Amina has been having a very hard time trying to get married. She sees her friends getting married all around her, and the despair of not finding the right spouse is getting exacerbated as she looks through their wedding photos on Facebook. She begins to doubt herself and feels utter frustration with the process.
Many people like Amina face the common challenge that comes along with the marriage process: Either the prospects do not work out or the parents get in the way of the process, or the right prospects are not coming forward.
They also feel sexual desires that are quite natural to have in the process of finding the right mate. However, things becomes problematic when you are unable to cope with the desires and the despair.
To deal with the pain and loneliness, Amina is starting to turn to pornography and masturbation. While she does not have a history of ever accessing these outlets, she was exposed to romantic novels, celebrity culture or watched movies that contained sexual material, all of which increased the longing for a mate.
Amina always found herself wanting more but now it had reached a point where what she read or watched wasn’t enough. And she needed a stronger drug to meet her needs of having a spouse, and it was through these unwanted sexual behaviours.
While she is just a user, the disaster of the situation is that she is walking a very thin line and this path could very well lead to her developing a sex addiction, and very quickly and here’s how:
Amina starts to find comfort in the way she is dealing with her pain. She has found an easy and secretive route to express her desires as well as numb out the pain. She starts spending hours and hours at the late hours of night acting out on her behaviours. She starts to feel a compounded sense of shame and guilt when she realizes that she is unable to stop the sin.
This repeated loss of control and inability to stop are very telling signs of Amina’s developing a sex addiction.
While everyone goes through feelings of frustration and sadness, it’s your ability to deal with the pain and the heartbreak, that helps you get closer to the outcome that you desire.
Here are some important reminders to Amina, and those who are in a similar situation of how to cope in a very wholesome way at this stage of your life:1. Remember that challenges are a part of life.
There are many different stages in life. In each stage, Allah SWT has set its own challenges and blessings that are meant to be for one reason only, which is for us to grow spiritually, and emotionally.
While marriage will bring you particular new joys and experiences, it will not do away with the fact that you will continually be tested. In fact, marriage will bring its own sets of challenges and difficulties!
What’s important for us is to learn how to cope with the difficulties we face in life, instead of running away from them through various escapisms whether that be pornography, or food or other addictions.2. Enlist support.
Dealing with these challenges alone can be quite difficult and overwhelming, often leading one to depression and hopelessness.
We all need support, and we thrive on connection. Find a support group, even amongst your friends, where you can openly share your challenges that you are facing in this process. This not only allows you to feel true comfort, but it will serve as a reminder to stay steadfast on the journey as well as support each other in the process, and perhaps open some doors too!3. Take care of your wellbeing.
Addictive behaviours do not make you feel good about yourself, as we saw in Amina’s case. Through this difficult time, take care of your physical as well as emotional health.
Remember that your worth does not depend on whether or not you are married. You are worthy regardless of what you have, because at the end of the day, you are a slave of Allah.
When you show care and gentleness to yourself as you would to a friend, you are not only able to cope with the pain, but you will find yourself feeling more fulfillment and more joy in your life.4. Reconnect with Allah.
There may be feelings of despair and wondering why Allah isn’t granting you a spouse right now, which is leading you to further turn away from Him.
Talk to Allah SWT and acknowledge your feelings and frustrations before Him about the process. He knows all of what you’re facing, but He wants to hear from you directly, His slave. And through that, in sha Allah you will find the calmness and tranquility that you are looking for.
As Allah SWT says:
‘Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find rest.’
At the end of the day, He alone has the power to change your condition. Perhaps the beautiful wisdom in this delay of the process is so that you to come closer to Him. Use this time to draw near to Him.5. Focus on your own personal growth.
Are there other areas in your life that you can improve on? If you find yourself feeling increasing amounts of unhappiness before marriage, chances are that you won’t be fulfilled by your spouse!
Learn to find joy in life itself! Keep yourself invested in activities that bring you fulfillment, whether that be through hobbies that you have not yet picked up. The more fulfilled you are as a person, the more joy you will bring into your marriage, in sha Allah.
And in sha Allah with these elements, it will be much easier to deal with the delay of timing and the despair you may be feeling, instead of going down to a path of addiction. This shift in attitude can bring a more fulfilling and meaningful life.
At the end of the day, marriage is just a means of getting closer to Allah in our journey back to Him.