Many of us grew up forming childhood fantasies about our dream relationship with a ‘special guy’. We played movies in our heads about what it would be like to hold him, to take care of him, to have kids with him, and to spend the rest of our lives with our version of Mr. Right.
Maybe some of us even went so far as to envision what he would look and act like: tall, handsome, intelligent, funny, but with a romantic touch. In our minds, we were the Cinderella waiting for the prince to arrive at our doorstep and lead us away to our imaginary castle in the sky.
When we met our husbands, those same expectations subconsciously lingered in our minds. We may have told ourselves that we were honestly considering our husband for what he was, but somewhere deep down inside, we were hoping that he would match up to that fairytale-version prince who we fell in love with decades ago. We chose our husbands and agreed to marry them based on the idea that those delightful daydreams would automatically manifest themselves in our marriages – that he would instantaneously understand our needs and magically prioritize our happiness over anything else in this world.
After the wedding party ended and the excitement wore down, real life kicked in and real faults began to break through the veil of shiny glitter. When our husband didn’t budge and consider our side, or when he talked in a straight-forward manner and hurt our feelings, or when he offered his services to help everyone else in the world except you-know-who, we found ourselves questioning things and asking, “Who is this guy that I married? I thought he was different!” Soon, married life doesn’t seem that appealing anymore, the doubts increase, and we wonder, “Where’s MY happily ever after?”
At this stage, some women may unknowingly resort to tactics that make their relationship sink further. They compare their relationships to their friends’ marriages, or they start acting mean towards their husbands because they believe that he’s being unfair, or they pull away from their husband’s company hoping that he’ll chase them. However, all of these reactions are NOT solutions. Rather, they are destructive behaviors that will lead to harming the marriage even further, possibly sending it on its way to the divorce court, Allah forbid.
Trust me, almost anyone who has been married for a few years has experienced similar feelings, but even if we’ve been there, we don’t have to STAY there. There are women who have successfully steered their marriages in the right direction by actively taking the initiative to mold their true dream marriage. They dropped their childhood fantasy and built their grown-up version based on the reality of their specific situation. We want to help you do the same Insha’Allah.
For each upcoming “Inspire Me” Friday’s post, we’ll be offering five enchanting pieces of advice in a five part series with the hope of steering your pumpkin carriage onto a better track Insha’Allah. AlhamduliLlah, that’s a total of 25 TayyibaatWives’ love tactics just for you.
Let’s begin by debunking common myths that women share about how men should react in their marriages. When we rely on fiction instead of truth, we set ourselves up for disappointment, which can demotivate us from making our marriages into the marvelous story that we desire Insha’Allah.
Part 1: Five Married Life Fairytales Transformed Into Reality
Fairytale #1: Your husband will become your best friend overnight.
Reality: Friendships take time to build. Even with your female friends, the one who you hold nearest and dearest is usually the one who you’ve known for longer. What keeps your bond good is that similar story that you share together, which was created by the gracious acts of kindness and love that you both invested into your relationship. Our marriages are no different. Our husbands can be our best friends too, but only after we’ve invested that same thoughtfulness into our relationship over a period of time.
To be honest, some women can be a bit cheap in this area. They will give ‘only if’ they feel like their husbands have given, but that’s a risky game to play because if we’re stuck on fairytale expectations, we may not notice the goodness that our husbands regularly contribute to our marriage. A better strategy is to make consistent moves to treat your husband like a friend, even during the times when you may feel like he is not giving, and to keep your eyes open for anything nice that your husband does, even if it’s not what you specifically had in mind. Learn more about how holding on to unrealistic expectations can damage our marriages in episode 9 of our “Find Purpose Again” Self-Paced course and read the troubleshooting guide to help you analyze your current expectations Insha’Allah.
Fairytale #2: Your husband will be a smooth talker like Romeo.
Reality: Many of us grew up watching films or reading novels that portrayed male characters as men who were madly in love, romantically wooing their Juliets with their soft tones and loving words, but that’s an extremely warped perception of reality. Most men speak in a very logical, straight-forward, upfront manner. That doesn’t mean that they’re uncaring and insensitive, but it’s just the way that they function in the world and at their jobs. Yet, our husbands can learn to speak gentler and use softer words after we teach them how through our own example. In fact, the real ‘Romeo’ in most marriages is Juliet!
