My Husband’s Past Hurts Me

20 February, 2021
Q I got married nearly a year ago; it was an arranged marriage. I found the whole thing very stressful as I did not want to marry into an Asian family because I did not like Asian culture. However, due to a lot of pressure, I agreed to marry the guy. Despite this, we get on very well, and I am happy with him. The main reason I said yes to him was that he told me he had never been with anyone before. But seven months into the marriage, I found out that when he was younger, about 23, he had been seeing a white girl for a few months and had sex with her. He said he didn’t enjoy it, and it happened because he was having a difficult time with his family full of arguments, and he hated life. I was heartbroken as I previously asked him if he had slept with anyone else, and he said no. I feel cheated into the marriage, and it makes me angry because I thought it was amazing that none of us had ever been with anyone else. I am also angry because I feel that guys are allowed to have their fun before marriage whereas girls aren’t. I understand that it was a difficult time for him, and he had never spoken to or told anyone about the girl, and although it’s all in the past for him, it’s all new to me. It makes me sick to think that he has been with someone else before me. He is very sorry for everything, but it is so hard to stop thinking about it. I feel I have given up my life and freedom for this marriage. I don’t have much of a social life anymore because it’s more difficult when living with in-laws. I struggle everyday trying to keep everyone happy which I know is unrealistic. I live with his parents and grandparents so I have two sets of in-laws to please, and as I am the only girl in the house, a lot is expected of me. Please tell me how I can get past this. I can’t stop thinking about it, and it’s really getting me down. I have tried to be understanding and empathetic towards his actions in the past, but I've started to think why I should bother because I have always put people first, and I’m constantly thinking of other people. I have even started to think that he doesn’t deserve me because I’ve always been told to respect myself which I have done by staying away from boys and saving myself for marriage, and now I think what was the point in that because I’ve ended up with someone who didn’t. I’m fed up with feeling like this.


In this counseling answer:

The counselor believes if you and your husband explore the insecurities behind the fear of being truthful with each other, you will be giving yourselves an opportunity to grow closer together on a heart level. She advises to give yourself time to process the negative energy and your anger and pray to Allah for help.

As-Salam ‘Alaykum Sister,

I appreciate your sincere efforts to work through your negative feelings about this situation. Sometimes we are harsh with ourselves for having normal feelings of a human being, especially if we are in the field of helping others. But your feelings are real; they are human, and they are acceptable.

The real goal here is to find a way to work through your feelings of hurt and betrayal while preserving the good in your relationship. It is possible to come to a place in your heart where you have genuinely forgiven your husband for hiding the truth of his past from you. You feel deceived which is a form of betrayal, and I really do understand that.

It is very likely that you have already thought this through. But I will state this here. Your husband may have been afraid to tell you the truth. He may have wanted you to marry him so very much that he lied to you about his past because he was afraid that you would reject him if you knew the truth. It is unlikely that his past experience would prevent him from loving you with all his heart and from being 100% your husband.

It is actually possible to turn this event into an experience that can bring the two of you closer together in spirit if you are open to this. If you and your husband explore the insecurities behind the fear of being truthful with each other, you will be giving yourselves an opportunity to grow closer together on a heart level. This is the “soul” purpose of marriage and a process well worth the effort.

Love is understanding and knowing another person on a very deep level and accepting that human being unconditionally. The achievement of this deep level of understanding and of knowing another human being on this deep soul level is a process as the layers of each individual in the union is gently peeled back – one layer at a time and with an open heart and quiet mind. 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. heartpin10

With that said, give yourself time to process the negative energy and your anger. It is ok that you feel this for now. But process it in such a way that it dissipates and eventually disappears like boiling water evaporates from the pan when it is heated by the fire on a stove. Once you feel your emotions and feelings shift, allow the steam to evaporate and transform into empowering energy in order to increase your understanding and open your heart. Cooled steam can soften your skin and allow you to let the elements in the environment in – just as you are allowing yourself to soften so that you can allow the truth of your husband’s heart enter into yours.

Don’t forget to pray to Allah (swt) as Allah (swt) is the heart of hearts and the opener of heart. All love is from Allah (swt). There is no love, nor can any human being truly love without the love of Allah (swt).



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About Maryam Bachmeier
Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant in the areas of mental health, cultural, and relationship issues.