With the hope of helping, most women feel compelled to give advice to their friends and loved ones who are struggling in their marriages. In several narrations, the Prophetﷺ also encouraged believers to give advice to each other, providing that the advice imparted leads the listener back to Allah, His book, and His Messengerﷺ .
Although they are sincere at heart, the problem with many women’s advice is that it usually involves ‘fixing’ men’s instinctive nature. “That’s not right! He shouldn’t talk to you that way!” “I wouldn’t put up with that if I was you. He shouldn’t ignore you! Is that even Islamic?” “He should be helping you out more. You do so much!”
How many a marriage was ruined by such ‘bad’ advice?! Through cheering on the wrong messages, this advice could steer a lost soul further off track, pushing her to resort to her anger when attempting to resolve her marital discord instead of her pure heart. It may also cause her husband to feel attacked, disrespected, or ignored – exacerbating the couple’s marriage problems.
Or it could be that the advice may be ‘good’ in nature but too ‘abstract’ and ‘theoretical’ for the listener. “You just need to be patient.” “Stop complaining. Be grateful for what you have. “Tell him how you feel and ask him how he feels.” While there may be medicine in these general statements, they still may not provide exact direction or a plausible solution for the specific problem at hand.
In these desperate moments, it can become very confusing and frustrating for a struggling wife to know which path to take when so many options seem available. She may innocently experiment with everyone’s advice, increasingly dismayed when nothing seems to work to her advantage.
From our research, we learned that successful wives do quite the opposite. For one, they do not seek advice from just anyone but only from trusted sources – namely, women who they know have successful marriages themselves and sincerely practice what they preach. After all, when push comes to shove, blissful marriages are not based on theory, but they are built upon effective action and visible results.
In Part 1, we divulged the hidden mysteries of how successful wives condition their mental focus, and in Part 2, we uncovered their secret in forming beneficial habits by resorting to their emotional intelligence. In our final post for the “Secrets of Successful Wives” series and on this blessed day of the 15th of Sha’baan, we want to disclose what actually happens behind the closed doors of their households by unveiling which actions make these women superb winners with their husbands inshaAllah.
Part 3: Physical Application – Three Commitments That Successful Wives Make
When we make a commitment, we dedicate ourselves to a cause through the use of both our mind and body. As such, commitments may first originate in the brain, but they can only be fulfilled through physical effort and maintained by consistent action. Because women are pretty good at adding things on to their to-do-lists, we often stress what we should ‘do’ in order to have a good marriage.
However, successful wives put just as much emphasis on what actions should not be done. These ladies steer clear from known danger zones, carefully protecting the foundation of their marital bond. By exercising their personal willpower, they exert effort towards replacing impulsive harmful reactions with positive counteractions that help increase their husband’s love for them.
Commitment #1: They do not dwell on their husband’s slip-ups as a father.
Most men are internally wired to be single-focused, meaning that they dedicate their entire attention to completing the task at hand with astounding precision and accuracy. It is a gift that guarantees them success in competitive settings and other areas of their lives. On the opposite end, most women are internally wired to multitask, which is a skill that can often give them astonishing mastery in domestic settings.
It is no secret that some women feel annoyed at their husband’s weakness at not being able to multitask with domestic chores and complete a task as ‘perfect’ as a woman could. Some wives may find themselves snapping at their husband’s mistakes, especially when it comes to being a father of young children. Aggravated by his inability to not create an extra mess when feeding the kids, changing the diapers, or playing with the little ones in the backyard, wives in these situations feel that it is their duty to correct and mother their husbands – or to just do everything themselves and forget relying on him.
Successful wives share the same impulses, but they know that by criticizing their husband’s efforts, it will most likely result in him not taking the initiative to ever help with the kids in the future. Because successful wives strongly desire for their husbands to play the role of an active father, these women take out their magical duct tape, practice patience, and make the moves to demonstrate their happiness for their husband’s good-will attempt to help instead.
As one successful wife described, “When he puts the kids to bed, his goal is to put the baby in the bed and what happens along the way doesn’t matter. The baby’s clothes may be thrown on the floor, but the baby is definitely in the bed. I talk myself out of commenting. It only takes two seconds to pick up the clothes. At the end of the day, he doesn’t have to do it if he doesn’t want to; he is doing me the favor and I remind myself of that when I feel bothered by his way of doing things.”
