Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Unmarried at 29. How to deal with the societal pressure and resentment?

Assalamu alaikum

Thank you for reading my post. As the title suggest I'd like to know how one can deal with the pressure and social anxiety about being unmarried in the late 20s while everyone around them gets hitched.

Just to give a little background, ALHAMDULILLAH I have got many things going for me. From deen to work to productivity and growth, I'm doing well on almost all fronts. More importantly my growth has only picked up and in the last year a lot has changed with regards to family acceptance of me being a revert. My parents have completely accepted my faith. So to speak I trust that Allah is guiding me in the direction of a fulfilling marriage. Ameen

In the last year my reasons to get married have really changed and put many things in perspective. I've been pursuing proposals for almost 2 years now but I feel I've only recently truly begin to get into the right mindset for marriage deen and priorities wise. Partly thanks to proposals that didn't work out in the end.

However the wait is starting to take a toll. A few things really trigger me now and I am unable to deal with the occasional resentment and bitterness and *gulp* jealousy, to the extent that I start regretting some of my past decisions Astafgfirullah.

The major thing that gets my goat is watching others getting "picked" Now I know this is not some game but at my lowest this is how much I resent it. Its the same dread that one feels as a kid when their parents are late picking them up from school while they watch their friends going home with theirs. Its not that I am not genuinely happy for my friends but I feel this overwhelming sadness and realization of feeling lonely and about facing the many questions oh God the questions. This in addition to watching my parents be so gracefully patient while not expressing their nervousness to me openly, Allah bless them.

It feels as if all my friends or acquaintances who either recently got married or when they ask about me are just rubbing it in my face, like its some kind of an achievement they shove in my face to make themselves feel better. I know its not what they think but I just can't help feeling like this.

Then there are the secretive Muslim friends who know better about keeping it under wraps until just a few days before their wedding. And I hate them just as much. It was obvious one friend was getting married with her social media picture being a marriage quote and stuff and when asked about it she went to such lengths to actually hide it from me and get me to change topics. It turned out I only asked her just a day before she was going to announce it anyway. In the end I was left feeling like some kind of a bad omen that must know last lest they give you the evil eye. I understand this is important to her and nothing personal but it left me feeling really horrible about myself.

Recently a friend who shared this exact pain of being single and that led to a deeper friendship bond between us got engaged and started preparing for her wedding . And although I genuinely felt happy for her when it happened while I handheld her through the proposal, I've begin to resent her for mentioning the wedding now and then and how quickly she has forgotten that I'm still in the same painful boat she was just a few weeks ago. I had to distanced myself a bit to avoid getting the evil eye on her and to save myself the bitterness I can't help feeling.

I pray on time and even do some of the most important nafls and these feelings go away for a bit but then the mention of marriage triggers it again.

I KNOW I sound like a selfish horrible person who thinks its all about them astaghfirullah which is why I want to know how to deal with these anxiety triggering thoughts of other people's marriage and the feeling of waiting and waiting on your turn. I trust that Allah has written good for me whatever it is but I feel I just can't deal with people now and I'm perfectly fine when I don't. Facing people, even my own friends who shared that same pain and now don't is where my sabr starts to run thin. I feel like I'm beginning to believe these lies I tell myself in my low moments. Please help!

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17 Responses »

  1. this is a sad fact about the community and its not your fault, look what i mean is that there are obviously an excess of women as compared to men and unfortuantely we havent adopted the sunnah of Prophet mohammed to have multiple wives for those who can do so and afford it therefore we have unfortuante unmarried sisters left, keep trying you are worth it

  2. There is someone special out there for you.
    Just remember, that Allah has a plan. And Allah is the best of Planners. WaAllahu khairul maqireen.

    There is a specific time and place you'll meet the one. Just think that your time hasn't come yet.

    And be happy for your friends. I don't think they hide it from you because they think you're a "bad omen", I think they are watching your feelings and don't want to rub it in your face or make you feel like you're missing out. Be happy for them and support them. Train your mind and try to remove the jealousy.

    Have you tried online Islamic sites? Be cautious of course, but give it a go! I know some people who are in happy marriages and have met online through these sites.

    Just remember that Allah taLa has a Plan for you.

    (PS - With all due respect, i don't think you should opt to be anyone's second/ third/ fourth wife out of desperation or eagerness That brings its own troubles and trials. Please be patient. ) Allah is with the Patient. WAllahu ma'as-Sabireen.

    Your sis in Islam x

    • Thank you for your kind advice. May be I read too much into it but really the keeping it under wraps thing actually makes it counter intuitive because when people go to such lengths to hide it, it makes one feel even more horrible as if they can see your desperation.Especially when they make it clear publicly but try hiding it from you specifically.

  3. "I don't think they hide it from you because they think you're a "bad omen", I think they are watching your feelings and don't want to rub it in your face or make you feel like you're missing out"

    I disagree with above comment.

