Sunday, 1 December 2013

A Letter: Jerks

A dear sister writes:

"     Asalamu alaikum Random Rants,

      I've got something I wanted to share. I hope its worthy of publishing:

      You know what ladies? it's time we discussed a topic that's been on our mind and in our hearts: Jerks, and not just any kind of jerks. Guys who are jerks. 
You could never tell these days, from the humble priest to the highly educated scholar, they come in many shapes and sizes, you would be shocked to know which ones are. 

      These people were put on earth so that Allah SWT could make you realize your worth. So that when you do find out they're jerks you are able to stand up, and say no more. There are the jerks who are straight up jerks and then there are the jerks that manipulate their humbleness and kindness to make you feel like the jerk. The ones who are straight up are easy to tell, we're all smart wise women here and most of us are able to tell from the actions of a man with others if he's a jerk or not. 

     The ones who hide it are the worst, there are guys out there who unfortunately manipulate your feelings and use them to their advantage. They will mold you with their humbleness to believe that they are right and you are wrong whilst still thinking that there's nothing wrong with them. These are powerful jerks, they remain mysterious to everyone as to not cause a stir, they're quiet, they're generally known as good people within the community but in reality they use they're good intentions to manipulate your mind and play with your feelings. 

     It's not your fault, they're really good at making a lot of girls believe them. they want to get off easily, whenever they want, they expect you to be there for them without telling you to, making you feel like they deserve it because they're so humble and kind when really they're just playing a manipulative game. This game is something they enjoy because they're in charge of it. You have no say in this game no matter how much say you think you have, and you will believe everything he says because you believe that he's the one, that he's going to come and ask for your hand and life will be all swell after that. These types of jerks keep you waiting, they push your buttons making you wake up and feeling uncertain about everything in your life. Everything becomes unexpected, your life depends on them, you begin to compromise a little more every time thinking "if I give in more then maybe he'll talk to me more."

     Ladies, do not let this happen to you, do not get to that point in your life where you're compromising pieces of yourself for someone who isn't willing to directly make the first official move - meeting your parents. This is wrong on so many levels. Compromising only gives them an excuse to lounge a little longer in secret. No matter how humble, nice, educated, good looking and "perfect" they are, NEVER compromise anything! A guy who really wants you will do everything in his will to have you. Don't settle for them telling you to wait, or even if they give you reasons as to why they don't want to get married now such as "I'm broke, I can't face your parents like this, I want to provide the best for you but I can't right now." 

      All these are excuses. Excuses of a jerk and not a man. A real man would NEVER allow you the opportunity to compromise because they know what they want and they know that they have to be straight forward about it to get it in a respectable manner. You may have heard this about 10 million times but it is the truth. It is the only truth that you will hear about this topic, there is no "but he's different, but he's nice, but everyone in the community says he's amazing" 

     If this "man" is not straight forward then he's not the one. Drop everything in place, realize your self worth and move on. I cannot stress this enough, move on. Allah SWT has better plans for you indeed, He really does. Don't let these jerks get to you, face them, tell them the truth, make them face it. If they keep changing the subject and moving around all over the place then they're being ambiguous, that is not what you want in a man. You want someone who can lay out their feelings in front of you when you need them to, someone who can tell you straight up without belittling you, hiding behind the bush and misguiding you what they really feel and that they will do everything it takes to have you the right way. 
      Men who can't do this are either players or don't have trust in Allah in their hearts, at least not for you, and you don't want either of those men in your life, because both of them are unreliable and unpredictable. 

      May Allah SWT grant us all the ability to see the truth behind people and grant us all the ability to stay away from them and grant us wonderful spouses who aren't any of these jerks.

