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Key to a successful marriage #02

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Maryam Lemu

Channel: Maryam Lemu

Episode Notes

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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As Salaam Alaikum Welcome back to the live episode hosted by Al barrage press. I've been talking to you about how to nurture a successful marriage living with dignity and love. And I've shared with you tips that work to my husband and I for over the past 29 years Alhamdulillah now I'm going to share with you the biggest thing that transformed our relationship, we came up with what we call our code of conduct. Yes, we came up with this together, and our code of conduct are basically rules of things we promise we will observe, and we will do for one another, we will do them faithfully. For the relationship sake, we came up with our list separately, and then we merged it together, we

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compared notes, I highly encourage you to do the same. Now I'll be sharing some of mine with you. And I know you will, maybe pick up some things that you may want to try out. The first rule is faith and spirituality. Yes, Allah first in everything we do, because he will be our guide, he will be our compass. And if we keep Allah first, we would not want to offend him. That means we would do what would please him one of those is fulfilling our obligations to him, because the fear of offending him forces us to follow the rules and guidelines that he has set out on how to build a successful relationship. So holding on tight to allow us rope doing acts of spirituality together. And this

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covers so many things. Of course, the prayers of course, acts of the body, the charity, we do as much as we can together and Alhamdulillah. As we started to have children, we do it with them. The second one is fidelity and loyalty and contentment. Yes, you cannot be unfaithful to your spouse, this loyal and expect love to exist. There has to be loyalty there has to be fidelity to one another. And then contentment. I put those three together because they are a package. If you appreciate your spouse for who they are. And I tell myself, Allah created my spouse just for me. Literally, that was not the case. Before. There was a point I hated him. I thought he he disgust me

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just seeing him I know these words sounds so extreme. But if you know how horrible our relationship was, in the first six years, you will be like this transformation. This evolution is just like a miracle it is but it's with Allah's blessing. It's with a lot of work and effort. So this contentment, knowing that Allah took his time to create and mold him for me, is one of the things I have done to help myself look at the good in him, look for the good in him appreciate the gift that Allah has blessed me, and Alhamdulillah This is one of our code of conduct. So we do it for each other. We always appreciate what we have. And so like I said, faith, sorry, fidelity, loyalty and

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contentment is a package, then mutual respect. You cannot be disrespecting your spouse, then degrading them this honoring them and expect love and mercy to exist. When we wonder why it's disappeared in the relationships today. Go and look at how you talk to one another. You can't expect love and mercy to exist in a climate of oppression, a climate of disrespect where you are shouting. So no matter how angry we get, no matter how hot the fire gets, we have a promise we will never be disrespectful to one another. Another one is trust. Yes, I love to sleep well at night knowing there's nothing in my heart that my spouse doesn't know about me. So we have no secrets. There is no

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game playing no manipulation, no deception. We have devices and not a single password on any of them. Total openness. Like I said, it just gives me peace of mind knowing I have nothing to hide, because that one spirals into another web of lies and bigger problems, you get entangled in it and it's stressful. So that's another one. Another Code of Conduct we have is effective communication. Timing, effective communication, I would say the biggest thing I learned is timing, right? Because when I was upset my method was just simply to bombard him with what I was frustrated about regardless of whether it was a good time, regardless of whether we were going to have guests. Yeah,

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imagine how he would take that he's just come back from work and I just stopped opening my mouth and telling him all sorts of things that were frustrating me. So my method didn't work, but his method didn't work because he would shut down when he's upset. I would ask him what's wrong said he'd say nothing unlike Okay, clearly I can see something is wrong. So I had to learn. We had to learn effective communication. I promise

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I took courses, courses upon courses, short courses, I read books about communication and be effective listening, because those two things are really important. I also took courses on conflict resolution. Yes, I know, because we've fought really bad. Like I said, for about five, six years of our marriage, we hit rock bottom, literally, divorce was on my mind. And we just had to change our style. It wasn't working. The first thing I did was I asked my spouse for feedback. And this is another Code of Conduct feedback. Yes. So I asked said, Tell me, what is it? I'm doing that you don't like that you want me to stop? Then what am I doing that you like that you want me to

