Keeping the spark of love alive in marriage
I have been married for 3 years now. My wife has very harsh tongue. How can I deal with this? Please also provide practical things which I can implement to increase our bond of love. How can I be more kind to her? I have seen many marriages crumble and I definitely do not want to go the same way. I still love her very much. Please help me urgently. May Allah reward you all and make he make all your aspirations into realities. Ameen
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
You requested for advise on practical things to do in the marriage to increase the bond of love. Alhamdulillah, you have understood the objective of marriage being love and compassion as also understood from the following verse.
Allah Ta’āla says,
وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ [الروم: 21]
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.
Allah Ta’āla describes the husband and wife as a garment for one another in the following verse.
هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ ۗ [البقرة: 187]
Your wives are garments for you and you are garments for your wives.
Garments are multi-purpose they cover the body, keep the body cool in the summer and provides warmth in the winter. Likewise, they are a source of beauty and chastity. If one does not look after his garments, he does not iron them and wash the stains, the garments will no longer serve the purpose of beauty, protection and warmth.
We have to also accept the fact that no two humans can make a perfect match. The attitude of zero defect is not possible nor practical. Total compatibility is almost impossible. They will always be situations wherein either one of you will have to compromise.
The husband and wife have to bond with one another psychologically, physically, and spiritually. How can one overcome the challenges of one’s spouse and maintain harmony in one’s marriage? The following points may be useful:
✓ Fear Allah with how you deal with women.
Verily you have taken them under your wing through the permission of Allah. It is through the procedure of nikah so fear Allah with how you treat your women. Live with her in kindness, goodness, fairness in good and bad times.
✓ Respect each other.
As long as there is mutual respect and a concerted effort to help out each other – the marriage will have an optimal chance for success and happiness.
✓ Be compassionate and tolerant.
Tolerance is one of the key factors in sustaining one’s marriage. Be kind, gentle, and loving in all matters. Sacrifice your happiness for one’s spouse. Never demand one’s rights.
Remember the Hadith,
“A believer must not hate (his wife) believing woman; if he dislikes one of her characteristics, he will be pleased with another”. (Muslim)
✓ Learn how to speak to each other.
Many arguments in couples stem from poorly worded requests or statements. Simply rephrasing your words can turn an adversarial situation into a cooperative one. Be a good listener.
✓ Deal with arguments with wisdom.
When you fight back, you are only adding fuel to the fire. Watch how sweetly an argument will end when you just say sincerely, “Look, I’m sorry.” Learn to say I am sorry. Arguments between the husband and wife should be sorted out in an amicable, responsible, and mature manner. Expect, accept, and overlook her shortcomings.
Both husband and wife should trust each other in every regard. This trust should be present in every matter of life, whether it is reaching some decision, protection of property, honour, or any kind. When this trust is present between the two, on the basis of it they both can overcome any situation and enjoy a long and healthy relationship. A husband should expect and respect her jealously.
✓ Complement each other.
One of the major reasons why the marriages of today fail is the fact that the partners fail to complement each other and appreciate each other for all the good things they have. When the process of complimenting each other stops, the ultimate result is the flaws and ills surfacing which consequently lead to an unhealthy relationship, therefore, both husband and wife should and must complement each other. Praise each other for small things that you like, cooking, dress, beauty, (Be genuine in your praise, make sure you mean what you say)
✓ Anger management.
Anger is natural however one should try to control it to the best of one’s ability. Never be emotionally, mentally, or physically abusive to your spouse.
Always have the following hadith in mind,
“I guarantee a house in Jannah for one who gives up arguing, even if he is in the right”. (Abu Dawood)
✓ Comfort your spouse.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam set the example for us in an incident when Safiyyah Radhiallahu Anha was crying because, as she said, he had put her on a slow camel. He wiped her tears, comforted her, and brought her the camel.
This is another feature a marriage must have. Each spouse has to be there for the other in the good and bad times. Be gentle with one another. The wife should find comfort and solace in the husband and the husband should find warmth and love in his wife.
✓ Know each other’s feelings.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam told Hazrat Aisha Radhiallahu Anha: “I know well when you are pleased or angry with me”.
Aisha Radhiallahu Anha replied: “How you know that”?
He Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said: “When you are pleased with me you take an oath by saying “By the lord of Muhammad” but when you are angry you take an oath by saying “By the lord of Ibrahim”.
She said: You are right; I don’t mention your name.” (Bukhari)
When your spouse is down or upset, be there to console her. Sit with your spouse, speak with your spouse, listen to your spouse. Try and make your spouse smile. If the husband is always mindful of his wife’s feelings, and the wife is always mindful of the husband’s feelings, then this will assist greatly in keeping the ‘flicker’ alight.
✓ Respect his/her family.
A wife would appreciate her husband having good relations with her family. Compliment your in laws in your spouse’s presence. This will bring added love and harmony.
✓ Exchange gifts.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said,
Give gifts and you will love one another. (Tirmidhi)
Surprising one’s partner with gifts brings joy and elation to its maximum. This will keep the flame of love burning. When there is a reciprocal relationship, the marriage climbs heights.
