Tips and Advice for Married Couples
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- Never go to bed with an unsettled argument; learn to have differences without letting them affect your relationship.
“الاختلاف في الرأي لا يفسد للود قضية”
- Express opinions in a calm and polite way. Do not shout or yell. Learn to keep your cool even at the most tense moments and learn to be kind to each other.
“وَلاَ تَنسَوُاْ الْفَضْلَ بَيْنَكُمْ“
- Don’t idealize each other. Accept small mistakes as long as they don’t form bad behavioural patterns.
“كل ابن آدم خطاء وخير الخطائين التوابون”
- Consider each other’s feelings and satisfy each other’s needs; never make jokes about your spouse or her/his family if these jokes are not appreciated.
- Respect each other’s needs even when you don’t understand them. Try to fulfill them as long as they are not against Islamic injunctions.
- Help each other be better people …
- Get over needs and wishes that hold you down
- Increase your knowledge and help each other practice what you learn
- Get over bad habits such as negative expressions of anger, bad tempers, excessive eating, laziness, over-sensitivity, etc.
- Appreciate each other; learn to express your appreciation to your spouse for almost everything s/he does. For example . . .
- This meal is so delicious, May Allah bless your hands.
- You look beautiful in this dress.
- This is neat on you.
- Your comment about having a positive outlook on life and not despairing from what is going on during yesterday’s community meeting was very encouraging and had a great effect on the attendants and the general mood. Alhamdulellah, we achieved the purpose of the meeting, and we now have groups working together rather than just complaining. Jazaka Allah Khairan.
- Learn to communicate your feelings to your spouse. Let him/her know what you feel, whether it is feeling hurt or happy, but do it in a respectful and calm way with the proper intentions to avoid hurting your spouse, not with the goal of venting your anger and getting back at him/her.
- Expect less; give more.
- Learn to forgive each other immediately. Don’t let any bad feelings pile up.
- Although teasing has its place in the marital relationship, make sure you stop if it is not appreciated. Never mock your spouse or ridicule her/his ideas.
- A sense of humour is a wonderful asset. Make sure to not only utilize it properly, but also respond to it in the best possible way when it is utilized by your spouse.
- Don’t complain about problems; try to find solutions. Take steps, and then get your spouse involved.
- Show courtesy toward each other, even in very little things. It does make a difference.
- Always think of the family as a WE business. Forget about ME and YOU. Try to always work as a team. If you succeed, you will succeed together, and if you fail, the entire family will be affected. You will both be affected by any problems. I place this tip in the number one position because I have never seen it fail. Any couple who gains a “we” perspective eventually experiences great success in marriage. On the other hand, marriages start to shrivel when it becomes a matter of two “I’s.”
- Things are always easier said than done. The challenge is to really practice what you preach. You can only do this if you regularly engage in a process of self-search and soul cleansing.
- Make sure that the subtle signals you are giving to your spouse don’t contradict the verbal agreements and numerous discussions you have had together about various issues. An area where this gap often occurs is between the theoretical understanding of the status of women in Islam by some husbands and the subtle signals they repeatedly give to their wives that indicate completely the opposite. For example,
- A husband agrees during discussions with his wife on numerous occasions that it is very important for the wife to seek knowledge and increase her level of spirituality. Whenever the wife asks him to take care of the children, so she can attend the sisters’ study circles or the Imam’s sessions in the Mosque, the husband always finds an excuse, and she always ends up not attending these lessons and consequently not furthering her Islamic knowledge. In this case, the subtle signal that the husband gives his wife is that he is not serious about her religious education, which completely contradicts what he tries to convince his wife that he believes and aims for most of the time.
- A husband regularly talks about the importance of women being part of the Islamic activities and out-reach programs within the community, but at the same time insists on requesting his wife to prepare fancy dishes that require lots of time to prepare and leave her exhausted at the end of the day. She can’t fulfill any Dawa role with her neighbours or attend to any community needs because her time is being totally consumed in the preparation of her husband’s dishes. The subtle signal given by the husband here is in complete disagreement with what he claims to believe in. Such behaviour creates nothing but resentment, on the wife’s part, and mistrust toward her husband.
A wife could also give her husband mixed messages, such as in the example below:
- A wife may tell her husband, during discussions, that she is happy with their financial situation and doesn’t need more material possessions. However, she complains on the phone to her friends that she can not buy the new TV set she wants or go out with them for lunch at a their favourite restaurant. She does this often and seems very affected by this issue. This completely contradicts what she has told her husband in terms of how satisfied she is with their lifestyle.
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