I do not think I will ever feel qualified enough to give marital advice but sometimes, like today, the advice wants to give itself!
Alhamdulillah for those of us who are married; single and searching and even happily single (ain’t anything wrong with that). May Allah restore happiness to the widow(er)ed and the divorced as well.
Human interaction is not always easy. One thing I have always observed in marriages that last is the ability to pick one’s battles.
I had known my husband for quite some time before we eventually tied the knot so I thought I knew him pretty well. Then we got married and we both started to unpack our emotional luggage and sparks began to fly! No, not the good type of sparks.
With a couple of years under our belt, I make bold to say like Kenny Rogers said in the Gambler,
‘You’ve got to know when to hold ’em,
Know when to fold ’em,
Know when to walk away,
And know when to run…’
The Prophet (S.A.W.) said:
‘Whoever gives for the sake of Allah, withholds for the sake of Allah, loves for the sake of Allah, hates for the sake of Allah, and marries for the sake of Allah, he has indeed perfected his faith.’- Jami` at-Tirmidhi Book 11, Hadith 252
Everyone has a deal-breaker or two or ten… There are some things I may endure that someone else would absolutely not tolerate. I personally cannot tolerate domestic violence but some women feel it spices up their marriage. Many older generation wives seem to turn a blind eye to their husband’s extramarital affairs while younger wives have little tolerance for such. Accept your spouse for who (s)he is and decide whether of not you can live with them. Know your deal breakers and take a stand.
If you hate something about your spouse, analyse it and see that it is not for selfish reasons. If we’ve married our spouses for the right reasons (for their iman and piety), we should be able to continue loving them for the sake of Allah. Likewise, we should dislike a bad habit of theirs for His Sake and continue to pray that Allah rectifies this trait. Of course, we may also need to have a discussion with our spouse to communicate our feelings.
Every marriage is customised to suit the couple in it so what works for ‘A’ may not work for ‘B’ hence the need to know what is important to you. Don’t sweat the small stuff like he forgot your birthday unless it is ABSOLUTELY important to you. Focus on the things your spouse does right and appreciate him/her for those.I’ve seen mothers fighting while their children are neglected. I’ve heard of wives complain incessantly about their husbands until they succeed in pushing a good man away.
Conserve your energy for important matters and you will be able to create a more nurturing home for your husband and children with less tension from the reins you hold so tightly in your grasp.
This also extends to other areas of life and to our interaction with other people. Look at the big picture and decide if someone’s behaviour is something you can overlook or not. Allow people to make mistakes and be themselves. Be tolerant. None of us is perfect. It’s not every time you bark. No one takes a dog that’s always barking seriously.