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continue? And what would you like to see that's not going on? I'm not doing right now. I promise you feedback, having the humility hanging your ego out there. And being able to allow your spouse to tell you honestly, how they feel what they want, will transform your relationship. So those three questions, I promise you, life changing, it'll change the climate of your relationship. What am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? And what do you want me to start doing? And then do a self inventory when my husband gave me feedback about myself, I was ruthless, when it came to trying to break those bad habits. And then, on the feedback, something that we continue to improve upon, and

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how we give each other feedback is I started something which he does as well, after every four to six months, I will ask him, so it How can I make you happier? And at first, he gives me this look, and he starts to say, Miriam, I can't think of anything. But well, I don't stop there. I don't just take that at face value. I dig as like, no, there's something else you want right now, what can I do to make you happier? Again, it's your relationship. Why are you together if you're not ready to make it work, and make it beautiful. So feedback, I promise you will make a huge difference. The next is mutual growth, and having shared interests and things in common. Now, one thing I warn people, if

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you do not grow together in the same direction, if you don't share interests, and have things in common, the risk becomes high that your spouse will look for someone else who shares common interests with them. So learn to have things in common. I was bankrupt when it came to Current Affairs, world politics, World History, sports, and my husband was into all these things architecture, and I just had to learn I would watch baseball matches with him American football, soccer matches, and now I'm the superfan. I'm the one who watches he comes home and meets me watching a match. And I've gotten into it, I love it. And we play sports together. We go on walks

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together, we play tennis together, and he taught me these things. So when we can spend quality time together doing things we both love, we watch matches. I mean, it's like why would he want to go out and hang out with friends if I'm his buddy, you know, we just sit and chat about the game and news and whatever it is. So that's it really, really important mutual growth and common interests. Another Code of Conduct is fulfilling each other's love languages. And that requires you to understand them, I highly advise you due to time I can't go into that right now. Go on YouTube, or buy the book. Gary Chapman's book, five love languages. excellent book. And then Anthony Robbins,

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six basic human needs. These are so important. Another book, I will highly advise you read his Seven Habits of Highly Effective families. These books are life changing, they change the life of your relationship, your marriage, your family, I highly encourage you to read these books because they give you tips on how to strengthen the bond between you and your spouse and how to resolve conflict as well. Learning about love languages helped me understand that his love language is very different from mine. And that what I think I like is not the same as what he likes. So I needed to make sure that if I'm to deposit in his emotional bank account that I deposit in the right currency, but read

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the book or watch the videos on YouTube, you will love it.

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But always grow and evolve together. That's such an important thing. Under mutual growth, shared interests, love languages, make sure you evolve intellectually. You evolve physically, you evolve socially. You evolve economically and in the service to others try and do those things together makes a world of difference. Then another thing we have as a promise a code of conduct is we will look good and sexy for one another. Yes. So smell good. Both of you for one another flirt with your spouse. Yes, both of you. We still do almost 30 years down the line.

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It doesn't matter if it is on a Lazy Sunday, I will take my time and look clean, fresh and smell good. And he does the same for me even if we choose to hang out in our pajamas all day. One of the things we owe our spouse, like I said earlier is a Hello relationship. So be adventurous. Like I said, flirt, be adventurous. Let intimacy be something, not a chore, but something you look forward to. So again, hello relationship. Remember that boredom is a recipe for disaster. My brother used to use this analogy, that water that sits still starts to smell. And it's true. So be adventurous in the bedroom side, develop your bedroom acrobatics, and do whatever it takes to fulfill each other's

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fantasies. Have fun, both of you. Then another Code of Conduct is be each other's cheerleader for us. We want to be the captain of each other's supporters club. And I always say my parents gave me the foundation, but my husband gave me the wings to fly. I was doubting myself so many times in the early years of our marriage, and he's like Maryam, give it a shot, what have you got to lose? Hey, even if you fail, you gained experience. I'll never forget that. And anytime I do something, he's like Merriam, I am so proud of you, he'll sometimes hold my shoulders, look me in the eyes and tell me that, and I do the same in my own way with my own style. I'll just give him a big hug or slap a

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kiss on his face. Like, I'm so proud of you. And that feels so good. Because there's something I always say the world may think you're a nobody. But your spouse thinks you're a somebody, make your spouse feel that good. Don't let them get that validation outside. Don't let them get that praise outside, let it start from home. If needs are not met in the home, you run the risk of your spouse looking for those needs outside and they are part of our basic human needs. Then another Code of Conduct is appreciation and gratitude for the littlest things. however small, appreciated, it's not about the monetary work, the materialistic work is about the act. So always show appreciation,

