A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Excellent Tips for a Successful Marriage|
|09/08/05 at 19:08:54|
|Nurturing Marital Love |
He bounded up the stairs so energetically that it was hard for me to believe that here was a man of more than eighty years. He had the vitality of a youth. Then I learned the reason why:
Though he had gotten married back in 1947 when he was about thirty years old, he was able to say to me: “I do not recall that I ever once got angry with my wife or that she was even once annoyed with me. And if I had a headache, it was impossible for her to sleep until after I fell asleep.”
Then he said with feeling: “I can never think of going out somewhere, even to purchase some household needs, without taking her with me and holding her hand. It is as if we are newlyweds.”
When, due to a medical operation, she had become unable to bear children, he said to her: “You are more precious to me than children.”
He told me: “As long as she walks upon the Earth, I could never even think of marrying anyone else.”
That man is a good example of how devotion can last even into old age. Unfortunately, when we look at the state of the majority of people of any age, we can appreciate that his relationship is a rarity indeed, a sort of ideal.
Of course, we do not have to be held to such an ideal. Moreover, we should not go to our spouses and expect them to be like that when we ourselves have so many shortcomings.
Marriage is love and affection. Allah says: “He created for you mates from among yourselves so that you can seek comfort in them and He has placed between you affection and mercy.” [Sûrah al-Rûm: 21]
This is why each sex is drawn to the other in the first place, as if each person is looking for his missing other half.
When the wife of the famous jurist Abû Rabî`ah died, he carried out her burial himself and had to wipe the dirt from his own hands. However, when he returned home, he was overcome with grief and lamented to his Lord, his eyes filling with tears: “Now…my home has died as well. The home only lives for the woman who dwells inside it.”
Marital love requires extraordinary effort from both parties if it is to last and remain vital. The difficulty of marital love does not lie in those small disagreements that are a normal part of everyday life and that all couples have to work out. Indeed, such problems sometimes revitalize the relationship, like spice in a savory dish.
The real problem lies in three things:
1. The inability of one person to understand the other. Indeed sometimes a person even has difficulty understanding his own self.
2. The inability of a person to adapt to the partnership that is marriage and the inability to cope with the life changes that it brings. Many people expect things to remain the same as they were before.
3. The most important problem is a lack of commitment to the relationship and to making it last.
This is why it is necessary for people to understand “the rules of the game” when it comes to love.
Ten ways to achieve lasting love:
Since marital love is prone to sickness and even death, it is imperative for couples to constantly work to revitalize and preserve it.
Husbands and wives must do the following:
1. They have to get in the habit of saying things that are positive, like offering compliments and like making little prayers for each other.
A husband could say to his wife: “If I were sent back to the days of my youth, I would not choose for a wife anyone besides you.” Of course, the wife can easily say something similar to her husband.
Affectionate words have an effect, especially on women. They have, indeed, often been the weapons used by unscrupulous men to gain access to what is not theirs.
Sweet words arouse a woman’s heart. A husband should take care to say them to his wife before someone else does.
2. Husbands and wives have to get into the habit of doing those little things that mean so much. If a man comes home to find his wife asleep, he can cover her and tuck her into bed.
A husband can give his wife a call from work just to say hello and to let her know that he is thinking about her.
If a wife finds that her husband has fallen asleep, she can give him a little kiss on the forehead, even if she thinks that he will not be aware of it. Indeed, on some level his senses are working even though he is asleep and he may very well be aware of it.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) emphasized the value of these little things, “…even the morsel of food that you place in your wife’s mouth…” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
It may very well be that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was alluding to the expenditure of a man for his wife’s needs. Nonetheless, the Prophet (peace be upon him) chose to express it in the way he did for a reason. Most importantly, this is the way the Prophet peace be upon him) conducted himself with his family.
This type of behavior is governed by the tastes of the people involved. It may take some getting used to, but it really does not take a lot of effort.