✓ Dress up for each other.
One should try to adorn for the spouse to the best of one’s ability. It incites the inner feelings of one’s partner. Just like the husband wants his wife to look appealing and alluring, she also wants her husband to dress up for her.
Hazrat Abdullah ibn Abbas Radhiallahu Anhu said:
“I love to adorn myself and smarten up for my wife just as I desire her to adorn herself for me, for Allah Ta’āla says, ‘And [women] have rights similar to those that [men have over them which should be fulfilled] with kindness’ (Surah Al Baqarah, Verse: 228)”.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would always start with Miswak when returning home. (Abu Dawood).
This emphasises the importance on keeping oneself in a pleasing state when going to one spouse.
✓ Use perfumes.
Perfumes and fragrances enhances the mood. This leads to more affection and fondness between the couple.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam had immense love for perfumes to such an extent he would never refuse it.
✓ Have nicknames for each other.
Call your wife by the most beloved names to her, names she loves to hear.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would call Hazrat Aisha Radhiallahu Anha ‘Humairā’’. (Ibn Majah)
✓ Smile and glance at your spouse with love.
Smile! Smiling is Sadaqah. Meet your wife with a smile when you home from work. A smile automatically enhances one’s facial beauty.
Feelings between the spouses cannot be exchanged through fulfilling formal obligations or through exchanging words of love only. Rather, many of them can be exchanged through non-verbal signs such as facial expressions, tone of voice and the glances of the eyes. All these are means of emotional and psychological satisfaction.
✓ Offer him/her a morsel of food.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said “You will be rewarded for whatever you spend for Allah’s sake even if it were a morsel which you put in your wife’s mouth”. (Bukhari)
In order to maintain a high vigour of love and compassion, try to do small things such as placing a morsel in one’s spouse’s mouth. Such acts have a huge psychological impact on the mind of the spouse.
✓ Be gentle.
Actions such as opening the door for one’s wife and lifting groceries go a long way in instilling added spark to the marriage. The wife can sense her spouses love from such actions.
Consider the following hadith,
“The most complete believers are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are the best to their wives” (Tirmidhi).
✓ Play games.
Playing games with one’s spouse ignites love even more. A couple that plays together, stays together.
Consider the following incident,
Hazrat Aishah Radhiallahu ‘Anha says, ‘I was once on a journey with Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam and had a race with him. I outran Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam. [After some time] when I gained some weight, I raced him again and he beat me. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said, ‘This [win] is in exchange of that [defeat]’ (Abu Dawood).
✓ Joke with each other
Men generally like and more inclined to women who are light-hearted and have a sense of humour. Be humorous with her when she made a mistake in the kitchen, like putting too much salt or burnt her baking. Laughter is the best medicine for a long lasting and blissful marriage. Take out time just to sit with her and enjoy a light hearted discussion.
✓ Kiss your spouse often.
Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would kiss his wife regularly. Even when he Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam would be fasting, he would kiss his wife. (Ibn Majah)
Compliment your spouse often with kisses. When exiting the house, make it habit you leave by coming into contact with your spouse. When returning home, along with saying Salaam to her, show that you have missed her dearly.
✓ Use same utensils
Hazrat Aisha Radhiallahu Anha would drink from a cup. Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam would take this cup and search for the place where the lips of his beloved wife made contact. Upon finding the place where his wife drank from the cup, he would put his
lips on the very same place so that his lips have touched the place where her lips touched. (Nasai)
Treat your wife like she is the most precious pearl therefore use the same utensils whist eating to enhance the relationship between the couple.
✓ Laying on wife’s lap.
Hazrat Aisha Radhiallahu Anha mentioned that Rasulullah Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam used to lean on my lap and recite Qur’an whilst she was in menses.
Simple actions like laying on one’s wife’s lap actually reflects one’s true affections for the spouse.
✓ Have quality time together.
Generally, couples after having children do not spend quality time together. The husband sometimes feels frustrated however he does not open up regarding this. Once in a while it would be apt if the children are left with the grandparents which will make way for the couple to have quality time together. Plan a Surprise activity that your spouse likes. This will bring happiness and joy beyond words.
✓ Helping in household chores.
If the couple help each other in day to day activities, it will make one appreciate the other. Likewise, one should try his best not to demand his spouse to do things too much. Whatever one can do himself, he should do. We need to be considerate of the spouse. The wife works tirelessly all day.
Rasulullah Sallalahu Alaihi Wasallam would clean and help at home. He would see to his needs himself rather than demanding his wife. He would clean and see to his clothing himself.
✓ Turn to Allah.
Constantly recite the following Dua for a prosperous marriage,
رَبَّنَا هَبْ لَنَا مِنْ أَزْوَاجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّاتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعْيُنٍ وَاجْعَلْنَا لِلْمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا [الفرقان: 74]
“Oh, our lord! Grant us in our spouses and our children the joy of our eyes. Moreover, make us an exemplar of goodness for the God-fearing.”
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.