    I recently had a friend who I used to hang out with a lot and share feelings. She hid from me secretly that she was getting married in few weeks. She actually lied to me saying that she was engaged but when I confronted her that I found out she was married. She made up so many lies. Sister, I know exactly how you feel. These girls hide it from you because they think you will be jelous and their engagement/marriage will break. Honey these girls are not watching your feelings. They don't want you to be jelous of them because they got a man and you don't.

    • I'm sorry you had to go through that. And whilst you may be right in regards to the specific situation you mentioned, it is not always the case.

      Sister, with all due respect to your feelings - you should always have husn dhan, good opinions of other people. Give them the benefit of the doubt so to speak. And you should always encourage others to give others the benefit of the doubt, as it increases love, mercy and compassion within us.

      Only Allah knows what is in someone's heart. Only Allah knows the secrets of the heart.

      Apologies in advance if I have offended. Not my intention at all, only to share what I know and believe.

      Your Sis in Islam x

    • Salam,

      This isn't true for everyone. I knew someone who was engaged and thought she was done. The marriage was supposed to happen several months later and somewhere in the middle the guy changed his mind. Then the girl was asked by everyone that knew the engagement, why did the guy change his mind. She knew why and it hurt her and each time she's asked to relive it and explain. So the next time she got engaged she didn't tell anyone. She said that unless it finally happens she doesn't want people to know so they don't ask when it doesn't.

      • If this was your second engagement, you don't have to tell everyone only your close friends and family memebers of course. My close friend was engaged before. She was a close person to me but the whole time we hung out she pretended she wasn't talking to anyone and talking to me about the challenges of finding a guy and then boomed...in few weeks she got married (but lied to me that she was engaged so that I don't get upset). I can't stand someone that lies. Give her the benefit of the doubt- Yes that's the Islamic thing to do. I have known her for 18 years and her behavior. There were times we had disagreements and I forgave her and let go of small things. I have been doing that. But when you come to the point you realize that your friend thinks you will give her the evil eye. It hurts! Her mom saw me at the market after her daughter got married recently, and she was intimidated, guilty, and embarrassed because I was her daughter's close friend and the secret was hidden from me, so the mother walked out the grocery store after immediately after seeing me. Pathetic. I have never done anything to her. I was a honest, nice and good friend.

        KittyLover,
        Good People finish last. I feel your pain.

  4. I don't think you are being a selfish and horrible person...in my experience, people (especially women) can become extremely obnoxious people once they have found a partner. It's like they suddenly see themselves as royalty. Much like you mention, they do dumb and annoying things just to draw attention to themselves, only to treat people (especially those unmarried) as if they are beneath them. Like they are peasants, or something.

    Let me make this clear: There's nothing wrong with being an unmarried man or a woman at age 29, 49 or 89. The idea of "having to get married" and "by a certain age" are all man-made ideas and opinions, and you do NOT have to accept them as your own. Get married because you WANT to get married. Get married because you have found a person you want to be married to. Not for any other reason than that. If you don't want to feel the pressure of society, then don't feel it. No one forces it on you, you choose to carry the pressure on your back out of own free will. Just tell people to mind their own business if they try to put any pressure on you. That's what I did :D.

    As for the people that are displaying attention-seeking behaviour, just ignore them. They are putting rotten bait out, and you're biting it. Stop doing that. If people post ambiguous quotes, don't react to them.

    • Thank you for your advice. You're right I don't have to feel pressured I just can't help it being surrounded by women who consider marriage the biggest deal.

      Like the above picture quote says it feels like marriage has been made out to be the sole purpose of a Muslim girl as if that is the only thing that validates women.

      I agree I don't feel there is anything wrong with being unmarried so late. In fact I've myself considered postponing my search a few times for the very reason you mentioned. And this late marriages is very common in the non Muslim community I come from, I have tens of friends my age who are not married.

      I feel worse because I feel very accomplished in most spheres of my life alhamdulillah, I travel, have hobbies and love my work. Even I have very rarely come across men in my search who make more than me. My only important criteria is deen and I have considered many men based on their deen even if they make half of my paycheck. And being with my current circle of friends, sensing their pity from the silly behavior ticks me off even more

      • Dear sister kittylover,

        Reading your post, I felt that you were an awesome person. You seem level-headed, reasonable, empathetic and kind. Even knowing friends hadn't told you about their upcoming weddings, you decided not to take it personally. You seem to constantly give others the benefit of the doubt and try to see things from their point of view.

        I recently read a quote that whether married or single, we need to live our own lives. And you are right, marriage cannot be the sole purpose of anyone's life. It's a shame that our culture stigmatises those who take a little longer to get married.

        I would suggest taking the pressure off a little in looking for a suitable match
        and diverting your attention and energy elsewhere. Be kind to yourself because such worrying is not good for you.

        It can be a huge worry to think what if I never get married? Never find love? I actually googled "what if I never find love?" on a particularly bad day
        and read the first response that came up by thought catalog. It honestly was an eye opener. It asks you to answer the question that if you knew with certainty that you would never find love what would you do? It goes onto say that you could be free to become the love of your own life and live your most authentic and meaningful life. You may want to read the full article on thought catalog and see if you find it helpful.

        Having said that, of course you want to get married! And love! And be loved! And share your life with someone special!! Who doesn't?!