A person who is not accustomed to such things may feel embarrassed just hearing about them and may prefer to leave matters the way they are rather than try to change his behavior and do things that he might see as ridiculous.
Still, we must be willing introduce new habits into our lives if we do not want our problems to go on forever.
3. The husband and wife must set aside time to talk to each other. They should talk about the past; reminisce about the good times. Talking about them keeps them fresh in our minds as if they had happened only yesterday. They should talk about the future and share their hopes and their plans. They should also talk about the present, both the good and bad of it, and discuss different ways to solve their problems.
4. Keeping close physical contact is good for the relationship. This is not just for times of intimacy, but at all times, like when sitting in the lounge or walking down the street. This is regardless of the fact that there are still men in our society who are ashamed to have people see them walking in public with their wives at their sides.
5. Emotional support should be guaranteed whenever it is required. When the wife is pregnant or on her monthly period, she may need her husband to lend her a little moral support. He should take her mental state into consideration. Medical experts attest to the fact that when women go through pregnancy, menstruation, or postpartum bleeding, they suffer from psychological stress that can aversely affect their behavior. It is at times like these that a woman needs her husband’s support. She needs him to let her know how much she means to him and how much he needs her in his life.
Likewise, the husband might fall ill or come under a lot of difficulties. The wife must take these things into consideration. If people want their relationship to last, they must let each other feel that support.
6. There have to be some material expressions of love. Gifts should be given, sometimes without there being any occasion for it, since a pleasant surprise is always welcome. A good gift is one that expresses feelings of affection. It does not have to be expensive, but it has to be appropriate for the other’s tastes and personality; something that will be cherished.
7. The husband and wife have to learn how to be more tolerant of each other and overlook one another’s shortcomings. It should become a habit to forget about the little mistakes of daily life and not even bring them up. Silence in these trivialities is a sign of noble character.
A woman said to `Â’ishah: “When my husband comes home, he becomes like a cat. When he goes out, he becomes like a lion. He does not ask about what might have happened.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
Ibn Hajar explains her words as follows:
They might mean that he is very generous and tolerant. He does not make a big fuss about what goes missing of his wealth. If he brings something for the house, he does not enquire about it later on. He does not make an issue of the shortcomings that he might see at home but instead is clement and tolerant.
It is wrong to go overboard in considering the faults of others but when it comes to ourselves, keep a running account of all our good qualities.
There is a tradition that goes: “One of you sees the dust in his brother’s eyes and forgets about the dirt in his own.”
8. A husband and wife must come to an understanding when it comes to matters of mutual concern, like the raising of children, work, travel, expenses, and problems that might pose a threat to the marital relationship.
9. Husbands and wives need to do things to liven up their relationship. Each one of them can read a book or listen to a cassette that might give them some ideas on how they can revitalize their marital life and bring more meaning to it. They can vary their habits when it comes to relaxing together, dining, taking refreshments, decorating their home, and in relating to each other both openly and intimately. These are the things that keep up the excitement and interest in a relationship.
10. The relationship must be protected from negative influences that can harm it. One of the worst of these is the habit of comparing one’s spouse to others. Many men tend to compare their wives to those of other men. Some even compare them with the faces they see in magazines and on television. Women also compare their husbands with other women’s husbands in things like wealth, looks, and how many times he takes her out. All of this makes people feel bad and insufficient and it can ruin the marital relationship.
If we must compare ourselves to others, we should do so with those who have less going for them than ourselves. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Look towards those who are beneath you and do not look towards those who are above you. This is better so that you do not belittle Allah’s blessings.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]
We must accustom ourselves to living in the real world and to finding contentment in what Allah has decreed for us. We should not look longingly at what others have been given. Whatever little that we have will be a lot if we utilize it well.
It is quite possible that many who speak about their marital bliss and go on boasting about their husbands and wives are untruthful in what they say. They just like to brag.
