Love is a verb.
I had the blessing to meet a wise and profound teacher this past Ramadan. She gave a beautiful talk on “Surviving Marriage.” With her permission, I present to my lovely readers notes from that talk. I apologize if they seem confusing at all or incomplete. She spoke perfectly. I typed imperfectly. Enjoy!
“Marriage is a new opportunity, an elevator and a door to bring you closer to your Lord. Take advantage of it.”
SURVIVING MARRIAGE TIPS:
1. Do not erase all boundaries between you. Remember to retain the most delicate whisper of formality. It will help you to continue to interact with respect (since he is a separate human being to you)….YOU set the tone from the beginning of marriage.
2. Remember, when he is selfish, obnoxious or harsh, that Allah placed him in your care, to love, to forgive and to care for. Remember, all the times he was loving, forgiving, or caring for you, especially important to remember when he is acting in a way outside of norm).
We have a tendency as women to forget the good things people do for us…
We as women don’t allow different kinds of love from our men…paying the bills, getting you gas, changing your tires…those are his flowers to you.
Quotable quote: “Cut up the paid electricity bills into a bouquet, put them in a vase, and imagine them as flowers for you from your husband.”
3. Do you have the gift of reading in between the lines? Then you must know that angry outbursts mean “I miss you, I feel neglected and ignored.” Respond to what is meant, not what is said. Reassure him.
Majority of time these outbursts are because women are not sexually available to their husbands.
***Remember that intimacy is an act of worship in Islam. A woman has a built-in ability to receive attentiveness. A man does not and rejection can shatter his self-esteem and lead him to wrong. Therefore, in Islam a woman is responding and responsive.
*Sexual rejection for men hurts them so much and in such a way that they can’t relate it to us.
Haram acts in Islam…avoid completely:
**Pornography is not accepted for any reason. It needs to be addressed and taken care of immediately.
**Oral sex is not permissible.
**Anal sex is not permissible.
4. Remember when you have an argument or fight, that Allah asked you to say what is best, not what is fair, nor what is right.
Words can be said in a certain way, state, and tone. Be mindful of these things.
FIGURE YOUR HUSBAND OUT as best as you can and how to “manage” him accordingly.
5. For a successful marriage, quickly develop one of the most essential ingredients: a sense of humor. It will save your sanity and diffuse explosive situations. Learn to laugh at yourself. Think of your issues as part of a sitcom to help deal with them.
6. Remember that the ambience of the home may not be your duty, but it is strictly within your power and control. Make it angel-friendly. Clean, pick up, perfume it and light your house up with Quran. A house that has angels in it, is a house that is peaceful. Remember that Angel Jibreel would only
descend in Aisha’s house, which was known for exquisite cleanliness.
7. Remember to keep his faults from your family, you can forgive and forget, but they may not.
8. Do not take time, attention or money that rightfully belongs to his family away from them. It will have no barakah in it if you do. If you are lucky, you will feel close and loving to them. If it is a struggle, you get more reward. Never begrudge him, the time he spends with them.
A man who is loyal to his first family is a man you can trust with his second family.
If it’s a struggle you get rewarded more. (In this life, in the next, or what goes around comes around).
-if he is good to his mother, he will be good to you. You want him to be loyal to his family.
9. Remember that every relationship including this one is a triangle, with Allah at the top. If you obey your husband, it is Allah that you are obeying. If he lashes out at you, perhaps it is a message from Allah for something you did, unrelated to him.
10. Remember he is incomplete and unhappy without your admiration and inner praise of him. He needs you to look up to him, to believe in his ability to do things, to remind him of all the good that he is and does.
11. Remember when he seems to be the answer to all your prayers and dreams and more….he was actually sent to you to be loved, but only Allah is to be attached to. Remember in your happiest moments to feel gratitude to Allah.
12. Remember to be gentle, patient, understanding, motherly on the inside and playful on the outside. If he matters too much to you, he will be capable of hurting you. If Allah matters more to you, then all your husband’s faults will run off your skin like water off a glossy leaf.
Most importantly, remember to be yourself!