3. Does Happily Ever After Really Exist? (Unpaid)

It’s pretty worrying to think about getting married these days. With all the divorces occurring in the world, it’s enough to make you wonder if happily ever after even exists anymore. Nonetheless, routinely entertaining this doubt will definitely influence your internal desire to marry, especially when it is coupled with a negative real life experience.

For example, maybe you witnessed a close friend divorcing her husband, and seeing her emotional rollercoaster discouraged you from wanting to marry. Or maybe you watched movies that portrayed male characters in a bad light, and these stories put a damper on your motivation to marry. Or maybe you suffered from the detriments of a bad marriage in your own childhood home, and those wounds still hurt up to this day; consequently you secretly vowed to never marry.

Now, whenever you ponder over the idea of getting married, your mind floods with negative thoughts, your anger increases, and you get turned off from the idea. It’s a recurring process that swirls around in your head, dragging you through a parade of pessimism every time you hear the word ‘marriage’.

Yet, there’s more to the story, and maybe more than you would like to admit. Underneath your anger is probably a very vulnerable feeling: fear. It could be the fear of failing at married life. It could be the fear of reliving past hurts. It could be the fear of falling out of love. It could be the fear of abuse. It could be the fear of being stuck in a lifelong disappointing relationship with your future spouse.

This fear pushes you to stay unmarried because you reason that it’s safer to stay single. It’s familiar to you, and it hasn’t caused you the harm that you’ve seen marriages cause to others around you. It seems so logical, like the right thing to do.

But what if it’s not? What if staying single is more hurtful for you? What if your fear is baseless? What if you could successfully create a happy household and a blissful marriage by learning the right relationship skills? What if your fear is really the devil in disguise whispering to you in an effort to lead you towards a way that is displeasing to Allah Most High?

 

The Truth About Marriage

It may be hard for you to believe, but the truth about marriage is that its quality is based upon choices. What you do daily will create what you live in your marriage for a lifetime. Love is a living thing, if you nurture it, it grows, but if you neglect it, it dies.

Thus, happily ever after isn’t a fairy tale; it’s a choice. It’s based on what you choose to do when feelings of dissatisfaction arise, when you don’t get your way, when problems continue to resurface, and when unexpected hard times come your way.

With most of the ‘bad’ situations that you’ve heard of, the individuals involved had the chance to choose too. Many of them were faced with the same choices that women in good marriages also face during marital upset. The difference in outcome is often a result of the choice to engage in an advantageous or disadvantageous move.

This idea could be particularly challenging for you to swallow if you were raised in a family where your parents divorced or they stayed married but continued to mistreat each other. It is always shattering for a child to grow up in unstable circumstances, while struggling to make sense of the drama, only to then become an adult and finally settle with the fact that her parents ‘messed up’.

Yet, childhood wounds can heal and they can be used as a means to grow in your deen. Many people who come from unpleasant childhood experiences have changed their lives around for the better and you have the opportunity to do the same. You don’t have to relive anyone’s mistakes; you can choose to take a different path for your own future marriage inshaAllah.

 

The Islamic Happily Ever After

It’s normal and natural for you to want to fall in love, to desire to take care of that special someone, and to hope that he will take care of you.

Allah Most High says: “And among His signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that you may dwell in tranquility with them, and He has put love and mercy between your hearts. Verily in that are signs for those who reflect.” [Qur’an 30:21]

If you ponder over this verse, you will notice that Allah Most High says that He created spouses for the purpose of the two living together in tranquility. Revelation is informing you that marriage is meant to be bliss and blessing – something that brings joy and peace into your life – as it is a means for tremendous spiritual good.

An Islamic marriage is born when two strangers come together with a pure intention to create a Muslim family for the sake of Allah. When you marry, you will swear upon the book of Allah and the sunna of the Prophet  to unite with your future husband as spiritual partners, promising your Creator that you will help each other live the deen day-in and day-out.

The secret of how to achieve this sacred atmosphere in a marriage is included in the verse too. By consistently showing love and mercy towards one another, you both will create a safe haven for yourselves and your children; a place where you will always feel protected and secure from any outside evil inshaAllah. Thus, if you want to make your future marriage a serene abode, you must make the right choices.

Begin by first clearing your mind of any lingering negative thoughts about marriage. These gloomy beliefs will unfavorably effect your ability to choose wisely.

 

Action Steps

1. For each ‘bad marriage’ story that you’ve heard, ask yourself if you really know the truth about what actually happened in that situation. Have you heard the husband’s perspective directly from him instead of by word of mouth? Have you seen how the two interacted when alone together in their home? Do you know the 100% truth of what took place in their marriage?

2. Stop hanging around women who openly speak about bad marriages. If you cannot avoid them, then change the subject whenever they talk about negative incidents.

3. Start envisioning what you think married life will entail. Write down your fantasies and dreams on a sheet of paper before proceeding to the next section.