Select Page

Why a woman decides to leave…

May 11, 2018

I never planned to start a blog nor did I have any aspirations for writing, yet something inside me urged me to get in front of my computer and start writing…and now it feels so right as though I should’ve been doing this all along!
One of the main reasons I took the decision was because I felt there was very little open discussion about divorce and single parenting in the muslim women world. There was a missing honest voice amidst all the talk about the big taboo subject of divorce. Don’t get me wrong there are numerous helpful blogs out there discussing marriage issues and divorce but I failed to come across what I was searching for at the start of my own marriage breakdown.
I wanted to hear that I wasn’t the only one feeling the way I felt. I wanted to know that it was not unusual to feel a constant mix of anger, self-pity, fear, anxiety, self-blame, vulnerability, excitement, regret, helplessness and strength all at once. I wanted to know if other girls also woke up saying “I’m doing the right thing because I don’t deserve this treatment and this guy”…but within minutes letting the fear of “better the devil you know…” take over all the courage they had in taking a stand in the first place.
The culture I belong to sometimes somehow blurs the distinct line between religion and tradition. Yes divorce is disliked in most cultures, but coming from the south Asian community, it’s the D word you can’t even say.

That’s not a reason to leave him
Now from my knowledge and understanding of Islam I knew I had a right to divorce but then culture takes over and tells you under what specific situations it may be acceptable…even then you’re sure to have that one aunt who thinks unless your husband is about to set you on fire you stick by him…through thick, thin and downright painful situations.
After 6 years of a marriage that I was pulling along by myself, smiling through it trying to pretend I’m happy, I decided to pull the plug. To many people it came as a surprise as I never let on how I was hurting inside…to be fair it came as a surprise to myself as I could never have imagined living without the man I spent the last 6 years with.
The turmoil a woman faces within herself during such a decision making process only another woman in that situation will understand. No one wants a divorce…like everyone else I wanted a happily ever after. And I tried, and tried again with all my efforts to get that happy ending against all odds. I made excuses for his behaviour to myself because it painted a better image of him in my eyes, and that’s what I wanted to see.
After compromising on my very basic expectations of a marriage and clinging to those few and far between good memories I had, I had managed to maintain the ‘marriage’. The last strike came when my self-respect was smashed to pieces by the very man who was supposed to be my protector. It was then, when he deliberately destroyed my dignity that I developed a new sense of self respect for myself. His piercing words and attitude shook me enough to (finally) wake up and take a stand.
She had to walk away,
Not because she didn’t love him
But because she had to love herself more
Emotional abuse
“no he’s not a drug addict”
“no he’s not an alcoholic”
“no he doesn’t hit me”
“no he isn’t cheating on me”
…these were my answers to all the questions I have been asked…and the common response I would get was “well then why are you leaving him???”
And to my surprise it was very difficult to explain my reasoning to anyone…because the pain of a bruised eye is easy to describe but the pain of a bruised mind/soul isn’t. At many times I found myself in self-doubt and self-criticism, getting manipulated by some of the people around me into believing I had no reason to walk out of a ‘secure’ marriage. Except that it didn’t feel like security to me.
“…And among His signs is this that He created for you spouses from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquility in them, and He placed between you love and mercy” (Quran 30:21)
I agree with all those who told me there are girls who suffer far worse in the form of daily physical abuse, but as a close friend once told me “just because the girl next door may be treated worse than you doesn’t mean you have to put up with what you are dealing with, her level of suffering doesn’t have an effect on your level of suffering”.
It’s not ok.
We believe we are accountable for our actions and words…then why are we told ‘’oh that’s nothing’’ regarding emotional abuse, as if to pass a judgement on Gods behalf that your partner is not accountable for those words and actions one day? He is accountable…as am I for allowing someone to take away the dignity God Himself gave me.
No one has a right to do that.

We have been told the husband and wife are meant to protect each others dignity as garments do for us…How is it then that one has the right to rip the other to shreds? That’s the whole thing though, they don’t have that right, but the norms in society have given them the right without asking us. 

You May Also Like…