By Umm Arta
Here is a disclaimer, I am no love doctor. I also don’t have 30 years of experience in marriage. I have only been married for over a year and Allah has taught me so many things that I couldn’t possibly have learned (without His permission) throughout 20 plus years of living.
Marriage, if I may share my thoughts, puts us through a continuous crash course in life. It zaps us out of our comfort zone whether we realize it or not. It forces us to willingly be wiser, kinder and humbler. It’s the most nerve-wrecking thing we’ll ever do, but it’s totally worth it.
Biidhnillah, I want to share with you what I believe are realistic approaches on how to increase the love between a husband and wife.
Bismillah, here it goes.
1) Pray hard
Obvious, right? But most of us fail to ask sincerely from our hearts. Remember when we were kids and we wanted a toy so badly? You know, the kind of longing and yearning for that toy made us egg on our parents for it days and night as if our life depended on it? We’ve got to do the same for our marriage!
We have to keep praying to Allah with the deepest sense of longing for us and our spouses. Getting married is such a common thing to do that we forget that it is one of the greatest blessings a person can have. Pray for the smallest things and the biggest things. Nothing is too small or too big for Allah. His bounty never runs out. We just need to keep asking Allah to increase His mercy and love in our hearts and well as our spouses’.
2) Solve according to the Quran and Sunnah
When my husband and I planned to get married, my wise teacher gave us a profound advice: When in a disagreement, always go back to the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
Sounds trivial? Perhaps not when you are facing the issue at hand. However, when we take a step back, put our pride aside and look at the bigger picture on how Allah wants us to deal with the challenges in our lives, we know that the best solutions are in fact from the Qur’an and Sunnah.
When things get hard, understand that both you and your spouse are in the same team and the Qur’an and the Sunnah are your guiding compass.
Respect comes in many forms. One of them is to express empathy. Empathy is not just about understanding where our spouses are coming from but also trying to feel what they’re feeling.
Understand what’s affecting how our spouses think and feel by being sensitive to both internal factors (e.g. tiredness, hormonal changes, spiritual drive) and external factors (e.g. work, school etc.) By doing this we will know how to communicate with our spouse in ways that will be filled with mercy and respect as well as in ways that will not irritate each other. Empathy is our key to keep tension away from our marriages.
Another way of being empathetic is by giving each other the benefit of the doubt. When our other half does something that may not be to our liking, seek His help that we should approach them in the wisest way possible. Satan is always looking to break that trust between spouses. We have to maintain that trust so we may harbor more love into our marriages.
4) Always look to improve oneself
In a marriage, we would be deluded to think that we and our spouses can be like our beloved Prophet and their wives. We are so far from these perfect couples that we should be more concerned about our flaws and look forward to fixing them for our marriage’s sake.
What we can proactively do to correct ourselves is to list down our flaws to help us face some hard facts and come to terms with it. Then, we should list down things that we could do to change these flaws with realistic and progressive steps. These lists are build based on the intention of wanting to accommodate our spouses better as well as wanting to help our spouses understand what it means to accommodate us better. In order to ask Allah to make our spouses and children be the coolness of our eyes, we have to begin being the coolness of their eyes first.
5) Be romantic in your own unique way
Being romantic will mean differently to each couple. It should be something you share with each other that you simply can’t share with others. Some couples like surprises and some love things planned. The main point is that it’s important to keep things exciting. We can definitely make an effort or two that will make our spouses happy. People thrive on happiness and positive energy, let those people be our spouses.
6) Appreciate each other’s common loved ones
Often, couples find one of the most difficult things about marriage is the people that they marry together with their spouses. I don’t just mean in-laws. It could be friends, pets, and even colleagues. When two lives intertwine, we are creating new dynamics in both our lives as well as our loved ones’. We have to learn to understand them and appreciate them as they are. We also need to learn to manage expectation while at the same time accommodating those around us. Sometimes it can be a sacrifice on our part and sometimes it can be a sacrifice on their part.
Learning to love and respect each other’s loved ones will magnify each other’s good traits and this, in turn, will increase the love between spouses. Always remember that kindness begets kindness and sincerity begets sincerity.
7) Observe and benefit from other couples
How many times did we go “aww” when we listened to the love stories between our Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam and his wives radhiallahu anhuma? How many times did we look at our loving parents or other elderly couples and wonder how they manage to sustain that “happily ever after”?
It’s a great idea to learn from our Prophet’s interaction with his wives. It’s also a great idea to benefit from observing how other couples around us interact with each other. When we see from an outsider’s perspective, we get to see their good habits and we can emulate them. We can also learn from other couples’ mistakes and try to avoid those mistakes. All praise be to Allah for every person He has sent in our way as a lesson and a blessing to better ourselves as persons and couples.
8) Share food
Last but not least, share food. Food has an effect of bringing people together because it is a rizq from Ar-Razzaaq. When rizq is shared for the sake of Allah, blessings descend on the people, creating unity among them. What a blessed way to bring together a man and his spouse through shared blessings, right?
At the end of the day, our efforts mean nothing without Allah’s Mercy and Permission. I ask Allah that we keep our intentions pure and good in every action that we do, including the actions we do involving our marriage. May Allah make us understand this religion the way He wants us to understand it and may He bless all marriages that are for His Sake. Ameen.
Indeed marriage is a sacred bond, entered by two people who are both committed to their goal to fulfill the sunnah and attain the pleasure of their Creator. Looking for more tips? Rekindle your marriage with more amazing secrets and wisdom by checking out our online course, Home Sweet Home. Visit online.alkauthar.org and learn how you can bring care, compassion, and luster to your marriage.