Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Dial M for Marriage

Whaddaya know.... Come this October, my husband and I will be celebrating our 16th year wedding anniversary. Most will consider us lucky to have lasted this long. But to those who know us better, they will sigh a big relief and mutter "Alhamdulillah...". However, my husband and I will still be holding our breaths, palms up in prayers and grounding our feet down to prepare ourselves for many more years of hard work, heavy loving, hundreds of forgiving and wheel barrows of earthly understanding of one another.

My husband and I (henceforth termed as "we") don't believe in luck. But we are staunch believers in The Divine Contract and the concept of soul mates. We believe we are soul mates. We believe that those who don't believe in soul mates haven't met their's yet. When they do, they will.

We believe that hard work means the dance of deflection we tango every now and then, especially when one of us is testing the other's patience, leaving the other feeling like a potential homicidal maniac. We believe in faking forgiveness until it becomes sincere. We believe in transparency in communication but not transparency in items of clothings (except in the privacy of our bedroom, of course!).

Although we can't say that we have the secret of eternal marital bliss, we do try to keep to the basic tips on how to make a relationship work. Here are a few rules for a Happy Relationship. This excerpt was taken from a fantastic book titled The Muslim Marriage Guide by Ruqaiyyah Waris Maqsood:

1. Tell each other you love each other.
2. Never both be angry at the same time.
3. If you have to criticise, do it lovingly.
4. Never bring up old mistakes.
5. Never go to sleep with an argument unsettled.
6. Neglect the whole Dunia rather than each other.
7. Pray together at least once a day.
9. Remember it takes two to quarrel.
10. When you have done something wrong, admit it.
11. At least once a day, say something kind or complimentary to your partner.
12. Do not go to bed more than 10 minutes after your partner.
13. Listen when your partner is speaking.
14. Remember that your spouse is more important than the tv/match/video etc.
15. Notice when your partner is wearing something new, or has a new hairdo.
16. Remember anniversaries.
17. Thank your partner for their gift or effort on your behalf.
18. Last one up, make the bed.
19. Notice when your spouse looks tired, and do something about it.
20. Never run your partner down, or criticise them in public.

And finally:

Good humour sometimes wins battles that force and reason lose.

Patience is the ability to count down before blasting off.

'My wife has a terrible memory; she remembers everything.'

'Spouses have a keen sense of humour; the more you humour them, the better they like it.'

We have to learn to be our best friends, for we fall too easily into the trap of being our worst enemies.

Matrimonial indigestion is something we marry that doesn't agree with us.

Love at first sight is about as reliable as a doctor's diagnosis at first handshake.

When a wife is not talking to her husband, she is trying to tell him something.

Discussion is an exchange of intelligence. Argument is an exchange of ignorance.

A good mother is not a person to lean on, but one who makes leaning unnecessary.

The philosopher who said that work well done never needs doing again, never lived with an untidy spouse or children.

Happiness is getting the tissue out of the box before you sneeze.

and last but not least:

It is impossible to sneeze and keep both your eyes open at the same time. Don't believe me? Look forward to the next sneeze and see if you can keep your eyes open!

The point is, my fellow humans, although some of us have mastered the skill of multi tasking, to get anything done well, we need to focus. What you choose to focus on will determine the success or failure of your relationship.

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