I am not sure why I have not written in a long time. I try to dissect my feelings. To open up the bloody mess and follow the veins of my thoughts and explore the chambers of my heart. I get lost every time. I must accept that I will never find my way through the clutter.
Of course, I miss Ibrahim. I have learned that I will always miss him. I miss him in different ways everyday. Most days, I miss his smell or even the smell of the sterile hospital. His now-yellowed white hospital hat, which I store in two Ziploc bags and smell daily, no longer has his scent. So instead, when I visit people at the hospital, I pump the possibly carcinogenic hand sanitizing lotion twice, close my eyes, and breathe it in deeply. I am immediately taken back to his bedside- his pink abdomen moving rapidly and his lips cracked around the breathing tube. I don’t feel grief ,rather, joy for the short moment with him. I open my eyes to see my husband, the only other being on earth who knows why I do this, looking at me. I avoid eye contact and rub my hands together as if nothing happened.
Yes, it’s complicated.
Dear Love InshAllah,
I was in a relationship for ten years, engaged for three and married for seven. My husband was older than me and had a very checkered past, which I found attractive when I was younger. But slowly I grew up and he stayed a child.
When we got married he was physically abusive and it took me years to get him to accept it. He then thought that because he accepted that it was abuse, that he wasn’t doing it any more and when I was offer him detailed evidence, he started to tell me I was paranoid and crazy, just a bitchy feminist. He started to realize I am smarter than him as well, and while the physical abuse declined, the psychological abuse escalated.
Just before Ramadan, I finally had the courage to end it. I fell out of love with him a long time ago and even started to fantasize about killing him. I hated sex, and was in a constant state of misery that I started taking out on everyone around me. When it finally ended I felt like I had been given a second chance at life.
I am 28 and starting over, but discouraged because I did love being married, and even though my marriage was bad, I am so lonely. I was with him for my entire adult life so far, and I come from a background of abuse and illness, my marriage took a heavy toll on my finances, and as a Muslim (since I was 13) I am progressive, an LGBTQ ally, and a critical theologian. I am very smart and have a lot of life experience, and I don’t feel like I have a problem with confidence, but I am afraid I won’t be able to find a man that would want someone like me.
I know that I need time to recover, it has been two months, thankfully I have no children, but what I feel and what I know can’t agree. I find myself fixating on sex most of all, but in general just feel so alone. I was so unhappy for so long, and I just want to move on and restart my life, but I am also afraid that I won’t be able to find anyone who wants a woman with a past and scars, which are ugly on the surface, but can create something beautiful. I am afraid there aren’t any good men. That I will have to somehow stay unhappy, unfulfilled, because that’s just the way life is. I don’t feel it is in my nature to be alone. I know I need time, and that I will change – I have changed so much in the past two months – and can get my life in order.
But what if my fears are right, and what if that isn’t enough, and how do I even make it that far?
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Dear Love Inshallah,
At 20 years old, I have decided that I am ready to get engaged. I’ve been putting a lot of thought into the matter and since I do not want to pursue a pre-marital relationship, I thought I would open myself up to the possibility of getting engaged soon, since I have been getting suitors in the last few years.
I do have a bit of a problem though. Over the last four years, I have fallen in love with an amazing man, who was the definition of “ideal” for me. We became really good friends and would spend a lot of time talking to each other, often, staying up all night in order to finish off our conversation. We talked on a daily basis and met quite often too. About a year ago, I confessed to him that I had feelings for him, and since then he’s been acting very strange, avoiding me, etc. Upon confrontation, he told me that he had no feelings for me.
I can understand that he has his own preferences and I obviously cannot force him to love me so I dropped the matter. However, I have had a really hard time moving on, so much that it has been getting in the way of my studies and work. It’s been a year and I still think of him all the time. I look for him in every other guy I meet. I feel like my heart is stuck on him and even though I want to move on, I cannot.
At the same time, I do not want to have a relationship with another man while my heart is still set on someone else. I think it would be unfair.
I got to know him inside out, his personality was amazing. His mind was intriguing. Nobody else seems to compare. The love I felt for him wasn’t superficial in the least bit. Once I started to get to know him, I started developing feelings for him because I was attracted to his character and personality. I enjoyed our deep conversations on everything and anything. Other guys just don’t seem to match up to that standard. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to move on.
Last of all, I do not know how to talk to my parents about wanting to get engaged. I have never been close to them and we never talk about anything, much less marriage. They do not know about my feelings for that guy either. I’m sure they would like me to get engaged but how do I do that when I’m so hung up on another man? Help. Please.
Shy Desi Boy replies:
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