“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquillity in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought?”
[Quran: Chapter 30, Verse 21]
Getting married is a whirlwind of emotions and feels like a massive achievement for most when it happens. It can be difficult to envision while in the thick of it that you and your partner might not live happily ever after. However sharing your life with another individual can present many obstacles, especially if you don’t have a great deal of experience with relationships.
A marriage takes work, commitment and love. Until you are in one it’s hard to say exactly how much of each is required. The generic answer is simple … a lot of all of the above.
As with anything else in life big things like happiness & contentment do not just come knocking at your door, invite itself in and refuse to leave. A happy marriage takes effort from both parties and an openness in order to be successful.
Here are some suggestions on how to sustain your relationship and keep the love alive, inshallah!
Interaction in relationships is like a river. When communication gets obstructed, pressure mounts. Communication in a marriage about the difficult stuff is commonly avoided whether it be due to time restraints, not wishing to burden your spouse or simply trying to sidestep the drama but by doing so you end up resenting your other half.
Open communication in a marriage is important because it gives you both an opportunity to be heard and progress. Holding things in can eventually lead to a lack of enthusiasm and love in your marriage so make the time to talk!
Be husband and wife
We are so busy in life being so many things to so many people that being a wife often takes a backseat. Noone is asking you not to prioritise your children /career /home but to be mindful that you also hold the title of a wife and equally your partner holds the title of being your husband. In order to have a fruitful marriage you need to invest in it like you do with all your other relationships.
Suggestion: Take 10 minutes once a week to plan your week as a married couple. Work on a plan of how you will dedicate a part of every day to your partner (even if it is 5 minutes) and what you will do together to enhance your relationship whether that be physical, emotional or spiritual.
Eat with your partner not your phone
It is just so easy to do but that doesn’t mean we should. When did our relationship with our phone become a priority over actual human interaction. As captivating as that Netflix series may be, make a point to spend dinner and the first 30 minutes (we have to start somewhere with our addiction) in bed without technology. Over time you will find that you don’t need your phone before you sleep and realise that you have a whole other person in front of you who can help burn out that last bit of energy (with riveting conversation obviously :)).
Look somewhere else for fulfilment
Don’t seek joy only from your marriage. This is so important and especially so for us mothers who spend so much time tending to the house and the children. When your social circle is your child and husband and the only adult interaction you get is when they return from work it’s very easy to get dependent on them spending all of their free time with you. It’s hard not to feel disappointed when they are tired or want to do something else that doesn’t involve you and this is not the kind of mindset you want to fall into.
When we expect a lot from others in life, they are bound to fall short of our expectations. Having something of your own that has a social aspect whether it be going to the mosque, learning something new or simply going to work is so important. It gives you self worth and also gives you something other than the kids to talk about when the other half does come home. Don’t restrict yourself, as the world has a lot to offer, and so much to receive from all that you can provide!
All the little things
It’s not about the flashy gifts and lingerie (okay it is sometimes) but the little things you do to show your love for someone. Let your other half have a lie in, buy him his favourite sweets or just make an effort to give him a compliment once in a while. Doing nice things for others is good for them and feels good for you too.
Appreciate what you have
The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) recommended Muslims pray each of the five prayers as if it was their last. This advice can also be applied to our marriage. Imagine your last day with your spouse, interrupted by death. As morbid as this sounds, it will provide you and your significant other a brand-new appreciation of what you have and a reminder that life is short. Make the most of the time you have and be grateful.
Be humble and accept that neither of you are perfect but have qualities that you appreciate in one another. Keeping a mindset of thankfulness permits you to see the world in a different light where you can focus on the good in everything around you, including your marriage.
For those who have embarked on a new marriage how do you plan to keep the love alive? For those who have been married for many years let us know what the secret is to a happy marriage in the comments!
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