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How Can I Recover After My Divorce?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Apr 21, 2019

Question

I got married three years ago, but due to unavoidable circumstances I had to divorce him after two and a half years of my marriage. It has been seven months since then, but I am unable to cope with the trauma of my broken marriage. For me, he was not only my husband but also the love of my life.

We had an arranged marriage. I had an intense feeling for him, but he never felt the same nor did he understand my feelings. His family created all the mishaps between us; they manipulated me in a very inappropriate manner and kept insulting me and my parents in front of my husband, but he never stood up for me once.

Instead of taking stand for me, he also manipulated me in front of his entire family and extended family, talked inappropriately about our intimate relationships to the male members of the family, and once tried to physically abuse me with a belt, but not succeeded. There were so many things which led me to a state of depression and anxiety after two years of my marriage.

He blamed that I was responsible for my bad health because a woman must go through all these mishaps after marriage, but he never understood that if a woman is supported by her husband she can get through any troubles in life. His family also supported in his mistreatment towards me and never tried to correct him.

I always supported him financially and emotionally and took care of his ill mother and his family members in best possible manner. I never complained about him and his family members’ behavior towards my parents and always tried to talk out those issues with my husband. During the very few instances when he was about to wake up and realize, he was again manipulated by his family and I was once again to blame.

I understand that Allah's plan is the best plan for us, but sometimes I feel lonely and still depressed because I think that I still have a soft spot for him. I’m unable to forget him and sometimes feel that my life is over without him and I won't be able to move on. Although I make lots of duaa and perform namaz, nothing works for me.

I'm losing myself because before going through all of this I was a happy girl. Alhumdulillah, I'm a PhD holder, am financially stable, don't have a child to take care of, and my family is very supportive, but I'm heartbroken. I still recall those times unintentionally when he was soft and caring towards me. A few good moments come to my mind unintentionally and hurt me intensely.

How can I move on and get on with my life happily?

Counselor

Answer


How Can I Recover After My Divorce?

In this counseling answer:

•Please begin a journal to help sort out your feelings and emotions regarding your trauma.

•List all his positive qualities and traits that attract you. On the other side of the page, please write down the traits, actions and behaviors which have hurt you and which are not Islamic. Analyze the two lists; Is this the type of person that you want to be married to for the rest of your life?

•Please make duaa to Allah to grant you ease, to help you move forward and to grant mercy.

•Your parents’ involvement and blessings in a future marriage is very important. However, they do not necessarily have to pick out a future husband.


As salamu alaykum dear sister,

I am sorry to hear about your marriage, and the fact that you had to go for khula after only two and a half years of marriage. It must have been a very disappointing and traumatic experience for you as we do not expect to get married only to end up divorced, especially after such a short period of time. We also do not expect to enter such a sacred relationship such as marriage only to be manipulated, abused, and treated with disdain.

Questions

Sister even though you expressed an intense love for your husband, I encourage you to explore what it is that you loved about him. From your account, he sounds like he is abusive, inappropriate, unsupportive, nor is he protective of you or your family. What is it exactly that you like about him? Insha’Allah, please begin a journal to help sort out your feelings and emotions regarding this.

I kindly suggest you list all his positive qualities and traits that attract you. On the other side of the page, please write down the traits, actions and behaviors which have hurt you and which are not Islamic. Analyze the two lists; do his positive qualities negate his bad qualities? Is this the type of person that you want to be married to for the rest of your life?

karim serageldin & naaila clay

Would he be a good example for your future children? Is he able to provide a wholesome, Islamic example of a husband, father and imam of a family? These and other questions need to be examined for you to sort out what exactly it is that still draws you towards him. These questions should also be asked to help you determine what you desire from a marriage, not only for yourself, but for your future children insha’Allah.

Islamic Behaviors in Marriage

It is a common feature of one who is abusive (whether emotionally, psychologically, or physically), to blame their victims. As you stated he did blame you, indicating it was your fault that you were upset, depressed and had anxiety. He tried to negate his role in the formation of your feelings. He indicated that you were responsible for your “bad health”, when indeed it was his actions and his family’s that have created the situation of emotional distress within you.

