It seems like every week now we hear about a new divorce. Couples who we thought were sure to be winners because they were married for ‘x’ amount of years and with ‘x’ number of children are suddenly breaking up and moving on.
While these individuals may be entering a new stage in life, little do they know that their separation has left us feeling disappointed and sad – so much that we may even start to become curious about what occurred in their marriage, ponder over what will happen to their children, and deliberate about whose marriage will be next.
Instead of preoccupying ourselves with other people’s issues, why don’t we take these events as a moment to stop and reflect upon our own marriage? Are we in a blissful marriage ourselves? Are we actively making the consistent moves to please our husband? Are we conscious of how much our daily marital choices will play a toll on the quality of our children’s future marriages?
“Well, if everyone is giving up, why put in the effort anymore?” we may think quietly to ourselves. It’s definitely easy to lose the motivation to make our marriages work when it appears like many of our friends and family members are opting for divorce. We toy with the thought that maybe divorce is better for everyone these days. Sigh. “Do good marriages even exist anymore?” we wonder aloud.
From our research and coaching, alhamduliLlah we can confidently say, that: “YES! Good marriages do exist!”
Yet, the catch is that they are becoming fewer and fewer. This is why we’ve dedicated ourselves to hunt down women who are in good marriages, question their wife techniques, and summarize them during this blessed month of Sha’baan within our new blog series: Secrets of Successful Wives.
What we’ve found over the years of speaking with various women is that successful wives astonishingly use the same successful tactics. In this three-part series, inshaAllah we want to share how these women make their marriages loving, peaceful, and emotionally safe.
Successful wives essentially resort to a combination of mental, emotional, and physical tactics. The best part about it all is that these tactics are NOT difficult to carry out. Quite the opposite – they are easy to practice, providing that we are sincere in our desire to make our marriage pleasing to Allah Most High inshaAllah.
All ears?! Good! We want to share the first secret – the mental tactics of successful wives. So, lean in and listen to what love secrets we’ve unlocked inshaAllah.
Part 1: Mental Focus – Three Questions That Successful Wives Ask
What many people fail to realize is that most marriage problems are actually first born from what is occurring in our minds. Our thoughts play a huge role in forming our perspectives about people, and our judgement will shape the way that we react and respond to others, including our ‘lucky’ husband. Feeling upset about our marriage very much boils down to our perspective and our attitude – how we interpret the events occurring in our relationship. Successful wives protect the longevity of their marriages by monitoring their thoughts with three key questions.
Question #1: How can I see his side in this?
If we think that our husband is selfish, incompetent, cheap, mean, inconsiderate, or the like, our instincts will naturally kick in and we will automatically counter his behavior with techniques to ‘teach,’ ‘discipline,’ or ‘punish’ someone who embodies these qualities.
However, what if it’s not true? What if our husband is actually not the bad guy that we sometimes envision him to be? What if he has a good reason for doing what he did? What if we’re blindedbecause we’re only focusing on certain details and we’re not seeing the entire picture?
It’s very hard to form an accurate judgement about someone when we actively ignore all parts of the story. Even more so, whenever our hearts are involved in the matter, it becomes doubly challenging to assume the role of a fair judge.
Successful wives give their husbands the benefit of the doubt. It does not mean that they never experience bad thoughts about their husbands; they do, but it’s short-lived. Successful wives refuse to feed and give undue attention to any negativity felt towards their husbands’ choices and behavior as they inevitably reach a breaking point in which they ask: “How can I see his side in this?”
It seems so elementary, but this question can pop the angry pressure building up in our mental balloon. When we give our husband the benefit of the doubt, the good thoughts about him suddenly jump out of the bushes and beat the living daylights out of our negativity.
Successful wives refuse to believe that their husband intended to hurt them, and they look for the most generous explanation instead. For example: “He probably doesn’t know that it hurt me.” “I can understand why he did that if I put myself in his shoes.” “If I’m honest, I can see how I’m at fault too and my comments probably influenced his reaction.”
