We hear a lot of things before we get married: mothers, khala’s, married sisters/cousins, and aunties impart us priceless words of wisdom. Well, I would say, not all they say is always right. Meaning, everyone’s case and experiences vary, so not all supposedly right “myths” are always right for every girl.
Here are my own set of “pearls of wisdom” for anyone bored enough to be reading this entry on my space right now. This is the truth which I have learned through experience.
▪ Treat your parents-in-law better than you treat your own parents. Why? Because we are usually very frank and free with our parents, we even answer them back at times, we have arguments with them; we can not do that with our parents-in-law, because they’ll get hurt.
▪ Sometimes the advice your mother-in-law gives you is better for you than that which your own mother gives you. Why? Because your mother thinks of you only, whereas your mother-in-law also takes into consideration the person she knows better than you: her son (the one you’re married to). 😉
▪ Silence is the best tool that can help in your susraal (in-laws’ house).
▪ Cooking is not as important as our IndoPak culture makes it out to be. It is easy to learn yet highly over-rated.
▪ Follow Islamic guidelines more than the ones borrowed from Hindu culture.
▪ You will never know what marriage is like until you are into it; no matter how many books you read or married couples you talk to.
▪ Its better to be married than to be unmarried.
▪ There are very difficult adjustments to make after marriage; practice patience.
▪ The first few years after a marriage are the most difficult ones, because you are adjusting to a new place/man/family and also having kids which is a superhuman thing to do (well not really, but its a tough job).
▪ Any Tom, Dick and Harry can cook. Like I just said. I repeated myself just in case you still didn’t get it.
▪ Managing a household is no less tough than managing any company or workforce.
▪ Learn to control your tongue before you get married.
▪ Your husband has a higher status of authority than you in this relationship, but that doesn’t mean you should not have a life of your own; get a life besides his friends, his stomach and his kids – you are your own person, not his slave.
▪ Respecting and obeying your husband will not be good for anyone like it will be good for your own self.
▪ Please your husband in order to please Allah; not because he is your god (muadh Allah!)
▪ Never allow anyone to demean you: just because husband and in-laws have great rights over you does not mean you don’t have any; our Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم] warned Muslim men in his last sermon about “fearing Allah with regard to women”.
▪ The best person who can fix your husband when he is misbehaving is his mother – she’s been doing it all her life, so make her your friend.
▪ You are entitled to your privacy from your in-laws. Our Prophet [صلى الله عليه وسلم] gave each of his wives (while they were simultaneous co-wives) a separate room of her own.
▪ Consider your personal relationship/conversations with your husband like a bottle of precious perfume: if it is kept capped, it will retain its quality and fragrance; if you lift its lid to allow others to smell it, it will lose its quality and fragrance. The more you lift the lid, the more you lose the fragrance. In short: maintain your privacy, and don’t unnecessarily discuss your relationship with your husband with anyone, not even close buddies or your sister/mother.
▪ You’re a big girl: handle your problems yourself. The best way out of any problem is earnest dua to Allah, the One who listens, the One who helps. Don’t go running to Ammi or Apa or Ms. Best Friend with complains. Most problems are not as huge as they appear to be when we are in their midst.
▪ Look at women who are not married and those who are childless and be grateful to Allah that He gave you a nice family of your very own. Also, pray for these women while you’re thinking about them. 🙂
▪ It will be a foolish mistake on your part if you ever expect your parents-in-law to love you or cherish you as much as they do their own daughter. Think of your own parents and how much they love you. Would your bhabi (‘brother’s wife’, in Urdu) ever be treated the same in comparison? Nope. Come down to earth. You are their son’s wife. If you go to your in-laws’ house expecting the same special treatment that they mete out to their daughter, don’t be sorry if you are sorely disappointed. There is NO comparison between the relation of the Rahm (womb) and any other relation. A mother loves no one the way she loves her own child.
▪ All marriages go through times when there are financials problems, when things are “thin”; such a situation is very trying for the couple. You might have little children, and something happens so that your husband is out of work or he is not promoted etc. I know of several couples who have gone through such a time (very few exist who haven’t) and one thing to keep in mind is that it passes by. One should hold on to patience and forbearance as much as possible, not lose hope, and hang in there. Being around family and siblings helps a lot, as they “weather the storm” with stories of others who had been through similar situations, but pulled through eventually. The bottom line: don’t give up on your marriage, no matter how bad it gets financially, because it is Allah who provides for everyone.
▪ No matter what stage your children are in, its a tough nut to crack to cater to their needs of that stage. Dumb mom: one who passes each stage cribbing and crying, lamenting that she can’t handle the pressure of having and raising kids. Smart mom: one who enjoys each stage despite the pressure of motherhood, taking that moment to appreciate the beauty of her children, smiling at them between walking over to the machine to do the laundry and stopping at the stove to check on lunch. [And one who doesn’t let a soiled diaper at the exact moment when she’s putting the first mouthful of dinner in her mouth spoil her mood!]
You learn more in marriage the more you go along, through the years, experiencing both its highs and lows. Not all marriage advice works for everyone; each couple is different. Hence, a person needs to have taqwa (Allah consciousness) in order to really succeed at this one-of-a-kind, pivotal relationship!