Stop This One Thing to Transform Your Marriage!

Haleh Banani


Channel: Haleh Banani

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Salam aleikum? What is the one thing that you could stop doing that will change your marriage around? You know, I deal with couples on a daily basis. And one of the major complaints that I get from the couples from the spouses is the fact that their spouse is constantly parenting them. Now, what is it about when you parent your spouse, it is when you start treating them like they are a child, or they are a teenager. And this happens frequently. It could be with the husband may be managing or putting restraints when it comes to the finances, it could be about the religiosity, what you're supposed to wear what you're supposed to do. Now, I understand that there is a sense of

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responsibility, wanting to look out for your spouse, but it is very critical how you go about it, right? We can encourage one another, we can help one another aspire to be their best, whether it's religiously, academically or in whatever area even like it would help. However, if you start managing your spouse, making them feel like that they are a child, you know, what ends up happening is that they start rebelling, if you treat them like a teenager, you can't do this, have you prayed Have you done this, and they are going to eventually rebel. And I had this very sad scenario, where a couple that had been married for over 25 years. They, the wife was always very conforming, she

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listened to everything her husband said the husband had a very controlling personality, told her what to do, what to wear, how to act, what every single thing you can imagine there was control over her. And what ended up happening is that after all these years, then she decided to rebel and all the things that she had done, she just wanted to stop and she felt caged and and this can have a very devastating effect, not only on the marriage, but on a person spirituality especially if there is a sense of enforcing your spouse to do things if they're not ready for it. Right. So I talk about this in great detail. In my five pillars of marriage program. In pillar three spirituality. I talk

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about mismatch spirituality, when one person is super religious, super motivated, they want to do it all they want to get off for two hedges they want to fast Mondays and Thursdays do upcard. do extra Sunnah prayers. The other one is like, you know what, I'm good. I'm good, I will just do the basics. I will just do the bare minimum. And sometimes they're not even doing the bare minimum. And then that what happens is that that struggle, right? Where one spouse feels that sense of responsibility, they feel the other person is being irresponsible. And that's where this whole parenting behavior comes from. The spouse that is the responsible one, the one that feels like they're doing the right

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thing. They're the ones who they're saving the money, they're behaving properly. Then they look at their spouse, and they're like, Oh my gosh, this is just so irresponsible. This is very irresponsible behavior. And they start imposing, they start saying, you know, you need to you need to get up and do this, you need to change your behavior, and you need to, and what this ends up doing is making their spouse feel inadequate, right. I had one couple that came in, they were completely in love. When they got married, then they met each other, they had a lot of fun. And they were extremely compatible. And then

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the husband had an epiphany. He just one morning woke up and he was so into the dean. Now the wife had not had that same experience had not had the epiphany. So she was still in her state. He had to reach a different state and he just wanted her to come on. Come on like you got it. You got to do this. You got to be there with me. And it made her feel inadequate. It created a lot of tension. And it almost led to a divorce because of this so we need to be very, very careful about this. You know, it's so good to have you all here by shallowly our sister Nadia sisters of zafir from Lebanon, and sister Hello Ma sha Allah and we have sister as the CINAHL wonderful Mashallah. So, you know, we we

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see this happening all the time where a person is feeling inadequate, they feel like they're never good enough, right? And it could be the other way around where the wife can be imposing on the husband to constantly saying, well, you need to do this. You need to change your degree or you need to work more you need to work longer hours you and you find that this kind of imposing really stifles the relationship because no one is looking for a parent when they get married.

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When you are in a relationship, when you get married, you are looking for a life partner, not a parent. And so the natural tendency, when someone starts parenting you and telling you what you need to do, when you need to do it, how you need to do it is to rebel, you're going to rebel, when you're treated like a teenager, you're gonna rebel like a teenager. So it's really critical to understand how destructive this behavior is. If you find yourself you got to be really truthful and honest with yourself, if you find yourself going after your spouse the way kind of in the same tone in the same mannerism, that you go after your kids, your teenagers, and you're telling them whether it's about

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healthy eating, whether it's about religiosity, whether it's about cleanup, whatever it is, if you're doing that, you got to stop, you really, really need to stop, because what you don't realize is that this is causing a rift in your relationship. And most people will not get help, most people will not get a marriage program to you know, to learn the skills. And what ends up happening is, if a person feels frustrated enough, they will just go ahead and get that divorce, they won't even ask for help, they will just end it. And this is happening quite widely. Right now, in this pandemic, I cannot tell you, the number of clients that are on that Brink brink of divorce, people who are doing

