In this counseling answer:
“If people can go through the loss of a loved one at this level, then know that you can go through the loss of this three-year relationship and move on to a life you don’t feel guilty about.”
Thank you for writing to ask for some help to overcome the confusion and pain you are currently in. I pray you find some clarity here.
I appreciate that the man you spoke to did the right thing, at one point in time, and came to your family in order to propose to you. It alleviated the otherwise haram situation you both found yourself in, which is having a private relationship with each other without being married.
I also understand that you both fell in love with one another. As a result, ending the relationship became much more difficult to do because of the intense feelings, level of emotional closeness, as well as the amount of time you invested in maintaining the relationship.
I can imagine that it’s been difficult for you to hear that your family would not accept him though he tried extremely hard to ask for your hand properly. Based on your current information given here, they haven’t found any glaring issues with him to reject his proposal either.
When It’s Time to End Things
The reality is that your relationship needs to end. You are not husband and wife. You do not have rights upon each other, and attempting to maintain any kind of private relationship is completely haram. Whether or not you think he has feelings for you or not doesn’t matter at all and vice versa.
If we care about someone for the sake of Allah (swt), then we want to see them succeed in this dunyah and in the akhirah. If you loved him or do still love him, then it’s not possible that you continue to speak to him knowing that each time you both speak to each other, keeping some form of a relationship going, you are assisting him in earning sins.
True Love Won’t Cause You Regret in Front of Allah (swt)
He cannot repent for those sins so long as there is a warm fuzzy feeling attached to speaking with you. He will not see the sins, and even if he does, he cannot fully repent while continuing to do that which is wrong. He may feel bad about it, and not speaking to you may be a struggle, but it’s a test that he is losing. Shaytaan is egging him on. Shaytaan is encouraging you to do wrong too.
Equally, if he truly cares about you in any way and has any kind of respect for you at all, he will have to stop speaking with you for the sake of Allah (swt) so that you also do not continue to earn sins by furthering the relationship with you for his own selfish needs. He wants to maintain some form of the relationship with you and does not think about how much is he actually hurting you, both spiritually, and personally.
He remarried his previous wife which is purely halal and that relationship commands to be respected by you and him. Any kind of personal chit-chat or meaningful conversation with a woman belongs with between his wife and her alone, and not you.
You should also discontinue speaking with his mother since she will not be helping you to move forward. Insha’Allah she can instead invest her time with her own family members.
It is time for you to move on in your life, and it’s time for him to do the same.
You spent three years seeking someone and the door has remained closed for you to proceed. I understand you may have a really hard time letting go of three years, especially when you look back and see that Allah (swt) may not be pleased with anything that transpired in that time.
It’s hard to face one’s own choices and admit to having made them by one’s own free will. That level of self-realization isn’t easy, but it’s the only way you will be able to grow through this and move forward.
He is not the only man in the world who can love you, and he is not the only man in the world you can love.
You are worthy of finding someone who you not only have feelings for but can also pursue within the proper channels for marriage.
Prepare for a Pendulum of Emotions
It is quite normal that your emotions may swing from one extreme to the other for a while. Some days, you are strong, want nothing to do with him and you are prepared to move forward in your life. Others, you may feel a deep sense of longing, overwhelming grief, and a desire to just speak to him for a little bit to ease those feelings.
Some days you may feel like you will never find someone else like him, and other days you may feel extremely optimistic about the idea of meeting someone new.
As your work through your range of emotions, ask Allah (swt) to help guide you to that which is most pleasing to Him and ask Him to give you strength.
You believe he is your first love but that doesn’t make him your last love and life is over.
The Analogy of Burying Those We Love
If things feel unbearable I’d like to offer the following analogy.
People bury their loved ones every day. People that they love, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, grandparents, best friends, favorite uncles, and loving aunts, are placed into the earth. Goodbyes are permanent.
The loss of someone forever is a pain that is immeasurable until one experiences it. Yet, with time, people are still able to live their lives. They are able to find joy and meaningful moments, thrive in their other relationships and live for the sake of Allah (swt).
The loss is always there in their hearts, the person is never forgotten, but their own life doesn’t end when someone else’s does, no matter how hard it feels at the initial time of the loss. They move through the process of grief, one day at a time, and with time, things get easier.
If people can go through the loss of a loved one at this level, then know that you can go through the loss of this three-year relationship and move on to a life you don’t feel guilty about.
You will need to delete his contact information, change yours if you need to, and start the process of being alone and reconnecting with your Lord.
Say, “O My servants who have transgressed against themselves [by sinning], do not despair of the mercy of Allah . Indeed, Allah forgives all sins. Indeed, it is He who is the Forgiving, the Merciful.” (39:53)
Fill Your Schedule with Good Deeds
While I believe in honoring everyone’s unique process of moving through loss and grief in whatever form it comes in, I also encourage people to get busy serving others.
When you are struggling with your own pain, you will find some relief by helping others move on their own. Whether that is serving food to someone hungry, volunteering at a crisis center for people who have no one to talk to, creating spiritually uplifting quotes and images for people to share on Facebook, or visiting an elder family member to make them tea and listen to them speak.
Whatever it is that inspires you, do that with others. Schedule your time so that when you arrive home you are exhausted having served for the sake of Allah (swt) and your heart is filled with the warmth you’ve received as a result of serving others.
May Allah (swt) reward you the desire to no longer do that which is displeasing to Him and support you in building a life lived for His sake that equally brings you love, joy, happiness, and contentment.
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.