Friday, September 21, 2012

Agony Aunt: I Can't Believe His Emails!

Asalamu Alaykom,

Time for another Q & A with you asking the questions and me giving the answers.  It's advice in the same vein as America's "Dear Abby" but with the title of "Agony Aunt" like the British columnists.  In Islam, we are  encouraged to give advice if we feel it will better another person's life.  I hope, inshahallah, that what I have to say will be of value.

Alaykom el Salam Mrs. Yosra,

My husband and I are married a short time.  When we got married I was so in love with him and I told him all the time.  I felt he really didn't love me as much as I loved him.  He's a good guy and religious so I never doubted him.  

At our wedding his cousins came and I met them.  They are younger and cute.  After that he began to get emails from one cousin.  I didn't think anything of it.  Then I start seeing, "I miss you," in the emails.  I didn't like it so I talked to him.  He said it was nothing bad to say to a cousin.  They have chatted on line too.  I didn't feel good.

I went into his email and saw that there's another girl from the college and she's writing to him too.  She's married and not any more in our city.  My husband was traveling to her city and they talked about him seeing her.  I could tell that they didn't see each other from what they wrote later.  Also, she said something about things being better at home since his advice and so that means they were talking about her marriage.

That's when I got very mad.  I always trusted my husband.  I knew he didn't love me the way I loved him but I always thought he was faithful.  Now I feel like he's been lying to me and I can't relax around him any more.  I can't look at him the same.

He's been more than good to me.  He's apologized and is telling me that he loves me more now and he's sorry.  He tells me to name anything and he'll do it for me.  For me, I don't know what to say.

Can I trust him not to do this again?  What should I tell him to do?  How can I get over this?

Please give me advises.

Newlywed Wife

Wa Alaykom Asalam,

The first year of marriage is a HUGE test.  Subhanallah that anyone gets through it.  The husband and wife must figure out both bonding and boundaries.  Love isn't a thing (a noun) it's a verb.  It's an action and sometimes it feels good and sometimes it hurts.

I'm sorry that you're hurting.  You are right that there has been a kind of betrayal.  You feel betrayed because you were busy creating a little world with your husband and he let others into it without your knowledge and consent.

In many ways, this isn't your husband's fault.  He only bought into the belief that casual emails, chats, visits with women other than his wife are normal.  This is the "modern" way.  It's a joke that Islam doesn't allow this, right?  That's the popular way of thinking for moderate Muslims.

I know differently.  I know that Shaytan doesn't come into our lives until we invite him in.  If we ask Allah's protection then we are safe and our marriages are safe.  When we open the door just a little itty-bitty crack to Shaytan, then we are no longer taking care of ourselves and our relationships.  Astragferallah that we peek  beyond our limits and then allow that to widen the gap between us and Allah.

So, your husband is now apologetic and wants to do better.  Good!  My advice is to tell him that you BOTH need a halal lifestyle which means NO FRIENDSHIPS WITH THE OPPOSITE SEX.  This includes any family members which could be possible marriage material ( like his cousin).

It isn't "nice" to say that men can't have female friends.  It is hip to say that as a society we are capable of handling our nafs; our lower selves.  However, Islam is about ultimate truth.  The truth is the truth and we can't pretend that someone touching our lives cannot touch our heart.  Eventually, these "nice" people work their way in between spouses---maybe without any bad intentions!  Shaytan plays with us through emails and chats.

Look at your actions.  Up until now, did you even think of checking your husband's email?  I don't think so.  His closeness with other females opened some fear in you.  The opposite of love isn't hate; it's fear.  You feared for your young relationship so you snuck around like a spy.  Spying on each other is a haram action.  You were also played by Shaytan.  Please consider asking Allah for forgiveness for both your husband AND yourself.  No one was perfect in this problem.

It would be best, in my opinion, for him to stop all interaction with these women.  It's your right.  At the same time, you can remind him that you are not having interactions with other men (and inshahallah you are not).  The two of you can eliminate these distractions and concentrate once again on your new marriage.

Get clean.  Take a shower and make wudu to the point of it almost being ghusl; the purifying wash after menses or sexual intimacy.  Ask Allah to wash away your fears and your doubts and to get a fresh start.  Pray and in sujud ask for forgiveness from Allah.  

Say, "Al-Fatiha" together.  My husband and I have started saying this surah after fights when we want to reconnect and restart.  Alhumdulillah it's a beautiful moment and when I really love him so much.  I wish for you this feeling as well.

Then...I'm going to recommend that you really give yourself physically to your husband.  Be the cat who catches the mouse.  Play with him.  Love him up, down, and sideways.  Remember that YOU are the woman with him.  You are his halal.  He is yours.  You are allowed to be as sexy and fun with him as you wish and NO ONE ELSE IS.  Enjoy your conquest!  Revel in the victory.

I know there is a "what if..." lingering in your mind.  What if he does it again?


He might!

But his actions are not under your control.  Let it go.  You can only be you and control your actions.  Trust God, be the wife you want to be and ask God to help your man be the husband he can be.  

If he does make a mistake, then remember it's Shaytan still having a hold on him.  

If you make a mistake, then remember it's Shaytan still having a hold on you.

It's work to have a marriage; it's a process.  Don't feel that you have a "bad marriage" or a "bad husband".  Nothing and no one is perfect.  If you get that modern-day feeling of dispossability, please keep in mind that another man and another marriage will have issues too.  Maybe not the same issues but the same amount of effort and work to make it feasible.  

Thank you for trusting me with this issue.  I am honored that you thought I could help.  It would be best NOT to discuss this with family and friends.  You need to hide his faults just as you would wish he hides yours.

May Allah make it easier on you and guide both you and your husband.


Thankful Slave said...

..marrying is the easy part, keeping the boat afloat and the marriage alive is the difficult one..
Jazaki Allah khair, & assalam aleikum,

Marie Vie said...

Great advise Yosra. Marriage is definitely something we have to work on every single day. Saying Yes after all is not the hardest part!!

As for friends of the opposite sex, I think it's important to keep in mind we are all humans and temptation must be avoided as much as we can. I never had many friends male, because I never really believed in pure friendship between two people from different sex, so when I married my husband and he told me about this, I did not give up much but now I realize this little change in my lifestyle is for the best.

Take care dear. I remember you if one day I feel a bit overwhelmed by married life.

Anonymous said...

As Salam 'Alaikoum,

I've stumbled on this blog today . Really suprising...

I don't know how to contact you Sister (email address)
Is there a way to send you a message?
I do want it to be private :)


Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom T.S. and Marie,

Please forgive me for not acknowledging your comments earlier. Both of you were so good to voice your thoughts. I appreciate it!

Love and Light!

Asalamu Alaykom Private Person,

If you could write me in the comments section here, then I could respond to you. If it's a long respond, then I could write a column on it (like this one).

I have given up connecting privately via email. It doesn't seem to work very well.

I will mention that tomorrow starts Ramadan. Perhaps your troubles will float away with this blessed month. If you think that it's an issue you can't figure out on your own, then I'm here.

My Best Wishes!