Wednesday, August 30, 2006

And I wonder...

There are so many unknowns in this life. Predicting, planning it seems like an impossible job.

Walking into my children's new school on Monday I felt so many things... I remembered my first days as a teacher 9 years ago. I remembered the buzz I got working at an Islamic school with the future Muslims of the world. It felt great to lead them into the room where we held the jummah. It felt to pull on little hijabs and straighten little lines of children. I felt as if I was bringing something to the ummah. I also felt every day I was learning more about the deen.

Now, I can honestly say that I haven't been to a halaqa or lecture since my middle son was a year old... That's four years now. This is NOTHING like what I planned. I am feeling further and further from the community and further and further away from the possibility that my situation will change. It's depressing.

I think so many things that re happening to us have to do with lowered iman. My DH and I both were in a better state of iman when we married. I remember him teaching me things, taking time to correct my recitations of the few surahs I know. I had dreams of really increasing my knowledge with his help. Then all of the learning stopped.

For at least 6 years now I have been feeling like he isn't lifting us... I am dragging him. And I am not that person. I know it's no excuse but I'm a convert, I need help myself. Help that I hoped I would get by marrying a born Muslim who spoke Arabic. I hate to just spew... But this is getting harder and harder. Even just talking about it I am ready to cry because I am afraid there is no blessing on our life. Is that crazy?

I know there are all sorts of dreams and ideas you have when you first get married, and that these are often lost. But this dream of an Islamic household is one that I refuse to let go of. I am tired, I am lost, I am not even certain (considering how our lives have turned out) if there is any good in this marriage at all. Right now what I see is that neither of us are the Muslims we were when we married. Maybe we are just a bad combination. Maybe it's not us but the longer we stay here with no community the more it will became a trail.

Even as I am writing this I feel like I could just dissolve at any moment. He keeps telling me I am going to push him to do something "crazy" that will effect our lives forever. You know what, I think we have to do something crazy to pull ourselves out of this. Enough entrepreneurial BS. Lets pack the bags and move to someplace where we can have a life.

12 comments:

Honorary Arab said...

Asalamalaykom EW,

I too have those same memories of teaching, of dreams for married life, of being part of the ummah. I do think that you have to be Muslim where you are. If you can't be Muslim where you are, if you think the ummah is better overseas, or a different husband will make you a better wife, then you set yourself up for a fall.

I want a better life and I wish one for you too. See what you have control over and exert control over the little you can do. But, you don't have control over your husband, so don't try that route! LOL Take care :)

SUHAA said...

asalaam alaikum warahmat Allah,
dear sister. i pray that Allah grants you patience. You know sister, I'm going to tell you something that always works for me when I am sincere and in need of wisdom. I make wudu, go get the Quran and before opening it, I make duaa to Allah..one from the depth of my heart to lay my eyes on an Ayah (A verse) that will grant me contentment or guide me in relation to my current situation. SubhanAllah, this always works. Allah talks to us when we read Quran and this is one of many of its miracles. No doubt there are blessings in your life, you need to rebel against Shaitan. Although I know this is easier said than done, just try to focus on yourlife and why it is you do what you do..is it for Allah or for who really? Allah is with you and no one but Him will ever know the depth of any of our hearts, and if you can remind yourself of that you will find yourself making more duaa and prostrating in the middle of your living room in asking for guideance even when not in prayer. Our hearts are cold, and are minds are confused when the center of our lives have been focussed away from our purpose. Also, ALLAH gives and takes things away from all of us. No one has nothing, and everyone has something. Say SubhanAllah more often..even if you can't think of a reason too..sat Alhamdulilah when something really disappointing just happened, say mashaAllah when you notice your kids coming home proud to be Muslims..even in public schools. Everytime you get ticked seek ALLAH to push Shaitan away so you may have patience. In all honesty sister, I feel for you and Allah knows that I pray for your strength. But at the same time perhaps rather than blogging to all of us readers, maybe you should blog to Allah..Write Him a letter. I'm serious. If it's not as easy to say the words while talking in a closed room..then type it out. He will Listen, He is As-Sami. Remind yourself that Allah tests those whom He loves the most too. InshaAllah you will pass these tests. Please do not be offended by what I've said, this comment is just as much as a reminder to myself as towards anyone else. May Allah grant you, your husband and family guidenace..and all of us too.
your sister,
suhaa

shazia said...

salaamu aliakum,

I think that all of us go through this feeling of decreasing iman... my last post was on this very same topic www.un-veil.com, and at some level I do think that having small kids can make a person REALLY tired! :)

Sister Suhaa had a really thoughtful comment, with good suggestions, so I will just say "I totally know how you feel!" Make dua, and I think that changing one small thing in hopes of increasing you iman will go a long way! :)

Donna said...