        There are dua's that are prescribed to be read by the one who is looking to get married. You may want to Google those. Verse 54 of surah Furqan "And He is the One who created man from water, and established for him blood relationship and marriage relationship, and your Lord is most powerful" is one of those verses to be read by the one seeking a suitable match. It is advised to read this verse in Arabic numerous times throughout the day. It can be read as you go about your daily life as well as when supplicting after prayers etc.

        Please do come back here and talk to us whenever you need to.

        • Thank you so much sis. May Allah make me better than what you know of me and forgive me for what you dont.

          BarakAllahu feeki for such good advice. Insha Allah I'll go read the article and get back to you.

          The thing about me is I am aware of what I'm supposed to feel and I'm always introspecting why I feel something negative. All praise to Allah for giving me that insight about myself. Its just that sometimes I get very overwhelmed by the bitterness of patience. I really feel I'll really wont mind if this search extends into my 30s too. Any wait is okay for the right person.

          Its only that since I've been a revert ive known only one close circle of friends where most others are reverts. Which is why when they get married I understand how a big deal it is for most. And this causes me anxiety not about whether I'll find the person but about the pity that shows in the way they interact eg. The girl i mentioned with the dp thing.

          And it magnifies all other anxieties. Maybe I need to focus more on my imaan than these superficialties. Thank you again for your kind advice

  5. Salaam sister...m 26 year old unmarried n I can truly understand wht u going through..I know the feeling of not getting married at this stage means..I know many people will say that whn ur right time will come u will get married.. I sometimes feel I won't get married... you will wonder why m saying this??so let me tell you my side of story..since childhood I didn't got my father love..my dad used to live in abroad.. whenever he used to come he never acknowledge me..u knw in this 26year I had barely talked with my dad..he used to beat me..whenever my friends used to share their stories about thr father love I used to silently cry..time passed... then I diagnosed with PCOS(u can Google it)..n then I start gaining weight.. acne starts to appear..all my relatives starts their fun game called "TAUNTING".. I was always a normal looking girl or u can below normal n on other hand my sister was the best looking girl u will ever meet..then starts the comparison game.. everyone starts comparing me wit my sister like she is so beautiful n I m so normal...people starts calling me fatso..ugly..useless..n list goes on..my relatives says who will marry me?n that hurts the most..like m some kind of creature..all my friends got married n have babies..people younger to ma also got married... but here m still single n lonely..u know one day my cousin told me that there was a guy who was the most fattiest guy in our area.. also got married..my cousin said now that the fattiest guy also got married then who will marry u now??u know that was so hurtful n mean..I tried gym..diet everything to loose weight to look good but all in vain..now I know that Allah don't loves me that's y he had given me so much pain..u r lucky sister u have everything..n u have not gone through all this.. I work so hard n barely makes money..I know Allah hates me..m praying that Allah one day will listen to my prayers..

    • Assalamualaikum sister

      May allah bless u with pious loving partner soon to your life ..........i have faith u will get the best as sabr patience is not easy Allah is testing u ..........pcos is curable my sister had gone through this ...have cumin water daily (decoctionfor ) go for walk avoid non veg totally especially beef is not good .......diet will not help u but eating wright will only help u ...take lot of warm water in moring .....cinamon and cumin can be boiled and consumed it will help in both pcos and weight ....i dont know why iam telling u all this but my heart just felt for u trust me i was in tears when i read ur post ...take care and ALLAH LOVE YOU ....

      jazakallahukhair

    • Wa alaikum Assalam sis. Really sorry to hear that. May Allah make it easy for you and bless you with a righteous spouse.

      Pls do not worry sister I know many women who have pcos and had their health improved through treatment just like sistet shabz said too.

      I see its been very difficult for you but do not lose hope. We must always keep a good opinion of Allah. As a revert i can tell you with certainity this is what has got me through tough times.always knowing that Allah will not abandon me. Indeed that is what Hajira a.s was told by the angel who came to rescue her n her son im the desert. That Allah does not abandon His people. And what happened? The impossible! A desert produced water! So pls never lose hope. I make dua that Allah makes everything easy for you soon. JazakAllah Khair for reading and answering

  6. Assalamualaikum

    Dear sister in married in age of 28 i know your situation but there is goodness in everything allah has blessed us with .....i Would suggest u IGNORE,IGNORE,IGNORE ....and smile at the people who ask u about marriage ....1st its marriage then it will be baby and then u will have other things ahead sooooooooooooo pressure is always there u must handle with smile and abr accept that Allah has given u more time to learn about life he is presparing u ......there are many who get married in young but they get divorced ....now there is nothing related with age its all about when time is right u will get married Allah has decided somethig goof for u have faith in allah .........pray for urself and bother about ur life ....people will always have somthing to speak about .....be happy and enjoy ur time with family

    jazakallahukhair

    • JazakAllah khair sis. I agree the questions will ways be there. I will try my best to learn and be the right person insha Allah. I agree with everything you said but you know how the nafs and shaitan work but everyones response here is really helping me see beyond the superficial things. Thank you again!

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