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Trying to Move On After Broken Engagement

10 February, 2021
Q Salam Aleikom. I was forced by my parents and family to get engaged to a guy who was one of our relatives. Almost 8 to 10 months ago, we got some issues and decided to break up. While I was trying to sort out the issues, I met another guy on Facebook whom I knew a little. We started to have regular contact with each other. He tried to help my fiancé find a job, thinking that this may make our relationship better. But then things didn’t work between us, so the engagement finally broke up. I was emotionally hurt. During that time, I realized I had started liking the guy I met on FB. He is ma sha’ Allah a religious and God-fearing person which I really liked about him. The guy also likes me. We wanted to get married to avoid any haram, so the guy talked to his family about me, but they rejected me for I am a city girl and they belong to the village. Or the real reason may be that I was engaged to someone else before. I had dreams about him and our married life for he supported me when I was emotionally hurt. I am not able to overcome those feelings I have for him. Please suggest me how we could convince his family? Jazakallah khair!



As-Salamu `Alaikum dear sister,

After any breakup, it is normal to feel some emotional pain; however, in some cases, this emotional pain can ring a bell for us that we need to have a pause with ourselves and see what might be going wrong inside of us.

In many cases, people go on with their lives, having some buried emotional pain inside of them. They have unconsciously chosen to ignore it inside of them so as not to feel the pain of letting it out and trying to deal with it. Such emotional pain could be a result of our past experiences in childhood, adolescence or any time due to people treating us in a way that gives us a hidden message that we are not good enough, that we are guilty, or that we don’t deserve what is good. Maybe, this feeling would not be clear to us in its reality; however, we feel it as some vague, uncomfortable moods and emotions that we cannot define or describe.

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For many, one way of escaping such uncomfortable moods and emotions could be to search for a love relationship to be in. A love relationship could help in soothing such feelings and cover them up for some time. The love relationship here is used as a temporary pain killer and not a healer for the emotional pain that is buried inside. When such relationship ends, the painkiller effect would not be there and hence, a person would find him/herself lost and in great pain. S/he would vigorously search for another relationship to go into in order to soothe the pain.

Thus, love relationships here are not for real love; one might find him/herself going from one failed relationship to another without finding the calmness and happiness s/he is searching for. Or even if s/he continued on with one relationship, it would not be a healthy one because it was not built on a healthy basis. It would turn to be a dependent relationship where one is totally dependent on the other and can feel lost without him, while the other part is the one who is controlling the relationship. A healthy love relationship is one where both parts love each other for themselves and not for filling some void or covering up emotional pain. It is important to be in contact with ourselves and explore our emotions and see what they really are in order to have the feeling of peace and contentment we all seek to live with.

It would be difficult to do this if you don’t give yourself the time to sit with yourself and understand your emotions, acknowledge them and then deal with them. What I mean is that you need to give yourself some time after your breakup from the first engagement and before you decide to get into another one. You will need to do this in order to separate between your emotions related to the first relationship and the emotions for the new one, and most importantly heal from your hidden, buried emotional needs, and pains that are inside of you from the past.

You say you met that new man while you were in a state of depression in your past engagement, and he gave you the support you needed during that time. When a person is going through some weakness and meets a person who gives him support, he would surely be grateful to that person and might be confused between the feelings of being grateful and the feelings of real love. In addition, you say that you do not know much about this person and his family. Hence, this strengthens the probability that your feelings toward that man are not real love but a need of soothing your pain.

Of course, there might be chances in the future that when you really get to know that man, you start feeling the real love which is needed in a marriage. I’m only saying that you need to get to know your feelings more and identify what those feelings really are in order not to take the risk of going through another unhealthy or failed engagement. Take the time dear sister to get in touch with yourself and your feelings and heal your emotional wounds. Try to find out whether your emotional pain is just a normal one that anyone might feel after a breakup, or it is an echo of a deeper emotional pain which is calling you to get in touch with and remedy.

Journaling your emotions, listing your good and bad characteristics, the things you love in yourself, and writing down your goals and plans in life are very effective ways to get to know yourself and get balanced again emotionally. Also, as Muslims, maintaining the connection with Allah (swt) through praying, reading Quran and making du’aa’s is very important for our spiritual and emotional well-being. After you have healed from these emotional wounds and you feel in harmony with yourself, in sha’ Allah, you can think about looking for the right spouse/ getting to know this man better in a halal way, in sha’Allah. (Don’t forget to pray istikharah before making any decision.)

Regarding the issue of his parents not accepting you just because you’re from the city and they are from the village is in itself not a valid reason Islamically to reject a marriage. He should draw their attention to that. Maybe they have some underlying fears such as their son moving far from them or that you would influence their son in a negative way? Whatever their real reason is, he is the only one who can talk to them and convince them to give a chance and meet you and your family. Kindly find below some articles which in sha’Allah you will find helpful.

I pray Allah (swt) my words would be of some help to you. You are most welcome to get back to us for further assistance if you feel the need.



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About Layla Al Qaraqsi
Layla Al Qaraqsi has worked with islamonline.net since 2008. She has been the editor of the counseling section till May, 2013; then a counselor and writer since March, 2015. She has also worked in early childhood psychosocial development;and managed a support group in Egypt. Layla has been studying psychology and counseling since 2011 in the Islamic Online University (IOU) of Dr. Bilal Philips, University of North Dakota, and in several specialized psychological institutions in Egypt including Tawasol Center, one of the offline projects of Islamonline.net. Her studies also included group psychotherapy, psychodrama techniques, mindfulness.  You can contact her via: [email protected]