Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Happy Marriage

Tips to ensure your wife’s happiness
We should all strive to be the perfect husband, yet as human beings we are not perfect and are, therefore, prone to making mistakes. Likewise, our wives cannot be perfect and by expecting them to be so, we are merely setting ourselves up for disappointment. Knowing how to act when you have made a mistake and learning to forgive your wife for hers is essential advice for a realistic marriage. A happy marriage needs to be constantly worked at and nurtured by both spouses. Read on for some ways in which you can bring contentment to your wife.

Your wife is the closest person to you in the whole world, yet many of us show our best side to people outside the home. We make such an effort to impress and to make the right impression, yet we do not do this at home. Who is most deserving of your best side? Surely it is your spouse.
Muslim men are required by the teachings of the Qur’an and the ahadith of the Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) to show kindness to their wives. Smile when you return home, speak kind words and use positive language. Praise your wife when she pleases you and show gratitude for all she does for you. Make the most of her best points and do not dwell on those aspects of her character that may be less pleasing to you.
“A believing man should not have any malice against a believing woman. He may dislike one characteristic in her, but may find another in her which is pleasing.” [Muslim]
Unfortunately, some Muslim men, who do not have a full understanding of the Qur’an and Sunnah, believe that it is acceptable to use violence against their wives. Islam allows a symbolic beating but using an item that will not bring harm, such as a toothbrush or a handkerchief. You are not permitted to try to control your wife, intimidate her or act violently towards her. This is termed as abuse and it is punishable by law. It is also a shameful act, committed by weak individuals who are unable to control their anger.

Become your wife’s best friend, not just her husband. Spend time together doing things that you both enjoy. Share your interests and your thoughts. Be open with one another and show that you can be a trusted confidant.

Sense of humour
Have a sense of humour. Smile, have fun. Ensure that your home is a happy place. Life is hard enough so let in a little humour to ensure that any challenges you face do not get you down.

Personal appearance
Take care with your personal appearance. Keep yourself clean and make an effort to look good for your wife. Do not fall into the trap of thinking that you no longer need to make yourself attractive to her now that you are married.

Sexual relations
Respect your wife’s likes and dislikes and stick to what is halaal. Remember that foreplay is an essential part of intercourse and that intercourse is not over until your wife has been satisfied too. Do not pressure her to do anything that she does not feel comfortable with.
Never reveal your bedroom secrets to others. Intimate acts between a husband and wife should remain private.

Muslim men are told:
“Provide for them (your wives), the rich according to his income and the poor according to his means, the provision according to the custom, this is an obligation for those who act kindly.” [2:236]
Men are advised to spend generously on their wives and family, yet live within their means. Give to your wife before she needs to ask you for anything, yet do not be wasteful.

Although Islam tells us that household duties are usually the wife’s responsibilities, a little help goes a long way. The Prophet Muhammad (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) helped his wives and sets a shining example to us. Don’t expect your wife to do it all. An offer of help will be greatly appreciated by your partner, especially when she is unwell. Most of all, show your wife how much you appreciate everything she does for you.

Consulting your wife on family, household or financial matters will help to cement your relationship. Listen carefully and consider her opinion. Feeling that her views are important to you will help your wife to feel valued and increase her trust in you.

Respect for family and friends
Treat her family and friends respectfully. Pay them visits and invite them to your home. Help them out when they need it. They will do the same for you. Take time to get to know them and learn to love what your wife loves about them. Your wife will love you all the more for it!

Be careful of what you say. In the heat of the moment we often say hurtful things that we don’t really mean. A spiteful word or insult may stay with your partner for a long time. Let your anger die down first. Wait until you are alone and do not bring shame upon yourselves by arguing in the company of others.
Do not bring up past arguments or mistakes. Reopening old wounds only leads to bitterness. Leave them in the past.
Finally, always settle an argument before going to sleep. Do not allow your anger to persist into the following day as this will only make matters worse.

If you make a mistake, admit it and ask for forgiveness. Be prepared to forgive your wife’s mistakes too. Honesty is essential in a relationship. We ask Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) for forgiveness, so why not our spouses too? Forgive each other and move on.

As a husband, you should be your wife’s greatest supporter. Encourage her in her activities and give her a shoulder to lean on when she is upset. Be a counsellor and a source of inspiration to her when things go wrong.
If you have married a wife who has ambition, it is up to you to let her know that she does not have to spend her life doing housework. There have been many well-known women scholars and many women have played important roles in Islam. Allow your wife the freedom to accomplish her goals in life and your lives will be all the richer for it.

Islamic education
Help your wife to grow as a Muslim. If she was less practising than you prior to marriage, then teach her the basics of Islam, Islamic rules and Sunnah. Teach her to pray and spend time praying together. Make du’a for Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) to bless your marriage. You can encourage your wife to attend lessons or Islamic social events (halaqahs) in your community or at the masjid.
If you are on a par in your worship then devise ways in which you can further your Islamic knowledge and commitment together. This will strengthen your relationship with Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) as well as with each other.
If you have married a woman who has recently converted to Islam then you will need to be patient. Offer support and encouragement and help her with her understanding of Islam but do not try to force the pace of change. A change of faith and lifestyle is a lot to adapt to straightaway. Let her take her time and to adopt new aspects of Islam as she becomes comfortable with them.

Nurture your relationship
Keep your relationship fresh by surprising your spouse occasionally. Give little gifts, flowers or send a card. The Prophet (ṣall Allahu ʿalayhi wa sallam صلى الله عليه وسلم‎) told us that giving gifts increases mutual love. What better reason do you need?

Make your marriage an act of worship
Finally, remember that by marrying you are completing half your deen. When both spouses strive to please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى), their marriage becomes an act of worship. This will please Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Taala سبحانه و تعالى) and He will reward you with happiness and stability in your marriage.