The grass often does seem greener on the other side, but only because we are not looking at it up close.
|09/14/05 at 11:08:02|
|Re: Nurturing Marital Love|
|09/12/05 at 23:04:41|
|Tips to a Blissful Marriage |
- Taken from "Blissful Marriage" by Dr. Ekram & M. Rida Beshir
1) Never go to bed with an unsettled argument; learn to have differences without letting them affect your relationship.
2) Express opinions in a calm and polite way. Do not shout or yell. Learn to
keep your cool even at the most tense moments and learn to be kind to each other. "And forget not kindness among yourselves" (Qur’an 2:237)
3) Don’t idealize each other. Accept small mistakes as long as they don’t form bad behavioural patterns. "Every son of Adam makes mistakes, and the best of those who make mistakes, are those who make repentance" (Hadith: Al-tirmizi)
4) Consider each other’s feelings and satisfy each other’s needs; never make jokes about your spouse or his/her family if thees jokes aren’t appreciated.
5) Respect each other’s needs even when you don’t understand them. Try to fulfill them as long as they are not against Islamic junctions.
6) Help each other be better people
a. Get over needs and wishes that hold you down
b. Increase your knowledge and help each other practice what you learn
c. Get over bad habits such as negative expressions of anger, bad tempers, excessive eating, laziness, over sensitivity, etc.
7) Appreciate each other; learn to express your appreciation to your spouse for almost everything he/she does. For example:
a. This meal is so delicious. May Allah bless your hands.
b. You look beautiful in this dress.
c. I really appreciate your opinion and think it was valuable to the issue at hand.
"Learn to communicate your feelings to your spouse. Let him/her know what you feel, whether it is feeling hurt or happy, but do it in a respectful and calm way with the proper intentions to avoid hurting your spouse, not with the goal of venting your anger and getting back at him/her.
9) Expect less; give more.
10) Although teasing has its place in the marital relationship, make sure you stop if it’s not appreciated. Never mock your spouse or ridicule her/his ideas.
11) A sense of humor is a wonderful asset. Make sure to not only utilize it properly, but also respond to it in the best possible way when it is utilized by your spouse.
12) Don’t complain about problems; try to find solutions. Take steps, and then get your spouse involved.
13) Show courtesy toward each other, even in very little things. It does make a difference.
14) Always think of the family as a WE business. Forget about ME and YOU. Try to always work as a team. If you succeed, you will succeed together, and if you fail, the entire family will be affected. You will both be affected by any problems. I place this tip in the number one position because I have never seen it fail. Any couple who gains a "we" perspective eventually experiences great success in marriage. On the other hand, marriages start to shrivel when it becomes a mater of two "I’s".
15) Things are always easier said than done. The challenge is to really practice what you preach. You can only do this if you regularly engage in a process of self-search and soul cleansing.
16) Make sure that the subtle signals you are giving to your spouse don’t contradict the verbal agreements and numerous discussions you have had together about various issues. An area where this gap often occurs is between the theoretical understanding of the status of women in Islam by some husbands and the subtle signals they repeatedly give to their wives that indicate completely the opposite. For example:
a. A husband agrees during discussions with his wife on numerous occasions that it is very important for the wife to seek knowledge and increase her level of spirituality. Whenever the wife asks him to take care of the children, so she can attend the sisters’ study circle so the Imam’s sessions in the Mosque, the husband always finds an excuse, and she always ends up not attending these lessons and consequently not furthering her Islamic knowledge. In this case, the subtle signal that the husband gives his wife is that he is not serious about her religious education, which completely contradicts what he tries to convince his wife that he believes and aims for most of the time.
A wife couldn't also give her husband mixed messages, such as in the example below:
b. A wife may tell her husband, during discussions, that she is happy with her financial situation and doesn’t need more material possessions. However, she complains on the phone to her friends that she can not buy the new TV set she wants or go out with them for lunch at a their favorite restaurant. She does this often and seems very affected by this issue. This completely contradicts what she has told her husband in terms of how satisfied she is with their lifestyle.
