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Only 1% Improvemnt in Our Relationship

Question and answer details
Aysha
Only 1% Improvemnt in Our Relationship
2010-01-27
I am an only child and I have been married for 1 year al hamdu-Lillah. During this year my husband and I had huge problems because of my M.I.L. [mother-in-law], and were separated for 2 months at the will of my husbands and M.I.L. After 2 months he took me back promising not to repeat his mistake and to keep me happy. It has been over 2 months now, but still our situation is the same. There is only 1% improvement in our relationship, and only becuase M.I.L is not here - she will be returning to the U.A.E. permanently 1 month from now. My husband sends 3/4 of his salary to India becuase after the problemmy M.I.L  is asking for more money from my dear husband and for property work in India so whenever I require things for myself or for the house e.g. furniture ,car service he says he does not have money,v only spend for house food thats all. He didn't give me 'Eidi ['eid present] becuase he said he didn't have enough money in his bank. Before he used to show me his transaction slips, but now he throws them away without showing them to me. I have tried so many times in many different ways lovingly,emotionally etc to discuss matters with him, but no use. He simply says "I am not comfortable discussing this with you". It hurts me to realize that I am not being treated as a part of his family, and not even a part of his life. Now my mother has cataract surgery tomorrow, she has to have bed rest for 1 week and should not go to the kitchen for about 2 weeks.I have to go and take care of her.I don't know how to manage my cooking for my dear  husband, and mom at the same time. I have to stay at my parents place for about 2 weeks at least ,how and what should I tell my husband. This will affect our marriage. What should I do about cooking,and taking care -- can my husband stay with my parents ,what if he does not agree how should I deal with this situation please guide me as soon as possible...
Karima Burns
Answer
Your situation sounds very frustrating. It is very difficult to be married and be in a relationship. When there is more than one person involved it definitely makes it all that much harder. You can help make this situation less complicated for yourself by reducing the problems down to one person. By continually comparing, you are allowing this third person to become part of the relationship even more than she already is.

It will help bring you more peace if you can think about your own needs and those of your husband in a more focused manner. For example, in the case of cooking. What is the real need and issue? Your husband needs to eat. If his mother wants to cook for him, then there should be no harm in allowing her to do this. Cooking is a form of showing love for many women and perhaps she is unable to show her love in other ways (hugs and conversation).

There are also ways a wife can express love other than cooking, that a mother cannot use. Perhaps you can take a break from the cooking and use other languages for a while. Take this opportunity to take a shower and prepare yourself in a beautiful way (while she is cooking) so you arrive at the dinner table in a state that is hard to argue with. What gentleman will be sad that his wife spent time looking beautiful instead of cooking?

Explore what his needs are in this time and what your needs are. Does he need to eat? Why do you want to cook? Do you need to express love? Do you need to feel you are performing in some way? Find out why you have this need and ask yourself if there are other ways in which you can fulfill this need.

In the case of money try to forget what he is sending away and focus instead on the real needs of the home. Only you and your husband can decide these needs and unfortunately, for each person, this definition is different.

In a capitalist society, companies feel that earning should be unlimited and so the owners of the companies keep all the money and pay their employees small salaries. On the other end of the spectrum, in some societies, no one is allowed to accumulate wealth and everyone should share equally. In such a society it would be wrong for you to have anything more than other members of the family and the wealth would naturally be distributed.

Of course neither you nor your husband are on the complete extremes of this spectrum. However, you probably fall into different places in this spectrum. Try to understand where he "falls" in this range of ideas. At the same time try to identify what your real needs are and approach your husband about how you can get those needs met. However, when you approach him, approach him openly, without accusation and without mentioning his mother. Give him time to think about how he can meet your needs. Don't insist on an answer right away. Do not feel badly that he is throwing away receipts. Some people are uncomfortable sharing finances with their partner. Are you comfortable bringing him all the receipts from everything you buy - even groceries - and having him look at them?

I once counseled a woman whose husband looked at her grocery receipts every week and would get angry if she purchased even one "unneeded item" like a soda. The more your husband sees that you are focusing on his needs and your needs and not being worried so much about HOW those needs are met he will open up to you more and feel more comfortable and confident in meeting those needs.

For further guidance, please try the following link(s):
Love and Intimacy
Communication Between Husband & Wife In Focus
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