Bing single is easy. You are the dictator of your own life, spoiled by parents and pampered by friends. Your abilities and virtues are actually put into test once you get married and begin a new life with a partner! That’s when you get to know the limits of your sharing capability and tolerance threshold.
The clichéd concept of “they got married and lived happily ever after” is a total hoax, trust me! First few years of married life can be challenging. Although Nikah (marriage) has an intrinsic and wonderful property of instilling love into the hearts but at times mental incompatibility and intolerance can inculcate negative feelings for each other, leaving your marriage on the rocks.
Marriage is like a canoe, you fill it with the burden of expectations, it drowns; you both play your oars and it will swiftly run its course. Work on these following lines before you call for a MAYDAY.
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
It is mandatory for every soon-to-be-married couple to read about the Islamic injunctions regarding marriage. Allah’s jurisprudence has no margin of error. He has justly made the rules of a spouse’s rights and obligations. Allah says,
“And they (women) have rights similar (to those of their husbands) over them to what is reasonable” (2:228)
So a wife is fully entitled to live in a separate house or demand for a monthly allowance and she is NOT committing a sin. Likewise she is obligated to stay loyal and please her husband. Similarly the husband is entitled to be his wife’s guardian and to refrain her from fasting (non-obligatory fasts) but at the same time he is obligated to be fair and just to his wife.
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said,
“The best of you is he who is best to his family and I am the best among you to my family” (Tirmidhi: 3252)
Before you judge him/her, pause and do a self-analysis. First focus on your flaws and set yourself right. There’s a lot of possibility that you are watering the roots of conflict. Some of your words/actions might cause your spouse to react inappropriately and set the relationship on fire. Always keep a check on your words. Freedom of speech and expression can never justify rudeness and cussing. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said,
“On the Day of Judgment the dearest and closest to me will be those persons who will bear the best moral character. Those who talk with affectation and boast will be the most repugnant to me and farthest from me”
The wife should see if it’s her arrogance, carelessness or poor hygiene that’s making the husband drift off. The husband should in the same way fix their hot headedness, crude language or any kinked behavior that is setting her off.
So know your glitches before judging your spouse for every little thing.
OBSERVE AND ADAPT
The ability to adapt to any change is nature’s gift to every living being. Don’t you ever think of adaptation to be a kick to your ego. It is a blessing and you should take it positively. Initial days of marriage calls for a quieter play rather than trying to put everything your way.
Observe, keep your pace slow and give them space. If your spouse likes it organized, you can try doing work their way. Love is not as powerful and long lasting as sacrifice and adjustment is. One day you will see them doing it your way. Instead of widening the diameters of your domain try to blend into their aura. That’s how you can get an optimum benefit out of your marriage.
LET GO OF THE LITTLE THINGS
Marriage is no win-win deal. Just like you own certain weak spots, your spouse might have flaws too. Let go of the smaller things and try to work on the bigger ones with love and wisdom. Despising your spouse for their pitfalls would make you no bigger person. Instead of picking the wound, do the dressing, be the healer. It’s OKAY if he doesn’t take you for frequent outings because he is an introvert.
Celebrate indoors. Curl up on the couch, grab your favorite snack and watch your favorite show. At least he helps you with the household chores. Likewise it’s OKAY if she is not as glamorous as your boss’ assistant but she’s a simple beauty. Praise her for that. Remember the Hadith when Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said,
“Every religion has an innate character. The character of Islam is modesty”
BE RESILIENT, AVOID QUARRELS
Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), the persona of humanity, said,
“I guarantee a house in Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right”
When vulnerable, one tends to lose temper. At such times, stay quiet. That’s the best support you can offer your spouse; and when the storm settles, offer them cold water, food and make your apology/ console them. The threshold of your tolerance determines how strong you are. Loud or verbose people are actually weak. So be strong and don’t be hasty in reciprocating a bad note with worse.
CONDITION YOUR EGO
A philosopher has said,
“To kill your ego for one person is real love for that person. To kill your ego for everyone is real love for his Creator, Allah”
Come out of your shell. Condition the constant nagging of your inner voices of “I, me, myself, mine”
“He took her to Mauritius for their honeymoon”
“God! She is way more beautiful”
“Wow! He is so expressive about his love for his wife”
“She is professionally educated!”
Who knows he beats her up.
Who knows she has an ugly heart.
Who knows he is practically a failure.
Who knows her education has instilled pride and vanity in her heart.
So love your spouse for who they are. The comparison will only burn your heart. You don’t know the black holes and pains of those who you desire to be or to be with. Remember this in such times,
“They (spouse) are clothing/covering for you and you for them” (2:187)
May Allah SWT bless all Muslim brothers and sisters with happiness in their family life!