I used to interpret the saying “Marriage is not for small boys” to mean small boys in terms of age, until I visited a female mentor that has been in marriage for 47 years.
I asked, so what is the secret of your over 47 years in marriage?
Beaming, she retorted; My son, the expectations you bring into marriage will either spell its doom or success. I married my husband without expectations of enjoying his money or buying cars for me, but with time, my patience, hard work and Allah fearing attitude yielded results of getting cars, houses, taking care of our children and all that.
You see, if a married lady keeps on nagging in the house, she pushes the spirit of her husband from the home. If you make the man unhappy, you make the house uncomfortable.
So, I married without high expectations from my husband but simply to make him happy always.
Yes, for the past 47 years, I would be the first to get up from bed and the last to go back to bed. I bath the kids, do devotions with them, prepare breakfast for my husband and boil hot water for him to bath. I iron his clothes he would take to work, kiss him and wish him the best in his daily endeavours.
I asked, so then what does the man do in return? She laughed all heart and hearty and replied; You see, this is the mistake you young ones make in marriage.
IF YOU DO SOMETHING FOR YOUR HUSBAND OR WIFE AND EXPECT THE SAME REWARD FROM HIM OR HER, THIS IS WRONG!
When it becomes your attitude to only please your husband or wife always, the other person responds naturally. Indeed, if nothing touches the palm tree, it doesn’t rattle.
She continued, my son, never carry “how rich or poor your family is” into marriage. After all, you knew very well the status of your family and decided to marry that man or woman.
Love only compels/leads would-be couples into marriage but it doesn’t sustain marriage. Rather, understanding, patience, communication and most importantly, forgiveness sustain every marriage. High expectations are the symptoms of divorce in marriages.
Sometimes you hear, I want to marry a mother, a business partner, Allah fearing person etc. You cannot get all your expectations in one person. With time and depending on your relationship, you may get some. So minimise your expectations in marriage.
To cut the long story short, as too many cooks spoil the broth, she concluded on the mistakes a couple should resist at all cost in marriage:
1) Never say you have made your wife or husband somebody from a nobody. It hurts. Allah only used you as an agent for transformation, give the glory to Allah
2) Let the man be head of the home no matter the financial, economic, physical and emotional health situation prevailing in the couple’s life whilst the woman exercises diligence in the use of the tongue.
3) Having children should not be the ultimate objective in marriage. They are given to enhance your marriage. When Allah delays in giving you a child, have every reason to live a happy marital life.
4) Sexual intimacy is a major morale booster after a hard day’s stressful work. Try to be sexual beings and not “Angels” in that marriage.
5) Resort to Allah often and less to people to solve your marital disputes.
Indeed, marriage is not for small boys because small boys struggle to forgive, demand everything speedily, lack the patience to wait, have so many friends etc.
Make every effort to let that marriage work and may Allah help us.