Thank you,

Your soul sister"


My response:

     Wa alaikum essalam sister,

     Thank you for taking the time to write to me. It takes a lot of courage and heart to put topics such of this to light and to have the intention to share it with others so they benefit. It is certainly an emotionally charged letter. I can clearly feel and sense your frustration which is completely understandable to the situation you've been put in -I'm assuming this was an epiphany from a personal event although you never mentioned so forgive me if I'm wrong. Although this may seem to an outsider to be an exaggerated letter with plenty of over-generalizations, the emotions you experience are real and they point to a bigger issue within our communities; an issue that is usually swept under the rug.

   I'm here to let you know that you're not alone. And that men -and women alike in specific situations- can be manipulative and downright abusive. Many of their attempts are difficult to decipher or bring to light to others. What we can do as independent and self-reliant women is to recognize the signs of an abusive partner before the matter gets out of hand and we find ourselves stuck. You mentioned the type of man who promises but doesn't follow through with his promises. When a woman has established clear boundaries and timelines for exploring a potential husband, it becomes easier to establish them early on in the relationship and to stop oneself from entering this cycle of forgiveness and compromise.

      So I'll start by sharing some signs of an abusive and manipulative man:

  • He puts her down and makes her feel bad about herself
  • He does all the talking and dominates the conversation
  • He checks up on her all the time, even at work
  • He tries to suggest he is the victim and acts depressed
  • He tries to keep her away from friends
  • He acts as if he owns her
  • He lies to make himself look good or exaggerates his good qualities
  • He acts like he is superior and of more value than others
  • He makes her think she is crazy
  • He uses jealousy to justify actions
  • He plays mind games
  • He makes her feel guilty
  • He makes light of very serious matters
  • He thinks he defines men and women's roles

    Now, just because a man might fit only one of two of these categories doesn't mean his behavior must be tolerated and accepted. Establishing those lines for yourself before entering a new relationship will set clear boundaries and red flags that will guide you out of a potentially hostile and dangerous environment. Personally speaking, one of these is enough for me to say no.

     So in reality, we can sit and talk for hours about the dangerous and evil people out there but that won't do enough to protect you if it's not accompanied by clear boundaries for meeting potential partners. Now envision a slightly different situation - one where a woman subject to a potential manipulative man has set in place for herself a "protocol" of some sort for meeting new people; one that involves only selecting to consider men who directly express their full intentions and interest in marriage - men who explicitly state their intention for seeking permission from her parents before delving into the relationship. People tend to underestimate the power of imposing these boundaries in relationships. It acts as a filter that leaves all the men with bad intentions a few miles away. We've got to admit to ourselves that often our own filters are not so objective. There's nothing harder than standing your ground against a man who says the right things at the right time - not to mention if he's also handsome and of good social status. But remember that not all that glitters is gold.

     Now, what about the men who make the parent test and are still potentially dangerous? The key is to continue implementing these boundaries until some official agreement has been made - like marriage or engagement. All men should be treated in the same manner until things have been made fully public. I say this with full acknowledgment that there are still men out there who are toxic after marriage and that a "happily-ever-after" doesn't happen after marriage. But in the time a woman begins exploring a potential husband for marriage, she's got time to pick up on those signs and to ask the tough questions. And there are instances where a woman may feel that she doesn't have a clear case or evidence to hold against him, so she follows along with the marriage. Often, your gut feelings can tell you more than your intellect. So evaluate them and use distancing to see the relationship from a third perspective.

    You mentioned how men of this caliber are usually the most sought-after in the Muslim community and this is usually the case.  A man who manipulates women and plays mind games can also twist his words with the rest of the world to make them fall to his feet. So take caution and take other's white/black opinions of him with a grain of salt. And when it comes to mystery, I mean it's okay but only when it's in the right places. If you are clueless to what he does with his time, money or friends, then the mystery becomes dangerous. Leave the mind games to amateurs. A real man who can be a potential father to your children has to lay it out on the table as it is.

     Keep your head up high sister!

     and Ameen!

With my best duas,

Random Rants

Subscribe to Random Rants of a Muslima to receive entries directly into your inbox. Click the third right hand option to be added to the mail list