After Break-up: Check an Emergency First-Aid Kit

Tips and Advices

Have you ever been in a discussion with someone you were hoping to marry and it didn’t work out?

It can be so painful; no matter at what stage in the process it happens and no matter what age you are? I’ve been there and done that too – the latest quite recently – so I know what it’s like.

Even if you haven’t actually married him, you still feel a loss, because you’ve made a great deal of emotional investment into the relationship, working out whether you’d be interested in being with him and maybe even visualizing your possible future together.

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A break-up takes away that potential future, and the loss can be felt very keenly, can’t it?  And it can be more complicated than a loss through bereavement – although the loss of a husband through death is undeniably more painful – because this man is still here.

For some sisters this can lead them to hold onto a hope that they may have another chance and for others it can be a constant reminder of painful memories.

So how can you move on as quickly as possible SuperMuslimah style, with as little fall-out as possible?

Turn to Allah with patience

“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient, Who, when disaster strikes them, say, “Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return.” (Qur’an 2:155-157)

This is one of the hardest pieces of advice to follow, especially in the early stages, but the one that if you try to adhere to will give you the greatest benefit.

Close your eyes for a second and just imagine how wonderful it would be if your Nafs was at the stage where it was so at peace with Allah that it was able to accept His decrees of loss with patience.

May we all reach that stage! But if you’re not there just yet, and you didn’t react instantly with patience, don’t worry about that now; just make it your goal to work towards achieving this state.

Remind yourself that Allah is the best of planners and that “…it may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” (Qur’an 2: 216)

It may be difficult to imagine now that the life you’d been dreaming of with him wouldn’t have turned out as you imagined it, but Allah is the Al-`Alim, the All-Knowing and He wants the best for you. And maybe He wanted you just to learn some lessons from this experience.

Accepting the answer of your Istikhara

If you’d done Istikhara, the supplication for guidance, you would have been asking Allah: “…if You know this affair to be ill for me towards my religion, my life, and end, then remove it from me and remove me from it”. 

So if by ending the relationship Allah has answered you and taken the it away from you, it’s now your turn to be grateful to Allah and to take yourself away from it, and to stop thinking of him. I know that’s easier said than done, so how can you do that?

Explain to the people who need to know, and then be silent

Once it is confirmed that you will no longer be discussing marriage with this man. Either you or your familyshould tell the people who need to know. Keep the information factual and minimal; most people don’t need to know the details, especially if there was any type of wrongdoing.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “He who covers a Muslim (meaning his mistakes and shortcomings), Allah will cover him in the Dunya (Life) and the Akhirah (Hereafter)” (Narrated by Muslim) And don’t be tempted to say harsh things about him, as you don’t want their bad deeds to be added to your scale!

The Prophet also said:

“Whoever has wronged his brother with regard to his honor or anything else, let him seek his forgiveness today, before there will be no dinar and no dirham, and if he has any good deeds to his credit they will be taken from him in a manner commensurate with the wrong he did, and if he has no good deeds, then some of his counterpart’s bad deeds will be taken and added to his burden.” (Narrated by Al-Bukhari)

Once the people who need to know do know, there is no need to talk to anyone about it or to gossip about it anymore, it’s over. Now is the time for healing yourself and getting on with your life.

Coping with Your emotions

The aftermath of a break-up has often been likened to the grieving process. It has been said that you will naturally go through a series of emotions, such as shock, denial, depression, guilt, anxiety and aggression, all of which vary in intensity and length for different people, until you have learned to move on and live your life fully again. But recent research has shown that we don’t all go through these stages.

In fact there are four possible reactions to loss varying from resilience, in which people remain relatively stable, healthy levels of functioning; recovery, when normal functioning temporarily gives way to symptoms of depression; chronic dysfunction; and delayed reaction. Any of these reactions are common human reactions to loss.

So for some people it’s normal not to cry or have a reaction to the loss of a relationship, while others may end up in a severely depressed state following bereavement. Even the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said “The eye tears and the heart grieves”.

Studies have also shown that crying and talking about a loss is not the only healthy way to respond and in fact, if this is forced or excessive, it can be harmful. So once again, the Islamic position of moderation is supported by science. So how do you manage to cope with your emotions?

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About Amal Stapley
Amal Stapley After accepting Islam in 1992, Amal graduated from the International Islamic University of Malaysia with a degree in Psychology and Islamic studies. She then went on to work with several Islamic organizations in the USA, Egypt and more recently in her home country, the UK.