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In Islam: Managing Marital Relationships: PART THREE

Being yourself and being truthful are important for any marriage to succeed. If you are suppressing yourself and your desires to make your husband happy it will work for a while but in the long run it will cost you mental peace and emotional happiness.

You have already given up your family your home and your life to be with your partner. But don’t give up who you essentially are. Very often if happens that marriage is the combination of two opposites. Your husband and you have different tastes and likes and dislikes. Often you land up doing everything for his sake totally ignoring your own genuine needs. Find time to be yourself and to live for yourself. Make an effort to let you’re your husband what you like so that once in a while you get what you want. Each of us has been given different personalities by Allah. We can’t totally ignore it or give it up for someone else. If you do then you will after a point get you will feel miserable and this will affect the health of your relationship. He should love you and respect you not because you resemble him in his interests, passions, and abilities.

If you want people in your life to respect you and genuinely care for you, then you've got to lead the way.  You have got to act like someone who respects herself. So if you maintain a life that you're interested in, with a social life, a hobby or two, work commitments, exercise, whatever ... don't give up on that life the day you get married. Respect for yourself, and a healthy enjoyment of the life you're want for yourself. 

Be the kind of woman who might be prepared to be with someone new, but who is never, ever prepared to need someone new. That kind of dependency has to be both MUTUAL, and EARNED. Don’t worry that you will lose your husband if you dare to differ from him. You are his wife and he will need you.

Men cultivate masculine relationships to satisfy completely different needs than the ones that they cultivate feminine relationships for.  Men love having women in their lives, and it makes us feel great! They feel valued, desired, strong. Having a woman in their lives allows your husbands to feel like they've got something to cherish and protect (it makes them feel like they're useful and important - which is something that EVERY MAN needs to feel).

Don’t grudge him his time with his friends. He needs it and this in turn will keep your relationship healthy. A man will go to other men to fix stuff, play-fight, talk sports, hang out, or to bond with them. He should come to you when he wants to talk about his hopes and dreams.  Men need women to feel loved and nurtured. He will come to you when he wants to feel supported. Your husband wants to be with you because you’re a woman ... not necessarily because you are his best friend. So don’t try to be all things to him. If over time your relationship bonds into a great friendship then all praise is due to Allah!!

With the right woman, there is NOTHING BETTER than coming home to the love and nurturing support of someone who's both fundamentally, magically different from them... and yet at the same time, irresistibly compatible. What a combination!

You will attract your husband to you because you are an attractive person in your own right. That’s what attracted him to you in the first place and he decided to marry you. Now don’t give up your personality. Chances are you will also lose his interest. You should be comfortable with who you are and have respect for yourself.

If you're going to give all the power to MEN to make you feel better about yourself, a lot of guys are going to capitalize on that and use you.  Men are very smart. If you don’t respect yourself or are willing to give up everything to please them chances are they will not respect you or use you. Learn to hold your own and give some challenge to your husband. Don’t jeopardise the relationship by going too far. But don’t give up on values and things which are truly important to you. Such things as praying namaz on time, don’t compromise on these essentials. Or if they want you to do something haram or accompany them don’t do it for Allah’s sake!

You have to keep growing as a human being. Challenge yourself. Don't get too comfortable. Don’t get too set in your ways. Your husband is going out meeting new people and is growing. If you have gotten cushy in your comfortable life you may be setting yourself up for a stale relationship. The minute that everything is PERFECT, you're going to get protective, possessive, and jealous ... because now you've got a stake in keeping things just as they are. There's no incentive or motivation to change. You both have to grow individually and together as a couple.

Set clear boundaries for yourself. I can't stress this one enough.  Don’t let anyone override your needs. You are IMPORTANT. So you need to learn to depend on YOURSELF, and ONLY YOURSELF, for compliments and the feel-good factor. Your husbands aren't responsible for your life. YOU are responsible for your life.  Don’t become a doormat. Stand for your rights. Don’t settle for an average relationship with your husband. If you keep overriding your needs, your relationship will remain only average because in a great relationship both partners have a say. Place a value on yourself. Attractiveness isn't necessarily a physical thing. You know what's REALLY attractive? Self-confidence! People want to be around someone who's
self-confident.

A very important aspect of our personalities is our relationship with our parents. If we are not having a great relationship with them it affects every other relationship. Resolve your relationship with them. You are now grown and whatever issues you have just bury them and improve your relationship with them. It is very important for your own emotional development and well being.

If you stay stuck in the mentality of rebelling against authority, it will be like you've never grown up. A lot of women have a difficult relationship with their mothers. You ARE your mother's equal now.  You're an adult who earns her own living, has her own life and independence, and makes her own way based on her own decisions.  You're not dependent on anyone now.

As equals, your relationship with your mother can be more of a friendship if you can let it. One of mutual respect, talking about shared experiences, things you have learned, and how you too would want to do the best for your children in the same way they did for you. Your past is part of who you are and what you have grown into, and while we are shaped by the events of our past, we are by no means defined by them.  That is, unless we CHOOSE to. The choice is yours.

Some women have GREAT ideas for their lives ... but they change their minds every few months (or weeks or days).  The result?  They never accomplish anything.  People start o think of their great ideas as just that: ideas. They lack the initiative to set a plan of action to help them achieve them.

Think about it ... if you're an arrow heading for a target, then suddenly change direction to hit another target, you're going to run out of steam and drop to the ground before you manage to hit ANYTHING. Set a goal for yourself and abide by it.  Don't lay awake at night worrying if you made the right decision or whether you'd like something better. ANY decision is better than no decision at all! If the magnitude of the goal frightens you, then set smaller goals that move you along in incremental steps until you know enough to
determine whether that direction is right for you. Additionally, smaller goals are a good idea because you're more likely to achieve them. The rush of achievement from fulfilling a goal is a high like no other ... and gradually, as your confidence grows, you can start to set larger, more challenging goals. You WANT a man to complement your life. You don't NEED a man to complete it. In the next mail we’ll look at the secrets of a healthy relationship.

You'll learn what it takes to keep from doubting yourself, keep your cool in the midst of extreme life situations, and assert yourself so that no one treads on you again. We women have a very delicate role to play and need love care and affection. But first we must learn to love ourselves so that others can love us. It does not work the other way. We can’t love ourselves because others love us. We can have fruitful relationships only after we respect ourselves as humans in our own right. May Allah grant us the courage to change what we can and the wisdom to accept that which we can’t. Ameen.

 http://groups.yahoo.com/group/aawaz-e-dost/message/5437 

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