The Sacred Path of Love 2016 Day 2
by Dr Sawssan Ahmed
A lot of the time, people go into relationships and marriages with really unrealistic expectations of it and this leads to the breakdown of these marriages which you see in the rising divorce rates.
It is important to know what you and your spouse’s respective love languages are so that you can understand each other better and know how to better communicate with them. If your partner prioritizes quality time together for example and you are not spending enough quality time together, that’s something that you might want to change.
If we are not purposeful about the way we communicate with each other in marriage, it can devolve into something that we do just to go through the motions, and if this happens long enough it can deteriorate into a broken relationship. Therefore, communication about your needs in a relationship is important.
The most important thing to do in marriage is to spend time with each other. When you do not spend enough time with each other, it is hard to understand your partner, be compassionate with one another, and communicate what each of you wants and expects from the other.
You need to schedule time together every week: set aside some time that you will spend together regardless of how many other things you need to do. It is better to just plan a simple activity that you’ll do together: if you plan something big you’re probably not going to have time to execute the whole thing. It could be something simple like just cooking a meal together.
You can be affectionate with your words, your actions and your attitudes. It is important in a marriage to express affection in different ways, unreservedly. The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam used to be very affectionate with his words and actions with Sayyidatina A’isha r.a.
There are two kind of people in a relationship; Masters and Disasters.
“Disaster” relationships constituted people who were in fight or flight mode when they interacted with their partners. In other words, they tended to be more aggressive and hostile towards their partners, whilst the “Master” relationships tended to be more calm and tranquil when they interacted with their partners. It isn’t that there was no conflict between the Masters, but the way they handled the conflict was more gentle and calm compared to the Disasters.
People in destructive relationships keep scanning the environment for the partner’s mistakes. They keep looking out for things to criticize, whilst those in healthy relationships tend to build a more constructive and respectful environment for their partners.
Disasters are usually distrustful, possessive and extremely jealous. When one partner always finds conflict in their partner due to this, they create a destructive relationship. Masters keep a ‘khusnuzon’ mindset towards their partners to avoid conflicts as they are mindful that syaitans are the ones that loves conflicts to happen between spouses.
How you and your partner respond to shared joy is also really predictive of the success of a relationship. If your partner shares some happy news with you, like if they’re sharing about something that they managed to accomplish, it’s important to acknowledge it fully and pay full attention to it instead of responding half-heartedly and being distracted with other things straight away.
Strong couples find moments of glory in their marriages, which are times when they derive strength from different rocky stages in the relationship. There will always be differences and conflict in marriage, but what’s more important is how we deal with them, and it has to be something that both parties in the relationship work towards, not just one.