“And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put Love and mercy between your (hearts), verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” [ar-Room 30:21]
In what is one of the best pieces of marriage advice I’ve ever heard, Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan lays out a common sense explanation of the difference between the genders and how we can capitalise on these differences to build strong marriages. He uses basic pyschological principles to explain why men and women think differently and follows up with advice from the Qur’an and sunnah to prescribe behaviours that can make us better spouses to each other. After listening to his lecture, this is what I learnt:
Men’s biggest weakness is women. As soon as wives understand that God created this desire in men, they will understand that their greatest role is in supporting their husbands, and NOT to fighting them. If you are angry, he will feel angry too. Men are not as emotionally expressive as women are, so he will not tell you if your actions hurt him. If you are angry often enough, resentment will build up and over time it will spill into other areas of your relationship. All of a sudden, he will start picking on minor things such as too much salt in the food or a stain on his shirt. If this goes on long enough without being resolved, he will eventually lose interest in you and start seeking attention elsewhere. If you notice that your husband is picking on ‘small’ issues, it’s time for an honest talk with him.
Understand that a man is surrounded by temptation all day: a smile from the lady on the train, a sexy model on a billboard, kind words from the cute secretary. Instead of constantly interrogating your husband and checking his phone for potential affairs, be his rock instead. Offering something as simple as a smile will make him feel wanted, loved and appreciated.
The biggest mistake that men often make is trying to understand their wives using logic. Woman are wired to be more emotional (and that’s not a bad thing!) Women may be complicated creatures but this does not mean that you should dismiss their thoughts and feelings. Instead of arguing with her using logic, try adopting the sunnah method. When she is expresses anger, answer back with kind words and empathetic silence. Never answer back harshly or roll your eyes. A reasonable women will take silence as a sign of discomfort and will often come back to you with questions of concern and reconciliation. Also, never reprimand her for her behaviour and retort with phrases like ‘I wish you could be like the Sahabiyya.” This does nothing but make her build her defences up. If you cannot be like the Prophet (PBUH), don’t expect her to be like Lady Khadija.
Speaking of expectations, the greatest source of frustrations in marriages today is unmet expectations. We expect so much out of each other, yet we constantly fall short on delivery ourselves. If you want to receive something, you must first give it. If you want your spouse to show you love, you must be willing to give it first.
May Allah grant us tranquil marriages and blessed homes.
If you’d like to watch the video in full, please click on the link below: