I am a 30 year old Muslim woman who lives with my family. Alhamdulilah (praise be to God) I have a loving and wonderful home, but I am ready to move out and live independently. I am looking for an apartment to rent on my own. The problem is, my father would never let me, and if I go against his wishes, he threatens to never talk to me again. He says women should live at home until marriage. I am a practicing Muslim who has always obeyed my parents and I have tried my best to make them proud of me. I don’t have any marriage prospects and I can’t keep waiting for the unknown. I need to live my life independently and start a new phase in my life. I would greatly appreciate some advice.
It sounds like you are struggling to establish some independence from your parents. You are trying to balance your needs with your parents’ preferences.. Seeking independence from parents is a normal developmental process that everyone goes through. For some people, cultural norms dictate that women only move out of their family home once they get married. However, many women, such as yourself, may not be getting married as quickly as parents had hoped, and in the meantime are focusing on their career goals and living happily as a single adult.
Your parents’ concern stems from a place of love and protection. They are having difficulty with letting go and allowing you to make your own choices. You will need to share with your parents your personal goals and assure them that you can financially support yourself. You will also need to reassure them that you care for them and appreciate their love and support and now you are able to take care of yourself and live on your own. Choosing to live in a safe place will be a priority, and setting up boundaries with your parents of when and how often you will visit them will help them accept the reality of you living on your own. It will be a difficult transition for your parents, but with open communication and reassurance that you are ready to take responsibility for your life, insha’Allah (God-willing) they will respect your choices, even if they disagree with them.
VMCounselors was a collaborative advice column produced by two previous website authors, Amal Killawi, a Clinical Social Worker with a specialization in mental health and marriage education, and Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine, a Marriage and Family Therapist, specializing in premarital counseling. Please note that our counselors are not religious scholars and will not issue religious rulings.
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