4. What To Expect & Not Expect From Marriage (Unpaid)

Expectations can damage your marriage more than you may realize. Firstly, they set you up to feel disappointment when maybe there is nothing really to be upset over. Secondly, they limit your mind’s ability to accept your circumstances, deal with them, and look for a viable solution. Letting go of unreasonable expectations paves the way to greater marital intimacy.

If you want to feel close to your hubby, then:

 

Don’t expect life to be the same after marriage, but expect for it to change.

Life is all about change. Do you not accept that life started off as being a baby, then growing into a child, then developing as an adult, and then marrying? Do you not anticipate that the next steps are to eventually have children, age with them, and finally die as a believing Muslim inshaAllah? If you agree, then is it fair to expect for life to stay the same after marriage?

With each new stage of life that you enter, there will naturally be changes that impact your daily schedule, living circumstances, and opportunities – which will be coupled with learning valuable lessons, becoming a better person, and gaining wisdom. The changes that you encounter are not losses; they are what cause growth and transformation at an individual level.

Some women are dismayed that they cannot maintain the ‘single girl’ life that they lived before marriage. They still want to have the same freedom with their time despite their new responsibilities as a wife. This can mainly happen to women who delay marrying because they’ve spent such a long time being single and independent.

When marital conflict occurs, they dream of the ‘good old’ days. Yet, their reminiscing only opens the doors to destroying their marriage because they make the grass look greener on the other side. By dwelling on their past, married life appears much more limiting and less appealing. Some quickly forget that they were literally dying to get married and loathed being single.

Another reason that wives may find it hard to adapt to the new changes in their lives is when they move away from their family or they move to another country.  They miss the comforts of freely socializing or they feel ostracized from familiar company. However, it’s still possible to keep in touch via online mechanisms, visit when possible, make new friends, or busy oneself with the good.

Expect that married life is going to be different, but different does not mean bad. Allah is the Most Wise and He will give you what is best for your spiritual development. It could be that remaining single would never have brought you some of the gifts that you will hopefully gain, such as the favor of raising Muslim children. It could be that staying with your family or home country would have never helped you fully mature into a better Muslim.

Turn to your Lord in gratitude for the gift of a righteous spouse and spend your time daydreaming about how to make your life with him the best that it can be for the sake of Your Creator inshaAllah.

 

Don’t expect Hollywood romance, but expect ordinary life with a normal guy.

By just taking a look at the divorce rate amongst movie stars, it is enough evidence for anyone to see that these stars cannot even produce what they are paid to portray! Even so, some wives are still enchanted with the movies that they grew up watching or the romance novels that they read as bedtime stories. They are so deluded with these imaginary characters, and they wreck their marriages by comparing their husbands to Mr. Perfect (who may have already divorced twice in real life).

These films and novels script male characters as men who are 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.

It could be the case that the ideas promoted on the screen infest their impression of what marriage should involve on a regular basis. Thoughts of frequent hot sex, big gifts, and weekend thrills may cause more harm than good for some relationships. When their husband fails to take them out all the time, or is too tired to make love, or he forgets their anniversary, these wives start doubting his capabilities as a husband. Since they’re always pushing for their husband to be something that he is not, they never get to know or fully appreciate the great qualities behind that special guy living at home.

Expect that your husband may not be the suave stud on the screen. In fact, he may just be Mr. Ordinary with an ordinary life. Life with him could be exciting or it could be boring; it is really your perspective on how life should be more than there being a problem with your husband.

Expect that you can create romance in your marriage, but don’t aim for copying Hollywood. Make your objective to live life for Allah’s sake and He will make the passion stay alive in your marriage over the many years to come inshaAllah. Some of the upcoming sections will give you tips of how to practically keep the flame ablaze inshaAllah.

 

Don’t expect your credentials to help you, but expect your good character to save the day.

Some women have spent much of their time before marriage earning university degrees and working full-time. Due to their efforts, they have surpassed many people with their credentials. They may have gained skills that cause them to easily excel in certain arenas, and they may be praised highly by their colleagues for their hard work and dedication.