Honestly, women are at a stronger advantage than men in dropping love lines because we are naturally skilled in the areas of relationships, emotions, and intimacy. We possess the charm to lighten up the room with our laughter, and we can easily captivate our husbands with our sweet talk and praise. Men need the latter just as much as we need it, if not more. When we gift our husbands with loving compliments and add a bit of sugar to our words, we will find a delicious surprise within our marriages Insha’Allah. Stay tuned for our upcoming post on the top five phrases that you can say to win your husband’s heart Insha’Allah.
Fairytale #3: Your husband will agree with your way of doing things.
Reality: Our husbands lived their own lives before meeting us, and due to their own personal background, they may prefer doing things differently to how we prefer it. While we may mentally recognize this basic principle, many of us do not emotionally accept it, and we get offended and upset when our husband doesn’t budge or acknowledge the validity of our ideas. If you’ve found yourself in this circumstance, stop assuming that your husband is ignoring the goodness of your opinion. There could be several reasons for why he doesn’t initially chime in and say he agrees, like he may be pondering over the stated possibility and remains silent while he thinks. Even if he doesn’t choose your way in the end, you are the one who ultimately decides if you will take it personally. Swap that mindset for seeing the good in whatever way he chooses and in the reasons for why he makes his decisions, like maybe he likes the challenge of doing it a different way which boosts his manhood or he feels like his idea is the best option for the entire family.
At any rate, the danger in believing that your husband should show some sort of agreement with your way is that you’ll quickly lose respect for him when he appears stubborn. The way out of this mousetrap is to express your ideas in the form of wants and needs. This way there’s no pressure for him to agree or disagree with what you said because you’re speaking from your own space by merely expressing how you feel and think. You can learn the secret TayyibaatWives’ formula in episode 7 of our “Find Purpose Again” Self-Paced course Insha’Allah.
Fairytale #4: Your husband will automatically connect with you, understand your needs, and come to your rescue.
Reality: Just like you cannot read his mind, he cannot read yours. When we wish that our husbands would develop telepathic capabilities, we are hoping for the impossible. The bright side is that even though most men cannot intuitively read us as well as our female friends, they are very good at following clear directions. If we tell them what we want and in a way that inspires them to act, they will perform Insha’Allah. Thus, it is vital that you verbally express your needs to your husband, but in a way that he is subsequently moved to help you. Stay tuned for our upcoming post on the top five phrases that you can say to inspire your knight to rescue you Insha’Allah.
Fairytale #5: Your husband will calm you down during conflict.
Reality: Hoping that prince charming will run his fingers through our hair while we are telling him that we’re upset at him for something that he did is really delusional. This doesn’t mean that hugging and cuddling cannot happen afterwards, but it’s important to realize that when your husband feels criticized, the main thing on his mind is thinking about how he is going to defend himself. He will probably want to look directly at you while speaking – and maybe even intensely – because it helps him concentrate on what’s being said. The other reason for why this wishful thinking is faulted is because in any conflict we are all struggling to just keep control over ourselves. Instead of waiting for him to make the moves, we should learn the tricks of the trade of how to stop conflict from escalating into a full-blown fight and use them as necessary. Stay tuned for our upcoming post on the top five tactics that you can use to halt escalating conflict dead in its tracks Insha’Allah.
In summary, fairytales are merely makings of the mind. As Muslims, we have something better to look forward to: eternal Paradise. Insha’Allah we’ll get there if we devote ourselves to sincerely worshipping Allah. Creating, restoring, and maintaining a happy marriage is worship. Demonstrating good akhlaq towards Allah’s creation is worship. Actively taking the first step to stopping the wrong in your relationship and turning it around for Allah’s sake is worship. We’re not losing when we take the first step towards improving our marriages. In fact, we’re more likely gaining, especially in the Hereafter. Don’t wait for the wave of a magical wand to change the direction of your life because happily ever after isn’t a fairytale; it’s a choice. Make the decision to transform your fairytale into reality today Insha’Allah.
Where’s My Happily Ever After? (5 Part Series)
Part 1: Five Married Life Fairytales Transformed Into Reality
Part 2: Five Marital Sagas That Hurt Husbands
Part 3: Five Ways To Score BIG With Your Husband
Part 4: Five Exchanges That Inspire Him To Rescue
Part 5: Five Moves That Stop Escalating Conflict
Check out this related post: Practical Tips: How to Get A Marital Makeover in 2017
© TayyibaatWives, 2017.