Sallam Alaykum, Iyawo Olele! Nwunye! Matar! Wifey! Congratulations on your nuptials. Barakallhu fihi. I really enjoyed the Nikkai and traditional ceremony. The colors of the headtie were so bright, I was contemplating wearing shades. The spices in the ayamase really gingered me.
On a serious note, I had so much fun at the ceremony. May Allah bless your home and make everything easy for you. I would like to welcome you to the school with no graduation. Marriage is a black box where only Allah knows which way things might go. I wish you the very best. I would like to drop a few lines of wisdom.
Marriage is a mesh of lives, bodies, ideology, family, and faith. Two individually minded people coming together to live in harmony. It calls for tolerance, diplomacy, and wisdom. During courtship, decisions can be made with zero consideration for others, forwardness, and no tact. In marriage, everything has to be done with wisdom and tact. Your prayer point should always be, “May Allah grant me the wisdom to make good decisions at all times.” Openness and communication should always be your watchword. The warm, fuzzy, lovey-dovey feeling you are having now is from a chapter in Mills & Boons novel. When reality sets in, love needs to be a choice. You need to make a choice to continue loving your man. Marriage was designed by the Almighty so both of you might take comfort in each other and dwell in love and mercy.
Marriage is an unequal partnership where both of you have a stake in the business but your husband has a higher percentage. You need to submit to one another but due to your husband being appointed as the head by the Almighty, he takes charge of most decisions. Submission is great but you should understand that no imperfect human deserves total submission. Total submission belongs only to Allah. You must apply wisdom when decisions are made out of greed, spite, and ignorance. Submit but don’t be stupid. Never lose your individuality in marriage. Remember there was a reason your husband wanted you in the first place. You were something before he married you; he would probably not have wanted you if you were nothing. Don’t lose that something. Go out with your friends and let him hang out with the boys. Don’t suffocate each other.
The first year is the unstable year. It’s the year where honeymoon behavior and the pretense wears off. It’s the period when both of you are trying to find equilibrium. This is the time for openness and truthfulness. This is to correct any habit that you don’t want to be stuck with for the rest of your lives. If you observe something and it’s not something you can live with, this is the time to speak up so there would be a compromise on both sides. If it’s something little, you can let it slide because your ability to pick your battles would determine the longevity or how drama-free your marriage would be. Nobody is perfect so don’t expect perfection from him. Remember you are not a superwoman, don’t overdo or overwork to avoid looking haggard. Make sure you encourage your husband to assist you with chores.
I would like to talk about your husband’s friends. Remember, they were the ones that were present when you both met. They were present when he was toasting you. They were present when he proposed. They were also there for the traditional ceremony prostrating for your hand in marriage. I want you to remember these friends role and accord them their respect. Don’t assume that because you have the ring, his friends are now bad influences. Severing his ties with his friend doesn’t prevent your husband from cheating, if he is the greedy type. Only him can decide what the wedding vows mean to him. Let him breathe and hang out with the boys. Let his conscience and Allah judge him.
Please please, please! Never belittle your parents and siblings in front of your husband. Remember you set the tone. It’s how you present them he would treat them. Let him understand that your parents are untouchable and non-negotiable. Just because you are married doesn’t mean they stop being your responsibility. The holy book is firm on the importance of taking care of our parents. His parents and siblings must also be accorded with a certain degree of respect. Please don’t do eye service. Whatever is not sustainable must not be initiated. What you won’t do to your parents, don’t do to them. If they offend you, let your husband handle the matter. If he doesn’t handle it appropriately, apply wisdom in handling it. If his family has issues, let them handle it by themselves. Even if you want to help, it must be done through your husband. Becoming Olivia Pope can reduce the longevity of your marriage. Tread carefully.
Let’s get on this cheating topic. Please! Please! Please! Never set the very low bar for your husband because to whom much is given, so much more should be expected. Please hold him accountable for any bad behavior. Don’t let him get away with everything because you are trying to keep a home. The home can only be kept if both parties involved make the decision to keep it. You can only do your best. Don’t become monitoring spirit by trailing him all over the place to discourage other women from pouncing in. Only him can make that decision. Please never belittle yourself by begging or harassing the other women to leave your husband. Your business is with him and not the lady.
I am a firm believer in not publicly exposing your husband’s weaknesses. The holy book explains how you are both garments for shielding one another. Issues should be discussed and managed between the both of you. There are certain exceptions to this garment rule. For example, a case of negligence, domestic violence, or any issue where you have reached your upper limit. Do not ever use anyone’s tolerance or limit to gauge yours. When your limits are beginning to stretch, please reach out to a fair-minded person, either a neutral knowledgeable imam or counselor. It should only get to the parents when the neutral authorities fail. Disagreements are inevitable but how you handle them would determine the longevity of your marriage. Fight fair. Address issues and not the individuals. Remember that words should be weighed carefully because they can never be withdrawn after delivery. I also recommend the 24 hours no malice rule. All issues must be discussed and settled before the start of a next day. Malice festers into hatred and bitterness, which destroys the home.
If he mistakenly (because no sane person should abuse another) physically, emotionally or mentally abuses you, please address immediately. There is no excuse for any form of domestic violence. Our Noble Prophet was never reported to have abused any of his wives. Contact your brothers or me so we can put the fear of Allah in him so it never repeats itself. Never let it slide. Once a man tastes that side of power, he gets intoxicated. I would also appeal to you to keep your hands to yourself and don’t do what you wouldn’t want to be done to you. Please be content with whatever your husband gives you. If you ever feel it’s not enough, communicate your needs to him.
I don’t need to discuss conjugal rights because I am sure mama already took care of that. I cannot stress enough the need to pray and channel your prayer point the right way. Pray to Allah because he is only one that sees all and only Allah can make changes to what is already written. Please remember to always respect Allah, respect the institution called marriage, respect your husband, and respect yourself. May Allah make you and your husband friends forever.
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