Muslim Marriages Gone Wrong

We are close to reaching the 4 month mark of marriage, Alhamdulillah. So we've completed 30% of our first year of marriage lol! While this may not seem like a lot of time, it is to us. I was thinking back to the first month after returning from our honeymoon, and wow-wee, have we ever come a long way. The learning curve was steep and times were challenging with Ramadan and work and school...but thankfully, we came out on the other side stronger after that one month.

So in our four month married adventure together, I've had the chance to observe what other Muslim couples do (or don't do) when they're around one another. Letterman style, here are my top 5 pet peeves!

5. The husband expects a gourmet meal every evening

There's a saying out there that a man's stomach is the way to his heart. Islamically, this should read that a man's stomach can get him into Jahannam (aka Hell). Some men are just plain spoiled by their moms at home, so when they come into marriage, they expect the same from their wives. It's so frustrating to me that men are so focused on their stomachs when eating should comprise so little time of our waking days. Not only that but how shameful that some families have barely enough to provide for themselves and here these men are sitting at home, surrounded by food like kings. And to all the wives out there, STOP giving into this insanity! There needs to be a compromise where leftovers are eaten, meals are simplified, and sometimes it's OK to cook right out of the pantry rather than making another annoying stop at the grocery store!

4. The husband walks ahead of his wife

ARRRGGGGGGG! I don't understand why I see some married men walking wayyyyyy ahead of their wives, leaving them to walk alone and sometimes even struggle with their kids. It's so disrespectful and also places Muslims in a backwards and negative light to greater society. Nowhere in the Quran does it state that men are allowed to walk ahead of their wives. And if you're not doing it intentionally, then slow the heck down and walk in unison WITH your wife. And wives, if he's not slowing down, then tell him to!

3. The not-ready-to-be-a-mother kind of wife

So yes, having a child is a tremendous blessing. Being a mother is also a tremendous blessing and is life changing for couples. Sometimes, unexpected pregnancies happen...it's up to the woman to accept this and move forward with preparing to be a mom. But more times than not, I see young women neglecting their babies to a point that their kids grow up to be spoiled brats who don't listen to anyone. And since dad is too busy working to pay attention to his child, the baby doesn't receive the nurturing environment they need. Bring the extended family into the picture to take care of the baby and you're getting yourself into all kinds of trouble with inconsistent parenting habits left and right. And there's no excuse that there aren't supports out there for new moms. Sure, while the Muslim community lacks the programming (to be honest, I don't know that we need a Muslim-specific one anyway), many Calgary agencies provide parenting preparation courses. And more important than this is that the couple needs to be in agreement with child rearing practices.

2. You Want a Date Night?!

As we've both come to learn over the past few months, quality time as a couple is MUCH needed...and this means WITHOUT any other people around. While it's important for couples to spend time with family, time alone is as important, if not MORE, than family time. We definitely feel out of sync when we don't spend quality time together. Yet I see/hear of too many couples who don't, which is unfortunate. To all the couples out there, make a mutual decision to have ONE date night a week. One night where it's just the two of you alone with nothing (including stupid smart phones) to disturb you. Go out for dinner, plan an event in the city, head out of town for a drive, etc. Do something! And truly listen to your spouse and try to remain mindful in the moment rather than think ahead to what you need to do tomorrow. And brothers, stop grumbling when your wife asks for a date!

1. The Distant Couple

This is one thing I don't get...married couples walking in public together and about three feet apart. They sit down and they're sitting apart...walking apart...etc. God forbid that they show some sort of emotion or even *GASP!!* love towards each other. What's this all about?! You've waited THIS long to be halal with your spouse and you don't even want to hold their hand? Or you don't gaze at them lovingly? We're people, not robots...and Islam is a model religion in terms of how the Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) acted with such outward affection towards his children and wives. Both men and women need affection to feel loved and appreciated, and while we individually vary with what this means, we still need it. It's an innate part of what is means to be human!

In summary, I'm not professing to be a marriage counsellor, or anything even close to that. And with such limited amount of married time under my belt, I don't even have that much experience to draw from. However, one thing is certain. My goal, each and every day, is to ensure that my husband feels loved, happy, secure, and respected. If every couple woke up in the morning with this intention in their hearts before going about their days, well then, there would be no need for this blog entry :)

Eid Mubarak!!

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