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Achieving a Strong Marriage Bond


Contributed by Juraifa


Marriage is considered an 'ibaadah, an act that is pleasing to Allah
SWT. It is in accordance with His commandments that husbands and
wives love each other and help one another to rear their children as
true servants of Allah SWT.

Most spouses start out with hopes and rosy dreams; truly committed to
making their marriage work. However, as the reality of living with a
less than perfect spouse lurks in, and as the pressures of life
builds, many individuals do not find as much satisfaction in their
relationships. All marriages change over time. However, with hard
work and dedication, people can keep their marriages strong and
enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-
lasting, satisfying marriage?

Researches indicate that the most successful marriages share some key
characteristics. These are some of the characteristics that
researchers have found to be common in successful marriages. Let's
look at each of these factors.

CHARACTERISTICS OF HAPPY AND SATISFYING MARRIAGES

1. POSITIVITY

Successful spouses have far more positive than negative interactions.
If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-
calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer.
However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that
frustrations and grievances are not getting air time and unresolved
tension is accumulating inside one or both partners.

The key is balance between the two extremes. There are many ways to
foster positivity in a marriage. Being affectionate, truly listening
to each other, taking joy in each other's achievements and being
playful are just a few examples of positive interactions that help
make marriages successful.

2. EMPATHY

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy. Empathy means
understanding a person's perspective by putting oneself in his or her
shoes. Many researchers have shown that empathy is important for
relationship satisfaction.

People are more likely to feel good about their marriage and spouse
if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives
are more content in their relationships when they perceive that their
spouses truly understand their thoughts and feelings.

3. COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses' commitment to the
relationship. When two people are truly dedicated to making their
marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that
come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts.

Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires
are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their
relationships. However, when spouses are committed to investing in
their marriage and are willing to sacrifice some of their own
preferences for the good of the relationship, they usually have high-
quality marriages.

4. ACCEPTANCE

One of the most basic needs in a relationship is acceptance. Everyone
wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their
spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more
secure and confident in their relationships.

Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept
the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change
from one another. When one person tries to force change from another,
he or she is usually met with resistance. However, research has shown
that change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect
differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance
is vital to a happy marriage.

5. MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Perhaps the most important component of successful marriages are love
and respect for each other. This may seem very obvious — why would
two people get married to someone whom they did not love and respect?
The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly
complicated, the marriage often suffers as a result.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and
neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital
that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for
each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely
that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the
Noble Qur'an and Sunnah of the Prophet SAW. InshaaAllah, married
couples will not only gain blessing and harmony from their marriages
but also benefits and rewards in the Hereafter. Ameen.