It’s Almost Over

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….My iddah, that is. As an aside, it hasn’t really stopped raining since my last post. When I leave work it’s only sprinkling, and then I think it is starting to let up. Then, as I’m about to fall asleep, I’ll hear it start pouring again. Anyway, back to my iddah coming to a close. It really is going to be over any day now! If I’m strictly counting average cycle days, then it will probably be over tomorrow. However, my cycle hasn’t been known for being predictable the past few years, so if I end up having to default to counting a complete three months by calendar- then next Tuesday is the very latest I’ll still be in this very gray-shaded state.

When my iddah began, I wasn’t sure what it would be like when I reached this point. I think I understandably expected to feel sadness, or some type of regret or sense of loss. In fact, I’m actually feeling rather peaceful and somewhat empowered. While there are -I’m sure- many wisdoms behind the iddah period, the insight I am coming away with is that (for me) it was a period of awkward emotional maneuvers that served to help me bring closure to the relationship so I can move forward now with more purpose and less baggage hindering me.

I really disliked the iddah. I am just being honest. It was the most frustratingly nebulous relationship status I have ever been in. Here I was, still married, but trying to figure out where the boundaries were since they weren’t readily defined (surprisingly, since most everything else in Islam is). All I knew was there was to be no physical intimacy (unless we were reuniting) and we had to live separately (which we had already been doing for like, ever). Outside of those, there were really no other “rules” about how to interact or behave with one another. I was constantly frustrated trying to figure out what was appropriate friendliness without giving the misleading idea that I wanted to reunite. He wasn’t yet a non-mahram, so I didn’t have a proper excuse to be curt and distant. Yet, if I seemed too aloof, this also seemed unreasonable.

On top of all that, I struggled with my feelings. All the good memories wooing me back to wanting to try again, and all the deplorable events that reminded me why I made this choice. For at least the first half of the iddah, I felt that I was at the mercy of these ruthless cycles. By the time my iddah was 2/3 over, I believe the balance was beginning to return. I’ve spent these past final weeks shifting my focus to my new life, and surprisingly I don’t have that feeling of “unfinished business” inside anymore. I feel at peace, and I feel I can move forward without being haunted by “what if?”

Sometimes I think about what I might miss most about being married. The first thing that comes to mind is just being able to get a hug whenever I need it, or having someone to talk to when I am bothered about something. I think I will miss having the companionship- someone to share life’s strange events with and develop inside jokes with. But I did have that, and what I had can never be taken away. I don’t know what my future holds, but right now my number one goal is finding Allah’s rahmah for me. That rahmah that will suffice me whether I walk the rest of this earthly journey alone, or whether Allah sees fit to someday pair me with someone to share a truly symbiotic marriage with. If I can find His rahmah, then I can find myself and cultivate that self into one who is more pleasing to Allah. That is truly what I was created for.

As always, I ask Allah to help me in this. Amin.

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4 responses »

  1. As a point of fiqh, it is customary and expected for the couple to remain together in the same home during the ‘iddah. Here are a couple of relevant fatwas. One of them also clarifies the issue of what level of friendliness or contact is allowed during the ‘iddah:

    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/145/iddah

    http://www.islam-qa.com/en/ref/14299/iddah

    However, I have also read that living apart does not invalidate the ‘iddah. So don’t be concerned about that.

    It’s natural to have deeply conflicting emotions about a divorce. On the one hand, it opens up new vistas. On the other hand, this is a person you have spent years of your life with, know intimately, have memories with… the loss is almost like a death in the family. May Allah guide you and bring you whatever is good.

    • It’s funny you should reference those, because that is EXACTLY what frustrated me! Everything I had looked up about iddah spoke about interactions in light of the hope for a reunification. However, there was nothing I could find on appropriate interactions for a couple who were not planning on reuniting, or where the relationship was destructive or unhealthy (as would be the case if one was divorcing an addict or someone with severe emotional problems) and needed even stronger boundaries. The only exception was if it was an irrevocable divorce.

      Amin to your last sentence!

  2. Sister Amy,
    I know it’s sad but at the same time I am happy that you have overcome this Alhamdullilah and trying to focus on your life. May Allah (swt) bless you with whatever is good for your deen and dunya. Amin

    Also, I want to say that you really are a strong woman masha Allah (I mean it with all honesty). Allah o Akbar.

    Kaleem

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