By asking this key question, anger subdues, clarity returns, and the road to mending hearts is opened inshaAllah.
Question #2: Does it really matter in the long-run?
So maybe he forgot to pay the phone bill on time this month. He also didn’t take out the trash today when he was reminded twice. In fact, he hasn’t fixed the door that’s still surviving off of one hinge for the past month!
It’s ridiculous to try to see our husband’s side when his behavior reflects sheer irresponsibility and negligence on his part. The truth is that we all have situations when our husband does things – or forgets to do things – that make us doubt his credibility as a provider, protector, and father. He could definitely be prioritizing his time in the way that he thinks is best, but sometimes his ranking method can get quite annoying. This is why successful wives ask themselves: “Does it really matter in the long-run?”
If it boils down to being right or wrong, we could be in the right, but is our overemphasizing this to our husband going to give us the marriage of our dreams? Will it annoy him or hurt our friendship? Will it make our husband feel nagged, put down, or defensive? Will it make him withdrawal and pull away from us for some time?
If the majority of our answers lean towards something that will harm our marriage, then we must seriously consider if it’s worth the trouble. It is a common tendency for humans to focus on what’s going wrong instead of what’s going right, but it’s counterproductive in a long-term relationship. A marriage is a union of two imperfect beings. Constantly nitpicking our husband’s bad traits blinds us from the blessings raining down in our lives, and it can also be an act of ingratitude towards Allah for what He is giving us.
Successful wives can gauge what is worth fighting for and what is not; after trial and error, they become comfortable with their husband’s imperfections because they know that these issues are minor and will not matter tomorrow, a month later, a year from now, or even five years from today!
By weighing out the pros and cons about making a big deal over what is aggravating us, we learn what is truly important and what can be put on hold for another time. We develop the patience to endure a lifelong relationship. We begin to empathize with other people’s circumstances instead of only selfishly focusing on what we want from the other person. All of this gives us a chance to feel that love and admiration once again for our dear hubby inshaAllah.
Question #3: What do I need right now to make myself happy?
As much as it may be tempting to point all fingers possible at our husband for making us unhappy, the reality is that happiness is a personal choice. Everyone has unfavorable circumstances in their marriage alhamduliLlah, but we choose whether we will permit those conditions to rain down on our parade or regard it as an opportunity for further spiritual development.
Unhappiness can often stem from feeling like we have an unmet need – deeming that we are not receiving our part of the marital bargain. Because successful wives are very in tune with their own needs and taking the initiative to be happy, they do not overburden their husbands with trying to fulfill their every desire. Rather, they create personal happiness by asking: “What do I need right now to make myself happy?”
It could be that she needs more self-care, or the hanging door fixed, or to see her family more often. Whatever it may be, a successful wife taps into her inner self and discovers what she needs in the moment in order to feel better. If the situation requires it, she may then express that to her husband in a loving way, or if she can achieve it herself, she will do whatever it takes to feel happy again.
Depending on another person to make us happy is unrealistic and a sore spot for many women today. When we look inside of ourselves for solutions, life becomes easier to live. When we improve the relationship with ourselves, we gain more confidence and joy. Weno longer harbor so much anger towards our husband and blame him for not making the right moves. (More on this point in the next post inshaAllah.)
In summary, what is brewing in our minds will affect the way that we react and respond to our husband. Dwelling on negative thoughts about our husband can become addictive. Successful wives actively question their negative thoughts and use them as a guide to understand their husband or their own selves. They are actively conscious about what they focus on and challenge harmful thoughts with constructive questions. So, if being a successful wife is our mission, then we must realize that we cannot change anything if we do not first change our way of thinking.
Secrets of Successful Wives Series
Part 1: Mental Focus – Three Questions That Successful Wives Ask
Part 2: Emotional Intelligence – Three Habits That Define Successful Wives
Part 3: Physical Application– Three Commitments That Successful Wives Make
© Muslima Coaching, 2017.