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well, are now under such tremendous stress, that they are just wanting to break free. And they think that the solution is to basically get a divorce. Now, the divorce, sometimes it is necessary. There are circumstances if there's abuse, if there is you know, just continuous infidelity, if there there are definitely reasons where it is legitimate to get a divorce. I am not saying anything against that. However, sometimes, and a lot of times, it can be prevented with just small marriage skills. Applying this marriage skills, and learning how to bring out the best in your spouse will change everything around. It's phenomenal. I've had clients who come in, they come on their own right. And

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one, one lady told me that, you know, my husband is so unreasonable. And he's very demanding. And he's never, he's never helpful. He sleeps in another room. He's just like, not present emotionally or even physically. And so she was skeptical. You know, when she first started off, I would kind of skeptical and I encouraged her to go, you know, go through the marriage program, but go through it with an open mind, open heart, learn it change yourself, because a lot of times we hear, you know, it takes two to tango, if I know if you know if he doesn't change that what is what is the good of me changing what is amazing about this empowering mentality of changing yourself first is that

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everyone responds to you differently. Just think about it. Think about it, if you are really let's say you're usually rude to a person, okay, you talk in a rude manner, and suddenly, you become more polite, or you become more gracious, you become more loving, that person is going to soften up with you. Right? It is very natural that we respond to people according to how they behave. So when one person changes their behavior, it changes the whole dynamics of the relationship. I like to demonstrate this in think about, like a group of people, let's say a family, right? A family standing in a circle. And they all are holding like a rope. Right? If one person pulls it affects

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everybody, right? Even if it's a small, even if it is a small pool, right? Hey, everyone is affected. So when you change when you make yourself a better person, when you make yourself more patient, less angry, less reactionary, then people are going to respond to you very differently. So what she started doing, she watched the video, she was like, I don't know about this, and she was a physician, and she was like, I don't really have time. And I don't know if this is going to help. I said, you know, just trust me, my God. What are you doing? You're You're here to get advice. And you, you know, just trust me do this. And so started watching the videos, the five pillars of

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marriage, she got to pillar one, pillar two, pillar three. And she saw what she said, by you know, it was she came and she Her eyes were filled with tears. She goes, I had no idea that such small changes are going to have such a profound impact on my marriage. He moved back into the bedroom. He started being supportive. She had like a board exam. He's like, I'll take care of the kids use you go and study

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Help. Ah, it was just, it was phenomenal. And she's like, I never saw him. And he didn't even watch the videos, she watched it herself. And she worked on herself and she was able to turn the marriage around. So when you are before she admitted, she goes, I was definitely a parent. I was telling him what to do. I always criticize. I was always after him. And that made him say, you know what, I don't want to have any part of you. I don't want to spend time with you. One of the biggest complaints that many sisters will make is that my husband doesn't spend enough time with me, right? And so I start asking about, what is that time together? Like, when your spouse is at home when they

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come at home? Right? What is What is your reaction to them? Well, how are you treated? And she she very honestly said, Well, I'm usually just like, you know, in my sweats and like, I come home, and I'm really, you know, fed up with the kids. So I started complaining.

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All right, well, that's very honest of you, I want you to change that around, you know, I want you to see, like, hey, this one sitter saying, how long are we to change this, sir, it is really tiring. Sister Sharon, as I understand it is it is hard, it is hard when you feel like you're you're making the effort and or you're not being appreciated, and it's difficult. And you have to evaluate, like I said, if there's any form of abuse, any kind of physical abuse, any kind of like, ongoing emotional abuse, and it's very difficult, you have to evaluate that right. But there are times when the relationship has just gone stale. It's there are times when it is just a matter of being

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disconnected people living like roommates, and the ego has gotten in the way when no one wants to admit that they're wrong. They don't want to, you know, they don't, they don't want to get help. They don't want to change, because it's hard to change. And I get that I get the fact that it is very challenging to look at your behavior, and recognize and admit that you know what, maybe I could, you know, maybe I could make some changes in myself. Maybe there are some shortcomings, right? So I get that it's difficult, but you know, what, what's really, really encouraging and what I always tell people who are really like hanging on to that. They're just hanging on and they feel

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like this is it. This is the last straw, right? Is that you never know, you never know that this one last try might be the thing that changes everything around you, you don't realize that you don't know. The fact what is also comforting is knowing that Allah sees everything. And the fact that you're striving and you're not being appreciated the fact that you are being good, and it's not may be reciprocated. Allah sees that and it is going to be you are going to be compensated for that. So that's always that is comforting. We have a sister diva. I feel that women are always asked to do more put more effort. I know it may work, but it is draining, really draining. Okay. Sister diva. I

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hear you. You know, I say the same thing to the brothers. This is not simply for the woman to change, right? I have many clients that come in, and it is the the man who comes by themselves. It's the woman who doesn't want to have any part of it, right? And it's sister Halima, saying Pfeiffer's a marriage is one of the best marriage class I've ever taken as hamdulillah so Halima, I'm so glad that that it's helped you, you know, it is the man has come in and and he's really like, frustrated, fed up. He's like, I don't know what to do. But I want to I want to work on myself and the men come in, and they're learning they're going through the videos, I have so many Mashallah doctors and