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support, help and show gratitude. Thank your spouse for the littlest things they do sometimes just the company. I'll just say it, I really enjoyed your company, thank you. This is almost 30 years down the line. Then feed each other spirits. It all goes in line with appreciation, validation, making your spouse feel they matter. Let them always look forward to coming home to you. I remember when our marriage had reached rock bottom, like that real wake up moment for me was when he said, Maryam, I don't look forward to coming home. I was devastated. And that's when I just knew like, okay, you gotta fight you got to make this work. Of course, this man is no longer looking like the

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man you married. But he's in there somewhere. And you got to find him girl and I had to work on it. And Alhamdulillah it made a big difference. We both are 110% committed. I'm not going to go through all but I'm going to share with you a couple more. Another Code of Conduct is commitment for life. Having the right mindset that I'm in this for the long haul, helps you have to be more patient but my patience is tied to patient because both of you are making an effort. No patient, you're the one doing all the work your spouse isn't. So but this thing about your mindset. How do you see your spouse? How do you see your marriage? Do you see it as a beautiful relationship that you're

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nurturing? Or do you see it as a prison? Do you see it as if you're both roommates, you're just trapped, you exist with no goals for the relationship. These are also important and these are some of the non negotiables that we have the constants, our code of conduct that we both observe. And like I said, we have more, but come up with yours. We added one more recently, and that is about the use of the phone and social media etiquette. Of course with social media, we give the unseen more priority over those that are in front of us. And we talk to strangers at midnight at two in the morning. First thing in the morning, we check our phones instead of the person lying next to us. And

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social media is destroying marriages and families today. So take charge of it before it replaces you. That is one advice I will give you. So we have etiquette we never use it when we're together at the table. If we're watching a movie together, our phones are just on silent mode. Let the alerts come. That's none of my business. Why? Because the one who really matters my spouse, My children are right there in front of me. Now, if you were to review your relationship today, don't be surprised that if you are having problems in your relationship, one or more of these things that I've shared with you is not yet in place and you need to make it work. So in conclusion

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Just remember, no matter how many years you've been married, people change, people grow, people evolve, needs change. That is why you need to constantly keep reviewing your goals and working on achieving them and then creating new ones. You need to constantly give each other feedback. This is so important, and give yourself feedback, introspect. Look in the mirror, what am I doing wrong? What am I doing right? What new things can I bring in, never be stagnant, no matter what happens, never lose sight of the endearing qualities of the person you fell in love with. If the person you fell in love with has changed or disappeared, like my son, he disappeared, he was no longer there,

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then find them and bring them back. I got so angry and vicious, when I was mad at him that I became ugly. And he recoiled. And he didn't become pleasant, either. I just saw a nasty side and what you focus on will expand. So find them, bring them back, they didn't disappear by accident, you might have chased them away. The reality is whatever the state of your marriage is today, if it is great, ask yourself, How did he get that way? What did I do? And how did I contribute for it to become great? And if it is not, ask not? What did they do wrong? Or it's because of them that things aren't going well? Ask what did you do or not do to make it the way it is today? So the big question is,

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are you ready to turn over a new chapter in your relationship today? Right now? Can you sit with your spouse and talk and ask for feedback and put your ego aside, even the Prophet sallallahu wasallam consulted with his spouses and ask for feedback. Be conscious and present, always be deliberate when it comes to your marriage, marriages don't run on autopilot. They don't become successful by accident. But if both parties are equally committed to the relationship, you get out insha Allah what you put in, may Allah strengthen the bond between you and your spouse. It is time for q&a. So I'm going to quickly go into some of the questions that have been sent to me. And if you

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have more questions, please go ahead and share them. And we'll see if we have time to cover them all. Now, the first question I see here is,

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if I'm in a marriage, that

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if I'm in a marriage, and I don't feel the love anymore, what should I do? Should I stay in the marriage? Well, that's a big question. If I'm in a marriage, and I don't feel the love anymore, what should I do? Should I stay in the marriage?