17) Be willing to change any baseless habits you may have. You have to take the first step. "Surely Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition" (Quran 13,11)
Make sure you don’t base your judgment or behavior on culture and traditions. Always try to have Islamic values as your ultimate reference on every issue. Cultural values could be one of three categories. The first category is values agreeing with our Islamic values. These we have to treasure and use. The second category is neutral values. These we have to test with the new environment. If they are suitable, we should use them. If they aren’t suitable, we shouldn’t insist on using them just because they are part of our culture. The third category is anti-Islamic values, and these we must be fully avoided.
19) Don’t shy away from touch topics. In a marital relationships, everything should be discussed; nothing should be hidden. The trick to discuss issues in the proper way with the proper attitude. Here are some suggestions to ensure successful discussions:
a. Select the right time for the discussion, a time that is suitable for both of you
b. Be objective in your discussion, and listen to what the other spouse says
c. Try to find the points of agreement rather than emphasizing the points that differ
d. Be calm and control your emotions
e. Never use foul language or unacceptable expressions that you may regret later
f. Be solution-oriented. Don’t exaggerate previous conflict situations.
g. Always try to look to the future. Only look back at the past to avoid repeating its mistakes and to learn from previous experiences.
h. Try to always limit the discussion so that it is between yourself and your spouse. Don’t allow others to interfere without your permission. If it’s absolutely necessary to include another party, make sure that the input of this party is limited, is very specific to the issue being discussed, and is based on your invitation.
20) Turn up your listening sensitivity. In the midst of a conflict, there is absolutely nothing that improves the situation as dramatically as listening. We understand that when you are fuming about some intense issue, the last thing you want to do is listen, but when you open yourself up to what your spouse is saying, resolution has begun. It works like magic. When you are listened to, you aren’t nearly so eager to win at the other person’s expense. To be listened to makes you want to listen.
21) Make a point of praising something about your spouse at least once a day. It was said: "Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones"
|09/13/05 at 10:23:07|
|Re: Nurturing Marital Love|
|09/14/05 at 10:49:18|
|Tips for Better Marital Relationship|
Although many Muslims may right now be in failing marriages and on a fast track to divorce and its terrible consequences, there are many ways to put their marriage back on the right track if the husband and wife are sincere in their desire to reconcile. The following principles can be used by Muslims whose marriages are already in trouble or by Muslims who would like to avoid trouble in their marriage.
Examples of Negative Relationship of Husband & Wife
Many Muslim husbands and wives treat each other like adversarias rather than partners. The husband feels that he is the boss, and whatever he says goes. The wife feels that she must squeeze everything she can out of her husband. Some wives never show their husband that they are satisfied with anything he does or buys for them in order to trick him into doing and buying more. They make him feel like a failure if he does not give them the lifestyle that their friends and families enjoy. Some husbands speak very harshly to their wives, humiliate them, and even physically abuse them. Their wives have no voice or opinion in the family.
Marriage In The Eyes of Allah
It is very sad that this relationship which Allah (SWT) has established for the good has been made a source of contention, deception, trickery, tyranny, humiliation, and abuse. This is not the way marriage is supposed to be.
Allah (SWT) described marriage very differently in the Holy Quran: '. . . He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts) . . . " (Holy Quran 30:21, Yusuf Ali Translation).
Do not be a Tyrant
Regardless of whether or not Islam has made the husband the head of the household, Muslims are not supposed to be dictators and tyrants. We are taught to treat our wives well. The Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was reported to have said: 'The most perfect Muslim in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives" (From Mishkat al-Masabih, No. 0278(R) Transmitted by Tirmidhi).
Be Partners in the Decision Making Process.
Follow the principle of 'Shura," and make decisions as a family. There will be much more harmony in the family when decisions are not imposed and everyone feels that they had some part in making them.
