1. Love will never be equal. You and your spouse cannot love each other equally no matter how much you try. One will always love another more than the other. This does not mean, they love you less but it means, we all love each other different and show it differently. When attempting to love each other equally or always trying to show the same type of affection, we will feel uncomfortable because we are trying to match them for what they are giving. You should never do that. Love from the inside and what you feel is right. There is never a wrong way to love someone but there is not loving at all and this is wrong. You cannot be given love but not return it, as this will create doubt, create separation and create friction. You should love to the BEST of your ability and nothing but that. When looking for equality, especially when seeking love, it does not exist. I will love my spouse to be differently and my spouse to be will love me differently. She will show me love differently, in manners, different actions, different words and I will do the same. Keep the love strong and keep it pure. Never be ashamed to show it. Always express it.
2. Expression and actions are more important than words. When wanting to show someone love, we cannot only talk about it because speech needs to be followed by the action, in order for those actions to be fulfilled. Expression is important as this will progress your relationship in many ways. It will strengthen the love between the two of you and your relationship will grow. If your expression is limited and your words are piling up, this will also cause doubt in the person hearing those words and the person being with you. There is nothing wrong with being expressive. It will not make you less manly and it will not make you weak. Your spouse is of importance to you, not your friends. No matter what they say because of the way you are expressing yourself towards your spouse, you shouldn’t stop. Be expressive in more ways than one and be expressive through your actions as well. Your words are secondary but also important as well but not as important as your actions. The words, thank you, I love you, I appreciate you, kind words that will put your spouse heart at ease when trying to please you will further the relationship and will not make your spouse doubt themselves when doing things for you.
3. Learn to compromise. It is important to compromise with each other when things seem to be turning into arguments over who gets what and who doesn’t. The rights Allah SWT had ordained for the two of you must be respected and not be abused. Sometimes, it is difficult to love each other the way we want to when power is abused and everything the other wants, always gets. It is not correct to want your rights 100% of the time because we are created weak by nature. You are not spouses authority or as if you are a dictator or a boss. It is okay to let things go and it is okay to not always have your way. Learning to compromise will make things easy and make arguments less likely to happen. Arguments are going to happen regardless but it’ll be less likely. A lot of times arguments happen when one person wants something and the other does not give in or agree. This is the moment where you have to sit down, calm each other down and compromise in the situation. One thing though cannot be compromised is Islamic rights and Islamic obligations. Anything else, can be compromised and should be at times. If what you want cannot be agreed upon on that day, perhaps another day or sometime down the line but do not lie just to end the argument. Learn to keep your word. Compromising in a kind manner will not ruffle anyones feathers. You may want your spouse to do something but they do not want to. Maybe your spouse would like to eat something or go some where but they are tired and you pouting or putting up a fit will not make things work. Compromise in this situation, understand each other and agree to a certain day or another time within the week or month, so both of you are happy. This is one of the main ingredients to a healthy and loving relationship.
4. Go on dates, dress nice, look nice and smell nice. Why does it seem the woman is more likely to dress in the latest fashion or dress beautifully but the man seems to dress in what seems to be most comfortable? It is as if the man is not into looking his best and his wife should just accept him as he is, dressed as if he just came from work or from the gym, unclean and doesn’t smell too good. It is important to dress well and smell nice as this sets the tempo for a lot of things within the relationship. If you’ve ever dated or seen people who date, you see those couples are always dressed to impress, they smell nice, haircut is nice and everything looks good but when they are married, the belly sticks out, one of them is over weight and just dressed as if, the clothes were put together with their eyes closed. They stop going on dates and sometimes just sit at home, pretending they don’t exist and it is not important to be attractive for each other. Be attractive for another and go on dates. Do not stop dating, if you’ve dated. Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or whatever your budget can afford, go some where nice. It doesn’t even have to involve money, just alone time, so it’s a special moment for the two of you. Sometimes, it can be as simple as laying on the couch and being together. Buy the best smelling cologne or perfume and get the input of your spouse as this will be used to attract your spouse and no one else. Also get input on what should be worn as well. Ladies do know a lot about putting clothes together compared to men, so men, get your wife input on what should be worn. You want to be attractive for her and she wants to be attracted to you, no one else. You want to smell nice for her and she wants to smell nice for you.
