Dear Love Inshallah,
My husband has gained a lot of weight. When we got married, he was a bit overweight but it never affected our relationship or our sex life. Four years later, he is obese. His energy is down and when we have sex, it has become difficult to find a suitable position. When he is on top, his weight crushes me. When I am on top, his stomach is too large and the penetration is not as deep. He says he will exercise but something always comes up and he never does. Meanwhile his waist line continues to expand. What should I do?
But today I want to write about something else: how this experience impacts a child. I am not a child psychologist, but I can relate my own experiences and those of my son and show how it scarred and molded him, how he learned from it and, finally, how he now flourishes.
My son was 5-years-old when my wife’s cancer was diagnosed. I remember clearly the day that I took her to the hospital because her voice was slurring. He brought some of his toy cars and sat on the floor in the ER room and played, completely oblivious to the nurses coming in and out. Joan and I sat nervous and tense, trying to reassure each other, but also wanting to say as few words as possible. We knew something was wrong right away after her CAT scan because the nurses, who had been joking that she probably just had a migraine, suddenly disappeared.
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The Honesty Policy’s video of Pharrell’s “Happy” featuring UK Muslims has taken the world by storm this week. Here’s to joy & creativity. Enjoy & happy Friday :)
Eds note: Welcome our newest LoveInshAllah.com columnist, Huda Al-Marashi! Keep an eye out for Huda’s column, “Things I Wish I’d Known” the second Tuesday of every month!
When I was growing up, my Iraqi-born mother responded to my requests to travel alone, consider schools out-of-state, or stay out late with friends with the same answer, “When you get married.” Once I got married, I’d be somebody else’s problem. Then, it wouldn’t be her place to tell me no. Then, it would be my husband’s job to worry about me.
Marriage, in my adolescent mind, was the only way to an independent adulthood. Western culture may have referred to marriage as settling down, but I associated it with freedom. Marriage would sanction my first relationship with a man. It would transition me from my parents’ authority to my husband’s, and I was convinced my future husband would do whatever I wanted. He was not an individual with his own goals and desires; he was the supporting actor in my life’s script.
“Do you have any children?” a nice woman making small talk asks me.
I reply pleasantly, “No, I don’t,” but my inner monologue is racing.
“Children? I don’t have children because I don’t have a husband. I don’t have a husband because I never had a romantic relationship with a guy. I never had a boyfriend, I’ve never even been kissed and I’m way older than Drew Barrymore was when she was in that movie with Michael Vartan! I’m older than Jesus ( AS) when he was on this earth! Oh God, what if it’s too late for me to have children?“
My inner monologue hysterically wonders about how hot hot flashes actually are, as I smile at the nice lady who’d innocently assumed that a Muslim woman my age is almost certainly married and almost certainly a mother.
I am an unmarried Muslim woman of a certain age. To be honest with you, I’m not surprised that I’m in this demographic.