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How to Handle the Pain of Unrequited Love

Questioner

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Reply Date

Sep 27, 2018

Question

As-Salamu Aleikom. I suffer from depression due to unrequited love. I was abused in my childhood and I had a very lonely and sad childhood. I cried a lot at school. I fell in love with a person with whom I wish to get married. He is from another religion. His innocence and kindness have deceived me.

About 2 years ago, I confessed my love to him, but he betrayed me by spreading gossips that a Muslim girl was going behind him. I felt extremely hurt. I even took pills due to the pain of unrequited love. I recovered slowly but again went back to depression. I felt happy in the first months of my new life at the university. Allah knows, I tried to stay away from him and battled with my thoughts and feelings, but all in vain. However, I have never had any relationship with him. We only exchanged messages for 2 days. I have never had any relations with any boys. I am socially awkward, very shy and nervous around boys. But I feel I have learned many things from this experience. I now know that romance is not given barakah in Islam. I am seriously depressed.

My parents do not understand my emotional needs. I desire for marriage very much, but I am afraid my marriage will also be the same as my previous experience. I don't trust any guy; I fear to trust them. I don't know what to do. Please tell me what I should do. I am seriously depressed.

Counselor

Answer


How to Handle the Pain of Unrequited Love

In this counseling answer:

I would kindly ask that you start writing a journal. I ask that you write in it daily, noting your feelings, thoughts, and wishes. I also want you to in sha’ Allah makes a list of all your positive traits, qualities, and aspirations.

I want you to make another list of your blessings. Read them daily. By venting your feelings through journaling as well as reading and absorbing your good qualities and aspirations on a daily basis, you are recreating the way you think about yourself and your future.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum sister,

Thank you for writing to us. I am sorry to hear of all the heartbreak you went through sister. I am sorry for the abuse you had to endure; it is a deplorable thing, especially in the sight of Allah. He did not create you to be abused and those who abused you will have to face Allah’s wrath.

You did not mention whether or not you received counseling for your depression and history of abuse sister, but I highly recommend that you seek out counseling as soon as possible to address these issues. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will heal and begin to live a happy life, in sha’ Allah.

Regarding the boy, it appears that you have grown Islamically from this experience and now are on the right path. I am happy to hear you study at the university. In sha’ Allah, once you get your depression under control, you will lead a happy and fulfilling life sister. But you must take that first step. You must love yourself enough to want to heal and be happy. Make du’aa’ to Allah that He grants you ease and helps you through this process. It won’t be easy, but I am confident that in sha’ Allah you can do it.

Trusting people after you have been abused and hurt is hard. When we go through things that are horrendous, such as abuse, neglect, or violence, it can sadly impact our way of thinking. I would suggest that in sha’ Allah before you seek to marry anyone, you resolve your feelings of fear and distrust of men. By reading your question, it is evident that you have much insight and wisdom concerning your issues. However, as you mentioned, you want to get married but do not trust men. Thus, it is advisable to resolve this and other issues first.

I would kindly ask that you start writing a journal. I ask that you write in it daily, noting your feelings, thoughts, and wishes. I also want you to in sha’ Allah makes a list of all your positive traits, qualities, and aspirations.

I want you to make another list of your blessings. Read them daily. By venting your feelings through journaling as well as reading and absorbing your good qualities and aspirations on a daily basis, you are recreating the way you think about yourself and your future. It may take awhile, but please stay with it in sha’ Allah and soon you may feel different about yourself and your future.

I also want you to reach out to the person you are closest to. Make a contract with her in written form that you will not attempt suicide ever. Make that a promise between you, her, and Allah. Suicide is not the way, sister. I know you feel hurt, but suicide is a much worse forever pain and as you know it is a grave sin. Allah created you as a beautiful, intelligent young woman. We go through hards times in life, some very bad times, but it is not a reason to destroy what Allah has created.

Also, it is not fair to those who love you. Lastly, if you look at all the Prophets and all those Allah loved dearly, they all went through horrible things. Look at the persecution our beloved Prophet Muhammad went through. Look at what Prophet Ayoub and Prophet ‘Isa suffered through. Yet, they stood strong as they loved and feared Allah. They also trusted in Allah that their suffering would end.

So sister, who are we to take our own lives when Allah loves us and tests us? Please think about this, about how divinely you were created, and much you are loved. Please, also refer to the suicide hotline number as well as a support link.

Please, get counseling sister! There are effective treatments for depression and other illnesses. It is my feeling that you may also be suffering from some anxiety and PTSD due to the early abuse. Only a therapist/counselor can assess and treat you. Please do make an appointment, and stay close to Allah through prayer, du’aa’, and reading Qur’an.

You are in our prayers dear sister. Please let us know how things are going.

***

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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