3 Painful but Powerful Lessons I Learnt From My Divorce

divorce healing Nov 18, 2021

As I reflect on this, I can feel the tears welling up inside my eyes and my heart, and it's not because it's the first time I’ve thought about it. I’ve actually thought about this many times and I have a list of 100 lessons from my divorce that I’ve made and picked 3 feels like such a challenge.

However, that’s still not what’s making me emotional, the tears are coming because, despite the sting of it that I still feel at times, I feel immense gratitude. I feel a powerful wave of gratitude to my LORD arising from deep within my soul for the growth HE has granted me and for the person, HE has made me as a result of my divorce and I am overwhelmed by it all. I am overwhelmed by the gifts and treasures that came wrapped up in the pain, brokenness, and hurt.

I asked my LORD for strength, the strength of faith, I asked my LORD for sincerity, sincerity to HIM, I asked my LORD for love, love for HIM and I asked for a million other things but never did I imagine that this is how HE would answer my prayer.

If there was one thing I never ever wanted to happen to me it was being divorced, I’d seen my parents divorce, I’d seen the pain it causes and if there was one thing I wanted to avoid it was this!

‘I’m going to make sure I never have a broken marriage’; I can still hear the 5,6,7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 all the way to 29 year old me saying in her head. I can still hear her. It was the worst pain I could have picked for myself and I never ever ever ever wanted it to happen. Until! It happened of course and then there was no avoiding it. So this was huge! This was heartbreaking! This was devastating! This was soul-wrenching! This was painful! And yet I survived, I’m here telling you the story, and not only that I’m overwhelmed by gratitude to my Rabb for it.

So how does that happen? It happens because when you fall flat to the floor broken in every way you can imagine, there’s only one thing you can do if you’re a survivor and a determined soul that will never give up and that is to pick up all the pieces and ask;

‘How did this happen?’

'What can I learn?’


‘How do I need to put these pieces back together again to avoid this kind of catastrophe again?’

‘What is it in me that needs to change?’

And that is what brings me to my topic today and I have finally managed to pick what I think to be the 3 most profound lessons among the many lessons I’ve learnt.

Now that I’ve set the scene, the lessons will make more sense to you and the very first one has to be:

1: Make my Rabb the first object of my loyalty and love before anything else.

You see, I was an avid people pleaser before I went on a healing journey post-divorce - always finding a way to do whatever anyone expected of me or approved of and convincing myself that by doing that I was being obedient and being a good girl.

It worked well for me for a long time and I managed to maintain my own interests while still keeping everyone happy until it got to a point when it didn’t! I found myself in a job I hated that completely took me away from who I was at my core and then the conflicts between parties I loved as I went through my engagement period and marriage completely destroyed me. I was in such anxiety and fear. I had to disappoint some people at the expense of others and more than that I had to choose between what I really deeply wanted for myself and what others thought was right for me. The pressure of not being able to keep everyone happy and choosing between two parties I deeply cared for as well as choosing myself over others threw me into mental torture, agonizing over decisions and reversing them over and over again in my mind. It’s important to note that I only have this insight now that I’ve worked on myself - at the time I just felt like a mental case with a tortured mind. Eventually, I ended up divorced because I just couldn’t take my indecisiveness anymore and decided to make at least ONE DECISION in my life.

Reflecting back, my struggle was one of loyalty. I was struggling to decide who my loyalty should be towards. The question wasn’t ‘What is right for me and right by ALLAH?’

The question was ‘Who do I please at the expense of who?’

And I couldn’t handle that question. I couldn’t fathom the answer. Deeply feeling the pain of whoever I would end up disappointing and feeling that their disappointment was more important than what I needed or what was right for me made it so so so hard.

I kept swaying one way and then another and I only learnt this painful lesson after I made the decision of getting divorced and self-sabotaged my heart so badly that it bled tears of pain. The pain made me re-think the way I made decisions.

I learnt that decisions at times of conflict need not be so arduous and that my first loyalty belongs to my Rabb and then to those that my Rabb commands for it to belong to.

