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50 things you need to know about marital relationships

As taught by Shaykh Waleed Basyouni, Fiqh of Love

1. Great relationships don’t just happen; they are created – you have to work on it

2. If your job gets your best energy, your marriage will wither – if you only come home tired and sick, your marriage is in danger

3. One of the greatest gifts you can give your spouse is your own happiness – your spouse cannot make you happy; don’t say that you married so that she’ll make me happy or he’ll make me happy – no one will make you happy unless you make yourself happy. Happiness comes from within, so if you have problems and are depressed, you have to change yourself, no one will change you

4. It’s possible to hate and love someone at the same time

5. When you complain about your spouse to your friends, remember that their feedback is based upon distorted information – they didn’t get your spouse’s take on the situation

6. The only rules in marriage are those to which you both choose to agree (this is true after the shari’ah of course)

7. It is not conflict that destroys marriages; it is the cold, smoldering resentment that is bred by withholding – the Prophet had problems in his own house but there was no coldness afterwards – that coldness will ruin it

8. It’s not what you have got; it’s what you do with it; it’s not your beauty or your wealth or your tongue (sweet talk), but it’s how you use it.

9. If you think you’re too good for your spouse think again- this is not healthy

10. Growing up in a happy family does not ensure a good marriage; and growing up in an unhappy family does not preclude having one – it’s how you make your own marriage – impt to know that 82% of physical abusers grew up in an abusive home themselves

11. It’s never too late to repair damaged trust

12. The real issue is usually not the one you are arguing about – in arguments you skip from one subject to another and you usually miss the point

a. When you have an argument, 1: listen, 2: tell them what you understand from the argument (reemphasize on the point) 3: reintroduce your point to make sure you’re on the same track

13. Love is not just a feeling but an action that shows

14. Expectations set us up for resentment

15. Arguments cannot be avoided but destructive ones can

16. One of the greatest gifts we can give our spouse is our focused attention

17. Even people with great marriages sometimes wonder whether they might have married the wrong person – don’t feel bad if this thought comes to you then, this happens in most marriages

18. Your spouse cannot rescue you from unhappiness, but they can help you to rescue yourself

19. The cost of a lie is far greater than any advantage you think you’ll gain

20. Your opinion is not the truth. – it’s an opinion!

21. Trust takes years to establish and moments to destroy

22. Guilt-tripping will not get you what you want – shaykh: anything he does for you from feeling guilty, that’s the worst thing for you; use a positive means instead of guilt, remind him of how good something was and that will motivate him to want to do it, making someone feel guilty motivates them in a wrong way; brothers don’t tell her “all my friends wives do this and that” rather say “that meal you cooked that day was SO GOOD”

23. Don’t neglect your friends just because you have acquired a spouse – husbands and wives both need a break

24. If you think, “you’re not the person I married”, you’re probably right – no one is the same person. When you marry, your personalities melt together and you develop a new personality.

25. Resisting the temptation to prove your point will win you a lot of points

26. The spirit of Generosity is the foundation of a great relationship

27. If your spouse is being defensive, you may be giving them reason to

28. Marriage is not 50/50, it’s 100/100 relaionship

29. You can pay now or you can pay later, but the later you pay, the more penalties and interest you acquire. – if you do something wrong, you’ll have to get her gifts and apologize, just pay now

30. Marriage does require sacrifice but what you stand to gain is no doubt greater than what you are giving

31. Forgiveness isn’t a one-time event, but a process

32. Marriage alone doesn’t make you a better person but accepting its challenges does

33. Creating a marriage is like launching a rocket: once it clears the pull of gravity it takes much less energy to sustain the flight

34. A successful marriage has more to do with how you deal with your current reality, than what you experienced in the past

35. Don’t keep feelings of gratitude to yourself – express your gratitude, tell him/her thank you, jazakAllaah khayr

36. There is no greater eloquence than the silence of real listening – be a good listener

37. One of the greatest questions you can ask your spouse is: how may I best love you?

38. Marriage may stay fresh over time

39. Assumptions are fine as long as you check them out before acting upon them

40. Intention may not be the only thing, but it is the most important thing

41. Good sex doesn’t necessarily make a marriage great, but sure helps

42. Privacy won’t hurt your marriage, but secrecy will. – don’t sneak and look in their wallet and check their email; you can look in their bag to look for keys or something but don’t make it a habit

43. Possessiveness and jealousy are born out of fear, not love

44. Authenticity is contagious and habit-forming

45. If your spouse thinks something is important, it is

46. Marriage never outgrows the need for romance, ever – even the Prophet in his 60s was romantic

47. The sparkle of a new relationship is always temporary

48. There is violence in silence when it’s used as a weapon – it can be a very killing weapon; it is VERY bad to give your spouse a bad look when they are very excited, you did something worse than saying something bad

49. It’s better to focus on what you can do to make things right than on what your partner did to make things wrong

50. If you think marriage counseling is too expensive, try divorce

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