In this counseling answer:
“While you have every right to feel the way you do, you need to allow yourself and allow your husband to be human. What I mean is that humans make mistakes and they deserve to be forgiven (if they sincerely repent). That is what Allah mentions constantly in the Quran.”
Salamu ‘Alaykum Sister,
Thank you for sending us your original questions and follow-up. While reading your above question, I can’t help but read how frustrated and tired you are of all the issues you deal with on a daily basis. You even wrote, “I feel like I’m going to explode.” I can certainly see that! You have two pressing issues that are nagging at your heart and mind all the time. You need to help yourself overcome these issues.
To begin with, I would like to address the first part of your question in which you discuss your feelings towards your husband lying to you about his past. You have already sent a question about this earlier and Dr. Bachmeier answered you nicely.
While you have every right to feel the way you do, you need to allow yourself and allow your husband to be human. What I mean is that humans make mistakes and they deserve to be forgiven (if they sincerely repent). That is what Allah mentions constantly in the Quran. Allah begins every surah with “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.” Allah is the One who created us and He knows that we are destined to sin – every single one of us.
However, those who are special are those who realize their mistakes and repent sincerely. Even though you have mentioned the several verses in the Quran that show how terrible sin fornication is in our religion, repentance surpasses everything. Period. There is no dispute about this.
In your mind, you first have to differentiate between the fact that your husband lied to you before marriage and the issue of him being a bad person because he fornicated before marriage. Those are two completely different issues. To address the latter, our religion tells us that we have a set of rules we must follow. There are haram actions that we cannot do, and fornication is certainly one of the major sins that Allah has mentioned to us.
The point, however, is not to make us feel that we are damned and hopeless if we do fall into sin. Allah does not want this. If you believe this, you have missed the point. We are supposed to understand that we have done something terrible, and we have to correct it by sincerely repenting. That realization and repentance are what Allah wants us to internalize.
Now, the first step is for you to understand the above and strive to be compassionate and merciful. Understand that if Allah forgives, then you can as well. As I read your question, I can see that you have very strong feelings towards chastity and find fornication to be abhorrent. Certainly, I cannot dispute that!
A lot of us Muslims miss the point of our religion’s essence and get carried away with categorizing people, things, events into either all good or all bad. In real life, that’s not how it is. We must understand that our religion does not condemn or excommunicate a person who has sinned and repented. We have no right to do that. Allah wants us to constantly return to Him and seek Him. He has given us chances to return to Him. We must also give ourselves and others the chance to do so too.
You do, however, have every right to feel angry and hurt that your husband lied to you before marriage.
I particularly liked when Dr. Bachemier answered with the following: “You can choose to look at this new development as an opportunity to open your heart and mind and move toward a meaningful dialogue that will provide the environment for your husband to tell you why he felt the need to lie to you and how he really feels about you and your marriage. You might be touched and you might soften once you hear what he has to say.”
Remember how Allah is compassionate and merciful towards us, and how your husband (from what you have described to us) certainly deserves your compassion and mercy. Realize this, internalize it and then build on it. Strive to make your relationship one of compassion, mercy, empathy, and certainly honesty from now on.
Finally, to address the second part of your question about your in-laws, I will have to say that I answered your question the first time when you originally sent it! I would like to remind you of this excerpt: “also, work to improve the overall situation by being assertive. I can tell that you hold resentment towards your mother-in-law because you changed your actions due to her desires. You do not have to do that next time. Be open and honest with her. Do what you and your husband agreed on. Then explain to her respectfully and kindly that you both came up with this decision because you both believe it is the best for you. Continue to tell her that you wish she would understand and that you do not mean to upset her. Of course, she will be upset in the start, but life must go on and with time, she will understand that the both of you are good people, and you both do not mean any harm towards anyone. Again, this is going to be a difficult first step that might take some time to achieve, but it is worth it in the end.”
You have mentioned above that your husband, Alhamdulillah, is supportive towards you and empathizes with you regarding how your mother-in-law treats you. That is certainly many steps forward Alhamdulillah. But you also mentioned that you can’t get yourself to confront her about your feelings towards her ill treatment towards you. Again, this is a really difficult first step and you have to choose whether you will be courageous and do so assertively and respectfully or to stay the way you are. We already know that if you stay the way you are, you will yield the same results. If you do something about it, then you just might find a change. Strive to be assertive and find your place in this family because you are a part of it.
May Allah help you and your husband through these hurdles and help you both find peace within yourself and with each other.
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