We’re often tricked into believing that men don’t have feelings. Since men are not as vocal as women are about their emotions – and they are very good at hiding their soft side behind a tough face – as wives, we can easily overlook the fragileness of our husbands’ hearts. Yet, men get hurt in their marriages just as much as women do, but their way of dealing with it may be very different.
Often a wife is bewildered when her husband ignores her, gets irritated, or appears a bit controlling after she does something that upsets him. She interprets his behavior as ‘unreasonable’ or ‘unforgiving’ and judges his subsequent reactions from this perspective. However, the more hurt a man feels, the more difficult it becomes for him to access his true feelings and express them in a tender way. When we cast judgment without first looking for the heart message underneath it all, we forego a prime opportunity to understand our husbands at a deeper level. When we stop trying to understand him, then we also miss our chance to emotionally connect with him.
We must realize that our husbands want to experience love and be emotionally in tune with us just as much as we do with them, but most men are extremely cautious about opening up, even with the ones that they love the most. Men need to feel like their hearts are in safe keeping before they can find the courage to be totally transparent with their emotions. In a marriage, this means that a husband has to be able to trust his wife with his heart.
Even though we may feel like we’re trustworthy material, wives can unknowingly engage in actions that give their husbands the opposite impression. This is because what hurts them does not hurt us, and if we don’t learn about what pains them and accept why it aches, we’ll always be a thousand steps away from forming that close heart-to-heart bond that we crave.
In Part 1 of our “Where’s My Happily Ever After?” series, we deconstructed five common fairytales that wives imagine about married life and transformed them into reality with the hope that it will help us form more realistic expectations about our marriages. In this post, we want to delve into our husband’s world and share the one thing that will hurt any married man – namely, feeling like he’s second-best.
All husbands want to be treated like they are number one and not runner-up to anything else. A man thrives off of knowing that someone else considers caring for him a priority, and the effect of this belief works miracles in a marriage. When a man knows that he’s super important to a woman, he’ll make sure to treat her like his shining queen inshaAllah.
If you’re currently looking to mold your dream marriage, then a huge part of its success will depend upon consistently sending off the message that your relationship with your husband is number one to you. Once a man is married, he doesn’t want to feel like he’s competing with anything else to win his wife’s heart. When a woman brings other factors into her relationship that in return influences her husband to feel like he’s second-best or not special to her, she mistakenly breaks his heart and creates unnecessary drama. The first time it happens, he may forgive her, but when it keeps reoccurring and turns into an endless saga, a man feels hurt, locks his heart away, and starts losing feelings for his wife. This is why we want to alert wives of some possible danger zones that they need to stay clear of if they want to have a blissful Islamic marriage inshaAllah.
Part 2: Five Marital Sagas That Hurt Husbands
“The iPhone Fantasy” Saga
Zoning out on an iPhone is pretty popular these days, but we shouldn’t zone out from our marriage in the process. The problem with addictions to the online world is that it warps reality and makes living real life extremely difficult once we log off. As we grow more comfortable with instant messaging and watching YouTube videos, communicating normally with human beings in person (like our husband) appears very unfavorable. Moreover, being hooked onto an iPhone or any other electronic device may cause a wife to neglect her Islamic duties as the CEO of her household. When we stop taking care of our houses and raising our children, it disappoints our husbands and they feel unloved; men marry women because they want their basic needs fulfilled, not ignored. Check out Episode 6 of our “Find Purpose Again” Self-Paced course for more details about a man’s basic needs inshaAllah.
The practical solution is to divorce your iPhone and marry your husband. For example, only use your smart phone during certain hours of the day or put it on silent/turn it off when you’re spending time with your husband and children. It must be mentioned that this same saga can apply to a woman who is more attached to spending time with her girlfriends, work, or extra-curricular activities than spending quality time with her husband.
“The Childhood Fit” Saga
Some of us did not receive the chance to grow up in a stable, loving household. Maybe our parents openly fought in front of us, or they were not around to raise us, or other factors were present that disturbed us. We may have developed a deep anger and resentment towards our childhood that still lives within us today. Obviously, we could not change our circumstances as children, but as adults, we now have a momentous opportunity to create a new beginning and start a different life inshaAllah.
When we hold on to our wounded past, we give it permission to injure our future. For example, sometimes we argue or react in the way that we saw our parents behaving, and it seems completely normal to us, but it may be extremely foreign and problematic for our husbands. When we are upset, we respond blindly and let out that troubled child who felt attacked and abandoned ages ago. Yet, while we’re still reliving the bad memories, our husbands are anxiously waiting for us to be present with them again. Our husbands want to be married to the mature, adult that lives within us and they feel hurt when we drag them down with any unloving behavior. We cause our marriages tremendous harm by choosing to revive our dysfunctional childhoods instead of focusing on nurturing the potential of our current relationship.
