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Assalamualaikum. I had received a proposal some months back from a far off relative of mine for their son who is 34 years old. We knew the family and their background well so my parents showed interest. He works in Ajman so couldn’t come to meet me personally so my parents were coercing me to try and get to know him through video call.

Honestly I was not really keen on this type of 1st introduction but reluctantly agreed. He is a nice , decent and caring guy. Alhamdulillah I was satisfied with his deen and character but I could not feel the attraction for him. During all this I always felt I was being guilt tripped by my family and other relatives to reject such a good proposal when its so dificult to find one these days. The guy was understanding enough to hear my predicament and came all the way here to meet me personally just for a day so that I could take a decision. 

I was not really excited as he was for this meet as I thought I might not like him and reject him as attraction was an important thing to consider no matter how small its significance is. I had prayed istikhara a couple of times but due to my anxiety could not really understand my feelings. I prayed to Allah fervently saying whatever is best for me let it happen and make me satisfied with it. Surprisingly I liked him compared to his pics or on video call so I thought I am ready & said yes. 

I was happy and at peace with my decision & the guy went back to his work. Within a week our engagement was done. But I don’t know what happened suddenly 1 night before the engagement I started panicking a lot & even told my mom that I don’t want to get engaged. But since it was too late my mom just assured me everything is alright & I’m just overthinking. My engagement was done. 

Everybody was happy except me. I realized that maybe I just liked him as a friend & didn’t feel attracted to him as a potential spouse. It’s been a week now since I’m engaged but I don’t feel happy at all. I feel guilty all the time that I’m playing with the guy’s feelings as he is so genuine with his feelings for me. I told my parents that I’m reconsidering this whole thing but now they are stressed coz of me as the family reputation is at stake. My mom says that since this is an arranged marriage I won’t start feeling for him so early.

As time goes by & after I get married to him & start living with him I will start feeling attracted to him. But I’m not convinced. I feel if I only consider him as a platonic friend & can’t feel that attraction now, how can it grow after marriage? I talk to him on call sometimes & other times on text. I’m generally a friendly person so I speak to him like a friend so my parents think I’m just overthinking about the whole issue. But sadly it has affected my physical & emotional health too. I’m unable to eat properly sometimes , my appetite has reduced & I even feel uneasy by some food smells. I could’nt sleep properly at night. 

I suffer from thyroid and PCOS so I wonder maybe there’s a major hormonal imbalance in my body because of which I get these mood swings. I’m taking medications for it. I fear I’m emotionally unstable right now to make any decision. The guy is so caring & empathetic towards all my feelings and emotions but I haven’t been able to tell him this. My dad is a heart patient & whenever I try discussing my issues with him he starts complaining of chest pain or how he feels I’m going to be the reason for his deteriorating health. 

Please guide me. I’m very stressed about the whole situation. I agree I was the one who took the decision & was satisfied with it but then how come I’m not sure now. Everybody thinks I’m to be blamed for all this but nobody is ready to understand my mental agony. Pls guide me as to what is the right way to go about all this as soon as possible. Thank You.

 

Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh sister,

Seeking marriage and getting married is an anxious time for most people. If you suffer form health problems and anxiety already then this event can only make things worse. Your feelings are completely normal and understandable.

Alhamdulilah that you have the support of your parents, however, you are feeling somewhat pressured at this point like they are forcing you. In Islam you should never be forced into marriage against your wishes and you have every right to withdraw. On the other, it does seem like he is a decent marriageable man. Whilst attractiveness is certainly a good feature to have, it is not the most important. If his Deen is in shape and he has a clear fear of Allah then this is the most important. A man with such qualities will treat you well and in line with what should be practiced in Islam.

As an arranged marriage, as you parents pont out, the spark may not be there from the start. Even in marriages that are not not arranges it can take time to develop the strong feelings that you typically associate with being married. Some couples do have an automatic connection and others take a very long time to develop, but the strongest of feelings come out of time and experience together. They come out of experiencing and overcoming difficulties together; experiences that don’t occur in the early days of marriage, but in time. It is experiences together that create fond memories and build trust that is mot present in the early days of marriage.

You are doing the right thing in turning to Allah making istikhara. Continue with this. As yet, it doesn’t seem to be coming to anything and this is fine. When the time is right Allah will guide you to what is best. Take your time and make your decision. Continue to make istikhara and Allah will facilitate it for you. If the marriage is meant to be everything will fall in place and if not, your heart will turn away from it.

This conflict between your feelings of being unsure about what to do is causing much distress and only exacerbating your anxiety further. Make sure to take time for yourself to take of yourself and take time away from thinking about this current dilemma. Keep busy with hobbies that you love, spending time with friends and even get some exercise. These are all things that will help to boost your well-being and reduce your anxiety. As you anxiety reduces you will be in a better place to make a more rational decision about the next step to take.

In the meantime do be careful about how you maintain contact with this man. As yet, you are not married so be careful about interactions alone with him, even from afar by phone and text. Make sure your father is in on any contact as your mahram to ensure things don’t turn into something Haram. These interactions may also make the decision making process even more difficult for you too as you develop feelings for him, as a friend, potential spouse, or otherwise. This will effect your interpretation of your feelings towards him and potentially marrying him too.

For now, take care of your mental health and take some time to carefully consider your options. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s your decision at the end of the day. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of moving forward with this proposal as well as the benefits and drawbacks of declining it. Considering which will be most pleasing to Allah and which will best for you now and in the future.

May Allah guide you to make the best decision for His sake and yours too. May He grant you a spouse that will be the coolness of your eyes in this life and the next.

 

Thursday, Jan. 01, 1970 | 00:00 - 00:00 GMT

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