I am a 29-year-old woman with some weight issues. As far as I can remember I have always been on the plump side. Because of my weight I lost out on many good proposals. I went through my fair share of being paraded in front of potential suitors’ moms, sisters, aunts who would come to my house, look at me and reject me on the basis of my weight.
However, this past December my parents were approached by a family who was interested in me for their son. Our elders arranged everything and we got engaged. We exchanged phone numbers and started talking to each other regularly. We both liked each other and bonded quite well emotionally. Everything was going just fine.
Three months passed like this. Then one day I got a call from his brother and I got to know that he passed away in an accident. Needless to say, my whole world came crashing down. I really loved him and got the shock of my life knowing that he is no more. I still love him and think of him all the time. I am very unhappy and depressed.
A few months have passed since this tragic incident and my parents have now started looking for another proposal for me. They want me to move on with my life, get married and settle down. But I can’t even imagine marrying anyone else. The thought of being with someone else makes me feel depressed and guilty because I know I won’t ever be able to love anyone else like the way I loved my dear departed fiancé. Won’t that also be unfair to whoever I get married to now? Because I won’t be able to give him the same amount of love? I also feel that I would be cheating on my ex-fiancé if I marry someone else. This guilt keeps me stay awake at night and I believe I am slipping into severe depression.
I need your advice. What should I do? Please help me.
Dear Shattered Fiancée,
I am very sorry to hear about your unexpected and tragic loss. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the sad demise of your late fiancé. May ALLAH have mercy on his soul and bless him with a place in paradise. Ameen!
The guilt that you are feeling is quite natural and is two-fold.
- You are feeling guilty because you believe you will be being unfaithful to your dear departed fiancé if you marry someone else.
- You are also feeling guilty because you believe that you would be being unfair to whoever you now marry as you won’t be able to love him as much as you loved your late fiancé.
In both the cases, you feeling guilty is natural but not entirely justified – in the sense that it’s not your fault that your fiancé passed away. And you definitely won’t be cheating on him if – after overcoming the shock, and the accompanying depression, of his passing away– you decide to move on with your life and settle down with someone else.
Sometimes we feel guilty about being able to re-establish a normal life after the death of a loved one and believe that moving on is somehow a betrayal. However, remember that your loved one wouldn’t want you to be depressed forever.
I believe it’s too early for you, emotionally, to think of marrying someone else. You are still grieving your late fiance and in a condition like this, to think of marrying someone else will of course bring out negative sentiments. Grief takes time to process.
I understand your parents’ point of view. They want to see you settled down and be in a committed and happy relationship. But the huge shock that you have been through, you definitely need more time to process your emotions. Otherwise you won’t be able to do justice, and also enjoy, your future relationships.
It may feel nearly impossible to go on living when someone you love dies, and you may really feel completely hopeless, at first. However, once you start dealing with your feelings and seeking support, you may be able to see calm waters ahead. While you won’t be able to bring back the person you lost or to ever stop completely thinking about him or her, you will be able to take steps to deal with your pain and to move forward to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.
If you feel that you are having trouble coping on your own, then your best bet may be to get the help of a knowledgeable professional who can talk to you about your feelings and mental state and can recommend the best course of action. Therapy or grief counselling can help you get a new perspective on your situation and to find new ways to get help.
Note: Don’t think that you are admitting weakness by seeking therapy. In fact, quite the opposite is true; you are showing strength by being comfortable saying that you need more help.
In the end, remember one thing; when a loved one dies, of course you don’t want to forget them, but it’s important not to forget that they wouldn’t want you to stop living a happy life because of them.
Asad is a counsellor, life coach, inspirational speaker and a personal-development expert. He advises on social, personal and emotional issues. You can send him your questions for this weekly column at [email protected] with “Ask Asad” mentioned in the subject line and provide as many details as possible.
Note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Express Tribune.