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I'm not the I'm not gonna say leave the marriage because it's not working. I don't know the circumstances. I don't know the behind the scenes. I don't know what your what effort your spouse is putting or not putting, and I don't know what you have done. Like I said, I discovered that I chase my husband away. But one thing I can say is start by looking in the mirror.

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Don't give up on your marriage, you have to fight, you have to make it work, until you have exhausted all options, all options, including look in the mirror.

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And remember this quote, you can't make someone love you or like you, but you can make yourself likable and lovable. Do your inventory. Have you asked them? What is it you're doing? They don't like? And what would they like you to start doing? And what is it that you do that they like if anything at all. So sometimes it's our perception that we're doing everything right. But we don't realize it may be the manner we talk, it may be our timing. It may be other personal things to do with intimacy, it could be anything, it could be that we don't share common interests because we grew apart, there could be several reasons. It could be when we are angry, we get vicious. And the

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worst thing is when you get angry and you start to hit below the belt, you lose your spouse very quickly, because you say hurtful things, and that's what lingers. That's what festers long after the fight is over. And you know, there is this survey that was conducted of folks who had been married. And the survey was for over about 400 people and it said, What couples quarrel about in the first one to five years of their marriage is the same things. They fight about 25 years down the line. However, the marriages that survive, the 25 years of fights, are fighting about the same thing. The marriages that don't survive, it's because of the how they fought. So in other words, it's if our

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selfish ego comes into interfere with the fight, then you find you lose your spouse. Then you find your marriage becomes goes on the rocks, but we fight in the first one

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Five years, we fight about the same thing. 25 years down the line. It's how we fight that determines the success of the relationship or its failure. And then pray hard. So if you've done your inventory you've asked them. Sometimes you may have to involve a third party. So don't just up and go without fighting for it. And then how much prayer Have you prayed? This is a great time to pray if you're feeling this way. And I'm so sorry, you're feeling this way. May Allah lighten your load. But don't give up. Remember your spouse's endearing qualities. Remember what you fell in love with? Just a word of caution. The time I ask people to walk away is when the relationship gets toxic when you are

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being broken. When you are feeling small, when you are being emotionally drained. When you're losing yourself. When there's some form of abuse, physical abuse, emotional psychological, when your mental health is on the line, that's when I would highly advise you to do some serious istikhara and ask Allah to guide you in making one of the biggest decisions of your life. May Allah guide you to make the right decision. And I do pray that when you got married, what you were hoping for, that you will be able to realize that dream whether it's with your spouse, or with somebody else, Allah knows best question number two, I have a physical attachment to my partner, but not a mental attachment. Please

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advise me also, what if it's vice versa? Well, that's an unusual question.

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Well, I have a physical attachment to my partner but not a mental for me. I would say what are your marriage goals? You know, why did you get married? What were you hoping to achieve? Were you attracted to them physically, but not mentally? Were the stunning were they beautiful? I remember when I was quoting my husband to be my dad said to me, Marian, if you're looking at something shiny, and my husband was very shiny, he was a hot stepper, a hunka hunka burning love. That's what I call.

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If you are looking at something shiny, remember it will fade and if you think you are shining, you will fade now almost 30 years down the line. God dang it, I know I faded a bit gravity's at work and so on. But because we fallen in love with each other soul, those embers are still you know, if the passion dies, Alhamdulillah there is still a lot of passion between us. But I know what I saw in my parents marriage for 50 years, that the burning passion is gone. But that deep love, the steady embers was still on even though my mum was considered to be an old, old woman or old lady and she had lost her memory. She had Alzheimers, a layer hammer, and everything. When I see the way my dad

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looked into her eyes, that sweet, beautiful soul he fell in love with was all he saw. So I asked you, why did you get married? What were your marriage goals? Or what are your marriage goals? And are you both okay with just being in love with the physical? Not the mental, not the soul? Not the spirit of your spouse? If not, then check yourself, you know, what do you need to do differently? If you say maybe there's a possibility it's vice versa? And then ask them what do they want? For the relationship? What are you doing wrong? What are you doing? Right? How can you make them happier questions like that. And remember, in Surah Surah, Allah says he won't change the condition or the

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blessings of a people unless they change what lies within them. So what lies within you that you need to change? What does your spouse need to change? If there is going to be a change and you want Allah to come and fill in the blanks? You just have to do.

