This Toxic Relationship Is Poisoning Me

16 May, 2021
Q Assalamulaikum, I was married and then divorced because his family and him were abusive and he wanted to marry multiple times.

which I didn't agree to

I couldn't become pregnant in the first few months.

My question is, why is it that women are considered used and not even worth looking at if they are divorced, or barren or a widow?

If a man is divorced 5 times he is still a catch and as good as a single unmarried mad.

Why is there a double standard?

An unmarried man will never marry a divorced or a widow but a lot of unmarried women marry divorced men.

Why is society like this?

Is being a Muslim women all about being used and abused and then just thrown away?

Thank you

Answer


In this counseling answer:

Dear Sister, be grateful that you are away now from this toxic environment, Alhamdulillah 

Consider professional counseling as you heal to unpack and resolve emotional wounds left from this first marriage.

Identify Positive Coping skills. 

Try visualizations to keep you focused on the future.



  Assalam alaykum,

Thank you for taking the time to write in and share your concerns with us.

It is my understanding that you were married then divorced recently due to it being an abusive situation.

They viewed the lack of early pregnancy as reasoning for him to find someone else.

It is also my understanding that you are concerned with the maltreatment and double standards applied to women.       

This Toxic Relationship Is Poisoning Me - About Islam

Dear Sister, to begin with, it is a blessing and a mercy that you are away from this toxic and abusive family.

You are still very young and can look forward to a happy, healthy marriage one day inshallah.

A quick search online showcases that most couples don’t get pregnant until within the first couple years, not the first few months.

Support AboutIslam in 2021

The fact that they behaved so abusive and blaming early on was a huge red flag that it would have only gotten worse the longer you were with this man.

I would say alhamdulillah and be grateful you were brought out of this experience so early!

Is being a Muslim woman all about being used and abused and then just thrown away?” Let’s address this dear Sister.

A big distinction needs to be outlined here. Some cultures are very toxic towards women, sexist, misogynistic and they do use and abuse women.

This is not created by religion or faith; it is from man-made cultures.

Check out this counseling video:



Many Muslim women fight back against such ideas and stand strong to showcase that this type of maltreatment is against Islam and that it hurts faith practices.

The abuse of our rights as women that you have been subjected to, happens across all faith practices due to cultural influence. 

Counseling

Moving forward in your life, I encourage you to seek out personal counseling to unpack and resolve emotional wounds left from this first marriage.

You don’t want to consider any other relationships until you resolve your emotions and thoughts from the first marriage; this could cause problems for other relationships. 

I would also encourage you to speak with a counselor about your perspective towards maltreatment of women and how you may or may not be internalizing this.

What we want to avoid Sister, is that you begin to see all of Islam or all men as dangerous and sexist.

You have been through something painful that can cause cognitive distortions, such as starting to believe all Muslim men avoid divorcees or all Muslim men are sexist towards women.

  A professional counselor can help you work on those emotions and perspectives. 

Coping Skills

As you heal from this hurtful relationship, I encourage you to seek out positive coping skills which you can employ during difficult emotional moments.

These skills will help you to disrupt negative thought patterns, redirect emotions and get your brain in the habit of resolving internal conflict in a positive way.

When you feel upset or stressed, the idea is to employ these coping skills either immediately or as soon as it can.

I suggest finding ones that can be employed at any time.

For instance deep breathing. Also the ones that are more engaging such as going to the Gym or creating an art project. 

Here are a few examples of coping skills, please feel free to come up with your own!

  •  Nature walks
  • Cooking a favorite meal
  • Creating an art project
  • Prayer
  • Exercise
  • Journaling
  • Deep breathing
  • Dhikr
  • Gardening
  • Visiting a public place such as a Museum or Zoo
  • Hot baths
  • Play with pets
  • Drink tea or a calming beverage
  • Call a good friend to talk
  • Watch a favorite show

Positive Visualization

Sister, also please consider utilizing positive visualization.

This can be considered a positive coping skill and helps with goals as you move forward in life.

Take some time to relax in a comfortable chair or somewhere you feel at ease. Close your eyes and breathe in slowly to a 4 count, breathe out slowly to a 4 count.

Do this a few times so you are relaxed then think about your future, your dreams, what you want to achieve and do.

Pick a specific topic for that day such as career goals, visualize yourself in your dream career.

Really allow your imagination to go and see what you are wearing, what is around you, what kind of people are you working with etc.

Some days just pick a happy place. Like imagining a hammock on a tropical beach. Afterwards focus on what you would hear, smell and feel. 

Allowing yourself time to visualize your goals and happy places helps you find some solace.

It also acts as a coping skill and helps to keep goals active in your mind. 

Final Thoughts

Moving forward Sister, here is a summary of your next steps as you work towards a happier and more balanced life. 

Consider professional counseling as you heal. This can be in person or online

Identify Positive Coping skills 


Be grateful you are away from this toxic environment, alhamdulillah 

Try visualizations to keep you focused on the future

I know this is a difficult moment in your life, but I assure you that you will heal in time.

Inshallah one day you can find a happy marriage that is healthy and full of supportive love.

The focus right now is for you to heal and grow as a woman, not to seek out another marriage.

Don’t run from one relationship to another.

Take your time in getting to know yourself as you heal from this pain and when the time is right, you will know.

May Allah (swt) heal your heart, ameen. 

salam,

***

Read More:

https://aboutislam.net/counseling/ask-the-counselor/self-issues-ask-about-counselor/muslim-men-misogynistic/

https://aboutislam.net/reading-islam/understanding-islam/6-facts-will-challenge-your-views-on-women-in-islam/

https://aboutislam.net/muslim-issues/n-america/the-rise-of-muslim-women-in-civic-engagement/

About Monique Hassan
Monique Hassan graduated with honors in 2012 with her BSc in Psychology and a minor in Biology and is certified in Crisis Prevention and Intervention. She has years of professional as well as personal experience with trauma, relationship struggles, substance abuse, identifying coping skills, conflict resolution, community outreach, and overall mental health concerns. She is a professional writer specialized in Islamic Psychology and Behavioral Health. She is also a revert who took her shahada in 2015, Alhamdulillah. You can contact Sister Monique Hassan via her website "MoniqueHassan.com"