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How Do You Know When Your Marriage Is Over?

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Dec 13, 2017

Question

My husband and I were together in a sinful relationship previous to getting married. Getting married was stressful as I had to leave my family. They were not happy with my decision. I have been in foster care for a long time, but my relationship with my biological family has gotten better in recent years and now I’ve lost them. Since we had our nikkah, it has been quite turbulent. We have argued a lot more than we did before marriage. In the recent months, my mental health has taken a dip from what I can assume all the stress my marriage has put on me. My husband has even said had he known how “mental” I am he would not have married me. I have grown in my faith and connection to Allah and alhamdulillah I feel closer to my religion. I have encouraged him to pray more also as I know it will help. He does not always do it, but I still remind him. About a month ago, I tried to kill myself. I feel ashamed and have been repenting ever since. I could not take this anymore. I had left my family for him and he has continually treated me less than his family. He left me that night to take his sister in law to work, knowing full well I could have died after my overdose. When I knew of this in the coming days I felt so heartbroken. I didn’t mean enough for my husband to stay with me and ensure my safety. Since that day, I have left incredibly distant from his home. I have stayed in my flat. I have tried to go back, but I could not help this intense feeling of jealousy. It has burdened my mental health into a relapse. I am still praying and still hoping. He tells me he’s sorry, but then he tells me how he feels forced to be with me. He shouts, he does not put in any effort. I guess my question is, how do we know if it’s the end? Because I feel I have given everything of me into this marriage. I made compromises with my job and lifestyle to meet his needs. I was happy to do it knowing it would better my marriage, but now that it hasn’t I feel so at a loss. How much more can one take before they say enough? Please advise. Am I wrong to feel jealous or feel I am wanting to say enough about my marriage?

Counselor

Answer


How Do You Know When Your Marriage Is Over?

In this counseling answer:

“Overall, to begin with, it’s a good idea to take a step back and understand some things that you can often forget about when feeling this way. Understanding things from his perspective, as well as understanding exactly why you feel jealous, can be the first step towards overcoming your present difficulties.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatulahi wa Barakatuh,

A mental health problem can impact on so many different things in one’s life. Unfortunately, close relationships are often those that suffer the most such as the marital relationship as in your case. On top of this, your husband doesn’t seem to be very understanding of the situation. This only makes things worse for you. It might feel like there is nothing more than you can do at this point, but there is still hope in sha’ Allah.

There are some steps you can consider taking first to try and make things better for both yourself and your relationship.

Overcoming jealousy

Many people tend to experience some element of jealousy when it comes to their spouses spending time with others, whether it be family, friends or colleagues. It can cause major problems in a relationship, but if managed correctly, a spouses contact with others need not cause such problems.

It’s ok to spend time with others. In fact, often it can be good for a healthy marriage in that the couple is not spending excess time with each other to the point they feel like arguing over every little, irrelevant thing.

However, a balance also needs to be struck in that spending too much time with others outside of the marital relationship can also cause huge difficulties. The spouses who are left at home feel they do not have their needs met. This will naturally lead to feelings that their spouse prefers to spend time with someone else which can result in feelings of inadequacy that they would rather be with someone else than you.

Seek assistance for your mental health difficulties

There are many different treatment options available these days for people who are enduring mental health difficulties, from medication to a variety of different therapeutic interventions depending on your individual needs. If you go to your GP and talk about what you are going through they will be able to assist you in moving forward with treatment in a way that is best suited for you.

Help him to understand how you feel

If he has not experienced anyone else with mental health problems, maybe he just has no idea how to deal with your behavior, especially after you tried to commit suicide. Perhaps he doesn’t understand how serious it is. It might be helpful for the two of you to talk about it. This will give you the chance to express your feelings as well as giving him the chance to understand what you are going through. Perhaps he could even support you by attending your doctor’s/counselling appointments together.

Hear his side of things too

Also, understand that he may also feel that he has also made compromises for you. He may also feel he is at the end of his tether with the relationship too. Give him the chance to talk about these things as well.

Rekindle your relationship

It’s easy for marriages too quickly become stale after marriage. It’s very important to keep the flame burning by taking care of the relationship as well as yourselves as individuals. Do something fun together, even if it’s just once a week.

Make amends with your family again

It seems that having broken ties with your biological family again causes you added distress. This is understandable as having close ties with our family is not only encouraged in Islam, but it is also good for our mental health. Having family around creates a natural feeling of security, safety, and support. Perhaps, this is also why you feel jealous about his relationship with his own family – you miss having this with your own family and wish to have the same again. Especially since you state how good it was for you to have rekindled lost relations with them before. It would, therefore, be useful for you in several ways to rekindle this lost relationship once more. Having others to turn to and spend time with will make it easier for you to accept your husband being with others. It will give you other loved ones to spend time with regularly.

Distract yourself

Whilst you rekindle the relationship with your family and husband, also keep yourself busy in activities that you enjoy doing. This will not only be a good boost to your psychological health but will leave you with less room to focus on being jealous of your husbands’ relationship with his family as you are doing something positive for yourself.

Managing difficulties

Marriage is so highly valued in Islam and we are encouraged to do all we can to do save it before resorting to divorce.  As it stands, it seems even though you feel that you have put so much into the marriage and sacrificed so much for it, you now need to work on focusing on all you can to save it from difficulties before giving up.

At the moment, you are caught up in so many emotions and walking away might seem like the easiest option. However, at the same time, this could leave you looking back with many regrets about how you managed the difficulties. You, therefore, should make sure that you have done all you can to save the marriage before walking away to be absolutely sure that you are making the best decision. If you chose to walk away after exhausting all options, then you are less likely to look back with regrets and this will result in a more successful recovery.

Summary

Overall, to begin with, it’s a good idea to take a step back and understand some things that you can often forget about when feeling this way. Understanding things from his perspective, as well as understanding exactly why you feel jealous, can be the first step towards overcoming your present difficulties.

It is also advisable that you seek further assistance for your mental health problems both medically as well as in terms of self-care, by doing things you enjoy for yourself, as well potentially rekindling relations with both your family and your husband.

May Allah grant you good health and make things easier for you. May He put to ease the difficulties in your relationship and make you the coolness of each other’s eyes once more.

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.

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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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