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How to Deal with Depression After Divorce?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Aug 09, 2017

Question

Asalaamualaikum. I hope my mail finds you well. My wife and I were married for just over a year. Before this we dated for three years. A few months ago my wife started her own business. I did my best to be supportive of her in her new venture. In the process, she (my wife) met with and interacted with a few of her clients. Unfortunately, she became a little too personally involved with one of her clients. A problem which I clearly communicated -even fought with her about- to her on more than one occasion. She then began lying to me and hiding things from me. (In relation to said client) The lies began as small deceits, such as accepting small gifts from him and over the course of a few months grew into massive lies. Such as her spending time with him and hiding it from me, or going out with him one evening and lying to me and saying that she was with her parents. After three months and several incidents, our relationship deteriorated greatly. The love we once had for each other had undoubtedly lessened. (In this time I had made efforts to re kindle our love, despite my hurt feelings. But sadly these were not met with the gratitude I expected) At this point, my wife requested that we separate and take time off to think about what it is that we want. We did so and in the time off I consulted with my family and as well as a religious figure within our community as to what it is I should do and if I should go ahead with the relationship. After speaking to many, many people (seriously, I spoke to anyone that would listen) I came to the decision not to go back and to end the marriage as the trust I once had in my wife had been completely broken, and I felt that I would never be able to trust her again. My wife had contacted me to apologize, but the apologies felt insincere. ( as my wife is someone who only apologizes once and that's it) I contacted her father to communicate my decision to her family and was met with great hostility and verbal abuse from both parents. This further cemented my decision to not remain in the marriage. A few weeks have passed now since my divorce, but I still find myself being sad and slightly depressed. My eyes are constantly filled with tears and I dwell on fond memories we shared. (Before she involved this third party in our marriage) I find myself questioning if I could have tried harder or done more - even though I constantly begged her not to lie to me and always tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. I have not been as steadfast in my salaah and prayers as I once was. I find myself questioning my decision, even though logically I know that it was the right decision. Please help with any advice. Shukran

Counselor

Answer


How to Deal with Depression After Divorce?

In this counseling answer:

“Understand that what you are going through is a normal response to having been betrayed and going through a divorce. It is important now to take care of yourself and be in good company without looking back and having regrets about what you did or didn’t do. As your faith grows, so will your level of comfort with Allah’s (swt) will.”


Wa ’Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh brother,

Marriage is very much valued in Islam as a protection from so much. We are encouraged to try all we can to make it work, but sometimes it just doesn’t. There is no shame in this.

You tried to kindle your relationship with your spouse despite your hurt feelings; you took some time apart and took advice from a religious leader.  You did all you can but unfortunately, she was tempted by Shaytaan and committed a terrible sin which has hurt you deeply – as it would anyone who faces such a betrayal. It is difficult to maintain trust after such a betrayal and can often end in divorce as in your case.

Divorce is difficult and will come with both physical as well as psychological consequences as you are facing, and this is a perfectly normal response. It will take the time to recover and will require much patience. You shared many years together, and despite a bad ending, you had good times too. You will mourn the loss of these times.

However, there are some things you can do to make things easier for yourself during these difficult times. Allah (swt) says in the Quran:

„O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (2:153)

Make sure to take care of yourself. Eat well and exercise for your physical health (as well as your emotional health). Do something that you enjoy doing. If you don’t have a hobby, try something new. This will give you something to keep your mind busy with something positive as you achieve new goals. It also opens the doors to making new friendships with others with similar interests as yourself.

Be in the company of others, old and new friends/family to develop a strong social support network. This will make you feel stronger and better able to face your difficulties as you will not feel alone. This can be key to your recovery along with prayer.

Stay strong in your religion. Pray to Allah (swt) to bring peace in your heart during these difficulties. Everyone’s faith waves, but you can get it back again. Gradually get back into praying again, even if just the bare minimal 5 prayers at first. As your faith grows, perform the voluntary deeds: nafl prayers, fasting and reading more Qur’an. Attend the mosque more regularly and spend time with righteous people. These people will be those who can support you in getting close to Allah (swt) once again.

Furthermore, don’t allow yourself to fall into the trap of Shaytaan by looking back and thinking you could have done something differently.

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) said:

“The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allah than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive for that which will benefit you, seek the help of Allah, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say, “if only I had done such and such” rather say “Qaddara Allahu wa ma sha’a fa’ala (Allah has decreed and whatever he wills, He does).” For (saying) ‘If’ opens (the door) to the deeds of Satan.” (Ibn Majah)

Continuing to look into the past that you cannot change can have the dangerous consequence of contributing to taking you away from your religion and prayers. Changing this present practice will also be a means to strengthen your faith and draw you closer to Allah (swt) once again. You will also find that as your faith rises again and you feel stronger in your deen. You will feel a lot more comfortable in your situation in the knowledge that Allah (swt) will soon bring ease.

“Indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (94:6)

Overall, understand that what you are going through is a normal response to having been betrayed and going through a divorce. It is important now to take care of yourself and be in good company without looking back and having regrets about what you did or didn’t do. As your faith grows, so will your level of comfort with Allah’s (swt) will.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to overcome your difficulties and give you the strength to bear it with patience.

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.

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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