Sunday August 19, 2012
I want out
I AM a foreigner married to a Malaysian and have children. My husband, a Muslim, is 10 years older than me. He had divorced his wife to marry me and had promised me a bright future.
I am not from a well-to-do background, so I thought it was a chance I would take. But when I moved to this country, I found I had entered into his dysfunctional family.
I donít like his family at all. My father-in-law always turns up at my house unannounced. My in-laws always show that they are religious people but they always say bad things about their other in-laws to me.
But what I really cannot stand is my husbandís stinginess. When I argue about that with him, he tells me his siblings are like him too.
Unfortunately, he uses his money on others, but not me and my children. My husband has a bad habit of spending his time with his girlfriends and on the computer. We seldom talk at home.
I desperately want to get out of this marriage because I donít have any love for my husband any more. Iím just staying with him for the sake of our children. What should I do?
YOUR husband openly spends time with other girls. He does not provide sufficiently for you and your children. Your in-laws do not seem like a lovely bunch, either. It is doubtful if anyone can question your decision to leave him.
Leaving him is a big decision and you have a lot to think about. Your status in Malaysia, for one, is a point of concern. As you are not a citizen, your legal status here is dependent on your husband. You have to be sure that your visa is of the kind which your husband does not have to renew. This would be a moot point if you are a permanent resident here, of course.
Secondly, should you leave him, you may have to move out of your home. You would need to find a job to support yourself and your children. You would also become a single parent. You have to be sure that you have sufficient social support, savings, or at least some place you can turn to for help.
There are also various legal matters to consider. For instance, the divorce laws differ for Muslims and non-Muslims. You would have to be informed of the necessary procedures. Also, there is the question of custody of your children. You may also want to think about the alimony or child support that you could claim from your husband.
For this, it is best that you consult Islamic law experts. Sisters in Islam, an NGO based in Kuala Lumpur, has a legal clinic which you can contact to get information. You can call 03-7785 6121/03-7784 2733, email email@example.com, or visit sistersinislam.org.my.