Hi,

I've been married for 8 years now andI know what you are talking about. I have learned the hard way that it really is the wife who is the spiritual leader of the home. It is we who "set the pace". This kinda sucks because that means we have to pull ourselves up off the floor by our boot straps (because there is no one else who can do that for us) and get ourselves where we need to be spiritually and everywhere else. I have found that when we do that our husbands tend to follow suit...usually. Also keep in mind that you are going through a transition right now with a new baby. You are having to adjust to taking care of an extra one without going postal on the rest of the crew. I only have 2 kids and I feel crazy half the time. Your hormones are also still out of wack especially if you breastfeed which I did with my guys for 3 years each. Give yourself a break. Actually since that is logistically impossible...find someone to give you a break so you can take a deep breath, collective your thoughts, and find your bearings.
Ultimately, only you can work on YOU and your spiritual, emotional, and physically needs. Your husband is responsible for his. Sounds like he needs to take ownership of his own problems and figure out how to solve them. YOu will never be able to "fix" him. Nor are your responsible for that.
He has sleep apnea. He is aware of this. He KNOWS what he must do to treat this problem. If he does not choose to fix the sleep apnea then he is responsible for the consequences...not you!! He may try to by saying you and the kids are keeping him awake. No, his oxygen deprived body is what is making him feel like crap and keeping him awake. Do NOT let him peg this on you. He has chosen to live this way.


It sounds like he feels boxed in if he is saying he may do something "crazy". As a health care professional I must tell you he may need some professional counseling or psychiatric evaluations. He sounds as if he is under a lot of stress (well, who isn't) and cannot find a way out. Maybe you could go with him to his next doctor's visit and encourage him to discuss some of his feelings with the md. You may be able to call ahead of time and speak with the doctor about your concerns before you both go in.
Above all, you need to take precautions to ensure the safety of you and your children. Make a plan if things "get crazy" and you need to get out quick. A sleep and oxygen deprived mind can think of some pretty funky things and none of them are pretty.
I do not mean to be so lengthy or harsh but I have been checking out your blog for sometime now and I feel as if I know you a little. And we sisters need to hang tight!! Keep us posted please. Sounds as if this is a lifeline for you so keep writing.

Imaan On Ice said...

as salamu aleykum,

you have already gotten really wonderful advices by the other sisters, mashaAllah, so I will say only this;

You're not alone. I go through this RIGHT NOW with myself and my husband (is there such a thing as a 8-years-crisis?!) and judging by the comments many are...

There are some things to do;
1) Be patient (you have been but be even moore), give things time.

2) Set bounderies. He is responsible for his own actions, yes - but you and the children have to live with the consequenses. You will simple have to tell him what is not acceptable to you, and live by that (hard, I know - but necessary).

3) Take control of your own life. Have a talk with yourself to find out what you really need and then with him and explain what you want, try to get his understanding and then DO IT.

My best from Imaan

Mona UmIbrahim said...

http://www.wsws.org/articles/1999/sep1999/shift-s06.shtml

Umm Mai said...

As-salaam alaikum,
Call me Umm Layla!

Umm Mai

UmmLayla said...

Jazak'Allah Khair sisters for listening. Suhaa, no offense taken. I do journal in private (which is my way to just spill it all) to Allah... ITRW I am reserved about my private life for the most part (recently the more I am brimming over the more I say).

Mona, that article was great. Subhan'Allah, all the things I have been complaining to him about. I know when I was working his hours (I helped when the bussiness was new) I found myself yelling more, sleeping poorly, I didn't feel like myself...

UmmMai, I will call you ASAP, insha'Allah.

JAK again sisters.

phoneix mama said...

Dear EW,

I have been reading your posts and have really connected with them but haven't felt compelled to leave a comment. However, when i read the latest one it was like reading my own thoughts. I felt someone really understood what i was going through.

I am also English (my parent's are converts) and married to a British Pakistani guy.

I have two small children and feel that i have just totally lost myself in the past few years - i have disappeared.

my husband has also changed too. i chose to marry him because i felt he was active in the ummah and could teach me things. Now, due to unspecified reasons, i feel as though the only way i can have any connection with Allah is to exclude him from the equation and try to do my own thing. Of course every time we argue i feel my own connection get a bit weaker.

the other advice was all correct but i feel hard to apply it to myself. i can't persuade/cajol/control my husband and ur right, the only way to get peace is not to try any more.

Allah does always listen and ur prayers will be answered eventually, Insha'Allah.

Whenever i have a mental problem over why am i still with someone who isn't what i really want (and sometimes even like) i remember that i prayed hard when i chose to marry him and i had dreams that persuaded me to go for it. i can't forget at that time i felt Allah wanted me to marry him. Perhaps, Insha'Allah, there is a reason for this that will become clear later.

If we have 'sabr' (patience) it might be ok eventually.

Please pray for me, feeling exactly the same as you. I will remember u in my prayers

Anonymous said...

Lady, you take care and I hope things work out for you, your kids and even for your husband.

I came here looking for a Muslim opinion on the new rules at the kaaba, but found this sad post.

I am no friend of Islam - but this is not the time for that.

Marriage is not easy and it takes lots of work and dedication. Most of all it takes love and patience - but it is a two way street (that is 35 years of matrimony speaking, mostly good and great times, but a few difficult moments - or rather days and weeks).

Has your husband read this post? Is he aware of your feelings? I hope so and I hope he is thinking about them. He needs to decide what is important - and you two have children.

Once again, I hope you both make the right decisions for the right reasons.

John Arthur, aka kactuz

umm maryan said...

Assalaamu alaikum sister
I know this doesn't address all the issues you raise but i found that these sites help, they are free and the short classes are great iman boosters.
www.sacredlearning.com
www.zamzamacademy.com
take care
umm maryam

Safa said...

Oh, sister....please be patient.....we all go thru the ups an downs of marriage......Allah tests us all......what sort of weave do you have in your fabric??