Good marriages require patience, kindness, humility, sacrifice, empathy, love, understanding, forgiveness, and hard work. Following these principles should help any marriage to improve.
By Ibrahim Bowers
Many husbands and wives treat each other like adversaries 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 husbands 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.
It is very sad that this relationship which Allah 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Work Together in the House
The Prophet is known to have helped his wives in the house. And if the Prophet was not above doing housework, modern Muslim husbands should not 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.
Do not be jealous of those who seem to be living a more luxurious life than your family. The ‘rizq” is from Allah. In order to develop the quality of contentment, look at those people who have less than you, not those who have more. Thank Allah for the many blessings in your life.
Give Your Spouse Time Alone
If your mate does not 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.
Admit Your Mistakes
When you make a mistake, admit it. When your mate makes a mistake, excuse him or her easily.