20 Lessons I've learned in 20 Years of Marriage


Last year, I celebrated 20 years of marriage with my husband alhumdulillah. It seems like a long time, but compared to our parents, we are not even half way there. Marriage is a constant work in progress, you get to learn a lot about yourself during the process. You will make mistakes, but as long as you learn from them and move on it will be okay. It is our hope that we can keep adding to the lessons learned below with many more years to come inshallah.

The 20 Lessons I've Learned

  1. It’s okay to have a good argument from time to time. Just remember to fight fair, no name calling, no blame game, no rehashing the past (like going back 6 years and 21 months ago…)

  2. It is better for both of you if you go grocery shopping by yourself.

  3. It works best if each of you deals with their side of the family on their own. The less you expect from the other side of your family, the better it is for your relationship with your partner.

  4. Your spouse comes first. Always stand up for your spouse in front of your family. Do not complain or whine about your partner’s shortcomings with your mom or sister. You will forgive and forget but your mom or sister may inadvertently hold a grudge which may show in their attitude towards your spouse.

  5. Whatever you do, never ever compare your husband with your father! Same goes for my husband, he knows better than to compare me to his mother.

  6. Schedule regular date nights. It becomes especially important after kids.

  7. It is perfectly fine to just sit quietly beside your partner. He can be watching soccer on T.V. while you read your book.

  8. It is also acceptable to have different hobbies, you can not always be or do things together, and that's okay.

  9. It’s completely okay to spend some time alone or apart. From time to time you both need some time away from each other and the family to go refresh and recharge.

  10. Always make big decisions together.

  11. Have no secrets or lies between you.

  12. Never ever argue with each other because of others (your mom, his mom, siblings or friends).

  13. Remember you are a team. You are only strong if you work with each other instead of against each other, especially when it comes to parenting.

  14. Never argue in front of the kids. Your kids see you as role models. Show them the kind of marriage that they will also want for themselves.

  15. When one of you is mad or being moody, it is best for the other to remain calm. There is nothing more senseless than both of you yelling at the same time.

  16. There is nothing wrong in being the first to apologize. It is equally important to accept an apology wholeheartedly.

  17. There is no such thing as a perfect marriage. However, you can easily be a perfect couple. It might take some work, but it's not that hard to accomplish.

  18. Actions speak louder than words - enough said.

  19. Keep your sense of humor and remember there is a difference between laughing together, and laughing at each other. Never be guilty of doing the latter.

  20. Most importantly, express gratitude often and cherish one another!

About the Author Rahila Ovais - is a mother to four kids ranging from 20 to 5 years old. She calls both Jeddah, KSA, where she was born, and Karachi, Pakistan, where she was brought up, her homes before moving to Toronto more than twenty years ago. You can find more of her articles at www.muslimmoms.ca