Changing…

Since that fateful day when my world collapsed, I have gotten many advices, mostly from people whom I just met. I told my husband a few days after he admitted marrying another woman that he was the wall I have always leaned on at my weakest, to which he replied, “now your wall has fallen.” Indeed, it has.

I have heard it many times that God will not send you burdens you cannot carry. That what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. That everything happens for a reason. I did not fancy having to use so many clichés all at once but thank goodness I have people around to say them over and over when I cry and rant until I calm down.

I think it’s sweet that God has been trying to surround me with souls who care enough to waste their time and energy talking to me. Sometimes things can get so painful and I cannot handle everything altogether. My husband has forbidden me to talk to anyone about our problems but I fear wearing a straitjacket if I just bottle things up. Being away from my family, I only had my husband to cling on. Now that he has left me to deal with what he did alone, that does not leave me with much choice but to find strength in other people.

My husband knows that I’m an introvert and I don’t like being forced to mingle with people I don’t know. I don’t even like to socialize with people I already know, sometimes. He has made fun of me on several occasions when I try to avoid having casual chats with acquaintances. I duck so that the person won’t see me then he calls the person out loud and before I know it, it’s already too late to fully hide. Then I reluctantly paint a distracted smile on my face while my husband laughs on the background.

At the same time he also knows that I talk a little too much when I’m with friends. When he surprised me with the news, he encouraged me to talk to other muslimahs who could give me sound advice on how to deal with this. But now that I have made a somewhat ‘regular’ circle, he forbid that I talk to them about us. I think he fears I might stain his image (if it isn’t already) and the sisters might not look at him the same way again. It’s one thing for them to think that he’s an ass—- but it’s another thing if I confirm it. I don’t like talking to them about our problems, to be honest, because it feels like I’m betraying him by doing that but I need to vent out the pain somewhere. I need people to tell me that I will be able to get through this and that things will get better. I need somebody to help me put sense in this mess because I cannot imagine that something good can ever come out of this. 

When all this is over, I’m sure I will be changed. Changed, not just because of what I have gone through but also because of the people I have interacted with. I am not sure if I will be a better person then, but I do know that I will be stronger – I guess that somehow will make this worthwhile.

When the Imam told me to be more than what I already am to my husband and to wait because he’s sure he’ll come back, it got me thinking if he really will. If I do as he says and be more sweet, more thoughtful and more loving, will he really come back or will it just puff out his ego that I am still head over heals with him despite what he did. Now wouldn’t that be an insult to the female populace? Granted that he did come back, with or without her, will I be thankful knowing that he is already a changed man? With how he goes on and on telling me that he loves her, I don’t think he will ever be whole again if he loses her. She has already changed him so even if he did come back, I don’t believe we will ever be happy knowing that she has taken a piece of him that I can neither fill nor take back.

This is a painful load to carry and I believe I have already attained the strength that I expect to get from this. As it is, I am already stronger. Knowing that my husband will never again be the person I fell in love with, whether he comes back to me or not, is this fight still worth fighting?

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Aside

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ashrubhaleeb
    Mar 30, 2012 @ 23:40:45

    I’m sorry. I don’t want to keep bothering you with my yapping :). I just have such an emotional reaction to your writing. I have never been through what you are going through but I can identify with you as a woman and with all the emotions you are going through. As women we take too many burdens on ourselves. Why is it your burden to try harder for someone who is trying less. Why does he feel comfortable hurting you ignoring you but expects you to keep quiet and worry about his honor and his public face. Maybe I am just an angry feminist. . . but I am living a pretty conservative tradtional life. It is so hard to not get upset about the unfairness and the injustice of some parts of life. Maybe this is what some black people feel like in this country. People say they are equal and have all the rights of other people. . . but there is still unfairness and injustice and it exists even though people deny it. That is what is so frustrating. Have you ever heard that John Lennon/Yoko Ono song that says woman is the ni?#er of the world. It is soo true. I am glad I am a woman. I think it is a blessing but I dont think there is a place on this earth where men feel women are equal to them. If they say it I always think it is a bit of show. Is that cynical of me?
    You sound a lot like me. I am very shy and not great at being around a lot of people. It is probably no good for either one of us. I see how dangerous it is to have your life so fully devoted to one person.
    I talk way too much to friends too ;).
    I guess you know that you just have to make up your mind. You can decide to stay and dedicate yourself to being content with the affection he gives you and building something new and somewhat seperate from your old life. Or you can decide it isnt enough and make up your mind to go.
    Its weird because it is even hard to know if he really loves her or is just infatuated with her. Wasnt he that man to you before? My mom always talks about how power shifts back and forth in relationships and that men will do what you let them do. My mom and my grandma always talk about how sorry women can sit around and get men to do anything in the world for them and they dont really tend to appreciate the good hard working devoted women as well. I dont think that is always true but I hate to admit that it has a certain ring of truth to it for some women. The women who never think anyone deserves to have some one so great as them have all the power. The rest of us sometimes lose power through our love and devotion and thinking we dont deserve our men and our happiness. I am always scared of losing the happiness I have. I guess it is just a lack of self confidence. I guess it is just that constant struggle of knowing your worth and then not accepting anything less. So I guess I do have some advice. . . think about what you are worth and dont complain or argue with your husband, , , just decide is what he is giving you enough and tell him exactly what you will accept or wont accept and if he cant provide that walk away. (I know that isnt easy and it might not be realistic for where you are in your life.) But it seems like what you and your husband have is facing a slow death. . . maybe you need to know if it is already dead to him or if it is worth fighting for to him. Feel free to ignore everything I said if you like :). I have no idea what I would do in your situation and I know it is totally different looking in at something from the outside so forgive me if I overstepped saying all of that. Salaam. Korie

