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Husband Abused My Daughter; How to Trust People Again?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Feb 16, 2017

Question

My husband, from whom I am divorcing right now, sexually abused my daughter (from my previous marriage) and I was devastated. I want to trust people. I believe in right and wrong. It seems like when I do open up to someone, I ultimately get disappointed that they are cowards, lazy or liars. I’m so disappointed. I’ve had 2 bad depressive episodes and feel myself spiraling down again and won’t go there again. How can I have faith in people or see the good in them?

Counselor

Answer


Husband Abused My Daughter; How to Trust People Again?

Answer:

As-Salamu ’Alaikum sister,

Thank you for placing your trust in our ability to solve your current situation.

Now, please read the above sentence again. You have, unknowingly and subconsciously, placed your trust in us and clearly have faith in our ability to propose a sound solution, which you will hopefully implement.

As humans, we subconsciously trust most people without acknowledging it. When we drive on the road, we trust that others around us are sound and that the road will be a safe place. When at home, we trust our family members. When we are at a public place, we trust many around us. Trustworthiness is a quality that is essential for a society to function as one unit.

However, things do go wrong. There are accidents on the road; sometimes our family members do act up, and there are incidents at public places. When incidents go wrong, they are delivering the message that we are not in control, but it is rather Allah (swt) who controls it all.

Therefore, ultimately, our trust should be with Allah (swt). When we wholeheartedly trust Allah (swt), we realize that every situation we face is through His wisdom and mercy, and we will not dwell in the past and confuse and stress ourselves.

However, we prioritize certain cues before trusting others. For example, when we are sick, we visit a doctor who we have heard good reviews about. When we are purchasing something, we consider the brand, the quality, the price, and weigh our options rationally. The same should be done for people. We simply cannot open up about our lives to everyone.

Nonetheless, people are not as easy to judge. They cover up their many faults, their shortcomings, and some even put on a false cloak. In situations like these, we need to trust our gut instinct and be skeptical over who we consider to be worthy of sharing our lives or our secrets.

Dear sister, your inability to trust people is a result of your fear from the past you have experienced. However, the past is not meant to scar us for life, rather it is to teach us and make us more knowledgeable.

I strongly believe that your problem is not trusting and having faith in people, but rather knowing who to trust. Your depressive events are a result of trusting the wrong kind of people and being quick to trust them.

In order to overcome your inability to trust others, please reevaluate your past. You mentioned that whenever you opened up to others, you realized they were not how you had imagined them to be. I think you are implicitly referring to your ex-husband and the one you are about to divorce. I also believe that your two depressive moods are a result of the previous unsuccessful relationship and the current one you are in.

Dear sister, when you were considering marriage, did you do your part to the best of your ability and evaluate your prospective spouse? Often times, people rush to marriage given societal, cultural, and familial pressure without proper knowledge of the partner and unfortunately suffer afterwards. Some even mistake infatuation for love and compatibility. Hence the famous proverb, “All that glitters is not gold.”

This is why before we get married, we are asked to seek as much information as we possibly can from religious affiliations and trustworthy people. We have the responsibility to inquire and gather relative information.

The sayings of Prophet (saw) indicate that dishonesty and betrayal are completely against the Islamic faith. The Prophet (saw) informed us that,

“A hypocrite is known by three traits: When he speaks, he lies; when he promises, he reneges; when he is entrusted, he cheats (or embezzles).” (Al-Bukhari)

Therefore sister, before you trust anyone again, you need to be very careful. This also applies when opening up to friends and family members. Not everyone is worthy of our full faith and trust. Not everyone is capable of keeping our trusts. You need to properly judge people when you are interested in making them your future life partner or when you are opening up to them about your issues and problems.

Lastly sister, do not be depressed by the past two outcomes of your married life. Even Khadijah, the first wife of our beloved Prophet Muhammed (saw), had been widowed multiple times before she finally decided to propose to him. She, like yourself, feared remarrying after she was widowed two times. However, once she came to know about the Prophet (saw), his character, his morals, and his trustworthiness, she approached him for marriage herself.

Therefore, dear sister, please do not be depressed. Allah (swt) tests those who He (swt) loves. However, seek guidance from those who are more righteous than you and turn to those who are experienced and knowledgeable when in need.

Last but not least, turn to Allah (swt) for help.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran,

“Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.” (13:28)

True sadness and despair tend to deviate us from believing in the power of Allah (swt). So, remember Allah (swt) often. Your degree of happiness depends on your level of connection with Allah (swt). Call unto Him and tell Him of your worries and seek guidance from Him.

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)

I hope my answer will benefit you and make you feel more hopeful of the future. I wish you all the best, and may Allah (swt) ease all your affairs.

Salam,

***

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About Madiha Sadaf

Madiha Sadaf in an undergraduate student at the University of Ottawa, enrolled in BSc. with Major in Biology and Psychology with Minor in Health Social Sciences.

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