According to Islamic values and foundations, a wife is to be treated with loving kindness, mercy, compassion, and protection. Your husband has done none of this. In fact, he has supported and even encouraged his family in manipulative and abusive ways towards you. This is not Islamic behavior; in fact, it is quite devious and haram.

No Muslim should treat his wife this way. If we look at the way our beloved prophet (PBUH) treated his wives, we can see that he used mercy, compassion, love and fairness with his wives. He did not abuse his wives, manipulate them, nor disgrace their families. If your husband and his family are seeking to follow Islamic values according to the sunnah and not the culture, they may wish to revisit and study about our prophet (PBUH) to fully understand how a wife is to be treated and how an Islamic marriage should work.


Check out this counseling video


Allah knows Best

Sister, I understand that you helped support him financially, emotionally, and took care of his ill mother and family members in the best way possible. You sound like you were a very wonderful wife. He was blessed to have you as his spouse. Sadly, he did not see the good that Allah has given him, nor did he see the blessings. Often, men tend to forget that a good wife is a blessing from Allah.  Perhaps, sister, your divorce was Allah’s way of protecting you from further hurt and harm. Allah knows best.

Overcoming Loneliness and Depression

Sister, I understand that you feel lonely and that you are still depressed because you have a soft spot for him. This is natural, and it is a normal part of healing. You say that you’re unable to forget him and that you feel that your life is over without him.

Again, I ask you to please start journaling, look at your lists of positives and negatives regarding your ex-husband, and ask yourself, is this the kind of man you want to spend forever with? Is this the life you want to continue to live? Don’t you want a husband that is kind, compassionate, loving, and merciful? Don’t you want a husband who will treat you with respect and protect you?

Please do understand that over time you will gain more clarity in thought and your feelings. Inshallah, you will come to realize your value as a beautiful pious Muslimah, and you will begin to reject and not desire the mistreatment of men such as your ex-husband. Inshallah, Allah has someone for you in the future that truly appreciates and cherishes a good Muslim wife such as yourself.

One that will treat you the way a Muslim husband is supposed to treat his wife. When Allah closes a door, it is usually for our protection. Please make duaa to Allah to grant you ease, to help you move forward and to grant mercy. Insha’Allah, the closer you draw to Allah and depend on Him, the faster you will see your feelings for your ex-husband diminishing.

I kindly suggest that you seek counseling in your area to address your depression if it persists. As our holy month of Ramadan is upon us, this is a good time to renew your devotion to Allah, attend prayers, Iftars, Ramadan events and re-engage with your sisters. Our connection with our sisters is a blessed one indeed and can provide much in the way of encouragement, bonding and support. All these components can help lessen your loneliness and depression, insha’Allah.

Looking towards the Future

Alhumdulilah that your family is supportive. This is a very important element in your moving forward. Some families force women to go back to an abusive marriage, alhumdulilah, yours did not. 

As you were only married for two and a half years, you have your whole life ahead of you. I would also suggest a second list, and that would be to write down the qualities and conditions you seek in a future spouse. This will help you move forward as you are on your healing Journey. It will also help you in the future to determine what type of spouse is conducive for a truly Islamic marriage.

You also do not have to rely on your parents to find somebody in the future. Your parents’ involvement and blessings in a future marriage is very important. However, they do not necessarily have to pick out a future husband. You have the right to do that and you have the right to know who it is that you are marrying and if they are healthy for you.

If done in a halal way, this is permissible in Islam. It is to our benefit to know the type of person we are marrying and if we are compatible. We also need to know if they are truly following Islam and if they have kind, loving, and merciful tendencies.

Conclusion

Insha’Allah, you will begin moving through your healing journey and gain clarity. The hurt will not last forever, and soon you will see the joyful benefit of not being with an abusive, neglectful spouse.

We wish you the best, 

Salam.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

Read more:

How to Ease the Pain of My Parents’ Divorce?

After Divorce: How to Move On & Socialize?

After Divorce, I’m Still Depressed

 




About Aisha Mohammad

Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word poetry projects.

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