    Reply

  2. hearthquakes
    Apr 01, 2012 @ 23:44:12

    Salam sister Korie. Thank you for your message.

    “Why does he feel comfortable hurting you ignoring you but expects you to keep quiet and worry about his honor and his public face?” I ask that, too. When he is with me and she calls, he answers his phone and even says “I love you,” to her before hanging up. To my face, yes. I tell him it’s okay, it obviously isn’t but I want him to realize that on his own. I doubt, though, that he ever will. On the other hand, when I do call and they are together, he ignores my calls. I cried yesterday thinking about that. I mean, how could you keep ignoring 15 or so calls? Wouldn’t that just bug you to death? I am aghast at how he is able to do it recalling that he used to panic when he is not able to answer just one call from me.

    He loves her. I can tell because that was how he was with me before. He did not care about anything else in the world when we were together. He forgot his family, his friends, even his Imam when I came into his life. Now he’s forgetting about me.

    I could go, yes. I believe in what you told me before that there’s no man you can’t live without. I know I can live without him. If it were only me, I think I would choose walking away than staying. It’s sooo true, what you said, that we are facing a slow death and the pain is exhausting me physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually. It will hurt big time if I leave but I am certain that I will get over that pain when I come to terms with the idea that we’re over, as opposed to staying and trying to endure pain that will be a constant ingredient in our relationship forever.

    The problem is, it’s not just me. We have kids and I do not want to deprive them of having a father. Of course there are also financial issues. I know we will get by on our own but it would be a struggle providing for them alone. My husband is the out-of-sight-out-of-mind type and I know him well enough to predict that he will neither provide nor care for them if we separate. So I will try to hold on for as long as I can. I do not promise to stay forever, because I might really lose it somewhere down the road but for my kids, I will try.

    I said before that I will do my best to work this out but I realize now that the damage is too great to be mended. We are both changing. I will try to stay with him despite knowing that things will never be the same again. It will be for the sake of my kids and no longer because I love him. It is sad that I am letting go of my feelings for him when just two months ago I was swearing to love him forever.

    ?#%$*@….. I am still very confused.

    Reply

    • ashrubhaleeb
      Apr 02, 2012 @ 04:36:15

      I understand your reasons. I know nothing is so simple and easy when it involves emotions and particularly when you have built a family. InshaAllah the future will bring improvements and more fairness to your arrangement. InshaAllah your children will be with you soon and you all will build on your bonds as a family together. I don’t have any fitting cliches to offer 😉 …. Just that I understand all of your choices are painful and I understand why you are trying so hard to make the right ones.

