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Still In Shock Over The End Of My Marriage

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

May 10, 2018

Question

Please help me find my way. It is over.

For 8 days, my husband has been sleeping in the living room without talking to me and coming home at 4-5am. Yesterday, he passed me by the hallway as if we were strangers. I cried to my sister who encouraged me to get a divorce, which I never wanted to utter from my mouth. I prayed maghreb and called him after. Part of me was hoping to get him to talk to me so that we could sort out things. I just started with "I don't think this is working for us" when he said he felt the same way and was just waiting for me and that he was done with this marriage. He said he would send me the talaq through email and asked me about “my stuff”. I told him I would get my stuff. I asked my sister to come help me pack and we left. I have forsaken my mahar and told him that I forgave him for it. It was supposed to be Hajj and I know it will be wrong for me to get cash instead and use it for something other than Hajj. So I told him I had forgiven and relieved him from it. He said "Amen".

He was cold to me and I am still shocked how my marriage just went down the drain within a blink of an eye. I knew it was coming; he said he had never loved me and had treated me wrong for the past 10 months, but I always tried to make it work. I have made tawbah and still pray to Allah (swt) to guide me. I sleep on the floor at my sister's place sharing a room with my mother, which I find solace and comfort in. But when I look at my stuff bundled in my sister's living room, living off a suitcase and plastic bags...I twinge. I don't want to regret.

Please help me. How do I move on?

Counselor

Answer


Still In Shock Over The End Of My Marriage

In this counseling answer:

• Be kind to yourself.

• Allow yourself to experience your thoughts and feelings without judgment.

• Social support is essential for a healthy and successful recovery, both psychologically and practically.

• Continue to remain steadfast, pray to Allah for His guidance.

• Keep busy in useful activities.


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum sister,

Going through a divorce stirs many emotions: sadness, despair, anger, regret, or relief, just to name a few. There is so much involved in this process such as separation of belongings, moving out from the house, and readjusting to a life outside of marriage again. Divorce is seldom a smooth and easy process and not full of hurt and sorrow, so the way you feel now is a normal response to what you have been going through. Especially because it is so fresh and recent, emotions are going to be heightened right now. Recovery, therefore, can take a long time.

Alhamdulillah that even though it has not been easy for you, you do not report any angry outburst or argument between the two of you which is very frequent for couples in your situation. It would seem you have amicably ended the marriage and gone your separate ways. Islamically, you both went about it in the correct manner by attempting to make things work before moving forward with the divorce. You have even relieved him of his mahr (dowry) and sought Allah’s (swt) forgiveness and guidance. However, that does not take away the pain you currently feel.

What makes things especially difficult in your situation is the fact that it all just seemed to go downhill and end so quickly with little discussion.

Divorce comes with a whole package of difficulties to face. It is an incredibly distressing time for everyone involved. Firstly, there is the emotional aspect of coming to terms with what has happened.

Then there is the physical aspect of actually separating: negotiating the separation of belongings, moving out from the house and tying up any loose end that keeps you tied together (such as the mahr). Finally, you need to move forward and begin a new life outside of marriage.

Almost like bereavement, people going through divorce commonly suffer from the same symptoms of loss. It will take time to overcome it, especially as you are not in a new environment and will have to get used to a new life with a future that you didn’t anticipate.

First of all, be kind to yourself. what you are going through is not easy. Any situation that arises unexpectedly and suddenly stimulates a sudden rush of negative emotions. Don’t beat yourself up for feeling any kinds of negative thoughts or feelings; this is all part of the process of recovery, and you should try to accept these thoughts as a normal and rational response to what you are going through.

Sometimes pushing these feelings away can only exacerbate the negative feelings. This can further lead to emotional burnout which is common for people going through a divorce, but non-conducive to a successful recovery. So, begin by allowing yourself to experience your thoughts and feelings without judgment. What you feel is normal, and you need to give yourself the emotional space to do so. This will allow you to pick yourself up and move forward successfully, in sha’ Allah.

Alhamdulillah that you have a supportive family who has welcomed you back and that you feel comfortable in the presence of your mother. There are many cases where the family does not welcome their son or daughter back to the family after the divorce, so they face an added burden. We can be thankful that at least this is one positive in your situation.

Social support is essential for a healthy and successful recovery, both psychologically and practically. You say that you find comfort in your mother’s presence, especially now that she is old. So, as Islam orders us to take care of our parents in old age, you can see this as an opportunity. Your situation allows you to fulfill this obligation that perhaps would have been more difficult if you also have the added responsibilities associated with marriage.

Continuing to find solace in the presence of your family will assist you in your emotional recovery; you have the chance to not only take care of your elderly mother but to feel their warmth and comfort that you are missing from a marital relationship.

Your own personal situation will determine how much time it will take to set yourself up in your own environment where you will no longer have to live out of bags. But at least for now you have a roof over your head in the best possible place – with your family.

Until that moment comes, continue to remain steadfast, pray to Allah (swt) for His guidance. Be grateful for Him (swt) that it was a reasonably problem-free divorce and that you have the blessing of a supportive family. Finding additional solitude in the Mercy of Allah (swt) will also help your recovery.

Remember, with enduring His (swt) tests comes great reward and that He (swt) knows you are strong enough to get through it.

Narrated Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Huraira: The Prophet () said, “No fatigue, nor disease, nor sorrow, nor sadness, nor hurt, nor distress befalls a Muslim, even if it were the prick he receives from a thorn, but that Allah expiates some of his sins for that.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

 

“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286)

 

“For indeed, with hardship [will be] ease.” (Qur’an, 94:5)

 

Additionally, you can help yourself by keeping busy in useful activities. It might be that you take up a new hobby or take a course and learn something new that will enrich you spiritually or potentially improve your career prospects.

May Allah (swt) reward your patience in facing a difficult situation. May He (swt) make it easy for you to overcome your present difficulties and bring you success in the next stage of your journey.

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 Overcome Social Stigma of Divorce

Why Are People Getting Divorced Quickly Nowadays?

Divorce: God’s Will or A Result of Our Own Actions?

 




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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