Safe Space

Ironically, there’s always a lot of emails from people in similar situations or difficult marital situations asking me for advice.  It’s nice that people think I have advice to offer although I would have thought it would be the opposite; I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t think I would be going to a bloke whose wife ran off with the milkman and ask him how to keep a relationship strong.

Rather than have a post about my going ons, I thought I would invite others to write in.  Perhaps you’re in a messy situation, maybe you’re going through a split and struggling, single and feeling the pressures to get married, post-split and finding it difficult to start again, divorced with kids and can’t seem to figure out how to manage that disconnect.

A lot of the time, I don’t feel I have the right advice to offer, mainly because it’s not a situation I’ve been in.  I would like to use this post as a platform; a safe space for anybody whose a bit lost and wants to try to connect with others in the same situation.  If I feel that I have any peas of wisdom (because let’s face it, pearls are too expensive) then I’ll offer it up.

Please feel free to pour your heart out in the comments section and equally if anything resonates with you then lend a helping hand.

12 thoughts on “Safe Space

  1. I have been married for 5+ yrs. It was arranged, I didn’t know my husband very well at all. Initially, I felt divinely guided and agreed to the marriage because I genuinely believed it was from God and that we would be compatible. However, over time, I realized how are cultural differences were significant since I grew up in the West and he, in Pakistan.

    Although he had been living/working/studying in the West for about 10 years when we married, over our time together, it’s the home grown roots that have come out especially with regards to dealing with family and social issues. Initially, the cultural and personality differences – I took them as a learning opportunity. Tried to appreciate and embrace whatever I could. But eventually, my accepting nature became a tool that he and his family used to become more and more controlling.

    After lot’s of cries and duas, slowly my husband is beginning to become more caring and empathetic. He is trying. However, his family – (and I promise over the years I’ve done my best to make things work with them) have only grown to be more and more greedy, controlling and manipulative – not just toward me but also my husband. My biggest problem is that my husband refuses to see it, refuses to be assertive and set enough boundaries. I somehow let things pass all these years but now I am very worried because he is seriously considering sponsoring and bringing them over. He says they would not live with us but nearby. In my experience with them, it makes no difference as they will be dominating and interfering no matter what. Honestly, if they were open minded and cooperative I would not mind at all. However, all those who have joined their family – whether daughter in laws or son in laws are honestly treated like doormats – we are there to be controlled and act like wallpaper – nothing else.

    I don’t want to live like that. I don’t want my children to come into an environment like that . I am seriously now considering divorce because although my husband is improving as a spouse, I don’t think he will change the way he handles his family and it will be a constant source of tension between us. A tension that I don’t want to live with.

    Moreover, I don’t want to make him choose between me and his family. I feel that is unfair so I’d rather get out of the picture. It’s so sad because I came into this marriage really determined to make things work and have happy and healthy relations with everyone.

    But it is difficult and nearly impossible when your in laws refuse to accept you. When in their eyes, you and their son are nothing but objects to control….as harsh as it sounds, in my experience- in his family, sons are ATM machines and daughter in laws are baby-making and cooking machines.

    I don’t think I can flourish or even survive in a dysfunctional set up like this especially with a husband who refuses to see the abuse or stand up to it.

    Any advice, reflections or words of support would be greatly appreciated! My only support system right now is duas, conversations with Allah and whatever resource I can find online… 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I would play it out….divorce seems a drastic step to take in this circustance but I get it, if they’ve managed to interfere from so far away then it will only get worse when they’re here. Your husband will need to lay down some boundaries and you’ll need ti try talk to him to put those boundaries in place.

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  2. I am Muslim, Asian British born divorced from a Pakistani man. The stories and mind games from ex and in laws. I left almost exactly 2 years ago, after 15 years of mental abuse. The main difference is I have 2 kids. so as much as I would love to close this huge chapter of my life. Can’t really do it properly.

    Anyway I loved reading but was equally sad to know other have been through similar.

    How log did it take you before he was not the first thought in your head each morning and the last one at night?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Anon. I left my physically abusive (and mentally abusive) husband in December 2015 after about 11 months of marriage- 5 months of which he was overseas. The 6 months we did spend together were hell for me- I was attending work everyday battered and bruised over trivial matters- the turning point came when he attempted to kill me through strangulation. At this point, I threw him out and got him charged by the police. We have no kids which is extremely lucky.

      You asked how long it takes before you begin to heal. For me,it has been about 6 months and I think of him less and less. I am surrounded by an amazing support network and have been very lucky in that regard- it helps that he’s since returned to his home country and there is no danger of seeing him. However, if it has been 2 years for yoruself and you are still having difficulties I think you should consider some counselling. It’s not for everyone but you need to move on with your life and make the most of it. Wishing you the best moving forward xxxxx

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  3. If I’m honest, it probably took a year before I wasn’t thinking about him but upto three years before I really felt ready to move on again and over the situation. For me, I flitted from hate to love to hate to indifference. Sorry to hear of your own situation and perhaps others in the situation with children could offer some insight too x

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  4. i live with a violent man. i know it and it’s never been warped in my head. i’ve no doubt he will kill me one of these days. i don’t leave becuz there is nowhere to go or noone to help. i got married young and never was even allowed a job so have no money or ever had a life. sometimes i think it’s better to end it myself than let him do it.

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    • Hello Phee, even taking a step which may seem so small such as writing on a blog is actually huge. I’m sorry about your situation and it’s one I can empathise with. Living with an abuser makes you believe you have no out and that bringing it all to an end will eventually give you peace. There is a way out and there is plenty of help around. Please drop me an email at desidivorced@gmail.com which will be kept private and I will do my best to help you with information about services if you’re in the UK and if you’re not then we will still find something. You’re not alone despite what you may be feeling right now x

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  5. There are people out there who can help you! I fuess you cant say what area you’re in..?there are professional services etc. Even calling the police may help. You are really strong, you just have to find it within you. Sending you lots of love xxx

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  6. I want to take my scarf off. I used to believe in it so much but lately I feel like it’s stifling me..I don’t know why I have so much built up resentment and anger towards it as well as my parents.. Maybe because I feel like he would have treated me better if I was a trophy wife. I really want to take it off to live a normal life and not have to deal with the responsibility of being an apparent Muslim in this society. I just want to disappear when I walk out, not stand out like a sore thumb. I secretly also feel like I will find someone that loves me and I will find more friends if I don’t wear it. Right now I feel like my scarf prevents me from both things as I’ve seen their aversion from it..I don’t know what to do because I don’t want my in laws to laugh at me and be like we told u to take it off and you were stuck up and religious and now you took it off just so u can find someone to love u

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