I ask this question because this is the most common reason that cause marriages to become disconnected and distant; where we continue to feel hurt by something that happened to us, that shouldn’t have happened to us.
This might be where your husband should have provided for you but didn’t do it in a way that you expected and therefore, you felt a lot of financial worries.
Or, it might be where your husband did not protect you in front of his family or friends or protect your children in the way that he should have.
Or, it might be where your husband has not given you the respect you deserved as a wife or the emotional support that you required, or where he did not fulfil his promises to you.
These are the most common reasons that sisters tell me that they are struggling to move on with their husbands because he did something in the past that hurt them and they are unable to let it go. It causes us to feel betrayed and let down. It feels like baggage that we are carrying around with us all the time. It feels so heavy that it doesn’t just affect our marriages but the way that we parent, the way we interact with friends and family, our ambitions and our careers and the most crucial part, the way that we see ourselves. It is in these moments, that we lose ourselves.
It is also in these moments, where we lose our husbands too. Because when we see them, we no longer see the man standing in front of us, we see the man who hurt us. Does this resonate with you? Have you found yourself stuck carrying a heavy load from the past and unable to move on? Is this load now affecting your whole life and you are wondering how to find yourself again? If so, you are not alone. Most wives in the world are stuck in the same place.
To be fair, the opposite is true for husbands too. They are stuck feeling let down by their wives and they no longer see their wives but the person who let them down.
So what can we do about it? How do we resolve this? How do we find ourselves again? I will share this with you shortly but before I do, I want to explain to you why we find ourselves in this situation.
Getting hurt is part and parcel of the nature of human relationships. We go into a relationship only wanting to feel loved and feel good but it is impossible that this is all that we will feel. It is impossible to never let the other down. Why? Because we are only human and only Allah swt will never let us down. Human beings can never give each other, that which only Allah swt can give us. We know this intellectually, but it does not stop us from expecting to be loved and never to be hurt in our relationships.
Did our spouse intend to hurt us? Did you ever intent to hurt your spouse? No, no one intends to hurt another except that we feel we have no choice in the matter. We become clouded in the thinking that if we don’t do what we are doing, something worse will happen. Just as a parent who shouts at their child thinks they have no choice because if they don’t, their child will behave even worse.
It is rare that a human being wants to hurt another out of choice. I say rare because I don’t want to get into extreme human behaviours here. I’m talking about the general public, you and me. We don’t go out to hurt people but somehow it happens when we feel backed into a corner.
This is not to say that domestic violence or abuse should be tolerated in anyway and if anyone is in that situation, they must take all steps to protect their safety and well-being.
At a human behavioural level, this is why we get hurt in relationships. It is because we are human and we will make errors in our judgment, even when we can’t see that it is an error of judgment.
So how can we resolve the hurt that we are feeling so that we can break-free from the shackles of the past?
If we draw an example from the Quran here as to how Allah swt uses the past in stories, you will see that it is only so that we may draw lessons from it. It is not so that we continue to blame ourselves and others for what happened and let it affect our present life. It is to see where you could deal with it differently if it were to happen again, take the lesson and move on. It happened, we can’t go back and change it but we can learn from it.
If we have subjected ourselves to something that we shouldn’t have, we learn not to subject ourselves to it again. If we had allowed ourselves in get into an argument and made matters worse, we learn not to allow ourselves to get caught in arguments again. If it is because we expected something that we had no right to expect, we learn not to expect that again. This is all the past is good for, to revisit to learn, then take the lesson and leave the rest behind.
As for the hurt that you are feeling still right now, what do you do with that? Let’s look at this hurt again.
Who is feeling the hurt? You.
Whose life is it affecting? Yours.
Who is carrying the baggage? You.
Yes absolutely, the other person is carrying their sin, but you are also carrying the burden of their sin.
The way to free yourself from the baggage of the past lies in Forgiveness. To explain this, I want to share a few points from the book ‘Secrets of Divine Love’ by A Helwa:-
“When we forgive others, we are releasing ourselves from the burden of someone else’s transgression. The prophet Muhammed (pbuh) said ‘Do not do evil to those who do evil to you but deal with them with forgiveness and kindness.’ We are called to forgive even those who, even if their apology is insincere, not because they deserve it but because our heart deserves peace.
When we hold onto anger as a means of punishing others, we end up hurting ourselves more than anyone else. Forgiveness gives you freedom from anger, blame and judgment.
Opportunities to forgive are gifts from Allah swt to draw you closer to Him. As the Quran says. ‘Let them pardon and overlook. Would you not love for Allah to forgive you? Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.’ (24:22)
Forgiveness does not mean that we don’t hold people accountable for their actions, but that we do so with compassion and mercy.”
So my sister, after reading this, can you free yourself from the shackles of the past? Put down the baggage by seeing the imperfect human nature of your husband but also by forgiving him so that you can set yourself free?
You have a choice my sister, choose peace for your heart.
With warm salaams and duas,
Your Coach, Amina
Helping You Build A Happy Home