Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have a decision to make... I don't know what to do...

Here is the situation... My husband has not seen his family since he got here about a year and a half ago, and they have never seen Nora. Early on we spoke of going to Egypt before Nora became 2 (she is 21 months old now), the reason being that we could save a plane ticket fee by sitting this baby on us. And obviously he wants to see his family and wants to show off his daughter. He feels bad that they have never met her while she sees my parents and brother at least 2 times a week, often more.

Now where it gets complicated is here... I have a job and I just started there 11 months ago. I have 2 weeks vacation. I have not had any vacation since I started. The most was getting 5 days in a row for Christmas because of it being tagged onto the weekend. I don't want to go through the 24 or so of hell it will take to go to Egypt and the other 24h of hell to come back. I don't want to spend 5000$. And especially not cramming all this in the only 16 days in a row I will have off until next year (and really, I would never take my vacations in April normally, so it would be another 16 months without vacation).

I want to go to Egypt, I miss it so much! But I want to go when I'm in between things, so I can stay for a couple months. So that it's worth all the pain of travel, so that I can actually delve into Islam fully, so my daughter can at least know her grand-parents by the end of the trip, things we won't even be able to do rushing around Egypt for 2 weeks. And on top of that, he plans on staying extra, meaning I come back alone with the baby!

I totally understand his side of missing his family, and the situation has become more important because his dad has just had open-heart surgery and it's just always unsure when health is not stable... He'd never forgive me if his dad didn't meet our daughter and I would feel bad forever. This is what is making me actually consider going.

But man... I don't think I can deal with packing, travelling with a baby, rushing there and coming back and being out almost 5000$! My husband can't understand that because he doesn't take care of her that much anway and because he'd be staying there longer! And he can't understand what it's like to work 5 days a week for a year. He has spent most of the time at home. He has French classes full time and has for the past few months, but he has vacations between each "semester" and has missed at least 3 weeks of classes just "cause".

He has no idea what it's like to wake up earlier than him, wake the baby, wake him, get us all ready, go to work until 5, come home to make supper and do the dishes, give the bath, do the bedtime routine. She just recently started falling asleep on her own and so I recently started having time for myself at night. I used to just fall asleep right with her. Now I'm more tired during the day but at least I have some "me time". And weekends are fun and relaxing, but there's still stuff that needs to be done, and I take our daughter everywhere I go. This is my routine week after week. His life has no strict routine. He stays up until 4am playing games, skips a morning of class, goes for a few days, has the weekend to play games and watch shows... It's not the same and I think of myself only when I say that I DO NOT WANT TO GO TO EGYPT!

16 Comentários:

Jamilah said...

Do you have this $5000 all saved and ready to go?

I can understand his wanting his dad to see the baby in case anything happens.

Asiya Abdullah said...

Hmmm, it seems like you have some pent up frustrations about the dynamics of the relationship. Have you tried calmly expressing to him that last paragraph there? It really says a lot and if he's a good person he'll definitely understand where you're coming from. If he insists on you travelling, then he should be willing to change some of his behaviors and pitch in a little more at home. Talk to him, tell him that you completely support him and want him and Nora to see the family back in Egypt, but that some things are gonna have to change in order for everyone to be happy...Inshaa Allaah, we're hoping and praying that he's a good guy like most Egyptians (I'm married to one mashaa Allaah), and will empathize with you and try to understand help you more.

Candice said...

Jamilah: About the money, I have part and he has part (he's able to save more because I take care of the bills) and we could have it saved up by the time it comes.

Asiya: I think you're right. I didn't realize how I sounded though... We do talk about it and he has started to pitch in a bit more since he started with these Egypt plans, I guess. But I'm sure it's hard for him to understand still... His mom had a full time job and did everything around the house while his dad had the same exact job as his mom, but didn't really pitch in. So it will be difficult to break that idea that women do EVERYTHING and men work only.

Jamilah said...

Sweetie, why are you taking care of the bills? Is he in school now or something? Again I'm trying not to come across as rude, just concerned really.

And I didn't want to say anything about the way he spends his time BUT he really should be helping a bit more especially if he is not paying the bills...

Candice said...

Bit of a complicated story, but he is studying French now since we're in Quebec. He doesn't have a full time job, but he makes some money on the side. It's unstable. He has started giving me some money for a share of the costs so it lightens the load on me! But I definitely think that considering he has so much more free time than I do and is not the main breadmaker either, he should do something to make it all a bit more equal between us. It will come with time, I suppose.

أم ترافيس said...

I would have to agree with sis Jamilah's line of thinking... Islamically speaking he should actually be more responsible. If for some reason he cant, I would imagine that he should help more in other way (logically speaking)... I think you are between a rock and a hard place. I can totally see how home sick he might be, specially with your daughter and all -- so that is his right -- but there is certainly more to it than just the trip. May Allah make it easy for you.

Jamilah said...

Ok, I don't want to be a nudge, but he really is not acting like a Muslim husband at all. Its his responsibility to provide for the family entirely. In some cases the wife can help (I do) but he needs to re think what he is doing. And if he isn't going to get a job I suggest you get him a nice maids outfit :)

Candice said...

