Desperate to Reunite with the Love of My life

Question and answer details
B (28-male-India)
Assalam o Alaikum, I’m a practicing Muslim. I wanted to marry with my cousin whom I liked badly. I talked with my parents and they agreed immediately. They didn’t have any objection on my choice. Even my cousin’s parents got happy to accept this new relation. I used to talk with my cousin before and after the fixation of my marriage. I had a strong guilt. I knew very well that it’s not permissible to get close with a ghair mahram before the Nikah. I desperately wanted to end contacts with her. But I became too impotent towards my feelings. I kept talking with her by phone. Though we rarely met as we are in different towns. We both knew properly that what we are doing is strongly prohibited and could lead us to a disastrous situation. But Satan made us his slave. We talked for four years. During all this while, we fought, we reconciled. We said to each other “I hate you” ,yet again we met. We quarreled severely as if we are breaking up but we found each other in such a strong bound that it could never happen. Finally our parents decided to fix our marriage date within a month. That was the time when perhaps our feelings and emotions were not the same as they were before. Despite the fact, I eagerly waiting for my marriage and I were ecstatic to see that my dreams are coming true. Our parents were negotiating on dates. But perhaps Allah wanted to do something different. To my utter surprise my cousin called to her mother and refused to marry. I don’t know the exact reason. I talked with her but she didn’t answer any of my questions. I was flabbergasted rather furious to experience such a situation which I never expected. I uttered some harsh words to her. Finally our relation broke up. It had been more than a year. Initially, I thought time will heal my wounds and I would be able to forget her. I realized that I’m bearing the brunt of my sins. I felt that Allah is punishing me for what I did. I repented for getting myself close to a ghair mahram. I pleaded badly, wept bucket, counted every sin I did, every mistake I committed, asked for forgiveness. I said sorry to my Uncle and aunty for whatever reason I made them sad. Now after more than a year, my mother wanted to get me married. But I’m still waiting for my cousin. I feel that I could no longer marry with any girl or I would not be able to love another girl. Though I still remember how rudely I was turned down my advances but I don’t know why I’m still living with the hope. I came to know that my cousin too is not living well. She decided not to marry with anyone. She is not ready to forgive me even after my repeated request. Though I know I had not done any wrong with her except that I crossed some boundaries that Allah had made for us. Now her parents are anxious about her future. My parents are worried about my future. Now, I’m living in a complete chaos. I’m depressed, can’t feel better in doing anything. I’ve been trying to forget her since she left me but to no avail. I gave up sharing my sorrows with anyone except Allah. Sometime I experience horror dreams. Sometimes I see my cousin waiting for me. I have no control over my emotions. I desperately want to reunite with her and her family. I don’t know what to do. I have been praying to Almighty Allah to make this relation again with the virtue of this world and hereafter. Please help me. Your Islamic brother
Dr. Maryam Bachmeier

Assalam Alaykum dear brother,

Your grief and sadness about the loss of this relationship is deep. I want to tell you that there is hope. I cannot tell you that you will reunite with your cousin, but I can tell you that there is hope that your heart can heal and you can overcome your depression. You invested your heart, time, and energy into this relationship for four years. You felt close to this woman. You had a picture of how life with her was going to be.  When you lost your relationship, you also lost a life in a way. By this, I mean that you lost the life that you thought you were going to have in the future and you pictured having this life with her.

To overcome your depression you will have to resolve your situation. Then, if it is certain that you and your cousin will be married, then you will have to be brave and work through the pain in your heart. Either way, you will learn a very important existential life lesson and how Allah works as you will find that you are more refined and solid on the inside. Sometimes we suffer in order to develop a strong iman.

I feel that I would be able to offer better advice if I knew a little more about what your conflict with your cousin was. Since I don’t have that information consider what I am offering only if it makes sense to do so given your current situation.

It is not clear to me if you have resolved the issue of whether or not your cousin is willing to marry. It sounds as if you are expressing hope that she might reconsider, since you mentioned that her parents are concerned and anxious about her future and that she is refusing to marry.

Perhaps you as well as your mother could talk to her parents and see if there are any conditions that you could meet in order to have your cousin consent to marriage. If she agrees it will be important to understand what the conflicts truly are and to develop healthy ways to resolve your conflict. Many conflicts are caused by communication problems, especially when both people have different communication styles.

If at this point, you make an effort and your cousin continues to refuse to marry, it will be time to work through your grief and begin your healing process. Your relationship was for four years, and it sounds as if your bond was very strong. Therefore, you should allow yourself time to detach from the situation, and accept the reality that your life is going to go in a different direction.

The first reaction to severe loss is usually denial. But eventually a person moves past this stage of denial and sometimes even becomes angry. Sometimes a person even becomes angry with Allah because he does not understand why he has to suffer so much. Don’t worry if this happens to you, Allah understand us.

Allah created us, and He knows where we are in our stage of development. Eventually after becoming angry, and possibly even pleading with Allah to change things, we finally come to a place of acceptance. We realize how things are and we accept them the way they are.

After you have spent some time in this stage, you will find that you have become detached from wanting your will above the will of Allah. This is how our soul becomes refined. This kind of suffering actually helps us to develop into human beings who are authentically capable of experiencing joy. As once you have experienced acceptance, you are close to learning how to align your will with the will of Allah.

When we are able to experience the consciousness of submission to the will of Allah, we feel lighter and do not worry so much, and we are free to enjoy the day, the simple things, and life itself… for being what it is. When we are busy worrying and thinking to ourselves, “but I need this, and that!”  we miss the gifts that Allah wants to give us every single day. This is a natural process of “growing up”, suffering and grief is part of this process.  But the gain is worth the pain. Allow this process to take place and pray to Allah to guide you and to guide your heart, and to help you discover what his will for you truly is. Allah will not let you down. When one door is shut, it is because there is something better for you that Allah wants you to have. So, do not pray to Allah to make this happen, or to make that happen. Allah knows what you need even better than you know. And Allah is the bestower. Rather pray to know what His will for you is, to be guided and to be open to receive the gifts that He wants you to have.  Then, wait upon the Lord and let things evolve.



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About the Counselor:
Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a published researcher, former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant to her Spiritual community in the areas of mental health, clinical disorders, cultural, family and relationship issues, and more.

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.