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My Wife Left Me; I Feel Suicidal

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A

Reply Date

Nov 24, 2017

Question

Salamu alaykum. I have both physical and mental issues. I like to think that I'm normal, but my experience shows otherwise. I'm divorced with 2 kids. I know I wasn't the perfect husband and made mistakes. Our marriage was shaky from the start as we were constantly arguing. I became lost and disinterested in the marriage. Also, she wanted to spend more time with her family and less time with me. We fought in Ramadan, and for me that was the end. I lost the love for her, and she felt it, too. She asked for a divorce, and I gave her. I did ask her to take me back, but she gave no reply. Now, she is married again, to a local mufti. I feel I was the problem and the cause of all the problems in our marriage. Is this true? If so, what should I do to change myself? My physical problem is that I'm not a handsome man, and this leads me to have thoughts of suicide. The only thing that keeps me alive is my 2 kids. I have too many issues to mention.

Counselor

Answer


My Wife Left Me; I Feel Suicidal

Answer:

Wa ‘Alaikum Salam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhu,

My dear brother in Islam, I am very happy that you reached out to us. First of all, never be ashamed of how you look; “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder”. While that is not a hadith, it is a truism based on the fact that people “love” (and I mean sustaining “love”, not just infatuation) according to the things which make us feel safe and secure, heard and loved. In other words, a person can be drop-dead gorgeous, but that won’t last if they do not treat other people right. Or, if they are silly or ignorant, it reduces the meaning of their physical beauty to what it really is: surface stuff.

Secondly, I have no way of knowing if you were the problem or not since I know nothing about the substantive nature of your problems with your ex-wife. So, that said, I am going to take an “educated guess” that you had some problems, she had some problems, both of you had some problems interacting/understanding each other,  and, lastly, that there was a lack of “chemistry”. Now, chemistry is a very strange, non-logical thing. Some personalities click and some don’t while both people are righteous and not doing anything wrong, just have different styles, or cultures, or body language, etc. So they simply do not understand each other and keep missing the meaning of each others’ messages.

Another educated guess that I am going to take is that if something bothered you, then it probably was bothersome. In other words, your soul works just the same as everyone else’s, i.e., it “feels” when something is wrong. So, please stop blaming yourself totally and trust that your feelings were probably right sometimes — or maybe all the time, but maybe it was a chemistry problem or communication styles, or, or, or…Whatever it “was”, it is truly over because she is married to another man now, and she is his problem (or blessing in sha’ Allah) now, not yours any longer. However, I hear that you are seriously questioning yourself – but not in a good way!

Shaitan loves to make us hate ourselves and feel suicidal. Please try to look at yourself with respect and love based on the fact in Sha’Allah that you were doing the best you could, sincerely for Allah. The fact that it did not work may not be your fault at all. And if some things in it were your fault, then look at those things (if you can figure out what they were) as opportunities to learn from your mistakes. The way we learn how not to spill milk is by spilling it a bunch of times and then figuring out how not to do it. Many Muslims think that Muslims do everything right, and that is what it is to be a Muslim. NO! Allah loves those who repent again and again.

“Indeed, Allah loves those who are constantly repentant…” (Quran 2:222)

This means that we learn from our mistakes, because we are humble enough to know that only Allah is perfect while we are fallible human beings trying to go with the light of Allah!

I want you to also remember that, for example, the 5 daily prayers were sent down in the tenth year of Islam, which means that the early Muslims, who are our examples, grew gradually! Hence, allow yourself that same principle of growth, please! That does not mean to stop praying until you feel like it. It means start looking at the path of your life as building blocks of growth and change. Embrace your mistakes (if you were making any in your past marriage) as opportunities to learn enlightenment from Allah about Allah’s world and learn how it works and how you work in it, in Sha’ Allah.

As you probably know, suicide is haram in Islam, and the punishment is Hell, therefore that should never be considered as solution. You are suffering, from what I can tell, from feeling inadequate, both physically and emotionally. Thus, attend to those issues instead of wanting out of the challenges, in sha’ Allah.

As far as the physical goes, if a person can only see skin deep, you probably don’t want them as your wife! As far as the spiritual and emotional goes, take a different angle on it; view it as an oppor­tun­ity that benefits you by figuring out what Allah meant for you to learn from it, in sha’ Allah.

If this does not work, then perhaps you could give us some specifics so we could help you see if you were in the right or in the wrong – or both, which the case is usually.

May Allah make it easy for you!

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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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