I keep thinking about it and I will have to just encourage him to go to Egypt by himself for a couple months. And next year, we could all go together. I really don't think his dad's condition is all that bad considering they made this procedure... it's only to make his dad's life longer so once he has recovered, he'll only be healthier than he was before.

Jamilah: I'm sure that being the provider financially is exactly what he wants, but he is discouraged that he simply can't without speaking French. We are in Quebec. I wish he would do more around the house until he was able to find work, but he just always imagined he'd work full time and that's it... Housework probably didn't cross his mind as something he might have to do... Anyway, he is learning French full time and he's getting really good at it so I'm sure he'd be able to find a decent job once he finishes the courses in April.

Anisah said...

Candice... muslim he shold not expect you to have everything on your shoulders.. it's ur islamic RIGHT and his OBLIGATION to pay for everything..
I do understand that we have no choice in this situation and we have to support ( same as me) but he really cant expect you to to come back alone while he stays is just not right.
First of all you are not to travel alone. without a mahram. he knows this !
Its good that your helping your husband and being compassionate.. but you are giving up ur rights and his obligations twards you and your daughter. he should really really think about this..because on day of judgment, he will be asked.
I can understand the french thing.. seriously I can...
but he MUST know in Montreal he can get a job EASY without french.
Also I think if he is finished his courses IN April...then he should get right into work ASAP to use his french before he loses it ! so ya..a vacation home for a monthor so but get back home and get busy being a father and husband should be his main priority.
As for you... looks like if you wanna go for longer.. then ur gonna have to quit and find another job when you go back OR..have HIM support you guys. ;)
just be really careful you know...its one thing to help and to encourage and another thing to being taken advantage of and robbed of your Islamic rights. Its not a one sided thing.. three must be compromise..but he has to learn to take things more seriously and take more responsibility for you both.
May God help you guys and make things easier for you. xo

Candice said...

Thanks... I think the ideal thing would be for him to go alone for a month and come back and then move to Montreal to actually work. Or else try to find one here for a few weeks and if there's no success, then go work there. He can come back on weekends anyway. I plan on going back to University some time and I'd probably stop working before the summer and then go to Egypt, coming back in time for classes to start. Don't know if that would be next year (2010) or if it would have to be later, but we'd have to see. Of course with me supporting the family, I can't stop working, and I don't want to add so much to my debt, I'm already paying back a lot for student loans!
About Islamic rights, I think that because I'm not Muslim, he doesn't feel the need to live in an Islamic way with me. I think it would change if I converted, but I don't want to convert just to make my life with him easier, I want to do it for the real reasons.

struggling said...

What about his parents coming to visit you guys??

Sarah said...

Interesting comment thread. My husband can't currently provide for me either, but puts himself under a lot of pressure because he is naturally driven to provide. If I started going on about islamic wife rights it would make his self-esteem even worse. As long as a husband is not a lazy freeloader, I think it's far better for the relationship if the wife is appreciative.

It must be hard for your husband to find his feet with a career if he is new in the country. My husband says that Algerians never know what to do in the UK and so they just copy each other - most of them become chefs. Some encouragement could help. I took my husband to Careers Scotland and helped him find a new idea, which he is now working on.

Also if he'd lived away from his family in the west before marriage (like mine did) he would probably be more clued up when it comes to housework. He sounds a little bit immature what with the games till 4am. He probably just has no idea what needs doing and so I think you should just give him tasks. Asking nicely of course. :)

I'm curious, how did you guys meet anyway?

Candice said...

It's really so hard with him. I've been feeling so discouraged about it all lately. There are ups and downs but there's always *something*. I wouldn't call him a "lazy freeloader" but he's lazy for sure. And I try to find something to be appreciative about and I just can't most of the time.

I try to give him tasks because he really is totally clueless about what to do, even if he sees clothes in the basket, dishes in the sink, toys on the floor, balls of kleenex he leaves everywhere in the house; even if he drops sauce on the floor, leaves mud marks from walking on the floor, etc. It doesn't register that he could possibly clean it. Same with food... If there is nothing made in the fridge, he will order, never thinking that he could make himself something.

He makes money but almost all of it has gone towards things for himself. He feels he deserves it for making the sacrifice to come here. It's a huge sacrifice, but he must've been willing to make it, he was actively looking for a non-Egyptian to marry.

Oh, and we met online.

Candice said...

Struggling: They can't, they get refused the visiting visa.

Sarah said...

Wow. I don't know how you must have coped with a baby too! Does he at least do the grocery shopping for you? In Algeria that's a man's job.

I guess if you want to be a full-time housewife, and if that is a realistic possibility, then it's not such a big problem in the long term that he's that way. If that's not the case, you will have to find some way to train him!

I wonder if there's any books on how to train a man. It's certainly not an uncommon issue. LOL.

It sounds like you've almost resolved the question of going to Egypt. It's an awkward decision but I'm sure you'll come to some agreement about the best compromise.

Candice said...

I think in Egypt it's the woman's job, but he does do it since he got his driver's license. It is a huge weight off me to just have to go every once in a while. We used to make it a family thing for the first year, but seriously, it was always stressful for me. I hate grocery shopping!!

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