Tips and Advice for Married Couples
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Be willing to change any baseless habits you may have. You have to take the first step.
“إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُواْ مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ“
“Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition”
Make sure you don’t base your judgment or behaviour on culture and traditions. Always try to have Islamic values as your ultimate reference on every issue. Cultural values could be one of three categories. The first category is values agreeing with our Islamic values. These we have to treasure and use. The second category is neutral values. These we have to test with the new environment. If they are suitable, then we should use them. If they are not suitable, we should not insist on using them just because they are part of our culture. The third category is anti-Islamic values, and these we must fully avoid.
Don’t shy away from touchy topics. In a marital relationship, everything should be discussed; nothing should be hidden. The trick is to discuss issues in the proper way with the proper attitude. Here are some suggestions to ensure successful discussions:
Turn up your listening sensitivity. In the midst of a conflict, there is absolutely nothing that improves the situation as dramatically as listening. We understand that when you are fuming about some intense issue, the last thing you want to do is listen, but when you open yourself up to what your spouse is saying, resolution has begun. It works like magic. When you are listened to, you aren’t nearly so eager to win at the other person’s expense. To be listened to makes you want to listen.
Make a point of praising something about your spouse at least once a day. It was said: ”Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healthy to the bones.”
Remember that it takes two people a long time to get to know each other and that you won’t be used to each other’s “eccentricities” from day 1.
Remember that there is no perfect person… If the person you are with is compatible on the important things, the smaller things will fall into place. BUT the opposite is not true.
Be caring to each other. If something is important to your partner, don’t belittle it.
You don’t have to do everything together. It’s important to have your own interests and hobbies.
Remember that you each have your own strengths and weaknesses, and that what’s easy or hard for one of you is not what’s easy or hard for the other.
Treat each other with respect all the time, even when you’re in conflict or not getting along.
Worship together (read quran, pray, etc).
Do productive things together (cook, clean, volunteer).
Do fun things together (find a common hobby you can enjoy).
Build your own traditions.
Respect each other’s families and backgrounds.
Give yourself time to get used to your new arrangement. Living with a person who used to be somewhat of a stranger takes time to get used to. And getting used to your new role as husband/wife also takes time. Giving yourself time is important, but time alone is not enough…communicate with each other in a clear but gentle way.
Know that there will always be ups and downs. Some people say the first year is the hardest, but that is not necessarily true for everyone. It could be the second year for you, or the third. The fourth year may be easy and then the fifth hard again…marriage is not linear, no matter how long you’ve been married, there will continue to be ups and downs.
Marriage is hard work plain and simple. The romantic aspect of marriage is just one aspect of it that is overemphasized by Hollywood and our society in general…they tend to skim over the other aspects that aren’t as glorious and sensational. Whenever two or more human beings live in such close proximity of one another and intertwine their lives, conflict is bound to arise…in a marriage though, you have to deal with that conflict civilly and that’s what makes marriage such hard work.
Marriage is work – just like a new job or a new house, you have to take the time to set it up right & put the energy & thought into it to be successful at it. Everyone else went through what you’re going through – this idea of blissful newlyweds is a myth that people perpetuate. You’re not alone; this is normal; you’ll be fine.
Don’t think that you have to do everything with your spouse. You need joint hobbies and pastimes, but you need separate hobbies and pastimes just as much.
Be romantic even when you don’t feel like it. Allah said that one of the only times that lying is allowed is for a spouse to make their spouse feel better/more loved. That’s a big deal so use it.
- Select the right time for the discussion, a time that is suitable for both of you.
- Be objective in your discussion, and listen to what the other spouse says.
- Try to find the points of agreement rather than emphasizing the points that differ.
- Be calm and control your emotions.
- Never use foul language or unacceptable expressions that you may regret later.
- Be solution-oriented, don’t exaggerate previous conflict situations.
- Always try to look to the future. Only look back at the past to avoid repeating its mistakes and to learn from previous experiences.
- Try to always limit the discussion so that it is between yourself and your spouse. Don’t allow others to interfere without your permission. If it is absolutely necessary to include another party, make sure that the input of this party is limited, is very specific to the issue being discussed, and is based on your invitation.
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