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Now someone is asking, what is the single piece of advice you would give to a new newly married couple? Okay, I know I've shared that earlier. Create your code of conduct, create your marriage goals. This is the first thing create a goal for your marriage, your expectations both of you, but then create a code of conduct things that you know you will faithfully observe mine like I shared with you. It's faith, of course that spirituality holding on to Alas, rope, fidelity, loyalty, you know, contentment, respect, no matter how angry things get, because you will fight. If you're a newly wedded couple fights are inevitable. Not sure if you're still in the honeymoon stage. But I

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will tell you one thing for sure fights are inevitable. So you need to prepare and talk about that come up with your code of conduct that no matter how angry I get, I won't be disrespectful. So that's another one. Then learn about effective communication. You have to do your homework on that. That's your responsibility and effective listening. It's important you both do that. If you can do it together even better. then learn to feed each other spirits so that someone outside doesn't feed their spirit for

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them, validate them, then learn each other's Love, love language and grow together. I hope that helps, and then have the right mindset. I'm in this for life. Within the first I didn't share this with you within the first two weeks of marriage, I asked my husband for a divorce. I was a very stupid girl, I wouldn't lie to you I, I was very shallow, very selfish. And it took my husband to tell me these things to realize when I asked him, you know, what am I doing wrong? And he's like, well, you're selfish and you're self centered. You only focus on making yourself happy. But when I started working on myself, when I started working on improving my character, my enough's.

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Alhamdulillah, my husband fell in love with me, not just the physical, but Alhamdulillah. It's a double bonus. Next question, if my potential suitor can provide my private accommodation, what do you advise? Ah, interesting question. Well, I have a premarital masterclass coming up. And one of the things I cover in the master class is try and make sure you have your own private comfortable accommodation. This is so important, private, safe, comfortable accommodation.

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If your spouse cannot afford it, then have your own. And so first, it's the man, you are meant to provide shelter for your spouse in a safe, comfortable place. However, if you can't and between you and your spouse, you're able to come up with an agreement that you will provide it then by all means, go ahead and do so. But let it be known that it's a circle on your part. It's not an obligation that is if the woman is the one, you know, and are you ready to take the plunge, knowing that things may always be this way that you may be the one taking care of the rent, or whatever it is to do with the house. Do you have alternative accommodation that you can afford? I mean, right

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now, those are the kind of questions and then if you end up being the one with alternative accommodation, be humble, keep your feet on the ground, never ever show any kind of superiority or lorded over your spouse that you You're the one who you know, it's your house is living in. It's just a piece of advice. But I highly advise that if your spouse can't try not to live with your in laws, it's a disaster waiting to happen, trust me. Next question, What are the signs of a marriage collapsing? Definitely, it's when it gets toxic. When there is disrespect when there's emotional, sexual, psychological, financial, physical abuse. I mean, when like I said, you start to feel

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inferior, you start to feel small, you start to feel broken, when you feel depressed, because you are in that relationship. When you depreciate in value in worth, when you start to live in fear. You know, these are all reasons for signs I should say from Allah that your marriage is on the rocks, and you need to do something quick. Because even Allah doesn't want you to sacrifice yourself because of marriage. persecution is worse or worse than slaughter in Islam. And if you think of that, then you realize like, Allah doesn't want you to be persecuted in a relationship. And don't forget your children are watching you. Don't stay in a toxic relationship because of kids. This is

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an advice I give people all the time you are hurting them. They're gonna grow up to be dysfunctional. Your children are learning from you how marriage is meant to be and Is this the example you want them to replicate? The kids will eventually resent you. So make sure you don't make that mistake. All right, may Allah make it easy? Well, I have come to the end. My time is up. I'm not able to answer all the questions. But please feel free to send other questions you may have maybe to my social media platform on Instagram or the Merriam lemo official on my YouTube channel, Marian label or Facebook Merriam, lemo and insha Allah I can get back to you with answers to your

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questions. And if you want to send me a long message, send me an email at Marian [email protected] Otherwise, may Allah bless you. Eat Mubarak in advance. May Allah grant us the full blessings of this last day of Ramadan And may Allah continue to protect us all and bless us and our loved ones in the best manner. Jackman LAU hiren for showing up today as salaam alaikum al gurus please press me they serve as a witness for you in the life to come. Thank you for putting this event together. Assalamu alaikum