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An Unfortunate Separation After Love Marriage

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Reply Date

Dec 10, 2016

Question

I am a mixture of Italian and German, and I was raised in Canada. I met a Lebanese Muslim in one of the universities in Montreal, and I fell in love with him. We decided to get married a year later. I followed him, with my parents’ agreement, to his country of adoption, the Persian Gulf. I totally fell in love with this country and everything appealed to me. Somehow I felt that I had already been there. His family customs and the traditions were wonderful to me. Very quickly, I learned most of the important ways of living in that particular country. I was working and helping my husband. I converted to Islam and I was satisfied with my life.Unfortunately, my husband became very jealous and changed his way towards me as time passed. However, I was patient, and I was trying to do the best I could in order to please him. His family loved me as much as I loved them. I had great respect for my husband and all the people who were important to him.After two years in the Gulf, I had to return to Canada because my mother was urging me to do so. My father was sick, and my brother, who was two years old at the time, had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. My mother needed me to help her. My husband agreed for me to go, but he was upset about it. I was supposed to stay for three weeks, but when I saw the situation that my parents were in, I thought I should stay longer. I told my husband right away, and he did not like this idea. Actually, he was more than upset; he was scaring me with his words.Another thing was that I had no idea I was pregnant at the time. I found out only after I lost the baby. I was very much in pain, and I did not even mention anything to my husband as we were not on good terms at that time. I was supposed to take a flight that he had booked for me, but my father would not let me go. He said that I was not in a condition to take a long trip like that, and if my husband loved me he would understand. So the next day, I apologized to him and begged him to change his attitude towards me as I was helping my family. His words were, ‘When you come back, I will treat you like a slave, and you will never see the sun again.’ I was terrified when he told me that. I was not used to him being so hard on me. He used to be sensitive.I have Italian blood, and I am very involved when it comes to family. Unfortunately, I was very young at the time, and, of course, my first priority should have been my husband. A few weeks after the last conversation between me and now my ex-husband, I received divorce papers. It has been very difficult for me to accept; even up to this day it is hard for me to accept. I have lived my life hoping that somehow I will have the chance to see him again, just to talk, to tell him how it felt to be abandoned by the person I trusted the most.I had news from him three years ago – after fifteen years. It did trouble me very much. Although I remarried and have been married for twelve years now, I have never forgotten him. For the past three years, we sometimes speak on the phone. We did forgive each other and told each other things that we have always wanted to. I am still attached to him even though I know this is wrong. He is also married with children but claims that he is unhappy and that after me he has only had bad luck. I have not been happy in my second marriage either. I have a daughter whom I truly love. I believe that I am a good wife and a mother. I have been disappointed in this marriage as well. I am holding on because of my kid.I have no question really; I just wanted to share my story and perhaps to receive some words that will help me to find a way to really put him behind me. He said that he would like to re-marry me although he knew that I would never let him divorce his wife and destroy his family. I am not the type of person who could live with something like that, and being a second wife is not something that I could be. I feel that I don’t want to lose contact with him even though there is no possible way of ever being together. Thank you so much in advance for your precious advice.

Counselor

Answer


An Unfortunate Separation After Love Marriage

Answer:

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum my sister,

I would like to thank you for sharing your story with us as I think it is one that you have not been able to share with anyone else. Sometimes just the ability to share a sorrow can relieve the burden of that sorrow. Your situation was not helped much by living so far away from your parents. Although you do not state how long you were married for, there was a high probability that he wanted children at the time when he changed towards you and became more jealous –he feared the possibility of losing you. Too much went on in his head, and not enough effort was made to try and establish each others’ needs.

Besides the intimacy that we expect, we sometimes forget about basic things like communication which is emphasized in Islam as consultation. This kind of situation could occur whether you were of the same culture or not, so that is not an issue here. What is the issue is the regret one feels when one has wasted a valuable opportunity to make amends for, which was, in fact, a healthy and beautiful relationship. Therefore, it is not surprising that you still mourn this loss because the marriage in reality has never been concluded in your heart.

Now that you are back in your country of birth, it must somehow all seem like a dream that you were rudely awakened from, but as you know it is a dream that you do have to awake from to the point of being practical. Your judgment on his marriage as well as being realistic about your needs was a necessary and honorable step to take, but is your unhappiness in your second marriage because you have never let go of the first marriage? You must try to be honest about this, because if this is the case, then you have not given your second husband a chance.

As you know, by sustaining a relationship with your ex-husband, all be it by phone, you are (with all your care and consideration) having an adulterous relationship. I know that this is not the intention, but once you had both shared what you should have shared together when you were married, then the phone calls should have ended – no good can come of them. You are not free to enter into a second marriage with your ex-husband, and, as you have stated, you are not the type. You have a beautiful daughter, and you have a husband who, more than likely, you have neglected, at least emotionally even though it seems as if you take care of all of his needs. As needless as it seems that you first marriage ended, it has, and there is no way of knowing that what both of you have learnt now might not have been learnt if you remained together.

Although you give no real indication of the nature of your relationship with your second husband, as strange as this may sound, could you bring yourself to re-marry him in your heart? After all, this is where the change needs to take place, in order to make room for him. Of course, this cannot be done until you let go emotionally of your first husband, and until you have given thanks to Allah for what you had and what you have now. You know you are quite a fortunate person when you think about it because some people have never loved at all! So, give thanks for that and wake up from the past so that you can live in the present.

One of the wonderful things about loving for the sake of Allah is that one learns to appreciate the good qualities of all that surrounds one. By this, it is not only meant your second husband and others, but also the environment in which you live. It makes each new day full of tiny little pleasures that can keep one in good spirits and more able to deal with the difficult aspects of life. Just think about what you are missing out on! If you find yourself staring into your thoughts quite often, then it means you have quite a bit of time on your hands.

In the country in which you live, there are many activities that can be undertaken, especially as there are quite a few active Muslims there on a social and a community level. This, of course, is assuming that you are still practicing and that your husband is also a Muslim. How much time do you spend with your daughter apart from taking care of her needs? Do you go out exploring the environment, museums, and children’s arts and crafts centers? With your husband, how much time do you spend together doing things other than the domestic obligations? If you have any artistic or creative leanings, would now be a good time to develop those talents and join a class, for instance? This will help you to come to terms with your emotions and the past.

You still have a life ahead of you, so for yourself, the benefit of your daughter, and your husband, there is nothing to lose by making the most of it and realizing the bounties of Allah that you would deny! We are here on this earth to improve ourselves so that we can give the best of ourselves. If we could all make this effort, what a different world this could be!

We pray that the advice given here has been sufficient, and if you have any further concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Salams,

***

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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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