5. Be considerate and understanding. Your spouse and you have different interests and hobbies. They cannot be around you all the time and you continuously setting time limits on them, while they are some where with people you know and trust is not right at all. This does not mean, you come home late or whenever you want but the spouse needs to understand, interests and hobbies have been there before you two got married. Sometimes separation and having a refreshed mind while you are away from the spouse will make you miss each other. Be considerate in their interests and hobbies, as this may make them relax, while they are having a stressful day. It’s important to be understanding of these things. Your spouse is not your property and does not need to be around you 24/7 working away for you, cleaning for you, cooking for you. They have apart of their life, which they want to enjoy without you as well. It is fine getting away from one another, having your own space, doing your own thing but this does not mean, you go out and cheat on your spouse while taking advantage of the freedom you are given. Your spouse has shown a lot of trust within the relationship and trusts to be with you for the rest of their life, just as the parents do as well. If your spouse decides to want some space, give them that space. Let them blow steam off or whatever is on their mind and let them come back refreshed. After they come back is when you offer your comfort and love, so they know you care about them, despite them having their own space and feeling better.
6. If you have to use a megaphone to speak, then speak and communicate. It is very hurtful to a relationship where a spouse keeps what they have on their mind trapped in a bottle because you’ve chosen to get angry or react as if you’ve heard the worst thing in the world. You and your spouse are probably best friends by now, if not, insha’Allah later on. When your spouse is afraid to speak to you about the problems they are dealing with, you are closing the doors on their behalf and opening the doors for others to come in and listen to their problems, which may lead to them cheating on you. As a spouse who has taken the trust of the parents, it is extremely, extremely, important to be open minded and listen to each other. You may not be a problem solver but you listening to the problems which bother them, will help lessen the burden, relieve stress and make the relationship grow stronger. You may not be someone who is a listener but it is important to listen to what your spouse has to say. Take some time out of your day and ask, “how was your day?” They may talk for 5 minutes and your head might want to explode but just smile. This is extremely important for the men because the women love to talk. When your spouse is having a tough time and you see them struggling to say what is on their mind, as a man, you go over to your spouse, put your arm around her ask her, what is wrong? If she says nothing, be playful with her, as this will cheer her up and eventually, later on in the day, she may want to speak to you about it. If you are soft with your spouse, your spouse will have an easy time communicating with you because the doors are wide open, you welcome conversations and you allow problems to be discussed without lighting up like a fire and burning everything in sight.
7. Spend time with each other, not on your phones, with friends or video games. Spending time with each other is another important aspect of couples having longer lasting relationships. It helps keep communication open and it strengthens the relationship. If you are the type of person who ignores their spouse, while spending the entire day on social networks, playing video games or always out with friends, once again, you are opening the doors for infidelity. Your spouse wants to be loved, cared for, listened to. They want your attention and they want to share their love with you. If you are sharing all your love with your friends, video games and social networks, when are you going to be able to have time for the one you promised to give your life to? It is important and I do use the word important a lot but it is important to spend as much as time as possible with each other. Listening to each other. Speaking to each other. Being playful. Enjoining in activities together. Playing sports with each other. There is nothing wrong with spending time at home but once again, if you are in one corner of the room and she is in the other, this isn’t spending time with each other, this is spending time alone. Go out with each other and spend a day together. Shower each other with your love. Be romantic, say sweet things to each other, even if it may sound corny. Also pray salah together, read the Quran and listen to each others recitation. Increase your knowledge about Islam. Your time is valuable and what is a better way to spend your time on someone you value, such as your spouse and grow this love together, which insha’Allah, lasts forever.
