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Tue, 11, 18

I am a 28-year-old woman. I got married three years back, and my son was born a year later....

Dear Nadine,

I am a 28-year-old woman. I got married three years back, and my son was born a year later. Mine was an arranged marriage and I was happy with my husband. Then his cousin got transferred from Lahore to Karachi. He stayed with us for a month, before getting his own apartment. Even after shifting to his place, he used to visit us daily, as his family was in Lahore. I don’t quite know how, but we fell for each other. I have no idea what made me become attracted to him! I think I just lost my mind. But I never was involved with him physically. One day, my husband caught us talking to each other alone. He didn’t show that he had become suspicious, but after a couple of weeks, he somehow managed to check my cell phone and read our text messages. He was furious and divorced me immediately. He said I had broken his trust and he could never trust me again. I was at fault and realised my mistake, but it doesn’t matter anymore. His cousin went back to Lahore immediately, and has not answered my messages at all. My husband has allowed me to keep my son with me, but he said that he would take him if I remarry. I feel devastated and ashamed of my conduct, but I can’t undo what I did. I am trying very hard to collect myself and look after my son properly. My parents were mad at me initially, but couldn’t turn me out as they still love me. My ex-husband is a decent man and he did not disclose to anyone else, except my parents, why he divorced me. I was a fool, and did not realise how lucky I was. My parents are now pressuring me to remarry; my brother sponsored them sometime back and as their immigration process has been finalised, they will have to move to Australia soon. But if I get married, I will lose my son. I feel depressed all the time and hate myself for what I have done. Do you have any suggestions for me?

Repentant Leo

Dear Repentant Leo,

You lost your head and made a mistake that cost you your marriage, happiness and your peace of mind. As you said, what is done cannot be undone, but to assuage your guilt and get your peace of mind, you need to pray to God to forgive you. Also, if you can, ask your ex-husband to forgive you, too. If nothing else, it will make you feel better. We all make mistakes but only the decent ones admit to being in the wrong. You will also find peace when you will feel your repentance is accepted by God. Your parents are right, you know. You are still very young and if you find a suitable proposal, you should accept it. Legally, you are entitled to keep your son till he turns seven. However, your ex-husband is a decent man and even if he wants his son back if you remarry, he wouldn’t keep you from meeting him. And, who knows he might just let you keep him if you can ensure him that his son would be well taken care of. So, consider getting married seriously. After your parents leave, you will be alone and your depression may worsen, which will be bad not only for you but also for your son. Best of luck!

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