      Reply

  3. Amani
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 01:01:33

    As Salamu Alaikum sister, I am so saddened by your post that I wish I could just reach out and give you a hug. My hubby is the same way about telling our problems to others. We have been married for 4 years but he doesn’t have another wife. I don’t think that would be a good situation for me. I would probably have to leave. I know you must be hurting so bad because your post is very emotional. I would be too sis. I don’t have any close muslimah friends and I keep to myself as well because of anxiety problems. If you need to talk I can offer my support to you. God bless, Amani

    Reply

    • hearthquakes
      Apr 02, 2012 @ 22:44:44

      Thanks for the hug sister, that was very much needed. It does hurt so badly that I am running out of ways to deal with it. I have tried pretending that she doesn’t exist, that I was the only one – but that failed because I cannot find an excuse when my husband stays out all night. I have tried thinking that my husband and I are just good friends, just like when we started out, so that I won’t feel hurt when he is not with me. But that failed too, because he got mad when I kept on calling him best friend. I have tried not caring and I almost succeeded, until he told me that he does not want our kids to grow up without a father, and I was taken again by his words. So I guess that one failed too. Every time I open my eyes in the morning there’s always one make believe role that I play for the day but it’s like running in circles because when night time comes and he goes off to see her, everything sinks in again.

      Reply

      • Amani
        Apr 02, 2012 @ 23:57:18

        As Salam alaikum sis, thanks for the reply. I can’t imagine what you are going through. It just breaks my heart thinking about it really. Its seems like you are taking this all on by yourself and he’s enjoying himself. Its just not fair to you sis. I wish I could offer a solution other than to not sell yourself short. I know you want to keep your marriage because of your children but they don’t want to see mommy upset either. Is he threatening to take the kids? Is that what he means by not wanting them to be without a father? You need to protect yourself and your kids, should anything happen sis. Keep in touch and take care. May Allah reward you for your patience and strength during this difficult time and make it easier on you. Ameen
        Amani

  4. hearthquakes
    Apr 02, 2012 @ 22:25:16

    Inshallah, inshallah, sister Korie. I always feel comforted with your words (even without the cliches 😉 ). Thank you so much. Salaam. Ameera

    Reply

  5. hearthquakes
    Apr 03, 2012 @ 22:12:47

    Thanks, for the reply sister Amani. No, he is not threatening to take the kids. By he “does not want our kids to grow up without a father,” he meant that he does not want to leave me because of our kids. It’s a good and bad thing, actually. Good, because that means he wants to be a real father to them (he has not been with them long because he’s been working overseas so we have not yet really experienced being together for more than a month as a family). Bad, because it sounded like staying with me is just a secondary thing.

    Inshallah Allah would make things easier for me soon. Sabr, sabr, the other sisters always tell me. The situation is already a test of patience as it is and when he consistently ignores my requests that he be fair with his time, I get so close to snapping and I picture turning the house upside down in my head, crashing everything. But I know that that will so not help so sabr….for as long as I can.

    Reply

  6. Maham S
    May 30, 2012 @ 22:25:07

    Woho! I seriously don’t think i can express what i am feeling right now. Somehow i have stumbled upon your blog and after reading the latest entry, i was compelled to read the previous ones too and i dnt know if i did the right thing because i m feeling just so low rite now. If i am feeling like this, i can imagine what hell you must be going thru.

    I am not married, have no experience in such relationships so i don’t know what to tell you because honestly only the one who is in such a situation can be the best judge of it. However, honestly i am very confused….how can your husband claim to not only love you but actually more than her and still have done and keep doing what he is to you? Atleast my mind can’t accept it. From what i understand of Islam, it permits you to marry more than once not for your entertainment or cheap thrills but if there is a genuine reason for it. However, if someone is hell bent on misusing things including religion then there is not much you can do about it except make your decision and move on. I know its not easy, definately can’t be but at the end of the day you have to think of your future and your kids too. What’s the guarantee that as a father, he’ll be there for the kids if he can’t be there for you rite now? Is providing for kids the only duty a father has?

    Like i have said before, i am not very old or experienced so maybe what i am saying is not the best judgement of this situation but one thing i do know for sure is that sometimes in life you have to make very hard decisions but if you make them timely, it can change the course of your life for the better. I pray for you and your peace, may Allah guide your husband and make him repent for his mistakes and unjust behavior and may he comes back to you asap. InshaAllah.

    Reply

    • hearthquakes
      May 30, 2012 @ 23:24:53

      Inshallah he would repent and still come back whole.

      Things are easy when we rationalize. But in a situation where emotions overpower the intellect, it just very difficult to decide. I do not want to decide out of anger or selfishness because whatever decision I make now may scar my kids for life. I do not want them to grow up blaming me of depriving them of a father just because I had not been patient. I will let go, eventually, if this is what Allah intends for me. He has not answered my prayers yet but I know he is listening. I know he will take me out of this situation at the right time.

      Thanks for your prayers. 🙂 I appreciate it a lot.

      Reply

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