8. Finally, number 8 will be the final one for the first part in this series on “How To Love.” Be with your spouse as if tomorrow is not promised. Learn to forgive each other and always reconcile over petty arguments which do nothing but tare your relationship apart. Forgiving is important and if you cannot forgive each other and over look each others short comings, what are you counting in the relationship? All the times they messed up or all the times they’ve appreciated you, loved you and cared for you? We are human and we are going to make mistakes. We are going to be late at times. We are going to forget what we said and we are going to do many things that may upset one another but learn to over look things within the marriage. If you cannot forgive your spouse, you will carry this relationship, this marriage as if, it is the heaviest thing in the world and you will constantly remind yourself of what they have done. This is not a way to have a relationship and it is definitely not a way to love each other. Love each other with a clean and big heart because we all have one. Being able to reconcile after serious arguments or serious mistakes may make the relationship stronger and allow your spouse to appreciate you more. This does not mean, you continuously look to take advantage of your spouses kindness, forgiving ways and do things which will destroy the relationship and destroy their trust. If there is no trust, there is probably no relationship and it is very hard to earn back. It may take years. Do your best to value each other and forgive one another, if you would like this relationship to workout. Most importantly, love each other always for the sake of Allah SWT.
There is plenty more but I thought I’d write this down before my mind floats away into another part of space. Until part 2, insha’Allah. Hope you enjoyed what is written here and it helps you with your marriage or when you are married. If you enjoyed it, share it with others, so they can benefit. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. You can email me at email@example.com
(All content is copyright (©Malik Shabazz.) unless otherwise stated. All rights related to intellectual property ownership and rights remain with Malik Shabazz. Material cannot be copied or reproduced in any form without prior written consent.)
You and I are just another heartbeat. Another breath that is given another chance. Another blink of an eye to see. Why do we sit around waiting for the world to change, when we can be the influence and motivation? Why do we enjoy being a passenger in life, when we can be in the driver seat? All of us are able to create legacies of our own but we seem to be satisfied being followers instead of great leaders. We are all equipped with intelligence and brilliance but we insist or we have become reliant on others to tell us what exactly to do with our intelligence and brilliance. Have we become satisfied with mediocre? Have we allowed ourselves to become comfortable wanting to never build for ourselves? Why are we comfortable building an empire for those who have it all but never an empire for ourselves? We would rather people pave our way, instead pave our own. We would rather have a manual on life, instead of experience it itself. Humans have become so comfortable within their minds, they are afraid to expand and be unlimited potential. When faced with fear, they sit down and don’t overcome it. While all this is happening, you are dying away, Your heart has taken another beat, you’ve taken another breath and you’ve seen again. Eventually, all this will pass you by and you’ve gained nothing but empty memories and empty dreams you’ve never followed. Why settle for less when the potential in you is as vast an ocean? There is nothing better than a creator, than a leader rather than a follower. We are great, intelligent leaders, who will eventually be parents, who will have something to leave behind. Sometimes not even for our kids but for everyone else. Why would you be satisfied with your deeds, thinking they may be enough to enter you in jannah (heaven) when they may not be? Why not chase every sadaqah jariyah (good deeds that follow you after death)? We will be in need one day. This is just some food for thought. Don’t just read it but eat it, ingest it and live it to the best of your abilities because even now, you haven’t seen the best of your abilities because you are comfortable where you are, even though knowing it is not who you can become.
I’ve been thinking lately. Actually, I think a lot so its nothing out of the ordinary for me. I sit here with a very heavy piece on my chest and sometimes, it eats me up because maybe I need some closure in my life? Maybe If I write it, I can come to a conclusion in my life and that chapter closes for good? See, even now when Im thinking about writing this, Im thinking, should I write or not? Who really needs to know? The only person I should express myself to is Allah SWT, to let Him know how I feel but I am human and sometimes, the need to express yourself in a different manner where people can relate to you actually helps. There is so much on my mind that sometimes I just want to let it all go and just close those doors and never open them again. Perhaps that’s why I’ve turned to these words.
I’ve been doing my best to understand a situation in my life, actually several situations that have happened to me. Im not the person to hold onto certain things or people when they let go. Once they go, they go and that is it but how they’ve set those stages in my life to walk out willingly or unwillingly has always been something I can’t comprehend at times. Im not a complicated person. Im always very simple and easy going. Im very relaxed and chilled out. Im really down to earth and very, as the title of my blog reads “positive.”
