Tips To Keep Your Marriage Thriving
Marriage is a trial and a test for couples. There are good days, and there are bad days. It is a union of two individuals who think differently, had different experiences and dealt with situations in their own way. Sometimes there are moments in a marriage that can get challenging, causing wretched arguments and constant bickering. Some couples tend to fight so often, that they become numb and want to give up on their marriage. On those days I recommend that you read this Hadith, as it will remind you of what you fight against.
Jabir reported that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: "Iblis places his throne upon water; he then sends detachments (for creating dissension); the nearer to him in rank are those who are most notorious in creating dissension. One of them comes and says: I did so and so. And he says: You have done nothing. Then one amongst them comes and says: I did not spare so and so until I sowed the seed of discord between a husband and a wife. The Satan goes near him and says: ‘You have done well. (Sahih Muslim 039:6755)
This Hadith serves as a reminder to us of the unseen force that is working on a married couple. When you acknowledge that one of Iblis's greatest success is breaking up your marriage - it will motivate you to keep fighting for it and make his evil intention unsuccessful. Understand that marriage, like parenting, is a test for us and it needs constant work. When a marriage has issues it is not necessarily a bad thing. Any genuine and sincere relationship will have problems because of the intense emotions of each partner, which affects the other profoundly. The key in any relationship is how to resolve your issues amicably and with compromise based on the love and respect that is shared.
It is crucial to tell one another often how you feel and why you love the other, and not wait for your spouse to make the first move - make it an act of charity and be the first one to express yourself. Don't wait for a response or similar reply, give your love without expecting anything in return. It will avoid feelings of disappointment and discontent. The freedom lies in giving your love freely and unconditionally.
Some Nice Things You Can Say to Your Spouse
"I love you as my wife always and forever, and that will never change inshAllah. I pray for your ease and happiness in this world, and for a sweet and everlasting Jannah for you, ameen."
"I appreciate you for the man you are - someone who has countless good traits that I adore. I appreciate the things you do as a husband and father, and for granting us a lifestyle of ease, comfort, and convenience."
"I admire you my beloved wife for the way you see to our children and me unselfishly, unconditionally and in the best way. It goes beyond and above what you need to do, and you keep improving to make it better - thank you!"
"I respect you my beloved husband for guiding our family in life and deen. For pushing us to always improve upon ourselves and to become better Muslims, so as to attain Jannah inshAllah."
Those are examples that can be tweeked to your form of communication. The point is to express your love and show your spouse that you cherish your life together,. State how much you appreciate what they do and honor their presence in your life. It makes you feel good too knowing you've made the one you care about feel valued and happy. Now go ahead and send a text or note right now to your husband or wife and make their day special!
Things to Avoid Saying to Your Spouse
1. Never say the "D" word
Make a promise to one another that you will never say the "D" word unless you mean it and are ready to do it. Promise yourself that you will not use divorce as a threat or even think about it as a solution, unless it is the absolute last resort for your marriage, and you have exhausted all other options. Even making comments to one another about leaving, such as, "If you are not happy, then leave!" can be a knife to their heart. No spouse likes to be told to leave when problems arise because it makes them feel that you don't think they are worth the fight. It makes them feel that you don't care whether they stay or go.
2. Never lie and deceive one another
Couples need to be open and honest with one another and not have secrets separating them which can cause doubt. Similarly, avoid suspicion and spying on one another if doubts arise, or if one spouse will not play by the same rules. A husband and wife are partners to one another, but they are also individuals, and each one is answerable for their actions to Allah Alone on the Day of Judgement. If you feel suspicious, ask your spouse in private, in a kind and non-accusing manner something like; "What are you working on honey?" Your partner may show you, and it's nothing, or they may not, which breeds suspicion. At that point - let it go and make a dua that it is nothing, then put your trust in Allah understanding that if you are meant to know something, He swt will make it known to you. It is not your job to monitor your spouse. Leave them to Allah and trust one other and expect the best from each other.
