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I Left Him But Worried About What He Thinks of Me

Answer by Mohamed Wadeed Gouda & Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss

17 August, 2017
Q As-Salam `Alaikum counselor, I realized that the man I was in love with only wanted a physical relationship with me, and not marriage. I was in a vicious circle; I broke up with him, but then went back to him. Finally, even though it hurt me, I was able to let him go with Allah’s help. I did it for myself, but mainly I did it to please Allah and to stop this dirty and harmful relationship. However, I can’t overcome the thought of what he thinks of me. I gave myself to him many times (although we never had sex), and every time I think about those occasions, I feel horrible. I always ask Allah to forgive me, but I can’t erase my memories. Sometimes, I think that maybe he did not want to marry me because I have gone this far with him. I know I shouldn’t worry about what he thinks of me and that I should move forward, but the problem is I don’t know how. Please give me some advice. Jazaka Allah Khairan.


In this counseling answer:

Focus on the ‘here’ and ‘now’ instead; this is the only thing we have control over. Reflect on the fact that Allah (swt) has saved you from that evil cycle you were in with this man. Use it to praise Allah (swt) and be grateful for the fact that He saved you. Lastly, you must keep moving despite having these negative lingering feelings.”

Answer by Dr. Mohammed Wadeed Gouda:

My dear sister, why would you worry about what he thinks of you? Why don’t you worry about how you think of him? Why do we think that unlawful sexual relations ONLY affect women’s morality? Of course, it affects women’s morality, but we usually tend to forget that it is as animalistic for men as well. It makes the woman no less than the man who was involved. I think both parties should share the shame as much as they shared the instant/unfaithful pleasure.

Yet, supposedly, women are modest, and modesty is a big part of being a female. But this plays a role when we compare women to each other, not when we talk about you and him.

Have you asked yourself if he had done it with someone else? If the answer is yes, then maybe he is the one who doesn’t deserve you.

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Generally, I think you shouldn’t worry about him because thinking about him did nothing to you but dragging you to where you are right now. Focus on the ‘here’ and ‘now’ instead; this is the only thing we have control over. We erase what we did in the past by focusing on the ‘here’ and ‘now’.  We plan for the future by focusing on the ‘here’ and ‘now’. If we are drawn in the past or anxious about the future, we ruin the ‘here’ and ‘now’.

Why do you belittle yourself this much?

“He didn’t want to marry me because I did this with him”! Why isn’t it the case that “I don’t want to marry him because he is going to betray me in the future?” I am not trying to say you are any better than him. I am just saying you are as good/bad as he is. Hence, don’t double the pain on you.

 “I did it for myself, but mainly I did it to please Allah and to stop this dirty and harmful relationship.” I would like you to re-read the previous statement that you wrote one more time. If you have called such a relation as being dirty and harmful, if this is how you feel about it, how come you did not leave it for your own good? I guess any human would do the same thing.

However, I do understand what you meant by saying “I did it to please Allah”, but I need you not to separate between pleasing Allah (swt) and pleasing yourself. Allah (swt) wouldn’t have forbidden it if it was not bad for you.

I guess if people start to realize that God is a “blessing” in their lives, not a “burden”, it will make a huge difference in their relationship with God. Subsequently, this will have an impact on their relationship with their own self as well, in sha’ Allah.  


Answer by Dr. `Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah:

Thank you for writing us. I must start with asking you, what is it that you can’t stop thinking about? You say it’s what he thinks of you.

Natural Feelings

I can only conclude from that statement that it is because you still have feelings for him. So naturally, you are concerned with what he thinks of you. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t care what he thinks! That is natural given that you did have some kind of a relationship with him. I’m sure you developed feelings for him in the process.

In sha’ Allah, with time and effort, however, those feelings will subside, especially if you continue focusing on your wrong actions with him. Remember, he didn’t want to marry you, but rather use you for pleasure. That should be enough to never want to see him or think of him ever again. 

Don’t Fight Your Memories, Use Them

Of course, you still have memories; it’s natural, especially if there was pleasure involved in what you did with him. My advice to you is not to fight those memories; use them to your advantage.

Every time you have one of those memories, don’t beat yourself up because you have memories. Reflect on the fact that Allah (swt) has saved you from that evil cycle you were in with this man. Use it to praise Allah (swt) and be grateful for the fact that He saved you.

As someone who was involved in several romantic relationships before being a Muslim, may Allah forgive me, I often struggle with the same difficulties. Years of memories of things done that were, of course, illicit from the perspective of Islam. However, that was a time of ignorance. Unfortunately, the memories don’t go away just because we change our faith.

Therefore, we must be able to turn those memories into something positive. For me, I have always used them to remember Allah (swt) and His mercy toward me. Yes, it happened and you cannot erase your memory; however, you can do justice to those memories by using them as a source of strength, forgiveness, and renewal. That is what you must move towards.

Move On, Find a Spouse

The other thing you can do is simply try to move on with your life. If you are of an age and place where you feel you are ready to marry, then proceed by trying to find a suitable spouse. Don’t allow these memories to cause you to be stuck in a situation where you cannot move forward. You must keep moving despite having these negative lingering feelings. Don’t worship that man and what you did with him by allowing it to dictate your life.

It happened; it was sinful, but in Islam, we only undo such sins in life by moving forward with tawbah (repentance) and good deeds to undo what was done. That means we must act in the positive. If we dwell on this thing and let it drag us down, it takes on a power of its own and then we cannot move. Remember that Allah (swt) says in the Qur’an that good deeds undo evil deeds. That means we have to move on.



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.


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About Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah
Dr. Abd. Lateef Krauss Abdullah is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Science Study’s Community Education and Youth Studies Laboratory, Universiti Putra Malaysia. He received his B.A. from the University of Delaware (U.S.), his M.S. from Columbia University (U.S.) and his PhD from the Institute for Community & Peace Studies (PEKKA), Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2005 in the field of Youth Studies. Abd. Lateef is an American who has been living in Malaysia since 2001. He is married and has 2 children.