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lawyers and, and and businessmen who have gone through a program that heifers a marriage and they are able to change their marriage around. So I'm not putting it all on you sisters, right? It's not I'm not putting it all on the men is whoever, like the contribution of the problem. Both of you have to realize you both contributing, right? And your contribution of the problem could be 5%. And the other person and most people think they provide 5% of the problem and their spouses 95% of the problem. What I'm saying is, you know, whether it's 5% 15% 50% change your percentage of your contribution to that problem, and your marriage will change. Whether you're the man in the

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relationship, whether you're the woman, a woman in the relationship, it doesn't matter, that it is very easy to be a victim, right? And just feel that everything is horrible, and this person is horrible. And then you just feel sorry for yourself or you take responsibility and say you know what, I'm in

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To change myself first and foremost, for the sake of Allah, right? I want to do it for the sake of Allah, then I want to do it because I want to be my best. And when you do it with that intention, right, it is so critical to have the right intention for doing something that Allah would put that I will put a cat in it. Sister farwest say saying, What if there's physical abuse, emotional abuse, cheating and heart to divorce, despite being the only option? How do you build your trust again? Well, you know, with physical abuse, I really think that you need to re evaluate it, you need to have a set ultimatum with your spouse and say, you know, you we have to make an agreement that

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either you go into like anger management, there has to be marriage counseling, you got to take massive action, because if it's just on based on promises, this is going to the promise is going to be broken, and the cycle of abuse is going to continue. So you need to take some massive action, you need to get some firm commitment. As far as changing behavior, no one's going to change

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by just on their own like that. They need to either take courses, they need to seek professional help in order to make the changes, right. And as far as

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what else did you ask about? How can you build trust? Now, I have worked with individuals that when there is infidelity, and a lot of people ask that, that? Does infidelity mean that it's the end of a relationship at end of a marriage? Not necessarily? Not necessarily. I've come up with certain ways to evaluate how this relationship? Is it something that can last or if it's not, and I go into details about that, on infidelity in light in the bonus section, but it's a matter of evaluating it. And not all cases are the same. There are many people who are able to restore their relationship and they actually tell me, they're better than they were before the infidelity. Why is that because many

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times people are living as roommates, they're not connected. And something like that something as traumatic as an as an affair will get them to just kind of open up their eyes, make them like not take each other for granted, they actually make a lot of changes in themselves. So that that's important to evaluate and see.

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All right, what is the sisters out there? suffering? Okay, well, I lost that. Okay. So it is it's important to evaluate each person's situation is different. And you need to recognize the two sisters out there suffer from inline interference. How do you deal with especially if the influence is affecting your marriage, that is a big issue within our community, the in laws inner interference, and what needs to happen? I actually talked about this, I believe there's three, four videos on specifically on dealing with in laws, right?

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you really need to have the spouse deal with their own parents, okay. confronting the in laws is never a good idea. Right. So hopefully you have a spouse that is, has the wisdom has the ability to balance the relationship between wife and mother, not everyone is able to do that, right? A lot of times you find that, that the spouse will have a tendency to lean towards, let's say, the mother side and totally disregard the wife or it could be the other way around. I haven't seen as many cases of that. But it is very much like you know what my mom is right, you're wrong, you have to deal with it. But you can actually create if you use wisdom, if you use that sense of compassion,

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and emulate the Prophet sallallahu Sallam and how he applied wisdom, he applied mindfulness, he was so gentle in his ways in dealing with his wife, even in the most difficult situations. If a person apply some of that, then he could keep both his wife and his mother very happy, right? So it's just a matter of getting your spouse to deal with his parents, and you deal with your parents in order to create some healthy boundaries, so that no one is stepped on, right that no one's toes are stepped on. It's a very delicate relationship, mother in law, daughter in law, it doesn't have to be it can be a beautiful relationship. If both parties are God conscious and they have high self esteem and

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they've worked on themselves. It can be an actually a very fulfilling relationship. But generally, people have not put the time and effort into working on themselves and therefore there's a lot of friction, right? So let's see sister Sarah saying I think that's the first

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Step to decide what you really want to do. And then marriage is a big decision in divorces the least likable by a lot. That's it's not accurate to say that it's the least likable. It is permissible, and it is permissible for a reason. There are definitely times I have seen couples come in, there is no trust, there's no respect, there's no love, there's only anger and, and, you know, there's abuse, and it's just, it's not good for anyone. And many times they stay in a relationship like that. They say it's because of the children. I'm staying because of the kids. But really, it's not in the best interest of the kids, for a husband and wife to stay together. If they're fighting, and constantly,

