One of my distant relatives back home approached me through Facebook because he wanted to get married. I told him I would marry him if my parents agreed. He agreed.
Eventually, my family and his family learned about that we have talked, and everyone thought I initiated this. His family started spreading the rumor. He basically used me to pass his time. And then he told me because I wasn't attractive enough he couldn't marry me.
Because of this, my whole family thinks I have a character problem when in reality this guy was in a few relationships when he was leading me on. Now I am suffering and he is leading a perfect life with many women, a great job, good education etc.
He drinks, takes drugs but everyone thinks; he is really innocent.
I have gone into severe depression. I can't function properly. I couldn't finish my degree and I can't find any job. I want to know, how to not feel extreme guilt and regret?
How do I let go of the past and move on when everything in my life is ruined? Why did this happen when I tried to do it the right way with my parents' approval?
In this counseling answer:
• In order to move forward, you must forgive yourself and let go of any regret and guilt.
• It is time to forgive him. You don’t have to tell him this, just look deep in your heart and choose to forgive what he did and be the better person.
• Whenever you begin to think about him or sit in those feelings, find an activity you can employ that allows you to direct your thoughts.
• Identify 3 coping skills to use when you feel down. Coping skills can be about anything from writing, drawing and singing to exercise, cooking and prayer.
• Take some time to think about your future. What are your goals and dreams?
• Make a commitment that every month you will go out with friends at least once.
• Don’t rush marriage.
Assalamu alaikum warahmatuulahi wabarakatu,
Thank you, sister, for trusting us with your question.
It is my understanding of your relative proposed marriage to you online and later misled the family by making them think you initiated it when, in fact, he did not want to marry you.
It is also my understanding you perceive he is living a very active and engaged life while you struggle.
Sister, you tried to handle the marriage proposal in the right and ethical way.
He turned around and used this against you and you report lives a life of drugs and various women.
You should count it as a blessing that the marriage did not happen! Alhamdulillah.
The fact it was all ruined is mercy, which protected you.
Just imagine if you did get married, he would be running around with women and using drugs while you were trying to understand how you got into this situation.
You can try to clear the record with family and tell them bluntly what he did and that you want no further association with him or this type of un-Islamic drama.
Then leave it, walk away and leave this in the past. Your focus can be on your future, not their perspective of it.
How to Move On
In order to move forward, you must forgive yourself and let go of any regret and guilt.
You did not know what type of lifestyle he led or his intentions in the beginning.
You assumed the best and only found out later how he truly behaved.
Tell yourself you made a mistake in trusting him but learn from it so that you don’t do this again.
A lesson to take form this is that you should be wary of pursuing marriage with a stranger.
While some do and it works out, it is a gamble that could hurt you.
Forgive him. I know this sounds hard, but in addition to forgiving yourself, it is time to forgive him.
You don’t have to tell him this, just look deep in your heart and choose to forgive what he did and be the better person.
This doesn’t mean you condone his actions or want to be his friend; it means you relinquish ties to this situation and choose to move on. Forgiveness is more for yourself than the other person.
Redirect your thoughts away from him.
Whenever you begin to think about him or sit in those feelings, find an activity you can employ that allows you to direct your thoughts.
For example, you can pick up a book and start reading.
Within a few minutes, your mind will be focused on the plot and drama of the story instead of the past.
You can also try singing along to the radio or taking time to pray.
Identify a few activities you can employ when thoughts of him and the past betrayal come to mind.
As you practice this, it still starts to become easier to direct your thoughts away from him.
Identify 3 coping skills to use when you feel down.
Coping skills can be about anything from writing, drawing and singing to exercise, cooking and prayer.
If it is something positive that allows you to calm your feelings and feel more positive, then it is a coping skill.
One coping skill I have is playing with my cats and holding them.
You mentioned struggles with school and your own success.
Take some time to think about your future. What are your goals and dreams? Think about what you want to achieve and write down 3 core long term goals.
Then think about the smaller goals you must reach in order to obtain those larger goals.
For example, getting your degree may be a smaller goal en route to your dream job and your dream house.
Write down all your long term as well as the short-term goals and think about how you can start going after them one by them.
No matter how slow you must move, if you are pushing forward you are making progress!
Check out this counseling video:
It helps to have friends and family that you trust and can go to for support.
Take time to spend with friends and engage in social activities.
Go out and enjoy your youth. This will inshallah help you be happier and surround yourself with positive feelings.
Make a commitment that every month you will go out with friends at least once.
Not for studying or trying to find a job, nothing involving responsibility.
I am talking about enjoying yourself and having fun.
I do not suggest looking for marriage right now or rushing into anything.
It is all too common that people make rash decisions or act impulsively after situations like this.
It is best to take things slowly and allow yourself time to fully heal and move on before you consider marriage with anyone else.
It is also safer if you consider people that you know for marriage versus strangers who live abroad.
If you don’t know someone in person and only go off what you see online, then truthfully you don’t know them.
The face we portray online is not reality, it is the highlight reel showing only their best moments.
Here is a summary of your next steps moving forward.
- Forgive yourself.
- Forgive him.
- Redirect thoughts away from him.
- Identify 3 positive coping skills.
- Set long term goals and short-term goals leading up to them.
- Engage in more social activity.
- Don’t rush marriage.
Inshallah, you will heal and move forward Sister. One day you will enter a happy marriage, and this will be thought of the past.
May Allah (most honored and revered) heal your heart and guide you on your path,
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.