People are quick to point to the aptly named “spark” as being the problem in almost all relationships beyond the exciting wedding and honeymoon phase. Even within our Muslim community, people tend to lose the “happily ever after” feeling within first few years of marriage, and usually just chalk it up to “the spark is missing.” This, in our opinion, is a flawed concept, and shouldn’t really be affecting a Muslim. These are issues adapted from the environment that we live in where people are so used to having different partners every month that they become desensitized to the real worth of marriage and get bored of their spouses and blame it on the sparks.
Our great Khalifa Umar may Allah be pleased with him was once told by a man “I want to divorce my wife.” Umar asked the man why. He replied, ‘Because I am no longer in love with her.’ ’Umar said to him, ’Are family ties built only on love? If houses and families were to be broken on the grounds of so-called lost love, then no marriage would continue.’
We should be trying to work on these matters before it gets to divorce. Our view is that the butterflies are still there, they have just been covered by the worries of life. Remember, however, that the butterflies will and do come back. You just have to work for it. Here are a few simple steps to bringing the life back into your marriage:
Pamper Your Spouse
Many people who give relationship advice tell a man to bring his wife flowers for no reason because it reminds her that her husband was thinking of her. This is also a great tip for women. Men need to know they were missed during the day as well. During the day a woman should pick something up she knows her man will love; his favorite cookies, a sports magazine he’s been dying to read, etc. It’s not just about the man pampering his woman. The man needs pampering as well. This shows the spouse that there is still everyday romance in a marriage. This doesn’t absolve the brother of all responsibility. He should think about going beyond just flowers, maybe come home early from work one day and prepare dinner for your wife. Or better yet, make her breakfast in bed. Even something as simple as babysitting the kids without her asking will get you many a brownie points.
Make Quality Time for Your Spouse
Quality time is obviously going to be different for every couple but this could even mean just watching television together after a long day instead of going separate ways in the evening or cuddling on the couch and telling each other about the events of the day. Going for a walk together is also nice because it gets the couple out of the house, exercising and is great for a one-on-one conversation. Another thing that Muslims have is Ibadah (worship). Come up with Dua lists together, and compete to wake each other up for Qiyaam al Lail (Night Prayers). If you guys make dua for the return of the spark, there is no telling how much Allah will give you, and the spark might be greater than it ever was.
Time for Passion
Every person knows just how easy it is to come home from a long day at work, change into pajamas and fall asleep. Although this is acceptable on some nights, if it becomes the norm then it’s incredibly easy for a couple to get into a passion rut, or in some cases it becomes a chore for the sister just like her other chores. If a couple neglects maintaining, pretty soon there won’t be one. A couple must make time for this. After a few years of marriage it’s not as easy as it once was to be passionate with each other. The couple needs to make time now before there’s a rut that’s hard to get out of. This is especially true when there are kids or you live in a compound family. The best solution for this is weekend getaways or getting a hotel room, and taking the day off from work. Make sure that both parties are interested and the needs of both are being met, and no one feels used or taken advantage of. “Date Night” is something every couple should implement. This could mean anything from a nice dinner and a show to just meeting for coffee at Starbucks. The point of date night is to mix things up and take each other out for something that’s a little different. Date night could be once a week or even once a month.
In the end the spark is there, and to keep the relationship vehicle going, all it needs is regular cleaning. Please use this tips, and let us know if you have any proven technique for firing up relationships that are going through a rut.