Q: I have been married for the past 3 years and have recently started having problems with my husband. After we got married, my husband relocated from another country to where we live now. He had difficulties getting a job and so I have been the sole provider for our home since I did have a job. I am typically a very quiet person and social situations make me anxious.
During this time my husband started complaining that I do not keep in touch with his side of the family as much as he wants me to, however I am very respectful towards them and whenever I get time off work, I try to visit them. Whenever they visit our house, I make sure that they feel very comfortable, ensuring that I prepare all their food and serve them, even though I work full time, and make sure they lack nothing.
During this time when he was still without a job, he worked so hard to make sure he completed a house for his mother, with contributions from his siblings. 6 months ago, my husband found a job Alhamdullilah, though in a different city from where I work and stay. I supported him and made sure that he was able to find a decent place to live and even assisted him with all the rent deposits etc. The work has been beneficial to him Masha Allah but the problem is that he has never once provided for us. I have continued providing for myself and our child. Whenever I ask him why he is not supporting us, he says that there are many things that he needs to sort out first. His first priority after getting his salary was to buy a car, which he said was very important for his work.
Whenever he visits us during the weekend, which is only 2 days, he goes to his mothers’ place for a day, which has led to a few uncomfortable conversations, with me asking him to stay with us and him saying I do not like his family and that is why I do not want him to visit them.
A few months ago, the house I currently live in started getting repairs done and we have been exposed to much construction related dust. I have been worried about this exposure for our toddler, so I told him about it and asked if we could find another house to move to. He suggested a few places that are far from where I leave our baby during the day and an area that is not safe for us. I discussed with him several times but he seemed not to want to change his mind. I was finally able to find a place near my work place and day care for the baby, Alhamdullilah, but he said that he hated the place. All this time we continue getting exposed to dust and the baby has gotten sick a few times. I finally told him that we have to move to the place I found temporarily, so that we can get away from all the construction, as we look for other options. Being impatient and worried for the health of my child and myself, I have gone to this new house and paid for everything so that we can move in, but he has not helped with any costs at all.
Now he is angry at me saying that I do not respect him, just because I have money. I do not know what to do. I am sad and I just found out that I am pregnant again.
My question to you is whether I have disrespected my husband by moving to a place that is safer for me and the baby? What am I supposed to do as I have tried to talk to him and he still does not understand? Is it right for a husband not to provide for his family, even if the wife is working? Am I supposed to be in constant contact with his family despite working full time both at work and at home? What should I do now?
A: Your husband should be practical and considerate towards his infant child. It is his obligation to see to the welfare and well being of his child and wife. If he is neglectful in this regard then he is sinful.
You are not under obligation to go to his family or take care of them. This is another zulm that he is committing.
And Allah Ta’ala (الله تعالى) knows best.
Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)