your partner? Babies make things more difficult. I love children. Believe me I want children myself. But, you need to ensure your marriage is rock solid before you introduce another innocent life that will cry and need most of your attention. You aren't ready for a baby. His mother whatever her motives is right. Yes, I know that is harsh to hear. But, wait for it. His excuses are all bs yes....but they maybe because of something else...such as he is worried about the future. Maybe like yourself he is worried about the future. It doesn't matter who put the worry in his head you didn't exactly get rid of them. You kind of played right into his mother's hand. So my advice....once again pull him aside...alone....touching....and tell him you would love to start a family with him and you understand why he is concerned about the future and money, and you agree that maybe now isn't the right time. BUT you feel money isn't the real issue you think that you BOTH have lost focus on loving each other. Tell him you want to focus on your marriage and building a strong foundation for your family. My mother who has 6 kids and has been married over 37 years told me a great piece of advice which I will give to you. "Love is like an ocean waves on the surface maybe crashing but underneath it should be calm". Your marriage will never been all roses and butterflies. Marriage is not easy I mean you clearly understand a small fight over a towel can turn into something much bigger. But, marriage will teach you what is truly important in life. Moreover, the way you deal with those problems will truly dictate your happiness. You both seem like lovely individuals so my advice WORK AT IT. Fight for your marriage. Divorce isn't something you should be considering over such small issues. Do you feel that you are completely blameless? I will be frank with you...you aren't. If you see who his mother is then why did you do exactly what she wanted? Outsmart her. Be kind. Loving. Supportive. If you do those things and if you can manage to change the way you fight these moments will look like the beginning of the best thing that ever happened to you. I cannot stress to you enough to change the way you talk to your husband. Don't stop communicating just communicate in a different manner. Lastly, his mom won't be around forever. Play the long term game. Focus on your marriage and your husband. Believe me their aren't that many good men out there. If you have a good one hold onto him. The issues you're describing are not uncommon or ridiculous. And with some patience you really could turn this around. I am sorry if I was harsh with you, but I pray you will consider what I am sharing. I wish you all the best in your marriage. May God guide you and help you both become closer to each other and God.
  3. Love comes in many different forms...Prophet Muhammed (s.a.w.) is quoted,"A man marries a woman for four reasons: for her property, for her rank, for her beauty, and for her religion (and character). So marry the one who is best in the religion and character and prosper." So, that being said fall in love with someone for the religion and character is the best. However, these characteristics do not give the full depth of an individual. Personally, I believe that love is a difficult term to define. Instead of "Love" maybe you should focus on respect, trust, and friendship before marriage. Love is an inevitability once these things align. In the Holy Quran it says, "And among his signs in this, that he created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and he has put affection and mercy between you: verily in that are signs for those who reflect". Is this not the definition of Love? Finding someone that you can forgive 1,000 times over and you find peace with them. But, to truly love we need to accept that person unconditionally which I believe you can only truly feel after marriage. So Love in its true sense after marriage. But lesser love or maybe shallow love before marriage.
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