CC ISSUE: MAR 2012 Last updated: Mar 7, 2012
Simple steps to a happy marriage
In marriage, anger is one of the hardest emotions to control. It is an emotion that can turn us into people we are not. If it takes us over, and can really harm our relationships.
What triggers this emotion within us? A big challenge for us is to avoid getting to the point of triggering anger. It is not always easy to stay calm and composed once we are faced with a situation that upsets us.
Therefore, here is a breakdown of some proactive measures in maintaining a healthy marriage.
- Find the right time: Do not save very important matters of discussion for the end of the day. You are both tired and unlike your complete selves and that can affect your behavior negatively. Also, dinnertime is for eating and sharing each others’ days, not for arguing. Instead, if there is a serious issue or concern that needs to be addressed, prepare your spouse about the topic ahead of time. Send an email or text during the day letting him/her know you want to discuss a certain issue together. Your spouse will come ready and aware of the situation and hopefully with some solutions in mind.
- Find the right place: Always discuss serious issues in private and not in front of the kids or other family members. You do not want anyone else influencing your thoughts or behavior. Also, avoid having important conversations over the phone. Important matters need to be discussed face-to-face.
- Find the right words: Now this is a tricky one. If you actually think before you talk, you can prevent a lot of damage from taking place. You should have an automatic filter in your head that removes all unnecessary comments and complaints before speaking. Avoid any name-calling or degrading. Words can be hurtful and damaging.
- Stay in the present: Prevent yourself from bringing up things from the past. It is very necessary to forgive and forget. Learn to just let it go and not bring it up again.
- Do not go to bed angry: This rule must be followed at all times in a marriage. This whole concept of the husband being in the “doghouse” or “sleeping on the couch tonight” is so counterproductive and can become destructive over time. You should always sleep in the same bed no matter how upset you are at each other. If apologies or kind words cannot be exchanged due to one’s own stubbornness, then at least do not storm out of the room or off the bed. Remain in the same room and share the same bed. When you are reminded of each others’ warmth, it will calm your nerves down.
- Be the first to end the argument: Enough said.
- Acceptance: If we learn to accept each others’ faults and focus on our spouse’s positives, the world would be a much happier place. We do not want anyone to change us so we should not try to change our spouses either.
- Gratefulness: This should be at the top of the list. Remember Allah who has blessed you with this wonderful human being as your companion and life partner. Saying “Alhumdullilah” everyday will keep shaytaan away!
Read more of Bint Shahid’s tips on surviving marriage on her blog www.tightknot.wordpress.com.