A short reunion

Alhamdulilah, after 6 months apart, my husband and I were recently reunited for 2 and a half weeks. I am tempted by cliche to describe it as having been ‘blissful’. But despite obviously being very happy and grateful to see one another again, it is not a fitting word to describe the experience. What makes it decidedly ‘un blissful’ is that you are constantly aware that this offer is for a limited time only and very soon you will be thrust back into, what in comparison, feels like the single life.

I am also tempted to say that it gets easier but that’s not quite the truth either. Each reunion initiates a process of re-adaption in which you try to remember how to be a real life couple again. Both parties must reaccustom themselves to sharing all their time with another human being and when you are on ‘holiday’ it really is all your time. The knowledge that this short period of time together must sustain you both for at least another 6 months means that when you inevitably feel the need for your own space, you feel guilty.

To overcome this false shame and hold onto my sanity I lovingly recalled a common scene from when we lived together in Australia; me silently reading a book while he chuckled to himself on the other end of the lounge as he watched his weekly manga cartoon on his laptop. Recreating this scene in our hotel room felt like true indulgence and after we established that it was ok to have our own time, we rediscovered our rhythmn. Unfortunately, by the time that happened we had to part ways once more.

That brings me to the very worst part of such reunions which is of course their excruciatingly painful ends. Mine and my husband’s goodbye’s usually take place in foreign airports from which we return alone to our own countries. This time I was armed with the valuable knowledge that unless I mentally and spiritually prepared myself beforehand, I would definetly cry hysterically and once on the plane, break down in the arms of an unsuspecting stranger. I know this because that’s exactly what happened last time.

I prepared by making du’a and asking Allah for strength the night before then remembering Him through dhikr and reciting and reading the Qur’an to myself once I left my husband to enter the boarding gate. Alhamdulilah though I did do some serious crying, I managed to control myself enough that I avoided making a huge scene or involving bystanders. Considering the enormous amount of grief and despair I felt at that time, that is a huge achievement! Wallahi, it truly does feel as if a huge and vital part of your body has been forcibly removed from you leaving you completely alone and vulnerable.

 After becoming reacquainted with the beauty and intimacy of sharing your every day life with the one you love, it makes it that much harder to return to a life of sleeping alone and communicating with your partner through temperamental video calls where sometimes the only way I can tell it is him is by the colours of the blurry figure on the screen. So it doesn’t get easier but knowing what to expect does help you deal with it in a more effective way.

Upon my return to Australia, I awaited the heavy depression and sick feeling which sat in the pit of my stomach in the couple weeks immediately after the end of our last trip. But alhamdulilah apart from one much needed crying session the day I arrived home, I appear to have been spared. I think that is due in large part to the fact that I had many projects awaiting my attention when I returned which have kept me extremely busy. Unfortunately, my husband has also been extremely busy to the point we have had to delay applying for the Saudi marriage permission which we intended to do upon our return. I am doing my best to make sure we are at least ready to apply for a visa for him by Ramadan so that he may move here but without him being able to help it is unlikely even that will happen any time soon.

Please make du’a for us to make all this work easy on us and to be reunited permanently soon with the blessing of the Saudi government and his family inshaAllah. JazakAllah khair.

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14 thoughts on “A short reunion

  1. Beautifully written masha’Allah. I recall my very sad experiences parting with my husband in Bahrain when he had to return to Saudi Arabia, it felt as if I was grieving. But the last parting with our infant son at the airport returning to the U.S. to wait on the marriage permission, was gut wrenching. There is something about saying goodbyes at airports! I’d like to share your experience and mine (in a short introduction) in a new FHWS post. I think a lot of Saudi wives can relate to it. Can I please have permission to re-post this?

  2. D says:

    JazakAllah khair Tara – as always you are more than welcome to re post. I only write in the hope of helping someone out there inshaAllah and your re posting it greatly increases the chances of it reaching those people.

  3. Wa jazaki’Allahu khair wa barakAllahu feek!

  4. jeansasson says:

    I agree with Tara, this is beautifull written and touches the hearts of people who do not even know you. I send you the best wishes and hope that all the problems will soon be resolved and you can enjoy a happy life TOGETHER without all the goodbyes!

  5. Duress says:

    Salam D…what a story subhanallah..I have heard many ppl taking a short amount of time to gain marriage permission from saudi and then others longer times…allah make it easy on you and your husband..Ameen.
    Is this what happens after a saudi student goes back home after scholarship has ended?.. i cnt believe it can take so long..I am in a similar relationship and was just wondering about the future. If u guys got married legally in Oz can’t u get him back due to the marriage?
    Do his parents know about you? Sorry about the questions you don’t have to answer them if u dnt want to ..its just we are in a similar situation and both aussies as well..Jazakallaj kahir for sharing your story with others..im sure there are sister out there who can relate and appreciate your openness.