3. Never compliment or look at the opposite gender
I know some couples who openly express to one another who they find attractive. That is a bridge that should never be crossed and surely does not promote closeness in a relationship. Why open yourself up to pain and insecurity? We all know that there are better-looking and smarter people around, and to have it verbalized by someone you care about, is asking for trouble. Show respect towards one another and care about their feelings instead. We should lower our gaze anyway, because it is better to avoid fitna. Respecting one another is just as important as loving each other.
4. Never be too busy for one another
Don't let life get in the way of living. Don't regret being too busy to show your spouse that you care. Call, text or email one another often, and sometimes for no reason at all. Make it a duty or check it off as a chore - and do it more! It will make your spouse feel capable and supported, and give them an extra boost of confidence to keep doing their day-in-and-day-out drudgery at work and when keeping up with life. Also, it helps to remind one another that there is someone who cares about them and wants to know if they are okay by checking on their well-being.
5. Never compare your spouse to another spouse
No spouse wants to be compared to another and feel that they come up short - even if it's the truth! If another couple has something you don't, understand that you may have something they don't have. We should not take things at face value, and realize that we never know what happens behind closed doors. Comparing your spouse to another spouse is just as bad as point number 3. It is about respecting one another, loving the good in that person and accepting their faults. Tell yourself that the grass is not always greener on the other side - that is only shaytaan's whispering wanting to break you apart.
6. Never make assumptions or try to change your spouse
Why do we think we know what our spouse is thinking or feeling? Take your spouse on face value and listen to what they say - nothing more and nothing less. If sometimes they say things out of pain or anger and then say sorry, accept the apology, move on and don't hold a grudge! Assumptions can turn a problem at hand, into something way bigger than was expected. Also, ask yourself why you would want to change the person you married? Who they are is what attracted to you to them in the first place. Unless your spouse made some drastic changes after marriage, all you can do now is learn to accept them for who they are and focus on improving yourself instead. Be an example if you want to see your spouse grow in any way - that changes more people than talking ever will.
7. Never bring up past mistakes
Let sleeping dogs lie. Living in the past will fester old wounds and keep your marriage from progressing for the better if you hold on to one another's past mistakes. We are not meant to judge one another and to harp on past grievances. You need to support your spouse and help them to move on by motivating them to aim higher and not make the same mistakes. Be their coach or their cheerleader and don't be a dead weight that they dread to be around. If you happen to argue, do not dredge up other issues which add fuel to the argument and makes you both lose focus. All that will do is cause frustration, the problem will fester, and your spouse may keep on bringing it up because it never gets resolved.
8. Never insult one another
Insults are painful, long-lasting and cannot be taken back. It leaves emotional scars no matter how many times you say sorry. If you tend to spout insults in anger, then walk away and say you need time to cool off so you don't say something you will regret later. We feel as if we need to talk right here and right now all the time, rather take time away when you feel your temper rising to avoid saying the wrong words. Also, never criticize one another in front of your children - that is a big no-no! It can kill the love and drive a wedge between spouses for a long time. Losing your children's respect is not something you want to take away from your spouse, and you don't have the right to do that anyway.
Communication is the Key to a Healthy Marriage
When expressing your feelings, thoughts, frustrations or irritations, choose the right time and place to express yourself, and do it with adhab and politeness. Ensure that your spouse did not just come home, is not overly tired or hungry, under pressure or feeling down. Keep the conversation light and add humor when you can, it can change a heavy situation and make it as light as a feather. Communicate your thoughts as requests and do not make demands. Avoid yelling and never use profanity towards one another, be gracious with an extra dose of kindness. If you feel highly irritated with your spouse, think of their best trait or a time that they did something amazing to be reminded of your love for them. Loving and caring for someone means that you respect and cherish them so be considerate of your spouse's feelings and use your best behavior with them. Why do we care more about how we come across towards acquaintances than the ones we love? Next time you behave badly to your spouse, ask yourself if this is how you would talk to someone at work or a friend? If the answer is no, then don't talk to your spouse that way!
Always make dua for a successful marriage and keep it pure, pleasant, and drama-free. Life is short so enjoy each other's company. InshAllah may Allah protect our marriages and make our spouses the coolness of our eyes, ameen.