My life is becoming hell. My parents have fixed my marriage with my cousin without my consent. I told my mother that I like someone else but instead of taking my side, she fixed my marriage with my cousin. He is my Khala’s son. My Khala and Khalo had a cousin marriage and they have 3 abnormal children. My mother knows that this marriage could possibly result in genetic problems, but she doesn’t care. She did all this because the guy who I like is from my Tayi’s family and she doesn’t like her. I haven’t spoken to my family since 2 months because of this. I have told my brothers as well but no one in the family supports me. They all are just telling me that if this wedding doesn’t happen, I will spoil their reputation. My mental health is not stable, I am becoming more and more angry with each passing day, and I just feel hatred towards everyone around me. I want to live my life according to my own terms. Please help!
I’m so sorry you’re going through this – having to not only step away from a relationship you want to be in, but also being forced into an engagement without your consent! That’s awful – andwhile I know that forced marriages are common practice in Pakistan, where parents speak on behalf of their children without consulting them, it’s something that not only goes against your rights as a person, but is also something that is not permitted on the grounds of religion, and to a great extent, the law – right now we can explore what options are available to you, and see how we can help you find a way out of this.
Islam and Forced Marriages
Anon, one of the foundations of our country, and most households, is religion. So, if there is an argument that is to be made, it can be that no man or woman is obligated to marry a person that they do not wish to be married to – now, this might come into clash with the idea of obedience in relation to parents in Islam, but scholars agree that this has limitations. While a parent-child relationship in Islam is meant to be a sacred one, this also leaves a lot of room for abuse of power, which is why certain restrictions are in place. Marriage, as it turns out, is one of those restrictions. While it is said that parents are present in terms of counsel and guidance, they are not the ones who grant consent. Both the law and religion are aligned on this, so this is something to keep in mind. You have the right to say no.
Exploring Your Options
I know that this is a really difficult situation for you, Anon, and this might be the time to really reflect on what can be done. In this country, I know that options vary in accordance to the dynamics and setup of each family, and I would encourage you to look into this a little further.
Anon, you know your family and circumstances better than anyone. I want you to know that you are allowed to say no, and that you are not alone in this. Take some time to sit with everything, weigh out your options and see what the best possible solution is – again, it might not be easy to execute, but it can be done. I really hope that everything works out for you in the end, and that you are able to get the outcome you desire. Best of luck and stay in your power!
The above article is written by Shahrukh Shahbaz Malik who is trained in humanistic integrative counselling at CPDD in the UK and currently has her own private practice in Karachi. The views expressed in this article are those of one expert. They do not necessarily represent the views of Mashion, nor do they represent the complete picture of the topic at hand. This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical diagnosis, treatment or therapy.