Sister S, Manchester

on Monday, 05 November 2012.

I married a Muslim 13 years ago and by the grace of Allah SWT I reverted to Islam 10 years ago alhamdulilah. Allah (SWT) blessed my husband and I with a very happy and secure marriage and two children alhamdulilah. However, almost two years ago, Allah(swt) decreed for me to go through my biggest test yet; my husband told me that he felt he needed to marry another wife.

The day he told me his intention the world changed for me and turned my life upside down. I never imagined we could ever be in this situation and I was so hurt and upset that he was really intending on doing this and already had someone in mind. I tried my best to support his decision and I respected the fact that he had been honest with me and told me before he re-married.

He also tried his best to support me and we became at times much closer as a result. He took a lot of care when choosing another wife so it would have the minimum impact on me; she was a bit older than me; lived in another country and said she didn't need equal time and also the sister thought that she could never have children. About 6 months later, he remarried and almost straight away the other wife became pregnant with twins.

SubhanAllah, this revelation was even more difficult for me than the marriage itself and I feared how this would also affect my childrens lives as they knew nothing of my husbands second marriage.

As the months passed I encountered so many tests within this test that sent me spirialing down to rock bottom... a place I had never in my life been bofore and I felt completely isolated, trapped and alone. I felt that so many injustices were being committed against me, the other wife did some very hurtful things and sometimes I just looked at my husband and felt that he was a complete monster - how could he really put me through all this when I had treid my best to support him and be a good wife to him? I had only told a couple of close sisters what I was going through as I couldn't tell my family as I knew that they would never understand why I "put up with it" and I feared that they would hate my husband for doing what he did. I have always been such a positive person but I became very depressed; cried on a daily basis which was completely out of character for me and felt like I wanted to lock myself away form the world. I felt like I was in a black hole and just didn't know what tools I needed to use to get myself out. My imaan also took a battering - astagfirilah I started to question why I was being tested over and over again and why wasn't Allah SWT finding a way out for me when I had done all I could to do the right thing Islamically by supporting my husband to do this.

I had heard about Solace through a friend of mine but I was worried about getting in touch with them as it wasn't something that I found easy to talk about but deep down I also knew I couldn't continue the way I was; I couldn't eat or sleep properly and at times I felt like I just couldn't maintain my role as a wife and I was seriously considering walking away from my marriage that I treasured as I felt so desperately that something needed to change to give me hope that one day I could move on with my life. I plucked up the courage to contact Solace and within a week or two I had been assigned a support worker.

SubhanAllah, even after our first telephone session I felt so much relief in my heart at just being able to offload some of the things which were happening and to have reassurance that how I was feeling was a natural reaction to what was happening to me. I can't describe how comforting it was know that there was a Muslim sister out there whom I could say whatever was on my mind without being judged. My support worker helped me devise an Islamic action plan where I had to set goals and targets for myself and week by week we would work through my action plan and discuss barriers, make adjustments etc. My support worker has enabled me gain persepctive on the situation and has been there for me through the ups & downs. She has given me a wealth of Islamic knowledge from haddith and Quran which has helped me to gain strength in the most difficult of times. Her support has helped me increase ibaadah and as a result my Imaan feels stronger. I can see that I am making progress with the goals I set in my action plan and I know that my practice as a Muslim has "gone up a level" which I pray InshaAllah will remain consistent.

This test is still very difficult for me to accept at times; but I can now see that going through this test has increased my knowledge of our beautiful deen and has brought me closer to Allah SWT as a result. Working with Solace has helped to constantly remind me of our purpose in this world. It has taught me that whatever we go through in the duniya is temporary and that I want to strive to live this life in the best way I can to become closer to our creator and to please Him InshaAllah. Alhamdulilah I am much stronger now, I can think more positvely and my husband and I are much closer and communicate much better with one another. I still have weak moments where I struggle but Solace has enabled to me to see a pattern in my emotions and to recognise certain triggers which can bring me down. Solace has changed my life in so many ways but most importantly it has fundamentally changed my practice as a Muslim and InshaAllah I pray that thoughout my life I will continue to set Islamic goals and targets for myself as a way of increasing my knowledge and imaan.

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