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In the Name of God بسم الله

The Grey Area In Breakups

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  • Advanced Member

It seems to me that Breakups are a bit of a taboo around us. Despite our best efforts at being non-judgmental, there seems to be a lot of pressure to make things work your first time. Or to make them work, period.

 

Now this can be a good thing, to instill in us the essential values of patience and compromise. We've all seen those cases where immaturity leads to disaster. And if you're even in a borderline open-minded community, cases of physical abuse or blatant disregard of Sharia are considered valid reasons to break up.

 

But anyone who's been there knows that there is no fine line there. My question is, what happens when you're mature (the people around you second that), you try to make it work (a couple years), and you're still not sure about the relationship? When you can't really explain your reasons to the people closest to you, or even yourself? Let's say hypothetically that the family's great, and the guy can be trusted not to intentionally do anything against Sharia. But he comes from a different background, has different views on what it means to be conservative and supportive and just how much a woman should be submissive to a guy. Bottom line, you have doubts. What would you do?

 

Is there anyone out there with a case that sounds similar? I'd also love to hear from anyone on their second try, relationship-wise. Thanks!

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They say your gut feeling is usually right

But you should try to pinpoint why you're having these doubts and address them 

If something doesn't feel right now, do you think it will feel right after marriage?

and don't worry about breaking up being a "taboo"

what matters most if your happiness and it's better to break up before marriage than to marry and regret it

Edited by Carl
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what matters most if your happiness and it's better to break up before marriage than to marry and regret it

I agree with Carl, if it feels wrong it probably is wrong. However, happiness isn't the purpose of relationships. It is up to each person to make his or her own happiness regardless of what else is going on in their lives. A bad marriage makes it very difficult but not impossible to be happy.

Is it possible that you are just having hesitation/doubts in general, not specifically related to the relationship?

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There are countless things to consider, are you actually married?  Do you have children? Is there level of respect? Is there physical abuse?  Most people have doubts but you should generally be reasonable sure it will not be worth it long term.  You also have to factor in future prospects etc, perhaps it's best to seek professional help.

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I agree with Carl, if it feels wrong it probably is wrong. However, happiness isn't the purpose of relationships. It is up to each person to make his or her own happiness regardless of what else is going on in their lives. A bad marriage makes it very difficult but not impossible to be happy.

Is it possible that you are just having hesitation/doubts in general, not specifically related to the relationship?

 

That's true

but a bad relationship can lead to a lot of stress and pain, which can factor in and negatively affect your life, your happiness 

Edited by Carl
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It boils down to one word: compatibility, which is as important as a suitor's religiosity, financial prospects, respect for family, and all the main items on a marriage checklist.

 

It is as vital as anything to be careful when choosing a spouse who comes from a very different background and have a different upbringing, worldview and habits and expectations from your own. Having the same ethnicity and native language and,  by extension, the same culture, does not preclude a severe clash of personalities.

 

So although nothing seems wrong with the person by normative standards, you still can't bear the thought of continuing life with that person for reasons which if you tell your friends and family may be construed as unimportant and even petty.

 

I have no personal experience but I have known on such couple for a long time. And I can say for sure that even though all looked fine on the surface, the wife was so unhappy and stressed that she succumbed to worse depression which even affected her physically. She couldn't end the marriage for the kids and also because she quite couldn't provide independently the same rich lifestyle the kids were used to from their father. Live happily she could not and so kept suffocating herself.

 

What I find remarkable is that despite numerous attempts to talk to the husband during the formative years of their relationship, and in spite of many tries to make him see her increasing and insuperable unhappiness, the husband consistently failed to register an iota of concern about the situation, and always laughed it off by telling her that she was 'just worrying about nothing'.

 

They came from two different backgrounds, education-wise, work-wise, and social circle-wise. Hence the difference.

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There are countless things to consider, are you actually married?  Do you have children? Is there level of respect? Is there physical abuse?  Most people have doubts but you should generally be reasonable sure it will not be worth it long term.  You also have to factor in future prospects etc, perhaps it's best to seek professional help.

