Many times we are fooled into believing that big changes come from doing one big action. We spend much of our life ‘searching’ for that big solution, and we can often feel unfulfilled when we do not find that special answer.
The truth is that a big ‘overnight’ change is pure fallacy. It’s just not the way life works, and it’s not the way people work either. Rather, small ‘overnight’ changes can be made, and this build-up of several, small changes over time leads to the huge transformation inshaAllah.
The same holds true for a marriage. By making simple modifications to our everyday interactions with our husbands, we often create the results that we truly desire in our lives. Try working on replacing bad habits with good habits one step at a time because what you decide to do with your marriage on a daily basis determines its quality.
Here are five simple things that you can do immediately to foster a change inshaAllah:
Exchange indecision for decision.
When rough times happen in our marriages, sometimes women start to have doubts about whether they want to remain being married. If we allow ourselves to listen to these passing thoughts, they can become full-blown ‘waswasa.’ This type of ‘waswasa’ is very harmful because it demotivates us from making the moves to be good wives. A relationship cannot thrive when one or both partners call it quits. If you prayed your istikhara and Allah married you to your spouse, stop doubting your marriage. The best remedy against a wavering heart is downright certainty. Make the decision that you want to stay in your marriage for ‘x,y, and z’ reasons because once we are certain about what we want, the brain actively finds ways to make it happen. In other words, from certainty resolve is born and the snowball starts to roll uphill, if you get what I mean.
Exchange frowning for smiling.
Often the way we feel shows up on our faces because our emotions very much affect our physiology. When we are caught up in a whirlwind of thoughts or frustrated by our circumstances, trying to smile seems even more depressing, but the opposite could not be truer. By merely changing our physiology – like facial expressions, posture, and pace in breathing – we can easily change our emotions. Trying to smile or laugh within the hard times can trigger positive emotions and relieve us of a lot of our heartache. Smile at yourself in a mirror and see how it feels to stare back at your happy reflection. Now smile at the world: your parents, your children, your friends, and yeah, that guy over there – your husband. What you’ll probably find is that most people – including your husband – will only smile back, which will help to knock down any immediate tension in your relationship inshaAllah.
Exchange warrior mode for sleep mode.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us that our bodies have a right over us. With all the things on our to-do-lists today, we often forget to take care of someone just as important – ourselves. Running yourself thin is not going to help you get stronger. Make time to sleep a good seven to eight hours a night. If you’re a busy mother, try getting your younger children on a strict sleeping schedule and bedtime curfews. I have heard from several friends and clients that this was a fantastic solution to their ‘lack’ of time issues. You can also try to sleep while the kids sleep or whenever you can catch a short nap. Sleeping repairs the bodies’ muscle and tissue; it also gives the brain time to regenerate. It makes us feel refreshed and prepared to live another day as a wife.
Exchange the stalemate for rules of engagement.
Take time to listen to your husband’s small talk or him sharing his dreams; it makes him feel closer to you. Couples need daily quality time together; they need to actively be a part of each other’s lives. Even a quick ten minutes in the morning and night to update each other on the day’s events can make a difference. If you don’t make your marriage a priority, it falls apart. Love is a living thing. If you nurture it, it grows. If you neglect it, it dies. And listening entails just what its dictionary definition states: to give one’s attention to a sound. Listening is not checking emails on your phone while your husband talks or interrupting him to do something else before he finishes what he intended to share. If you’re in a situation where your husband does not open up to you, try asking him what he did today. Notice that I said ‘what’ and not ‘how was your day today?’ Most men will often reply with ‘alhamduliLlah’ to the latter question, whereas when you say ‘what did you do today?’ it encourages the other party to talk about the actions that they performed, thus getting him to speak about himself more inshaAllah.
Exchange silence for a thank you.
Allah tells us that “If you are grateful, I will surely increase you.” [14:7] The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Whoever does not thank people is not thankful to Allah.” (Ahmad) Expressing gratitude is a pillar of our deen. We benefit ourselves in this world and the Next when we thank others for the kindness that they show us, no matter how small it may be. Men are also internally wired to make those under their care happy, and a simple thank you can fuel him to be the best husband ever. Even if your husband’s light switch seems to sometimes be broken, by you taking the initiative to say thank you for the sake of Allah, Allah will put blessing in it inshaAllah. Honestly, creating a culture of expressing gratitude in your marriage often comes from consistently initiating it yourself.
If you cannot do all of these tips at once, choose one to focus on for this week. When you feel like you have mastered it, move to on to another tip. The point is to start taking active steps towards shaping the atmosphere of your household into something that inspires faith, love, joy, and peace.
May Allah give us all tawfiq and marriages pleasing to Him, Most High.
© Muslima Coaching, 2016.