By Mona Ismaeil
I often hear women talking about how they made their husbands better since marrying them. How “he’s changed” and they glow with pride over the transformation. How often do you hear a woman admitting that her husband made her better? That perhaps he taught her a thing or two about life, love and the meaning of a solid, long lasting relationship? I am one of those women. I have no problem admitting that my husband did just that for me. By loving me, showing me patience and compassion he helped me to see life, love and relationships in a whole other way.
1. It’s okay to let someone into your life fully
This was hard for me. I had taken care of myself for more than 5 years before marrying and I did everything myself. For so long I wanted to keep myself separate from him in fear of giving him “control” over MY life. This is strange seeing he had fully let me into his life. He had opened all the doors and let me walk in but I was still so guarded. I guess I thought I was protecting myself but I was just doing myself a disservice. Letting someone in fully is not just about living under one roof, or sharing finances but trusting them fully to make decisions – big decisions – on your behalf.
2. Love and affection can be expressed in different ways
If you are looking for flowers, chocolates and candle lit dinners as a sign of how much your husband loves you, then I would have thought my husband didn’t love me. Those gestures did exist in the start, I won’t deny that but not so much now. With time, I learned to look for other ways he was showing how much he loves me. The more I looked, the more I realized he didn’t just love me. He appreciated me, cared for me more than he cared for himself and cherished our marriage.
I started to notice that how he showed love and affection was by how much he worked. Sounds strange but he works for OUR future. He works so I can focus on raising our children. I noticed it’s by the way he looks at me. It’s the way he pinches my cheeks or smiles at me. It’s the little gestures that take place all day, every day as opposed to a big gesture on an occasion. Lucky for me, my husband likes surprises, so I get those too!
3. Being “like him” isn’t so bad
I’d be lying if I told you my husband and I were anything alike in personality. We’re not! But as they say “opposites attract”. My husband and I are (I should say were) polar opposites. I was serious, he was all about the jokes. I’m very emotional he’s very logical. I’m a more spontaneous, he’s very calculated. Like I said we WERE polar opposites. I am not entirely sure what point we stopped being that way. At what point in the last 6 years of knowing each other did I become less sensitive to his teasing and he became more sensitive to my emotions? Sometimes, I hear things that come out of my mouth and think, that sure sounds like Mohamed but honestly I’m not sure where I end and he begins. I am grateful that I have been influenced by his many positive traits and I like to think that he has taken a great deal from me as well. Although we are our own people and we still disagree on many things, but the basis of who we are, our values, our goals and so much more have become exactly the same. That doesn’t mean we have lost ourselves to one another, it means we have grown alongside each other.
4. Spousal support is key to success
Your spouse can make or break your success. Success is defined in many ways. It can be your career, your parenting, your hobbies, your health goals, basically anything you work towards. Your spouse is the single most important person to have support you.
Think about what happens if a man is required to travel for work but his wife makes this difficult, or makes him feel bad about his decision because it will keep him away from the family. Does he move forward in his career? No. Does their relationship improve? No.
Let’s not make this just about the men and not just about careers. Think about if you enjoyed doing something, like being active, Islamic studies, book clubs, etc. but your husband is always getting in your way. He won’t watch the kids, or he asks you to do other things when you have a fitness class you want to get to. Perhaps he invites people for dinner on an evening you have a halaqa you want to attend. Will you be able to enjoy your hobbies? No. Will your goals be met? No.
No matter the goal, your spouse’s support and willingness to sacrifice is the most important things you need to succeed.
5. There are still great men in the world
It sounds cliché right from the start I know but it is the truth. In our lives we come across so many men who are bad that at some point we start to believe that that’s all that is out there. We run into cheap men, liars, sell outs, impolite men, hypocritical men, unrighteous men, and others of their kind. How often do you actually meet a good man, let alone a great man? We often are so skeptical when we meet a genuinely nice guy that we doubt their intentions. We wonder how can he possibly be THAT nice?! Most of us look at our grandfathers and fathers as the exemplars for what a “real man” is supposed to look like. How many women can truly say their husband is at that level? Times have changed men AND women. Our generation is so different. The way we view the world, life, the future, and relationships has changed. Our lives are about having more but giving less. Taking it slow, but getting out fast.
My husband taught me that a fight doesn’t mean it’s over. He has this annoying habit of getting over arguments fast and I most definitely do not! The fact that he does, has likely saved our marriage on more than one occasion. We talk things through, no matter how hard they are to address. He works hard for US. He believes fair is fair no matter who you are dealing with. He treats people with kindness, respect until they do something to deserve otherwise. He has shown me that hanging on to your principals and beliefs is what is most important in defining who you are but will not hesitate to make exceptions for his family.
We can only grow as individuals if we are willing to learn from each other. Who better to learn from than someone who loves you, cares for you and wants the very best of this world and the hereafter for you?
About the Author:
Mona Ismaeil is the Associate Editor Muslimmoms.ca. She is also an elementary teacher turned blogger and writer. Mona is the proud owner of Modern Hejab and stay-at-home mom to a sweet little girl. She loves to travel and see all the world has to offer with her family.