Muslim Mamas - Marriage counseling? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 06-18-2010, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Have any of you ever been to marriage/couples counseling? I think DH and I need to go. We have been married for 6 years and have a 2 year old alhamdullilah. Most of the times, we are ok. But sometimes we really feel like we don't like each other. We do not communicate very well, and we both know we need to work on that. We live in a small community. I feel we should go to a professional outside of Islam. I think we can take the tools they give us and work them islamically. There is really not an imam we can talk to. We have one here, and DH spoke with him about some issues with his parents. There was no resolution there. It's not that one of us wants an Imam and one doesn't. That's not the issue. I am just interested to see if anyone has gone to counseling. Honestly, I think DH suffers from depression. He just gets in the worst moods and it's like he "goes into himself". He won't talk, or gives me 1 answer replies, he keeps a scowl on his face, gets mad at the smallest things. When we're good and all in a good mood, everything is perfect. He adores our son and is SO good with him alhamdullilah. But when he's in a bad mood, it puts me in a bad mood too. Even if I come home happy, it changes my mood. I don't know how to just carry on with my good mood when there is a black cloud in the house. Any suggestions?

I'm Aicha . In love with my DH, and my Adam (4/23/08) . boobie monster.
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#2 of 3 Old 06-22-2010, 08:17 AM
 
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Salamu Alaykum, Sister. I wanted to respond because I hate to see a question go without comment. I and my DH have not been to counseling, and in fact he claims he would never even consider it--especially from a non-Muslim professional. He takes the idea of our being garments for one another very seriously, and would invite no third party into any discussion about our relationship. He also sees a lot of dysfunction in colleagues' marriages and chalks it up to value differences...I could go on but it's not really relevant.

I can relate to your description of dh's behaviors when he is not feeling good and how it affects you, though. My own dh and I went through truly terrible times for several years. He is easily depressed, depends a lot on hard physical work to stay of sound mind, suffers with SAD and we live in the north, and he's far from all of his family.

He does still relapse from time to time. Of course he wouldn't think of taking medication--I wouldn't push it on him, but the SAD household is difficult come winter--but finally after 12 years married he has come to recognize stuff.

For my part, I have done a lot of work separating myself from his illness (I don't cause it and can't cure it). I encourage good health in every way I can. I encourage and support trips to see his family as often as possible. It's not perfect, but we've done a lot to make it better. Getting as close as possible to eliminating TV is huge for us, as is eating a clean diet and having a relationship with nature. Finding just a few families to have close friendships with also has helped. We are not closely entwined with the larger social group; we know everyone but don't feel sucked into it too deeply.

Also, what I've found too much is that the imams we have are very young and inexperienced in life. They can offer suggestions from Quran and Sunnah, but no life experience to back anything up, as they are 5 years younger than we are, two years in the US and one year married, kwim?

Anyway, a and support to you. Can you at least see if dh will explore with you what triggers his negative feelings?
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#3 of 3 Old 06-25-2010, 04:29 AM
 
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Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,

I don't know about counseling, but if you are both willing to try, why not? I would think it might be helpful to go to some one who understands the Muslim culture or a more traditional/conservative culture in general. I agree going to imams for relationship issues is often not useful. I probably would skip that part unless someone's Islamic rights are being violated or if the imam has a good reputation for dealing with relationship issues. Many imams are not at all trained in dealing with that and don't have insight or experience that is relevant.


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Originally Posted by yasinsmama View Post
But when he's in a bad mood, it puts me in a bad mood too. Even if I come home happy, it changes my mood. I don't know how to just carry on with my good mood when there is a black cloud in the house. Any suggestions?
When he withdraws and has a bad mood, would it work for you to just give him space and distance yourself from him for a while until he comes out of it? Do something special for yourself during that time so you are not focused on him. It might take some getting used to, but I found in my marriage I saved myself a lot of suffering by letting go of expectations and dependence on my husband. If he is unhappy, that is his deal, not mine. I can be compassionate to him and show sympathy with out having to take on his mood or letting his actions change my mood.
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