Yet, at the home front, their marriages are struggling. When they try to discuss things with their husband and put him in his place, fights break out or ice-cold tension takes reign.  They are so accustomed to critiquing ideas and freely saying what’s on their mind that they don’t know how to successfully communicate with their husbands.

It may also be that these women were pushed very hard by their families to be academically-inclined or skilled career women. As a result, they were never taught basic domestic skills – or maybe they know the basics, but their husband expects more from them. Some of these wives throw in the towel too early, refuse to change, and demand that their husbands ‘accept’ them for who they are.

Expect that you may need to acquire new skills in order to make your marriage succeed. It could be that the way you communicate is discouraging to your husband, and you will need to learn how to get through to him, which is included in this guide inshaAllah. It could be that how you manage a household needs improvement, and you have to put a bit more elbow-grease in your scrubbing. Just like you worked hard to gain your study and career skills, you must apply the same effort in mastering your domestic skills. A dedicated heart can learn any skill inshaAllah.

It is from good character that you take the means to please your husband to the best of your capability and to make your household a safe haven. It’s not just for your husband’s sake. Your children will need to live in a clean house and grow up in a peaceful environment too. You will only gain the reward for trying to become a better wife, and you may be surprised at how quickly your standards for yourself and your household are raised inshaAllah.

 

Don’t expect your relationship to just “work out,” but expect doing whatever it takes to “work it out.”

Everyone wants a problem-free marriage, but hardly anyone wants to admit that if handled correctly, conflict will make your marital bond stronger. Despite how strange it may sound, problems can actually be a blessing in disguise and they can be a means to increasing your emotional connection as a couple.

Some wives are avoidant whenever conflict brews. They think that if they say something, it will make matters worse. They try to hide their unhappiness, but their cover usually blows within time when enough anger builds up. Instead of forming healthy communication habits, they damage their marriages with their bad thoughts, grudges, and resentment. It’s very hard to be nice to your prince charming when you think he’s a frog.

Love is a living thing. If you nurture it, it grows but if you do not attend to it, it dies. Consequently, it’s not wise to sweep your problems under the rug. This will only demotivate you from wanting to be a good wife. Ignoring them is never a solution; problems only go away when you fix them.

Expect that you will occasionally bump heads with each other. After all, you are both strangers with distinctive personal histories, different family backgrounds, and unique life goals. There is bound to be a hiccup that arises along the way!

Don’t become disheartened when it happens either. Problems are an indication that there is room for improvement. As such, sometimes there is a need for both of you to express your disappointments. Providing that it is done in a manner that teaches and inspires your husband with how to love you, it will not hurt the intimacy but increase it inshaAllah. Surely, it is not conflict that destroys the relationship, but it’s how you deal with it.

 

Don’t expect your husband to be happy with everything you do, but expect to learn how to love him.

Some wives expect perfection from their husbands. They want their husbands to be happy with everything they do, even with things that do not make him happy. When he voices his preferences, they interpret his complaints as personal insults. In response, they attempt to silence his complaints by crying, criticizing him, or the silent treatment. They accuse him of being a micro-manager, impossible to live with, or unreasonable.

Expect to learn how to love your husband. You’re both strangers coming together for the sake of Allah – it is expected that you will have different preferences in how things should be. Don’t read too much into his comments, but use them as a way to better understand him.

When you ignore your husband’s complaints, you create bigger problems in the future. Whether you agree with him or not, he is unsatisfied with something and unless the two of you work it out, his dissatisfaction will only grow.

However, if you try your hardest to please him, you will benefit from it more than you may think. Your husband will appreciate your efforts, his concern for you will grow, he will become more accommodating in his ways, and he will be eager to please you. True love requires sacrifice of your ego for a greater purpose, but if your intention is to worship your Creator, Allah Most High will give you more than you anticipated inshaAllah.

But maybe you were not thinking that a wife’s role entailed this type of effort…