Advice: Holding onto a painful relationship

Advice: Holding onto a painful relationship

Dear Chereen,

I need some advice and I know the answer to it but can’t convince myself. I was in a relationship that was very good at first. He wanted to marry me right away but I asked for time just so we don’t rush into things without knowing each other. There were a lot of red flags but I have done things with him I shouldn’t have which is why I feel like I am stuck with him. He treats me horribly and all my friends tell me to leave him (they don’t know what I did with him). I have called an imam and asked and he said to get out of the relationship. We don’t do anything together anymore and he keeps telling me he will come ask for me but I don’t know what to do or who to talk to. I know I will be depressed and know I shouldn’t be with him but know I can’t cope with it. I have prayed the istikhara many times and asked God to help me on this path. How do I cope with heartbreak and bring alone without him and filling that gap knowing I have done bad things with him. It hurts my head and I drive myself crazy thinking of it. I know we are going to leave each other eventually because he puts me down and talks to me horribly. Please advise me.

Dear Anonymous,

My dear, a bad past does not equate to a bad future. Look at it this way: If you were meant to be stuck with your sins then you would not have a future, but you do. Clearly, you sound like you have repented and you are regretful of any mistakes you made. I want you to realize that you are human, because sometimes we forget that we have the potential to make mistakes. We also forget we have the capability to repent and be forgiven. Saying you have done bad things is not the same as saying you are doing bad things. I feel it’s more of you not being able to forgive yourself, thus not allowing yourself to get out of the hole you dug a while ago. There is clearly an unhealthy attachment that’s holding you back, because you made him your home for quite a while.

Your friends don’t have to know about what you did with him, that’s between you and God. If everyone is telling you to get out of the relationship, then it’s probably time you do what’s best for you and walk away. The signs that I am getting are that this relationship is emotionally abusive, and it does not appear to be improving over time. Why are you assuming that you will be alone? Maybe being with him is holding you back from meeting the right person. But right now, you need to focus on reclaiming yourself. Since your heart is weak, you need to listen to the logical thoughts that you push back. I want you to write a list of reasons you need to leave this relationship. I also want you to write a list of reasons you feel are holding you back. The second list is meant for you to tear up.

You need courage to walk away, but that does not mean it is impossible to do so. Let your friends support you. In order to move on fully, you need a clean slate. Start over. Give yourself time to heal. Often times, we are afraid of the healing process because it can be quite intense. However, if you allow healing to run its course, you will come out better than you ever did before.

What I can tell you is this. You’re holding onto a thin rope and it’s tiring you. It’s time you let it go.




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