Have you ever felt that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach when you hear a fellow single sister is getting married? It’s OK to answer “yes”. The truth is we have all been there at sometime or other during our quest for Mr. Right. Yes, even the most saintly of your friends have felt it too even just as a little stab in the heart. And why not? After all you have just as much to offer as any other woman, maybe more! You are just as deserving of love as any other woman. You have just as much right to be a bride as any other woman. So it’s only natural to feel this way. It doesn’t make you a bad person, you are genuinely happy for her, but it also serves to remind that you aren’t there yet.
Being confronted with this situation can unearth a range of confusing emotions. Some of us teeter between self-pity and guilt. You feel hard done by but you hate yourself for feeling this way. Others of us are caught in limbo between sorrow and joy. Joy that your friend, relative or sister is getting married, alhamdulillah, but sorrow that you have not met your Mr. Right yet. Some of us will then throw ourselves deep into cynicism about marriage, convincing ourselves that we don’t want to get married anyway, whilst others rev up the “Independent Woman” pedal to convince ourselves that we don’t need marriage. Which would be fine … if you really believed it.
So how can we salvage the situation before we fall into a deep abyss and possibly destroy lifelong friendships?
1. Acknowledge and embrace how you are feeling. Say it out loud to a trusted friend, write it in your diary or email it to your Singles Coach (Yes, people like me do singles coaching!). Say it, say that you feel jealous, angry, outraged, whatever it is. Once you have said it you can then work through it. Don’t suppress it, it will only come back to haunt you in some unhealthy way.
2. Remember the hadith: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” Granted it’s not always easy, but think about your own wedding one day insha Allah. You would want your friends to be happy for you. Who knows, maybe right now your friend is feeling a little guilty that it’s her and not you getting married. She needs a supportive friend more than ever right now.
3. Treat yourself! OK this one is a bit superficial but do it! Buy that expensive coffee and cake, watch the film you love, have a hot bubbly bath, go to your favourite workout class. Whatever cheers you up, indulge and use it to remind yourself how deserving, valued and amazing you are!
Remember we are only human. Yes we are Muslim but we are by no means perfect. You have a heart and a soul and, as women, Allah (SWT) has blessed us with the ability to feel a range and depth of emotions. It’s how we deal with them that counts.
Take good care sisters!
Soraya Soobhany-Chohan is a singles coach exclusively for Muslim women who are struggling to get married. She especially likes to work with professional sisters over the age of 30. Soraya was over 30 when she got married and realised that there was a real lack of support for this group. It is for this reason that she created Soraya Singles Coaching. You can find Soraya at www.sorayasinglescoaching.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.