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I Feared of Loneliness, So I Got Married

Questioner

M

Reply Date

Oct 08, 2018

Question

Dear counselor. I married someone whom I had got engaged to after a short period of time. We saw each other for a couple of times, and then he traveled to another country for his job. Usually, we talked over the phone, but, to be honest, I didn’t like his personality. I thought knowing him face to face will change things. All I cared about was his religion. After marriage, nothing has changed; his superficial character was the same and even worse. He doesn’t plan the future; he prefers to remain in his workplace because of fear of change.

He is so lazy; he thinks that no matter how much he worked, nothing will get better. In addition, he has a psychological problem causing him stress all the time. This has led him having an eating disorder. I was disappointed at the beginning because he lied to me. I tried to offer help and encourage him to go to a physician but in vain. He refuses to see a therapist and medications don’t work either. I feel I'm harming myself. Staying with a husband with no future vision and skills makes me frustrated. Besides, he does not give me my slightest rights in marriage. God only knows how I stood by his side, never complained, but now I have reached the point where I am considering divorce. I want to admit that he treated me very well, but perhaps this kind of treatment is out of feeling guilty towards me, especially that he confessed that he only treated me kindly because of his fear of losing me. Maybe if I stayed with him, he would turn to his previous personality. I'm a very ambitious person.

I never stop seeking development. I admit that I made the wrong decision, perhaps because I feared of staying unmarried for long and thinking that he was going to elevate my iman, but I was wrong. Please don’t tell me to be patient and try again with your husband. I have been patient for a long time and can’t take it anymore. I am not afraid of divorce because I think now I have nothing to lose. All I want is to go back to my country and my family whom I left because of a man who doesn't fulfill anything I wanted.

I also feel like I am losing my faith gradually because I think that all my prayers about having a very good man haven’t been answered. So I thought of going back to my previous life. Perhaps I will find more comfort in it and stop complaining about living with a man who is becoming a stranger to me day after day. I

f you allow me to say something to girls who haven’t had a husband yet, PLEASE do not get married to a person whom you don’t like or you think that he is your only exit to save you from your lonely life. Finally, can you please tell me how to regain my faith again and how to stop thinking that God wanted to punish me for something I didn’t do? These thoughts are making me insane.

Counselor

Answer


I Feared of Loneliness, So I Got Married

In this counseling answer:

“When one of the spouses becomes abusive and inflicts physical, mental, or emotional torture, and is not willing to change by taking practical measures through therapy or counseling, then it is a valid reason for seeking divorce.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am sorry to hear your troubles with your marriage. Surely, you have every right to divorce as decreed by Islamic rulings. AboutIslam states that divorce, in general, is hated by Allah, but permissible (or even recommended) in the case of:

Physical, mental, or emotional abuse or torture. When one of the spouses becomes abusive and inflicts physical, mental, or emotional torture, and is not willing to change by taking practical measures through therapy or counseling, then it is a valid reason for seeking divorce, for the Islamic principle states, ‘There shall be no inflicting or receiving of harm’ Zhulm (injustice) is not tolerated in Islam, regardless of who the perpetrator is.

Failure to fulfill the objectives and purposes for which marriage was initiated. This can be an utter incompatibility between the partners, which may be expressed by their irreconcilable differences in temperaments, likes, and dislikes.

Marital infidelity. This can be a major cause for the dissolution of marriage, for marriage is built on trust and confidence. Its main purpose is to preserve the chastity and modesty of those involved. Once this foundation is eroded and undermined and there is no chance to restore the same, then divorce is the way to go.

Failure of the husband to provide. When the man, who is considered the provider and maintainer of the family, fails to shoulder his responsibilities and the wife decides that she cannot continue tolerating his shirking of responsibility, this is grounds for divorce”.

While your husband has disappointed you in a lot of ways, he seems to love you. Maybe he suffers from depression, yet does not know how to go about “fixing it”. It is not uncommon for a man to not want to seek counseling as it is an ego thing. By seeking counseling, they often feel less competent as a man to handle life affairs.


Check out this counseling video:


It is a truly sad situation. If you have tried everything, sister, and feel there is no hope in your husband, then I encourage you to seek an amicable divorce. However, if there is even a small light of hope, I urge you to ask the local Imam, family, or other Islamic guidance to help you save the marriage. If he won’t go, I suggest that you seek counseling from your local mosque, an Imam, or an Islamic counselor who is knowledgeable about Islamic marriage, or you join an Islamic class on marriage to gain more insight.

Allah has not let you down, sister. He does answer our prayers. However, we have free will to chose. We have free will to make decisions. Perhaps, Allah is testing you to see how dedicated you are to a marriage by testing you with your husband’s current shortcomings. Maybe Allah has had someone else in mind but, as you said, you married in haste, not fully assessing the situation. Regardless, we will never know how Allah works, but we can rest assure He loves us, He tests us, and it is up to us to draw closer to Him or fall back.

I suggest dear sister that, regardless of your intent to divorce, you draw closer to Allah. Pray, make du’aa’, do dhkir, and recite Qur’an. Joining a sister’s Islamic group can provide great support for you as well as helping you feel not so alone.

Lastly, before making the decision to divorce, please do make Istikharah prayer and seek counseling for the surrounding stress, sadness, and anger.

We wish you the best dear sister; you are in our prayers. Please let us know how you are doing.

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 Aisha Mohammad-Swan

Aisha Mohammad-Swan received her PhD in psychology in 2000. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York with a focus on PTSD, OCD, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, and Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. She is currently studying for her certification in Islamic Chaplaincy, and takes Islamic courses at SHC. Aisha works at a Women's Daytime Drop in Center, and has her own part-time practice in which she integrates counseling and holistic health. Aisha also received an MA in Public Health/Community Development in 2009 and plans to open a community counseling/resource center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah.

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