It’s important to note that these wives not only profit from their husband’s presence, but their children thrive off of their father’s interest in them. There is great wisdom in Allah gifting a child with both a father and a mother; each person possesses traits that will ultimately benefit the child. Children with dual parental involvement tend to be more focused in school, emotionally sound, and have a better chance at succeeding in life.
Thus, instead of nagging their husband to nurture like a woman, successful wives make the commitment to not dwell on their husband’s blunders, invite him to help, and replace their urge to correct him with an inclination to thank. By keeping the greater goal in mind, successful wives motivate their husband to be an involved father through encouraging words and gratitude.
Commitment #2: They do not crowd their husband when he needs space.
It takes a lot of concentration to be single focused. For this reason, men need alone time to disconnect from their everyday dealings before they can move on to a favorite part of their day: emotionally connecting with their loved ones. Moreover, when they are trying to solve their own problems related to work, relatives, or finances, they may need an increased amount of alone time.
In an effort to disconnect, a man may engage in watching sports, reading the news, or staring off into the distance – finding comfort in thinking about ‘nothing.’ Women are usually the opposite. We need to connect with our loved ones in order to disconnect from our problems and daily routine. We’re innately prepared to socialize, and thinking about ‘nothing’ is virtually impossible.
Sadly, some wives take their husband’s need for space personally. They think that their husband is upset with them when he keeps to himself or voices his need to not be bothered. These wives may even start asking him, “What’s wrong? Are you mad at me?” When she hears his nonchalant “no” without any affection in return, she assumes that he’s too upset to tell her the truth. So, she persists in her inquisition, and he eventually blows up, claiming that he just wants a break.
It could also be that a wife does not intellectually understand her husband’s physical need for downtime and space. As a result, she begins to list off all of the things that he could be doing to help make her life easier in those twenty minutes. When he doesn’t budge, she labels him as lazy, irresponsible, and selfish. While she may be looking for him to fulfill a need that she has – hoping that he’ll be inspired to multitask while taking his ‘break’ – little does she realize that if she just gave him that time for space, he would be more charged to help her afterwards.
Successful wives are no different; they see a man sitting around, not doing anything and they assume that he’s either irritated or has free time on his hands. However, over the years they have learned to now ask if he’s available before assigning anymore duties to the sitting duck in their living room. When she hears a nonchalant “no”, she leaves him alone without assuming any bad opinion. Her experience as a wife has taught her wiser; she knows that he will return to normal sooner or later, and in the meantime, she occupies herself with something more useful.
Still having a hard time with making this commitment? Read a leading male relationship expert explain it in detail here “Are You Losing Him? A Man’s Need For Cave Time.”
Commitment #3: They do not hold back from making amends.
When we are angry at our husbands, the last thing that we want to do is apologize. This mental block causes us to delay its delivery – convincing ourselves that we’re just waiting for the right time, the right words, or the right atmosphere. Yet, the perfect time never comes and the window to restore peaceful relations eventually closes. What’s crazy is that we change nothing about our method to resolve conflict but expect different results?!
This stalling can also be due to an emotional barrier. For some odd reason, several women think that making amends will imply weakness, give the impression that they are giving in to their original position, or result in becoming a doormat.
It takes a mountain of maturity to overcome such silly excuses. Successful wives have climbed up it, pushing themselves every step of the way to repair the connection by way of a simple smile, a friendly touch, or an explicit statement – despite simultaneously feeling negative emotions towards their husband.
These women know what treasure apologies bring to their marriages and they have realized that apologizing becomes easier with practice. Honestly speaking, nothing eases tension, cools burning fury, and heals a wounded heart like a sincere apology, even if the harm was unintentional.
Yet, saying sorry can get old if it is not delivered in a certain way and followed by specific actions. In our coaching, we teach women how to give an apology in a way that successfully unites hearts while still preserving self-dignity inshaAllah.
In conclusion, successful wives are not successful because they always knew the right way. Quite the contrary, they may have made many mistakes along their marital journey, but they are winners because they are always working on improving themselves in some shape or form. By taking steady steps forward, these ladies better their marriages, never giving up despite the challenges that may try to knock them down. They remain devoted to their internal resolve to make their marriages work for them, and Allah puts blessing in their special secrets.
© TayyibaatWives, 2017.