وَعَاشِرُوۡهُنَّ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِۚ فَاِنۡ كَرِهۡتُمُوۡهُنَّ فَعَسٰىۤ اَنۡ تَكۡرَهُوۡا شَيۡـًٔـا وَّيَجۡعَلَ اللّٰهُ فِيۡهِ خَيۡرًا كَثِيۡرًا
Live with them in accordance with what is fair and kind; if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something in which God has placed much good. (4:19)
MOST YOUNG MEN aspire to have a beautiful wife, which is very immature on their part. And it mostly happens that this ‘beautiful’ wife turns out to be a ‘problem’ wife. A woman’s attraction does not last very long, and the initial infatuation vanishes into thin air. In matters of marriage, one should attach more importance to the inner beauty of the person. A woman with inner beauty can prove to be the best life partner.
The man who finds a woman with inner beauty is fortunate, as she will prove to be a better companion in life. The purpose of marriage is not to find a playmate, but a worthy life partner. And the best life partner is one who possesses inner beauty, not just outward beauty. This truth can be perceived by everyone, provided things are seen from a realistic point of view.
Making Mountains Out of Mole Hills
THE QUARRELS BETWEEN a husband and wife are mostly due to trivial matters. These disagreements can sometimes escalate into serious discord. Since a husband and wife live together, conflicts arise due to constant proximity. If the same couple were to meet in different circumstances, they would most likely get along rather well. If a couple were aware of the insignificance of their disagreements, serious conflicts would never arise. This ignorance makes them regard the matter as something of importance, while it is only relative in nature. The temperament of every person is different. This is a natural phenomenon. Differences do not surface when people are mere acquaintances. Differences start surfacing only when they start their lives together. If couples were to accept these differences as a part of nature, they would learn to look beyond them and work towards a meaningful relationship. Most of the problems in life are due to ignorance. Recognizing one’s own ignorance and doing something about it will save one from unnecessary problems.
ANGER is the major reason for relationships going sour. Anger stokes a quarrel which then begets hatred. And hatred eventually leads to evil. In any relationship, ninety percent of the trouble starts due to anger. Anger is a natural phenomenon. The only solution to anger is to control it. Anger in itself is not evil. It is evil when one fails to control it and it spoils the lives of others. Rage is nothing but a temporary provocation, which is an undesirable reaction. It is like a fire that flares up for a short duration and then dies down on its own if it is given no further fuel. If people realized this, anger would not result in any serious disharmony.
Anger is similar to a fire in an individual’s mind. An unpleasant word or experience can instigate this fire and make it flare up suddenly. However, the duration of this fire is very short. So, when we are angry, it would be wise to hold our tongues or divert our minds and wait for this temporary fire to subside. Once the fire has died out, we will return to normalcy again. It is important to control the anger so that the flare-up is controlled.
AN ANCIENT MAXIM says: ‘Wait and watch.’
This is not just a maxim; it is a Law of Nature. The policy of waiting means waiting for a better future: waiting for tomorrow to bring something we have not received today. This is undoubtedly a matter of great wisdom, as it is possible that you may receive tomorrow what you have not received today.
In a marriage, the husband and wife often make the mistake of expecting their partner to come up to their expectations from the first day. They ignore the need to give time to each other to adjust, while it is well known that nothing happens before its stipulated time. It is not possible in this world to find today what you are not destined to find until tomorrow.
When a man and a woman come together in marriage and set up a home, it is an entirely new experience. They would naturally want to learn about one another and come up with each other’s expectations. This begins from the first day itself. Both of them should help each other in this, and refrain from any such behavior as would disrupt this process. The policy of ‘waiting’ should aid this natural development, and thus allow it to grow unhampered until it reaches its culmination point. This principle relates to all great successes. And this same principle applies to a husband as well as a wife. It is only after waiting that one receives what one is waiting for. This is a Law of Nature, and no law is greater in this world than the Law of Nature.
Stubborness — or Determination
Some ladies and Gentlemen confided that their husband or wife is stubborn and that they found it difficult to deal with. This led them to the verge of divorce. That is not a real problem—the problem is in way of thinking. If they thought of it in a different manner, their problems would vanish. Instead of taking as a stubborn person, ‘stubborn’ is a negative term; they should consider them a determined person. Using positive words makes one think in a positive manner. A person who is devoid of this quality does not have the courage to face the challenges of life. And, therefore, one who cannot face the challenges of life cannot achieve success in life.
Good in Every Situation
REGARDING THE MAINTENANCE of relationships between a husband and wife, the Qur’an says, “Live with them in accordance with what is fair and kind; if you dislike them, it may be that you dislike something in which God has placed much good.” (Ch 4:19) This principle applies to both the husband and the wife. It means that good family life does not depend on having found a partner of one’s exact choice. According to the law of nature, this is not possible. The secret of successful family life, rather, lies in adjusting to one another, and in discovering something good even in what seems bad. Human beings, generally, face a common problem. They all think that they should get more than what they have. Thus discontented, they spend their lives searching for an ideal partner who can live up to their imagination. And in this quest for the ideal, they live unhappy lives.
Happiness is a state of mind. It does not exist outside of it. One should learn this principle, and only then will one see things in a different manner. Only you can make yourself happy. No one can gift happiness to you.