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1, 2, 3's Of Marital Life

By Sahar Abdu
Islam Online, Cairo


My beloved brother came to me so depressed. I tried very hard to help
him and to comprehend the source of his depression and misery. I have
often felt his pain with my experience in marital relationships. My
brother is a newlywed. He worries about his failure to solve his
marital problems and daily clashes with his wife. I felt his pain as
well as his wife's. Neither of them had the chance to fully
understand how to be a husband or wife. I told him that Allah SW has
made us in constant need, with our physical, emotional and financial
needs. However, the emotional needs are the most important of these.
Allah SW says in the holy Quran it is He (SWT), "Who provides them
with food against hunger and with security against fear (of danger)."

Fulfilling these emotional needs is very important to the
establishment of a stable martial life and family. These needs
include:

The Need For Love

This is by far the most important type of need. Unfortunately,
couples have a tendency overlook it. The need for love in its general
meaning is vital for the continuation of the marital life. Therefore,
couples should renew their love continuously. The following are some
of the methods that nurture love between husbands and wives:

Do not make comparisons between the engagement period and the
marriage. It is just unfair. Both have their own conditions. Couples
frequently worry about the absence in their marriage of the intense
emotions they felt during engagement. They forget that these feelings
mature into other types of love and express themselves in much more
mature ways.

Do not surrender to life's problems and burdens. Marital life can
get complicated, especially when children enter the picture. Couples
feel the real everyday pressures of caring for their children, their
homes and their spouses. It is easy to become overwhelmed and forget
to smile or laugh.

Do not use other couples as the standard for yourselves. Husbands
and wives should absolutely refrain from making any comparisons with
other couples. For instance, the husband must not tell his wife so
and so is better than you, nor could she tell him so and so is better
than you. It offends him or her. And it is not always the case that
the other couples situation is what it appears.

Be forgiving of each other's shortcomings. Couples should look past
minor failings and concentrate instead on the positive. The focus
should be on good deeds and the encouragement of anything that
promotes harmony, respect and love.

Simplicity. Life is already complicated enough. Couples should work
to simplify it for one another. The home should be a sanctuary from
the stresses of life. The actions of the Prophet PBUH are a guide to
us in this regard.

Express your love. Couples should express their love to each other
by all means possible. They should nurture this love, strengthen it
and enjoy it. Unfortunately, some cultures do not promote the male's
explicit expressions of love because they associate manhood with
toughness. Our Prophet (PBUH) again was the most compassionate and
living husband. His gentleness with his wives is also a guide to our
relationships. This expression may be needed more and more when the
wife goes through difficult physical times, like pregnancy or
delivery. A loving touch, a gentle word, a smile, or a comforting
word are often all it takes to assure the other side of your love,
support and appreciation.


The Need For Freedom
The type of freedom needed here is a comprehensive freedom in all
aspects of life. It includes:

Financial freedom. The husband should always give his wife some
money to spend it whenever she feels necessary, even if his income is
limited. Women need to feel secure financially. This is why Islam
mandated the dowry to women.

Freedom of independent opinion. Both sides should not impose their
own opinions on the other. They should respect the independence of
the other and respect the difference in their views. Viewing the
spouse's opinion as silly or belittling it in any way does not
contribute to a healthy marital relationship.

Social freedom within the guides of the Shari'a. Men should have
full confidence in their wives when they seek to go to school, visit
family, visit friends or seek a job as long as both sides are
performing their duties toward themselves and toward the family. Both
should realize the need for restrictions on these freedoms. However,
the margin of freedom should be respected.


The Need For Success
Husbands and wives need the assistance of each other to succeed in
anything they do, even if it is simple matter. No one ought to
ridicule what the other is doing, but encourage the other to be their
best.

The Need For Change
Daily routine needs to be broken sometimes. There is a need for a
walk, a trip, a change in the house decoration, going to the park, to
the zoo, etc. These activities renew life and provide it with energy
and continuity.

Sexual Needs
Sex is natural and both sides should work hard to fulfill the needs
of the other. Couples should not shy from admitting the existence of
some sexual problems. There is no harm in that. Both should work on
them and seek sexual fulfillment. Statistics have shown that 70% of
marital problems are of sexual nature.

In conclusion my dear brothers and sisters, if love and compassion
exists between couples, they should be able to solve any problem
facing them. I pray to Allah SWT to grant all couples happiness and
prosperity. Let us all remember that life is so short and we should
enjoy it.