A fictional account of a trapped abused woman excaping her her husband.
|I felt that it was time to move on. It had been three long years of waiting for him to make up for a quick, informal wedding. I had not pushed him to give me a fancy wedding but I had hoped he would love me enough just to want to give it to me. This was not the case. He had already done that and I hadn't. It was my poor luck that I chose a jaded man. I never saw it at first. He was hiding his true intentions. Pretending he loved Allah so much and would make me happy. Pretending Allah was all that matter and if we followed Islam then our marriage would be perfect and simple but lovely.
Each anniversary was the same. He would argue over the date then let it passed with barely a word of acknowledgement. Always reminding me, "We are Muslim, its not in our tradition".
Hogwash, I thought. Its in my tradition. What is a tradition anyways but a made up series of events repeated annually or monthly or even daily in the hope to bring some purpose to your life and make you feel good? What is wrong with that? Don't people routinely exercise or routinely eat three square meals a day? What could be so bad about making an anniversary a tradition if it makes you remember how special you are to each other?
His argument "But we are muslim and our only anniversaries are Eid al fitr and Eid al adha".
Eid al fitr being the Muslim holiday celebrating the end of ramadhan. Eid al adha being the Muslim holiday celebrating the end of the season of pilgrimage to mecca.
But those are spiritual traditions full of ritual and worship. A women's heart is multi-dimensional and she needs more than just a spiritual tradition. She needs to know traditions of family, friendship and love. Times she makes up as a traditions with her friends where they all go out for coffee on friday nights and gossip about the weekdays. Or times she goes out on a monthly date with that special man. Its not all drab, colourless days that fulllfill her. It can't be worship twenty four seven and no break in the routine.
Sometimes he would forget I was a soft, gentle woman because I was married and assumed to be matronly and predictable. I saw the way he entertained the flirtatious innocent girls with all their lives ahead of them. Like they were the only ones with a spirit of girlhood in them.
"Wake up buddy, all woman need to be treated like a carefree girl sometimes", I thought to myself many times as he smiled and cajoled girls half his age in size 6 dresses.
That's when I noticed his affections leaning outside the marriage. When he it hit me that this guy was not in it for the long haul and was ready to drop me any day. But the imams (muslims leaders) don't listen. They are ready to chastise and correct me at any moment but he was seen as a angel simply for opening up his wallet to pay for dinner. So simplified was their outlook. Hopelessly narrow-minded. There was no hope I would find a compassionate ear to hear my struggles.
I turned to my community. The people online at trueacceptance.com were more open and that's where I met Daniel. He was a 32 year old, never married, never had a serious relationship kind of guy. But did he ever listen to me. He heard me when the man in my life was hitting me and verbally abusing me. He never judged either one of us. Just supported me in every step.
That's where I became torn. What to do I with my marriage. I was addicted to the helpful advice of Daniel and supportive comments. I loved his positive motivating outlook and he always had my back. Had my back in a way the husband never did and probably never would. I had slipped into the very situation I was accusing my husband of. But guess what? I did not care. I could not bring myself to care for a man who did not care for me.
I am still muslim and yes its forbidden to cheat. But where were the imams when my husband was making me miserable and neglecting me. They can jump all over me figuratively speaking and tell me how horrible I was. But that does not change the fact that they themselves pushed me away. Pushed me away with their lack of compassion, lack of understanding and lack of an open mind.
The Muslim community was failed me but I still had Allah. I prayed five times a day and I feel Daniel was my answer. Smart, self preserving and motivational. We never crossed any intimate boundaries but he was there for me and I enjoyed his emails.
The divorce was finalized quickly since there was a year separation before applying and the judge did not question me when I said there was cruelty in the marriage. He gave me a divorce the first day in court.
Daniel was there for me when I became a divorced woman and never tried to take advantage. He simply said "good for you stephanie, You are doing what's right for you". Always the supportive friend. Maybe one day I will meet daniel but I am grateful to him. Forbidden in Islam to have male friends when your a woman. But is that true Islam? This male friend saved me from an abusive relationship and never once crossed any lines. I think and will always think that I found Islam at a time when Muslims were very confused and disorientated with themselves.
But it is through the grace of Allah that I did not let the imperfections and disobedience of Muslims drive me way form the purity of islam. I will pray like Muhammad and worship Allah. forever even If I was the only person on earth to do it.