Saturday, October 6, 2012

Agony Aunt: Am I Stupid For Staying?

Asalamu Alaykom,

Here's another question from a Muslimah in agony.  Have you detected the pattern in all these requests for answers?  MEN!  Astragferallah the pain we go through with our men.  Is it more painful to struggle through a love relationship or through child birth?  If my "Agony Aunt" series is any indication, the answer is clear.


I have been waiting for a man I really love (and he loves me) to make a commitment.  He says his intention is to marry me.  It's been almost two years.  He's good to me and my kids.  I feel like I couldn't live without him.  I can't walk away even though I know that staying with him compromises my deen.

During Ramadan, I was doing well with waiting but now I'm having a really tough time.  I know it will pass.  I'm praying to Allah nightly (and daily!) to give me and my children what is good for us and our deen and to take away easily what is not good for us and our deen.

He has a lot of women after him.  I check his Facebook and read the messages to him.  I check his phone messages.  I know that they don't leave him alone.  They keep hoping he'll chose them.  He's not good with saying, "no".  

I'm not that good at saying, "no" to him and I worry about falling into haram.  During Ramadan there wasn't a problem.  I really kept myself good.  Now I wish I never got so close to him.  I keep telling myself that I have to get out of this waiting game but I can't seem to break away.

Please pray for me and tell me if I'm stupid for staying.

Wa Alaykom Asalam,

Love is not enough.

I'll start there.

Love of a man is not enough to get you to compromise your commitment to God, your sense of self and your integrity in front of your children.  What he can offer you isn't enough to equal out what you're losing.

Granted, I don't know everything but I can understand your predicament.  You're trying to make a man your one and only while he has you as only an option.  It's like he is practicing a form of pre-marital polygany.  If a man  TRULY doesn't want women buzzing around him then he can be more vinegar and less honey.  

Facebook "Friends" who want him for themselves?  Text messages?  You are thinking to create a happy home with a man who has ladies knocking at the door and rapping at the window.  Would he be OK if you had these distractions as well?  

Please ask yourself whose responsibility it is to stop these ladies.  If you are signing on to be his body guard then be ready to tire out.  It's a 24/7 endurance test for the rest of your life.  That's a LOT of energy going out into the world to try to control something which isn't actually fessible.  

You've got your own life and the lives of your children to consider.  Apparently, you've had a marriage that ended and that's sad.  My guess is that it was divorce (forgive me if I'm wrong).  Divorce can leave us feeling    less than our actual worth.  We can feel like "nobody is perfect" and end up settling for someone who isn't a good match.  

Is this man right for you?  Not now.  Obviously not now because he isn't committing to you.  You say he's good to you and your kids but that's not really true.  An honorable man wouldn't leave you hanging for two years.  He would be a real man and shelter you from the storm.  

You say, " I feel like I couldn't live without him."  Astragferallah, Sis!  What are you saying?!  You are getting into shirk; assigning equal partners to Allah.  This man is only a man.  A man is like a bus---there's another one coming in 15 minutes.  You lived (somehow) without him for years and years and if God doesn't want him for you, then you'll live again.  Yes, you will!  

And don't tell me that you didn't actually MEAN what you wrote (that it's a saying).  Words like this are powerful.  Words change our thoughts.  Thoughts change our feelings.  Pick some different words.  And add, "inshahallah" when talking about the future.  Only God knows what will happen.

So, should you walk away?  Life isn't like that.  We don't love so completely and then walk away.  I know that.  So, should you stay?  You can't stay in the same mindset.

Go to God.  Ask forgiveness for whatever wrong you've done with this man.  If it wasn't halal then come to terms with your mistakes and don't do them again.  Don't put yourself in the same places (for instance, at his house) where the haram happened.

Pray istakkarah.  You are basically doing that when you say, "I'm praying to Allah nightly (and daily!) to give me and my children what is good for us and our deen and to take away easily what is not good for us and our deen."  But you need to make the intention to actually pray istakkarah.  Two rakhas first and then announce your intention to move away from waiting and do SOMETHING.  It can be small.  It can be one small positive step.  Infact, it's better if it is.  Then ask Allah help with what you're  asking for. 

"Waiting" is not a good verb.  Choose another verb.  What is it that you want to do?  Make a healthy choice for you and your kids.  You are wasting your life and their lives by focusing on a man who truly isn't focused on you.  Re-focus.  Improve your relationship WITH GOD, with yourself and with your kids. 

Now, he might stay in your life after this re-focusing or he might not.  That you can't control.  I don't know whether or not he will take the opportunity to be more decisive about his life.  Realize that he can't say "no" or "yes".  That's sad.  He is just letting life happen to him and allowing others to be along for the ride.

I don't agree with having Facebook "Friends" who are possible life partners while discussing marriage with someone else.  Time for him to cull his list.  If he doesn't want to eliminate any of those women, then do consider if that's a good person to build a firm foundation for you and your kids (who have already lost one father figure in their home).

I don't agree with him having text messages from ladies who want his attention.  It's unnecessary.  If you are the woman he really wants, he should be able to make his needs for monogamy known.  If he can't, then get ready for your new husband to have text messages sent to his phone while you are with him in the bed.  Imagine that.  Really feel that.  Sharing your man with his adoring fans is the antithesis to peace in a marriage. 

