Husband does not want his step-son to live with him
Fatwa No: 294397

Question

Asalaamu alaykum. I am a 34-year-old female. I have a son from a previous marriage who is 13 years old. I remarried again after 12 years. My new husband and I have been having alot of issues and arguments over the 1.5 years that we have been married. He has left around four times due to arguments and me telling him to leave or him leaving on his own accord. Last time, he came back after two months, and now he left around seven weeks ago. He will start a fight for any reason, including about my son, and that he does not want him to live with us anymore even though this was discussed before marriage and he agreed that we would all live together. Even the smallest arguments with him become extreme, and he will say that I do not want to live with him, which is why we are arguing, but that is not the case, and he is usually the one who starts. I am not perfect in any way and have never claimed to be right. His parents and family have been trying to get him to reconcile with me, but he will not listen to anyone. He continuously changes his mind as to wether he will come back or not. I am extremely stressed and due to this have no job, and he will not help financially. I have tried everything for him to come to his senses and come back, but he will not see that. I have even said that it is all my fault and that he should forgive me, and so on. I just do not know what to do anymore.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His Slave and Messenger.

We have previously underlined the ruling on accommodating the wife’s son (from her ex-husband) with her in her new husband’s house and when it is permissible for her to do so and when it is not permissible in fataawa 221680 and 131056, so please refer to them.

You should know that marital problems normally occur in any marriage; the real problem lies in handling them nervously instead of addressing them wisely and reasonably to find the solution. In this case, satan finds his perfect chance to sow the seeds of discord, hatred, and enmity among the spouses. Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {Indeed, Satan is an enemy to you; so take him as an enemy. He only invites his party to be among the companions of the Blaze.} [Quran 35:6] The spouses should have mutual respect and be keen to fulfill their respective rights over one another.

Forsaking one’s wife (i.e. denying her conjugal rights) is governed by specific rules and limits in Islam; the husband is not entitled to forsake his wife for the slightest reason without abiding by the due rules and limits. The first thing we advise you to do is to be patient and to turn to Allaah in sincere supplication; verily, Allaah, The Exalted, is near and answers people’s supplications. He says (what means): {And when My servants ask you [O Muhammad] concerning Me - indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.} [Quran 2:186]

You should also strive in seeking the help and mediation of wise people to reconcile between you; Allaah, The Exalted, says (what means): {And if a woman fears from her husband contempt or evasion, there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them - and settlement is best. And present in [human] souls is stinginess. But if you do good and fear Allaah - then indeed Allaah is ever, with what you do, Acquainted.} [Quran 4:128] If, eventually, it was inevitable to refer the case to a judge in a sharee'ah-court or an entity that serves the same function, then there is nothing wrong with that.

It is incumbent on the husband to provide for his wife; it is impermissible for him to fall short in observing this obligation without a valid excuse. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "It is sufficient sin for a man that he neglects the ones he maintains." [Ahmad and Abu Daawood]

If the husband does not provide for his wife, then she is entitled to go out to work without his permission.

Allaah knows best.

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