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you know, belittling each other right? Sister, Sal was saying I recommend five pillars to male relative whose wife was about to leave him, he went through the videos and concluded that he cannot change his character. His wife is so disappointed. Any advice? Okay. So in these situation, you have to look and see, what are the presenting problems? What is it? And if you find that you you make the necessary changes, you improve yourself, you are your absolute best like, you know, and that that that is a very critical question. I asked this from a client of mine, she was very frustrated about her marriage, she was really putting all the blame on the husband, as I know, good. And there's all

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these issues. And then I said to her, tell me this, what percentage are you applying? What percentage are you giving into this marriage? She's like, well, I cook I go, No, no, no, I'm not talking about the cooking the cleaning the taking care of the kids? What percentage are you giving of yourself? As far as compassion as far as being considered as far as your, your chart all of that in your marriage? And she was very honest, just about 20%. And I said, What letter grade is that?

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What letter grade is that? That's an F. Okay. So she came to recognize that the effort that she was, you know, claiming to put was nowhere near what she's capable of, right. So I just say, you know, just push, push for that 80, push for 80% and see how a person can come around. And I, I guarantee that if this is if it's not an abusive relationship, and there is there is some, you know, compatibility within the relationship, if someone is giving 80% consistently, whether it's the husband, or the wife, then you're going to see some returns. But there are situations in this what I was getting at, people feel that the best scenario is for husband and wife to be together with the

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kids. Now, there's a big clause, right? There's a very important clause that people forget about. It's not just about being under the same roof together. It's about being together respectfully, lovingly, and treating each other with trust. When you are together, when you are created when you are together, and there's always fighting and there's always a belittling those children actually suffer. I see them and I they will tell me, I wish mom and dad got a divorce A long time ago, because we constantly had to be in that state sister diva thing can't wait. Thanks for vouching for it.

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And your experience, I know strada is amazing massages, I collect hair from one of her events I attended and hamdulillah I don't have a big issue. But I want to learn more about myself to be a better Muslim, a better wife. Okay, very good. You know, wanting to work on yourself. I mean, I do spend in pillar, one of five pillars of marriage is all about self development, improving yourself. But I have dedicated myself to doing the mindful Hearts Academy. This is something that I do on a weekly, I just finished doing it. And that's about being the best version of yourself. And if you're really committed to being your best, and that is the way you can join our group inshallah, and when

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the Registration is open, so if there are any other questions, I may say,

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divorce is a big decision, and you should be praying to harder about it, get the necessary help make this decision to actually say I'm going to try this one last time. This what I, what I tell the clients that come in because they're always at the end of their rope. They're always like, they're fed up. No, and I tell them, I go, no one comes to see me and say, You know what, we're so happy. Can you take us to the level of Nirvana? No one says that. Everyone who comes in is like, they're devastated. They're done. Right? And I always encourage them to go give it one last try. Okay. And you may have tried everything that you know, but you know, No, you haven't done everything that is

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out there. So try prove

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techniques, things that I have seen over the past 20 years people applying and changing their lives around, and hundreds of testimonies of people who are like, Oh my gosh, this really saved my marriage. And then you can decide, if you go through all that you make the changes in yourself, and you go through the program and you still feel like nothing is clicking then then you feel like you know what, when you're standing in the court of law, you can say I tried my absolute best sister hikma saying sisters out there who marry again, get backlash from adult stepchildren of spouse because they demand fathers time and attention how to sisters deal with that specially if it's

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affecting their marriage and the Father gives them to them.

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So that's a whole and that's a whole nother discussion. You know, coming from a joint family system or actually a blended I should say a blended family is very challenging and I think that requires its own time and attention to talk about how to how to manage that how to be fair in that scenario, and inshallah maybe I could address that sister Nadia saying mindful Hearts Academy is amazing, Mashallah, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. Thank you, sister. Nadia are always so sweet. And I'm so happy that you're able to join in, I'm going to do my best to come on more regularly, it's probably going to be more around one o'clock. Okay, so from one to 130, I'm

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going to do

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reminders, reminders, whether that's about marriage, whether that's about mindfulness, whether that's about healthy eating, I'm doing getting healthy, and for those of you who want to get healthy, I have a free Facebook group and we're just getting healthy together. It's called Get Healthy with holla. And I would love to see you there so in sha Allah, may Allah make your situation a lot easier. And may Allah give you the hickmott the wisdom to know what to say how to say it and to whom to say it to. Let's see sister Macha says I joined mindful heart Academy couple of months ago, and it's a life changing experience at home. It's like a lot hair sister matches. I'm glad that

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you came we just had a lesson today and it is it is very fun and exciting, to do internal work to change yourself and be the best version of yourself. I hope to see you again just like a la heydon salaam aleikum