When married life becomes rocky…
You know what? There is nothing better in life, than a good marriage. So, when it goes bad, – there is nothing worse . The good news is: all marriages are a bit of both types.
So, when the ‘bad’ patches happen, what do you do? How do you survive through these?
The funny thing is, no one will understand. So, the best policy is to stay quiet. . (Remember, that “you are a raiment for each other” – which means, to conceal each other’s flaws from public eye. People may condemn you for your silence, but in fact, you are mostly on your own here.)
Usually, the couple knows that they’ve decided to ‘bear with it’ and stay together through thick and thin. Some couples face this situation early in marriage, others, much later in life. Some feel it during most parts of their lives and just learn to live with it.
As Greg Chapel mentions in his book Four Seasons of Love. One’s love life with one’s partner has its own seasons. When you have the ‘spring’ season of passion and love, you also get the autumn and severe winter’s cold season. How do you ‘weather’ that time in your relationship? You don’t just get up and walk away. You learn to weather the storms as smoothly as you can. Knowing, that there is a spring coming in the near future.
If you read the books which help you’ll find out that the worst thing in marriage is for one partner to have contempt towards the other. This means: to feel superior than your spouse. This often creates ripples in the relationship. The fact is that in some ways, one partner is superior and in other ways, the other one is. So, what’s the point in looking down at your spouse?
The moment trouble arises, most couples try to bail out these days. “I cannot take it.” is a common phrase heard. But when you think about it, the pain of leaving would be more than the pain of staying. So, it’s usually best to stay.
At such times, patience is all you need. Y et, believe me, patience is the greatest of all virtues, and quite tough too.
|Here’s how to be patient:
Some ‘survival tactics’ which can help during some times:
- Write five good points of your spouse in your diary or on a chit every morning, and read them as often as possible during the day.
- Start your day with ‘sadqa’ or charity. It may be a small one, and can be in any form, you can do it later in the day too.
- Praise your spouse in public and in front of him or her. (Even if you are feeling as if you are just lying!)
- Avoid annoying your spouse, especially doing things he hates, in front of him or her. In fact, its a good idea to do things which your spouse likes even when he/she is not around, so he sees it later and knows, you were thinking of him and doing your best. (Cooking favorite dishes, planning activities, inviting persons he or she likes to meet, and so on.)
- Avoid negative interchange of conversation or intonation. Just do not do it. When your partner does it, keep silent. (You can even read “Auzo billa he mina shaitanirrajim) in your heart, when he or she indulges in negativity.) Because we all know, it’s the devil that makes each one of us do or say such things. If things get bad, say the words loudly and clearly. When things get worse, take and give space. Move out of the room.
- Write down what bugs you: But then, just tear it up and throw it away, or burn it up. ( -You can make a ceremony of it, by throwing the pieces into a nearby lake or river- if you want to be dramatic!)
- Meet a specialist – a guide, mentor, psychologist, psychiatrist, spiritual guide, counselor or friend or relative who is wise and will help you.
- Use spiritual solace. It would just take ten to fifteen minutes of your time. But strengthen you for the day. Whichever religion you belong to, find someone spiritual to turn to, find one and stay connected via phone, Skype or email. Read extra ‘naffals’ or prayers daily for God’s help.
I’d like to refer to two prayers that are found in the Holy Quran. Try to include these prayers in your regular prayers:
And those who pray, “Our Lord! Grant unto us mates and offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and give us (the grace) to lead the righteous.”
– Surah 25: Furqan , Ayat 73.
Let not their speech, then, grieve thee. Verily We know what they hide as well as what they disclose.
– Surah Ya-Sin: 36: ayat 76
It may be that Allah will grant love (and friendship) between you and those whom ye (now) hold as enemies. For Allah has power (over all things); And Allah is Oft-forgiving. Most Merciful.
– Surah Al- Mumtahenah: 60, ayat 7
And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect.
– Surah Rum: 21 ayat:
9. Take a vacation for a short while, if situation gets intolerable. Otherwise, you know, that there is no concept of ‘separation’ in Islam. Sometimes it only makes matters worse. But if it is necessary to improve the situation then go ahead.
10. Read books by experts who have been through it, or experts like John Gottman, Gary Chapman, and many others. Find videos of counselors on YouTube which can help you. See, how you can apply what you learn, into your life.
11. Learn to ‘laugh it off’ sometimes. A good laugh is always better I feel. Ok, you can cry too, sometimes. But not much. Keep to the laughter bit. It is a good medicine. “Have you gone nuts?” You ask me? “No!” Try it. It really works. When you have God with you, you can laugh things off
.12. Fill your day with positive activities. You know how to make your day fruitful and productive. Get busy with more studies, or attend workshops, anything that improves your skills and knowledge and helps you interact with others.
Pamper yourself. You deserve a medal for trying to save your marriage and your home. So, give yourself all those things that you want others to give you. In short: be your own best friend.
Everything said and done, no need to become a doormat in this process. Trust God, and know that if things are turning into cruelty or violence, you are not obliged to take it. Everyone has her own threshold of tolerance. A person knows, when it is time to call it a day. Let your spouse know the limits to which he or she can go. After that, trust yourself and your God. No religion, culture or tradition can endorse situations which are continuously unbearable.
I’d recommend you to read this post by Nadiya Najib here.
Remember, you have to keep yourself whole and ready for those good times in your marriage which are sure to come very soon. Be ready for those times without any bitterness or keeping a count of any sort.
You get the message. Right? Give me a smile….
Stay blessed. 🙂
Note: All photographs courtesy Waliya Najib Photography. You can check out her page on fb for more awesome photographs.