A possible solution is to make a decision to accept your childhood for what it was – the good and the bad. It’s what Allah gave you, and there is good in everything that befalls a believer alhamduliLlah. Maybe if it wasn’t for your childhood, you wouldn’t have felt a push to become religious or you wouldn’t have developed certain qualities and skills that others appreciate in you today. Accept your childhood by allowing yourself to feel the pain one last time, then listing out the reasons for what good it brought to your life in any way possible, and finally coming to peace with it by deciding to move forward for Allah’s sake inshaAllah. You owe it to yourself to not burden your soul with sorrows. Leave the past behind and strive towards eternal happiness.
“The Verbal Assault” Saga
There is good in experiencing and feeling our emotions. Our emotions help us to understand our personal limits, what we like/dislike, and what we need, which is a must for any successful relationship. However, letting our emotions run wild is a major intimacy killer. When we fail to logically analyze our emotions, our emotions twist reality and delete the good that we remember about our husbands from our minds. This distorted view then casts us into oceans of defensiveness, victimhood, and anger. Our subsequent reactions are based upon these misleading perceptions and soon we find ourselves shooting bullets out of our mouths at our husbands. While we have him cornered and think that we’ve won the game, we’ve lost the thing that matters the most: his heart. Verbal assaults make our husbands feel wrongfully attacked and unappreciated. Thus, when we permit the rush of our emotions to override our concern for our husband’s feelings, we pull our relationship under to its doom.
A possible solution is to get into the habit of taking a break to think before responding. For example, focus on the calmness of your breathing, remember your blessings, or politely leave the room. Check out this post for more tips inshaAllah. Also, learn how to get in touch with your authentic feelings and practice expressing them. Check out Episode 7 of our “Find Purpose Again” Self-Paced course for more details inshaAllah.
“The Runaway Bride” Saga
Islam encourages us to love our family members, but when a Muslim woman marries a man, Islamically, she begins a new life and is now under her husband’s care. In traditional Islamic societies, it was an accepted fact and cultural norm that when a woman married, her family automatically gave her the space to live her new life with her husband so that he could potentially develop his role as the head of the household, as well as to provide an outlet for the couple to form a good friendship. Family members would try their hardest to not interfere with the couple’s disputes, unless it was a major issue and they were asked.
Some wives make their husbands feel like second-best whenever they run back home to their parents’ house during a dispute, especially in cases where the husband asked for his wife to stay with him and she outright does not listen to what he says. Even though it may not hurt her to run back to her parents’ household, it definitely hurts him and in more ways than one; he will feel unimportant, disrespected, emasculated, and hopeless.
The trouble with runaway brides is that they miss out on the fruit of developing their relationships into something substantial. If a wife is always looking for her family to rescue her instead of her husband, he’ll never become her hero. Not to mention, we are often flooded when we’re running, and this can make us reveal things about our husbands that we may later regret, or possibly cause us to fall into the unlawful act of backbiting.
We must open our eyes to the consequences that our running away has on our marriages. Our families love us and will almost always take our side because they are instinctively more concerned about saving us than saving our marriages. This can make our husbands feel unheard and rejected. Of course, he will never say so; unfortunately, a man’s solution for this type of hurt is to be averse to his wife spending time with her parents because he feels in competition for her heart and asserts that this is the only way to avoid the repeat saga.
A possible solution is to learn how to deal with conflict in a way that unites hearts and not divides. For example, try resolving disputes between each other without involving your family, and always give your family members the best impression of your husband. Conflict is uncomfortable for everyone, but in a marriage, it’s not a completely bad thing. In fact, when handled correctly, conflict makes the marital bond stronger. (Stay tuned for more posts and audios on this topic inshaAllah.) When our husbands feel like they are number one, they will be more than happy for us to visit our parents and spend time with them inshaAllah.
“The Mrs. Know-It-All” Saga
It is natural that we are going to be more partial towards our way of doing things, but when we married our husbands, we chose to open up our lives to living with another human being. This means that there are now two options, not one. It also means that one way could be good and the other way may be better. When we are internally stuck on manifesting our own way, we may shoot down our husband’s ideas before giving them a fair chance, or when we are ‘generous’ and try his way and it supposedly backfires, we open Pandora’s box to the scary underworld of criticism, complaints, and corrections. Some wives even feel at liberty to mockingly sing the ‘I told you so’ lullaby into their husband’s ears, but all of these behaviors will only embarrass our husbands, make them feel like losers, and hurt them.
A possible solution is to be his lover and not his mother. Start by making a personal goal to experiment with one of his ways, to refrain from commenting where it went wrong, AND to compliment him in where it went right. When we are always looking for the fault, we’re often blinded to the good. We need to be open to learning something new and experiencing something different, especially within our married lives; it will only broaden our horizons and make us better Muslims inshaAllah. Check out episode 8 and 9 of our “Find Purpose Again” Self-Paced course for more details inshaAllah.
In summary, living in a land of fairytales only drives us to focus more on ourselves. When we’re so absorbed in our hurt, we may not be attentive to the fact that our husbands feel just as hurt too. We cannot keep taking cover and classifying our actions as a mistake because a mistake that keeps being repeated isn’t a mistake, it’s a choice. Marital sagas are usually not produced from one incident, but by a series of dramas. Make the decision to stop playing reruns and open life with a different act today. In the next post, we’re going to give you ideas of where to start inshaAllah.
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
© TayyibaatWives, 2017.