You're right. But it's the 'reasonably sure' part that's the grey area, hence the confusion. No physical abuse, not technically married, no children, yes to the respect (99% of the time?)

Professional help, as in marriage counselling?

 

 

I agree with Carl, if it feels wrong it probably is wrong. However, happiness isn't the purpose of relationships. It is up to each person to make his or her own happiness regardless of what else is going on in their lives. A bad marriage makes it very difficult but not impossible to be happy.

Is it possible that you are just having hesitation/doubts in general, not specifically related to the relationship?

No it's not impossible to be happy in a bad marriage, but I think it is very, very hard and I'd love to hear from someone who is. Until I do, I'm going to take a neutral view and say that it's impossible to be happy in a bad marriage in the long run.

 

Can you elaborate on the doubts in general? Are you referring to cold feet? If you are, it could be part of the reason, but the chances of it being the sole reason is very unlikely.

 

That's true

but a bad relationship can lead to a lot of stress and pain, which can factor in and negatively affect your life, your happiness 

Exactly my point. You can try to compartmentalize the 'bad relationship' part and the 'rest of my life' part, but I'm not sure as humans we have that capability. Some might argue that we shouldn't even have to.

 

It boils down to one word: compatibility, which is as important as a suitor's religiosity, financial prospects, respect for family, and all the main items on a marriage checklist.

 

It is as vital as anything to be careful when choosing a spouse who comes from a very different background and have a different upbringing, worldview and habits and expectations from your own. Having the same ethnicity and native language and,  by extension, the same culture, does not preclude a severe clash of personalities.

 

So although nothing seems wrong with the person by normative standards, you still can't bear the thought of continuing life with that person for reasons which if you tell your friends and family may be construed as unimportant and even petty.

 

I have no personal experience but I have known on such couple for a long time. And I can say for sure that even though all looked fine on the surface, the wife was so unhappy and stressed that she succumbed to worse depression which even affected her physically. She couldn't end the marriage for the kids and also because she quite couldn't provide independently the same rich lifestyle the kids were used to from their father. Live happily she could not and so kept suffocating herself.

 

What I find remarkable is that despite numerous attempts to talk to the husband during the formative years of their relationship, and in spite of many tries to make him see her increasing and insuperable unhappiness, the husband consistently failed to register an iota of concern about the situation, and always laughed it off by telling her that she was 'just worrying about nothing'.

 

They came from two different backgrounds, education-wise, work-wise, and social circle-wise. Hence the difference.

That was really, really helpful. In the case you mention, it truly is remarkable that the husband would dismiss his wife's concerns. But I've learnt the hard way that there are 'good' people who actually, truly believe they're doing the right thing by doing so. They actually believe that she's worrying about nothing. It's 'who they are'.

Edited by l'Optimiste
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^ yes, I was asking if it might be cold feet.

True, it is difficult to be happy in a bad marriage and nobody should have to.

If you are having doubts now and you are sure it isn't just cold feet, end it or at least delay marriage until those doubts are resolved. If you delay instead of ending, set a deadline.

(99% of the time?)

This is what worries me. Respect should be 100% of the time.
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Salam,

Am not sure if doing a istakaria now would help. But if you have doubts then address them,thats the only thing you can do. I would not go forward unless I get answers. Him addressing how much a woman should be submissive to a guy,would most probably give me a clear idea of what I would happen next,lol.

It doesnt matter if its taboo to breakup, people make what they want taboo,its your life and decision. If you have doubts and dont feel right then something is not right. Commuincate to understand and make the other person understand your concerns and watch and listen to how they react... If he is careless and doesnt take your doubt seriously and laughs it off,then if I was you then ill break it off.

I have found that people that neglect their doubts and move on and marry,mainly do it because they believe they can change the persons acts or thoughts. Some people think that they will miss out on something if they dont marry the indivudal.. If issues or doudts arise from the start, I believe its a signal to leave that indivudal before you start putting in your mind that they will change. Changing thoughts or even habits is very hard.

If you have doubts and he address it but you feel like he may not life up to it then you can write it on the contract so that you have evidence that he promised to do x and if you do not get along after marriage then you have clear reasons to why your getting a divorce and no one can say anything.

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