And of course you aren't married right now.  Please stop playing house.  You are enjoying the feeling of togetherness as much as a drunk gets a buzz off beer.  Your relationship may or may not be moving forward.  Your children will suffer the most if it does not.  They are trying to find some solid ground so they can grow strong.  If this man's wavering disrupts your world, it will hurt them severly.  

Stay firmly rooted in reality.  "Nothing is real until it's real," was one of my favorite phrases when a million men (ok, that's a slight exaggeration) wanted to marry me.  I totally understand where you are.  I say what I do because you don't need to suffer.  I hope it's good advice.  

May Allah make it easy on you and your children and protect you from the haram of this world.


Thankful Slave said...

Assalam Aleikum,
This lady should walk away from such relation indeed, it is not normal that the brother she refers to hasn't made up his mind after 2 years,
A man does not need that long to make a decision, if he really wanted her, he would have certainly made his move within a few weeks,

Past experience has shown that such relations end in disaster, and sisters do not seem to learn from the mistakes of others. You don't have to look far away to find a friend or relative who went into similar situation and it ended nowhere.

May be you could advise this sister to pray salat Al haja (the need prayer), just 2 rakaat, and ask Allah your need at the end of it. We seem to have forgotten this sunna, the Sahaba used to make the salat of need even for getting some salt!

The are also some serious Islamic matrimonial websites she could visit. Al hamdulil'Allah, many brothers and sisters managed to find suitable person for them via these all depends on your niyyat, intention, Allah Will Give you according to your heart.....



Yosra said...

Wa Alaykom Asalam TS,

You are a great reader! Thanks for adding your (always appreciated) thoughts. We need our own talk show!

I do agree with you that almost two years is a loooooooong time for indecision. That holding pattern might have started off with good intentions but that plane needs to land.

And you're right that this is NOT something new. Many sisters have been in this place while denying to themselves that it's the same-old-same-old. One thing I like to say to sisters in trouble is, "If you heard this story from somebody else, what would you tell them?" We often have better advice for others than we do for ourselves----I know I do! LOL!

I love the prayer! I had not heard of it before. We have all these tools as Muslims yet we remain uninformed about what's available. I'm glad you mentioned it and I'm going to research it more.

I will disagree about the matrimonial sites. I've got my AWFUL past experience and now two of my best friends can (unfortunately) add theirs. And when I say AWFUL, I mean GOD AWFUL HORRIBLE NO GOOD VERY BAD. But you and I can disagree. The quote I like best about those sites is that you can catch a lot of fish for sure but watch out for the sharks!

I know what you're saying about walking away from this situation. However, we women can't do that without exhausting every possibility. So, this sister should do that now WITH the help of God. She should not try to get her own strength together. The pulls of love, desire, hope for stability and respectability are too strong.

I want to add something here: a lot of Muslims feel that if they err physically with another person (and it doesn't have to be actuall full intercourse) that they need to marry that person to make it right. No, you don't. If you have dabbled in haram with another person, then going away from them might be best for both of you---since neither one of you helped each other stay straight.

Of course, I'm not saying this particular sister did anything haram with this man. Her letter only hints that she got too close...which doesn't have to be physical closeness.

I promise to take a break from Agony Aunt after this one. I wavered whether or not to post it right away but I felt the push to put it out there.

Thankful Slave said...

Sis. Yosra,

Assalam Aleikum. Thank you for your good entries too.

As for the salat I referred to, you made me curious to check it on the web, and to my great surprise, there are no sahih hadith on the topic!!! rather the hadith are either da’eef (weak) or munkar (denounced) haadeeth :(

Please read more about this on Islamqa:

As such, I take back all that I have said regarding this salat, and astaghfirul'Allah for my mistakes and for not having check on this way earlier. You should delete the reference about that salat if you can.

I'd like to thank you as you made me curious about searching the source of the salat, we are not perfect, al hamdulil'Allah that He opened my eyes on this through this entry.

Regarding the Matrimonial sites, I am sorry to hear about your previous bad experience, and yes I know about the many sharks too, but honestly, I also know about many success stories as well. I think it is important to keep relying onto Allah while searching for a suitable candidate, and Allah Will Send the right person. Whatever is written to reach you will never miss you, and whatever is written to miss you will never reach you.

I also agree we should have our own talk show !

Sorry again for that weak hadith, this is my lesson for the year !.



iremi nisces said...

Asalamu alaikum.

Yosra said...

Wa Alaykom Asalam TS,

No worries on the mistake. You had good intentions :) I want to leave this thread "as is" if you don't mind because it shows a very real part of Isalm: gaining knowledge. We share and we dig deeper and BAM we find out something different than we thought.

I know what you mean about good stories from the matrimonail sites. Mine WAS a good story...until it wasn't...and then it was really bad. And that's true in a big way for two other of my highly-educated, beautiful sisters in Islam. Somehow THREE of us got suckered in deep. So, seriously? I say to those looking to find a different method---the risks are too high.


See ya on set! ;)

Wa Alaykom Asalam Iremi,

Aren't you nice to simply send some peace :) Thanks!

Light and Love right back at ya!

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Friend,

If you want to send that contact info I'll get it confidentially without publishing it and go from there.

:) Light and Love!