Over the past few years of my life, I’ like many other single people have been looking to get married. Now, some people will think, “that should be easy! Look at you! A relationship and marriage expert! You know your stuff!” I wish people would see it like that but you know how people are. They see “qualifications.” Not just what job or career you hold but what culture you come from, what is your race, can you speak this language? Over the years, it’s exactly been that.
I don’t hold any college degrees. You might read my blog and think, i must’ve went to college or uni for english. Perhaps even psychology. I actually went for neither. I just love writing a lot and I just love human behaviour and psychology, that it has become one of my interests, hobbies. I actually love counselling as well, so when you come across advice on my Facebook or on this blog, its because I love helping people overcome things in their lives. When people look for these qualifications as if it makes you more fitting as a person or makes you at a higher standard, it hurts. It’s like your name is attached to a degree, which elevates your status in front of people. All it is though, is a title. People see you for your title, not for who you are and it hurts to know this.
The fact that people have a preference over what language you speak, what culture you are from, instead of how you are compatible with each other is something I cannot fathom. Never in my life, will I ever begin to understand this, ever. It’s heart breaking knowing that people have preferences over language and culture, instead of who you are as a person. As if, being culturally different or speaking a different language, which is obviously the second or first language is very alien like. Not from this world. Sometimes, I just sit back and think, If I cut your skin open and you cut mine, what colour would be underneath there? Red, of course. So we are not different at all.
My search for a spouse and the failed attempts getting married look like this:
- Your career choice is something my parents wouldn’t accept, I’d prefer you goto college so at least my parents know you are educated.
- My parents would never accept you because of your career choice. What would they think, that I am marrying this man who does this for a living?
- I can’t marry you because my mother speaks this language and I would prefer someone who would also prefer that language as well. You know? Just to make it easy on my mother but she does speak english and understand it.
- You are not African American. I’d prefer someone who is African American.
- My wali (guardian) says, since you are not pakistani/moroccan, I cannot marry you. He says, there will be a culture clash because you come from a different culture than mine. Even though, I am willing but he is my wali and he says no.
So you see how disheartening it is to read all of that, which has happened in a matter of years. Very close years. Sometimes even in the same year. What do these people expect of me? Am I not human? Do I not deserve a chance? Do I have to bow down to the dollar, get into debt over a career, change my language and then I’ll be acceptable? It’s hysterical to say the least. Thinking of these things, which are not rational to the human mind, it really brings me down sometimes because I am a person, not a title, not a language nor a culture. All those things don’t signify me as a person nor describe who I am.
The words I speak, the actions I do and the way I live my life, describe me. It hurts but when it hurts, I write about it and express which I don’t do often or at all on my blog. If you can relate, I feel your pain. No one should have to jump hurdles to be with someone they want to be with and no one should place hurdles in front of other people if they want to be with them. If you don’t want to be with another person, don’t waste their time.
So if you ever wonder why I write about marriage or relationships and give advice, its because I’ve had a shit pile I went through in my life, which I hope you don’t go through in yours. I visualize and see my marriage in this particular manner, so I share it with you. I always hope for the best in people and always accept people as they are, with a blank page and nothing else. I do wish, people would accept me as I am, instead of place me in a category, wearing a title, expecting me to be someone I am not. I’ll never sell myself to anyone wanting to be who I am not, just so they can please their family or themselves. I am an acceptable person, who is fit and capable for a relationship. I am fit for marriage and I am definitely marriage material. Am I writing this hoping I find a wife? No. I am writing this because I am hurt over this and expressing myself the best way I know how. After this, I know I’ll get closure in my life but it is very likely, a similar situation will happen again no matter what I’ve been through. People are so attached to titles, that if a person doesn’t belong to a title, that person is not acceptable. It’s life and alhumdulilah, whatever is destined for me will happen and will not avert me. Whatever wont happen, wont and that is the Will of Allah SWT. Here I am, relating to you a piece of my life that has made me become the writer, the man, I am today.