    • D says:

      Waleikum salam sister jazakAllah khair for your comment and your du’a (ameen!) Unfortunately this is one of the ways things can turn out once a Saudi student returns to his country. Due to the Saudi governments law which requires its citizens to obtain marriage permission before marrying a non Saudi we are unable to marry legally in Australia. If the government discovers a couple has gone behind their back and married without permission the Saudi risks jeopardising his chances of ever getting the marriage permission, receiving a hefty fine and even serving time in jail. Basically, not a wise decision.

      This has caused us a lot of difficulty because we are left to apply for a de facto visa for him in Australia which is notoriously difficult to obtain because you must provide a huge amount of extremely thorough documentation and evidence of your relationship to prove you are actually a legitimate couple. For offshore applicants they give an estimated processing time of 8 months but in the experiences of people I know who have gone through it, it can be less than that or more.

      I’m currently in the painful process of applying for a de facto visa for my husband to come to Australia as we do not expect to be granted the Saudi permission any time in the near future. If you want to find a way for your man to stay in Aus or for you to follow him to his home country inshaAllah I can help in the former and may be able to assist in the latter. But I definetly have some strong recommendations if you are thinking about applying for a visa for him. InshaAllah I will send you an email so you know where to contact me and I can try to answer any questions you may have there.

      InshaAllah I will try to write an article re the procedures involved in obtaining Aussie visas for foreign partners because it is extremely common…

      Speak soon inshaAllah,

      Wassalams

      D

  6. ellen557 says:

    inshaAllah sister you can get the Aust visa… for us, yes we needed to provide a lot of paperwork but in the end we got it in about 4 – 5 months. If you like I can send you the information that we provided, although we did get married legally here (in saying that, if you’ve had an islamic marriage here in Aus or overseas you can also use that as proof of your relationship too, not just the legal cert – we included both).
    I know what you mean re permission though… it was our first priority, but then everything was turned around when more unrest started… we are using wasta, thank God he has been very honest with us and told us that if he tried at the moment, it would take too long. But anyway… what a process! At least when we all come out of it at the end we can be sure that we’ve (inshaAllah) been through the worst already 😉

    • D says:

      JazakAllah khair for your comment sis and your offer to help us. SubhanAllah between now and when I posted this my husband has been offered a job in KSA which will have him on a 3 year contract so I’ve set aside my Aus visa efforts and we are re-focussing on the Saudi permission and getting me closer to him in the meantime. I am interested about what your wasta told you though, why does he feel now is a bad time? I’m just curious because inshaAllah we will apply in the next couple of months when my husband is inbetween jobs.

  7. onechinesemuslimah says:

    assalamualaikum sis, this post was so touching! May Allah make it easier for you both and unite you permanently soon!! ameen. BTW its me onechinesemuslimah! what happened to you on fb? 😦 miss ya !!!

    • D says:

      Walaikum salam sis wa jazakAllah khair. Lovely hearing from you – wallah I keep thinking to myself I need to get in touch with you the one thing I definetly miss about fb is you ladies but alhamdulilah in terms of productivity it is the best thing I have done in a long time!

  8. […] Una Corta Reunión Por D 22 Abril 2012 Traducción al Español de Cristina D. (primera versión) […]

  9. nicolejhm says:

    danii, i was wondering about you as i hadn’t seen you on facebook lately! i hope you are doing well, and by your blog posts i trust that you are doing as well as can be expected. 🙂 i totally relate to everything you wrote in this post! especially the part about learning to be a normal couple again. when my husband and i were apart and had those wonderful visits, i always felt guilty for picking up my laptop or a book or anything when we were together, because in the back of my mind it was always, “we only have two weeks/five days/two more days/etc.” it got to the point where we would feel guilty or get frustrated with one another for falling asleep! we’d be watching one of our favorite tv shows together and one of us would doze off and we would nudge each other awake and be like, “please, we only have so much time!” so we had to fall asleep in perfect unison to stand a chance of not being woken back up, lol…even now, i still feel a twinge of guilt when i pick up my laptop or my ipad or something when i’m with my husband. when you’re finally together permanently, alhamdulillah, it takes awhile for the realization that your time together doesn’t have an expiration date to fully sink in. i hope that you and your husband are able to be together soon, inshallah, and that you are having a wonderful ramadan! ❤

    • D says:

      Salams Nicole,

      Ramadan kareem! I remembered that you had moved to KSA last month and was also wondering about you! Alhamdulilah you have a blog so I can follow your journey, mashaAllah it really sounds like you are doing well – it gives me hope for my own future. I’ve abandoned fb for now to concentrate on my ‘real’ life but I really have missed all you ladies so I’m glad you found me 🙂 alhamdulilah my husband has been staying with me in Aus for the past month and a bit and it seems we will finally be able to apply for the permission in the next couple of months inshaAllah…things are painfully slow but I haven’t given up on a miracle just yet! Keep reporting back on how things are going in KSA!

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