“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves that you may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts). Verily in that are Signs for those who reflect” (30: 21).
Once you get married, after all the enjoyment and happiness of the ‘Honeymoon’ period, after the nervousness of living together, after the feeling of having someone always to look after you, your habits, activities and lifestyle start becoming more routine. Perhaps now you and your spouse will not go to a restaurant for dinner as often as before, or perhaps you spend less time together, or perhaps there are other factors that lead to a much different ‘married life’ than you had imagined.
It is during this period that couples often end up getting divorced. During this period, life becomes more routine and you get accustomed to living with your spouse and continuing the things you used to do before marriage. Problems can arise during this phase of marriage that can lead to divorce. We want to highlight a few tips that can lead to a better marriage and a lasting marriage inshaAllah.
1. Be conscious of your physical appearance. Appearance may have been a key factor in why you spouse decided to marry you. Therefore, it becomes one of things you have to maintain in a marriage to keep the spark in the relationship. It is also important in a society where temptation is primarily propagated through physical appearance and to protect your spouse from this temptation is one of the reasons of marriage so it becomes necessary to keep up a physical appearance that is pleasing to your spouse. It is from the Sunnah of the Prophet saws that he used to groom himself, apply perfume etc. when he was going to his wives. So try and keep up your appearance which will include staying in shape whether by going to the gym or jogging and the clothes you wear as well as your grooming habits.
2. Be a companion by showing enthusiasm in the interests and hobbies of your spouse. If possible get your spouse involved in your interests or get involved in their interests. This will increase the bond between the two of you.
3. Be active in your Islamic community. Being active as a family in your community is of benefit to the community as well as your family. It will create an Islamic social life which will help in your marriage. It will also encourage your children to be part of the community.
4. One of the best things to do in a marriage is to admit your mistakes when you are wrong and have a forgiving attitude when your spouse is wrong. This will ease the pressure and animosity in the relationship and will allow you to work together to reach common goals.
5. Have a sense of humor and be able to laugh with each other as well as at each other.
6. Avoid dealing with the opposite sex, however if you have to work with them then have modesty around them. Marriage can get quite stressful if your spouse thinks that your attention is being diverted away from him/herself.
7. Have open communication. Communicate your feelings whether good or bad. Create an environment where you can advise each other and listen to each others opinions in order to better yourselves.
8. Live within your means. A marriage where financial problems exist, including credit card, mortgage, student loan etc. can lead quickly to headaches, fights and eventually divorce. Spend within your means and live within your means. It is from the Sunnah of the Prophet saws that he encourage people to live within their means and avoid EXCESS and EXTRAVAGANCE.
9. Respect your spouses privacy. Sometimes people need alone or personal time, make sure to give them some time alone each week, especially if signs show they need to be left alone for some time.
10. The most important rule is Don’t share personal problems with others. This can increase animosity and dissolve trust in a marriage fairly quickly. The few exceptions to this rule are problems that may be affecting your marriage (physical/verbal abuse) or your religion or your children. In that case seek the help of elder Muslim community members to try and resolve the situation.
Remember that a long lasting marriage comes through hard work and determination. Always have tawwakul (trust) in Allah subhanahu wa ta’alaa that he will guide you to the best.
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