I learnt that even if I am making a decision for myself then as long as I deeply believe that what I am to do is right for my Dunya and akhirah & is pleasing to my Rabb then I need not worry about pleasing everyone else and that in fact, it is impossible to maintain loyalty to the whole world in the way they want you to maintain loyalty to them. So instead, focus on maintaining loyalty to your LORD and your highest self.

2: Make your healing a priority and get help (the right kind) if needed before making big decisions so you can avoid making decisions from a place of confusion and emotional pain.

As I mentioned above I was in mental agony during my engagement and marriage. Continuously, asking myself what to do based on what others expected of me and unable to connect with myself or actually realise that there was a ‘Me’ inside that mattered in this whole situation.

As the mental agony of indecision got worse and worse and the conflicts external and internal got too much for my sensitive soul to bear I forced myself to make a decision and based on who I was at the time, I made a decision that sacrificed ME and my heart without even realising I was doing so.

After all, I had never really learnt that my heart was important. I was used to always putting everyone else first and so I did it again. I sacrificed my heart for everyone else but the funny thing is being the over-thinker I was, I logically convinced myself that I was ending my marriage based on very practical reasons. I was doing my husband a favour by ridding him of a ‘bad wife’.

Of course when you are misusing the power of thinking to mask your emotional pain, cover your unbalanced, critical shame and overwrite the deep knowing of the heart the result is never going to be good and yet it seems society has convinced us that ‘positive thinking’ with the mind will fix it all.

But ALLAH when referring to understanding, HE does not refer to the mind but rather to the heart. My Glorious Rabb says:

{Have they not, then, travelled on earth so that they should have had hearts to understand with, or ears to listen with? The fact is that it is not the eyes that turn blind, but what turns blind is the hearts contained in the chests.}

Quran 22:46

I can’t say whether my decision was wrong or right and I know that because my Rabb chose it for me it was the best thing that could have happened but what I can positively say is that if opportunity and awareness had allowed it, getting the right kind of spiritual help and giving myself time to heal my emotional wounds, understand myself, my heart, my soul and my needs and then making a more grounded decision (either way) with clarity would have been infinitely easier to handle than the torturous pain that came after my divorce.

So my advice to myself and anyone else is that whenever you have strong confusing emotions and turmoil within, get help that is aligned with your spiritual values and seek to heal it before you make any life-changing decisions.

3: No matter how hard it gets maintain the boundaries that ALLAH has set for you as a Muslim.

When situations get tense and difficult when people don’t understand you, when despite trying to do the right thing you can’t overcome the obstacles in your way it’s so easy for the devil to mislead us.

It’s so easy for him to make that which is haram more tempting and take us down a rabbit hole of chasing our desires via means other than the ones ALLAH has decreed for us.

Whether, it’s our tendency to ‘people please’, or our desire to be loved or simply our need to escape the pain we are currently in, it is infinitely easier for the devil to use our unhealed emotional pains and tendencies to lead us down the wrong path ‘making the grass look greener’ on the other side - the haram side - and so it becomes so important that in times of pain and conflict we focus on holding on to the rope of ALLAH even more, that we maintain the boundaries of what is right and wrong even more whether against ourselves or others because when we don’t, those sins come back to bite us even harder than any pain or conflict we may have been escaping from using them.

Ultimately, when we have stayed consciously stayed on the right path, no matter what the obstacles or difficulties, we can be more sure of ourselves, more sure of our decisions, and have more peace of mind. Any type of sin only leads to confusion, turmoil within, and a tortured heart full of regret.

Having said that, once the sin has been committed, even the pain of that regret is a blessing from our LORD and only comes to those hearts that turn to their LORD again so my point is not to lose hope in your LORD’s mercy if you have sinned but rather to be very cautious and practice taqwa (cautiousness based on God-consciousness) before you even harm yourself through sin.

And there it is, the top 3 lessons I learnt from my divorce that I hope will stay with me for the rest of my life and hopefully help you too, if you are in a difficult marriage, divorce or any other emotionally and mentally conflicting situation.

May ALLAH help us all do the work that is required to have insight into ourselves and protect ourselves from the devil by healing the imbalance within. Ameen.

Have you experienced any difficult situations in your life? What would you say was your biggest lesson? Ping me back. I’d love to know.

Love and healing duas from,


Your sister and coach on your journey to your Rabb