Never be Abusive
Never be emotionally, mentally, or physically abusive to your spouse. The Prophet (SAWS) never mistreated his wives. He is reported to have said: 'How could they beat their women in daytime as slaves and then sleep with them in the night?"
Be Careful of Your Words
Be very careful what you say when you are upset. Sometimes you will say things that you would never say when you were not angry. If you are angry, wait until you calm down before continuing the conversation.
Show affection for your mate. Be kind, gentle, and loving.
Be Your Spouse's Friend
Show interest in your mate's life. Too often, we live in the same house but know nothing about each other's lives. It would be great if the husband and wife could work together for the same cause or on the same project. They could perhaps establish a husband/wife prison ministry, take care of orphans in their home, or lead an Islamic weekend class.
Show appreciation for what your spouse does for the family. Never make your husband feel that he is not doing good enough for the family or that you are not satisfied with his work or his efforts, unless, of course, he is truly lazy and not even trying to provide for the family. The Prophet (SAWS) was reported to have said: 'On the Day of Judgment, God will not look upon the woman who has been ungrateful to her husband." (where is this hadith found) Show your wife that you appreciate her. If she takes care of the house and the children, don't take it for granted. It is hard work, and no one likes to feel unappreciated.
Work Together in the House
The Prophet (SAWS) is known to have helped his wives in the house. And if the Prophet (SAWS) was not above doing housework, modern Muslim husbands shouldn't feel that they are.
Communication is Important
Communication, Communication, Communication! This is the big word in counseling. And it should be. Husbands and wives need to talk to each other. It is better to deal with problems early and honestly than to let them pile up until an explosion occurs.
Forget Past Problems
Don't bring up past problems once they have been solved.
Don't be jealous of those who seem to be living a more luxurious life than your family. The 'rizq" is from Allah (SWT). In order to develop the quality of contentment, look at those people who have less than you, not those who have more. Thank Allah (SWT) for the many blessings in your life.
Give Your Spouse Time Alone
If your mate doesn't want to be with you all the time, it doesn't mean he or she doesn't love you. People need to be alone for various reasons. Sometimes they want to read, to think about their problems, or just to relax. Don't make them feel that they are committing a sin.
Admit Your Mistakes
When you make a mistake, admit it. When your mate makes a mistake, excuse him or her easily. If possible, never go to sleep angry at each other.
Physical Relationship is Important
Be available to your mate sexually, and don't let your sexual relationship be characterized by selfishness. The Prophet (SAWS) was reported to have said: 'It is not appropriate that you fall upon your wives like a beast but you must send a message of love beforehand."
Have Meals Together
Try to eat together as a family when possible. Show the cook and the dishwasher, whether it is the husband or the wife, appreciation for his or her efforts. The Prophet (SAWS) did not complain about food that was put before him.
Be Mindful of Your discussion Topics
Never discuss with others things about your marriage that your spouse wouldn't like you to discuss, unless there is an Islamic reason to do so. Some husbands and wives, believe it or not, complain to others about their mate's physical appearance. This is a recipe for disaster. Information about your intimate relations should be kept between you and your spouse.
Many of us treat our spouses in ways that we would never treat others. With others, we try to be polite, kind, and patient. With our spouses, we often do not show these courtesies. Of course, we are usually with our spouses at our worst times --- when we are tired and frustrated after a hard day. After a bad day at the office, husbands usually come home angry and on edge. The wife has probably also had a hard day with the children and the housework. Wives and husbands should discuss this potential time bomb so that if they are short-tempered with each other during these times, they will understand the reasons rather than automatically thinking that their spouse no longer loves them.
Good marriages require patience, kindness, humility, sacrifice, empathy, love, understanding, forgiveness, and hard work. Following these principles should help any marriage to improve. The essence of them all can be summed up in one sentence: Always treat your spouse the way you would like to be treated. If you follow this rule, your marriage will have a much greater chance for success. If you discard this rule, failure is just around the corner.
Source: Sound Vision
|09/14/05 at 12:41:57|
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board