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Ex-Fiancé’s Memory Still Hunts Me

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Jun 14, 2018

Question

I had a crush on a family friend when I was very young (14 years). Later, I tried to let him know my feelings indirectly (I was a very shy person, barely spoke with men, thus I couldn’t tell him this directly), but I knew he knew it and liked me, too. He even proposed me through his parents, but my parents did not accept it for some reasons.

I did not care at that time, though it hurt a bit. Then he got married when I was 21. No one else, except my best friend in college who was a guy, knew about this. Later, I got married to this friend of mine and I love him very much. My husband also loves me and cares about me a lot. Both of us have forgotten about this previous issue, and we are more than happy with the blessings of Allah for more than 4 years. But recently, I started dreaming about this guy whom I had the crush on. It’s really annoying.

I feel like I am betraying my husband. I share every single thing with him, but I cannot share these repetitive dreams with him. I don't have any feelings toward that guy anymore, but my heart hurts when I remember his name. I don't know what to do. I cannot stop this memory haunting me. I love my husband a lot.

Counselor

Answer


Ex-Fiancé's Memory Still Hunts Me

In this counseling answer:

There is nothing “wrong” with remembering someone you once loved. Especially when you are NOT remembering him because you want or need him, but simply because he was/is such a great guy.


As-Salaamu ‘Alaikum,

I am very happy for you that you have a wonderful and blessed marriage. In today’s world of a 50% divorce rate, that is a breath of fresh air! I am sorry that a memory of a past beau is tormenting you and thereby messing up your happy marriage. I hope that I can help with that problem.

Your problem is that you don’t have a problem; therefore, Shaitan has to create one. But he is grasping at straws with you. Nonetheless, he is using one of his classic lines: “the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”. When a couple actually has problems (assuming the problems are not the type that should end in divorce, like domestic violence), the grass-argument can deliver a hefty punch or rather pull. It creates a serious temptation to leave the marriage. That’s because human beings innately do not want to be in pain, so leaving a marriage can look like the most expedient way to relieve the pain.

However, the idea that divorce provides relief is yet another lie; since divorce is such a serious matter, nothing about it is expedient. Rather, divorce is fraught with difficulties – from the lives and emotions of the people involved, kids, families, friends, courts, all the money spent on the wedding, and the horror of entering the annals of our 50% divorce rate.


Check out this counseling video:


But, thank God, that is not your problem. However, for some strange reason, the grass-is-greener lie is still delivering a hefty blow to your psychology. The best I can figure is that Shaitan has convinced you – deceived you into thinking – that there is something wrong with remembering someone for whom you used to have feelings. I ask you, what is wrong with that, especially when those feelings don’t threaten your present marriage in any way, because it is happy?

We all love the Prophet (SAW), and I suspect that there is not a Muslim woman in the world who would not love to be his wife. We feel this way because he (SAW) benefitted his wives, was good to them, was kind, provided, was safe, just, and secure, etc.  Just because other women (his wives; may Allah be pleased with them all) benefitted from all his virtues, does that take anything away from us or threaten our happy marriages in any way? Does it in any way make us unhappy? No! Your ex-beau is benefitting someone else with his goodness. How can that be anything but good, and how can you not be anything but happy in your memory of his goodness?

Recognizing your ex-beau’s loveable-ness is not a sin, in sha’ Allah. Alhamdulillah that Allah (swt) made him a lovable man who can better our world which is so desperate for good men! And alhamdulillah that you don’t need him because Allah (swt) gave you another good man who is also just as loveable, and who loves you just as much! Thus, there is nothing “wrong” with remembering someone you once loved, and especially when you are NOT remembering him because you want or need him, but simply because he was/is such a great guy.

In sha’ Allah, perhaps the only reason it is tormenting you is that Shaitan has convinced you that there is wrong remembering that you once loved him. Your love for each other was one of the stepping stones of your life, if not a milestone; how could you not remember it or even remember it with relish? Respect the fact that you loved him, once upon a time. Respect the fact that he was (is) loveable. Don’t be afraid of truth, justified feelings. The real question is: how can there be anything wrong with that when we remember the people we loved throughout our lives. He was (is) a good person and deserved (deserves) to be loved. Period.

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you to take the sting out of something that has no sting in it, and is, in fact, a salve – a loving man in today’s world is a great beauty! This world aches from a broken heart because of all its broken marriages! You don’t have a broken heart or a broken marriage, so say alhamdulillah and drive away from Shaitan’s lies which are designed to make you think you have a broken heart when you do not. Neither does your ex-beau have a broken heart or a broken marriage, Alhamdulillah! And neither does your husband! All of you are loving people who are benefitting other people with your love and lovable-ness, and that is something to be celebrated! Love does not have to be in each other to be real. In fact, 99% of the time love is just for others, females and males alike. We love our righteous Muslim brothers as much as we love our righteous Muslim sisters. There is nothing wrong with that, only good in it, in sha’ Allah!

Congratulation on your happy marriage again! I hope it is contagious because the world needs it! May the Shaitan be defeated in his trickery!

Amen!

***

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:

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10 Things I Learned from My Ex

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About Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem

Nasira S. Abdul-Aleem, an American, has a BA in English from UC Berkeley and is about to receive an MS degree in counseling psychology (Marriage and Family Therapy - MFT) from the Western Institute for Social Research. For over ten years, Nasira worked as a psychotherapist with the general public and in addiction recovery. For the last few years, she has been a life coach specializing in interpersonal relations. Nasira also consults with her many family members who studied Islam overseas and returned to America to be Imams and teachers of Islam. Muslims often ask Nasira what psychology has to do with Islam. To this, she replies that Islam is the manifestation of a correct understanding of our psychology. Therapists and life coaches help clients figure out how to traverse the path of life as a Believer, i.e., "from darkness into light", based on Islam and given that that path is an obstacle course, according to Allah.

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