Often when there is trouble brewing in our relationships, we look outward. We blame our spouse for what’s going wrong and magnify their faults. We forget that we are not perfect and something we may be doing is causing our spouse to react towards us in a negative manner.
Self awareness allows for introspect. It helps us be truthful and honest with ourselves and if resolution is our goal, it forces us to make efforts to change some of our bad habits.
I asked my husband Sa’id in our 5th to 6th year of marriage when things had reached rock bottom and divorce was looking like the only option to list all the habits I have that are not flattering. To tell me all the things I am doing that are affecting the relationship in a negative way. I also asked him to tell me the things he likes about me so that I can build on them.
Fortunately for me, he asked me to do the same. This was a huge turning point in our relationship because we had brought things out into the open and were ready for change, starting with ourselves.
I asked myself several questions:
Would I want to be married to someone like me?
Am I a pleasure to be around?
Do I uplift his spirit?
Do I support and encourage him and his dreams?
Am I there for him during the good and the rough times?
Do I have the qualities that I am hoping he has?
Am I a good person?
Is my character good?
Do I make an effort to look attractive for him?
Would I look forward to coming home to someone like me?
Am I committed for him and the relationship?
Sadly, I was lacking in so many areas. I had a lot of work to do. We both made an effort to work on our shortcomings. My focus was to build myself and make myself attractive and to look good, both inside and out.
I wanted my character and qualities to be so good that when he is not home, he would be longing to come home to me.
It’s still a work in progress but Alhmadulillah, 26 years later, we find our greatest pleasure is derived from coming home to each other not from going out.
We continue to work on ourselves, we continue to build ourselves.
The thing is, when both parties are committed, both parties see the other making a conscious effort to improve and grow and invest in the relationship, it makes it easier to make excuses for ones spouse when they slip or make mistakes.
May Allah continue to strengthen the bond between you and your spouse. May He grant you the courage to look in the mirror and also ask for feedback so you see your short comings and work on them ruthlessly.
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was a bit like a minute sit down rajim Bismillah R Rahman Rahim Assalamu alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu. My name is Mariam lemo. And I promised that I would be talking about marriage my absolute favorite topic. During this episode, I want to talk about self awareness as a key ingredient to a successful marriage. Now, often, when we find ourselves in the middle of conflict, or when a relationship is deteriorating, we often look outwards, we find fault in whatever it is that our spouse is doing. And we magnify that forgetting that we may be contributing to relate the relationship deteriorating. And we may be contributing to the biggest problem in the relationship
because we do not look and see what it is that we are doing wrong when my fights with my husband. So it reached a point where we were really well, I was considering divorce. And this was about five to six years down the line, the yelling, the shouting, feeling disrespected, anger, feeling misunderstood, frustration that we both felt, it was not fun, it was very exhausting. We were both tired. And this obviously was not why we got together. And that was really the disturbing part, I had discovered that I had forgotten the reason why we had gotten married. Now never lose sight of why you got married, never lose sight of your spouse's endearing qualities. Unfortunately, I had
allowed the conflict to make me blind to make me lose sight of his qualities. It had brought out a side of me that made me look ugly. That made me look very mean and very vindictive. I had lost sight also of my own qualities, my own good qualities, because I was so embroiled in the toxic environment that we were in. Unfortunately, this is not who I was. That is the sad thing. This ugliness that came out of me deep inside is not who my character is, it wasn't my brand, it's so important to have a brand and a code of conduct. And never stoop down, don't stoop low. When you find yourself angry, or in the middle of a fight with your spouse, don't lower your standard just because of your
spouse's behavior. So if they are behaving in a mean manner, don't respond, blow for blow, don't mirror their behavior. Don't allow yourself to become ugly, like I did. I knew I wasn't perfect. And that I was also part of the problem in the corals we were facing and the conflict that existed. I also wanted to resolve this problem. This isn't how marriage is meant to be. So I decided to start with myself and look within, I had to do some serious introspect. But I did something with chill, which till today, my husband talks about, and that is, I asked him, to tell me what it is about my character that he feels I should work on, I should improve upon, or that he doesn't like, and also
what it is that I was doing that he felt were adding value to the relationship. But I did ask him to be merciful. I wanted to make sure that I didn't end up finding myself dissected, and the heap of emotions on the floor shattered Alhamdulillah, for me, he responded very positively. And surprisingly, he asked me to do the same. So we both shared our notes of what it is we didn't want, or we didn't like about each other, and what we loved about each other that we wanted to continue. Now, one of the toughest thing is actually hearing about your character flaws. It's very, very hard to hear the truth and take it with a straight face. But one has to do this if you really want
personal growth. And if you have reached a stage where you need to be aware of yourself, that's why I talk about self awareness as a key ingredient to a successful marriage. Another thing I did was I asked for it to remind me, tactfully, anytime that he sees I'm going off course. So not when I start to do what he says. And that is exactly what I'm talking about. You're doing it again. No, no, no, no, no, no, my husband found a very respectful and tactful way of pulling me back on course, like one of the things he complained about with me is that I have a big mouth, I talk too much. And sometimes I get a little carried away when we're in public. And he gives me a signal, he just
signals me and squinting his eyes a little bit. And I know it's time for me to put my brakes and slow down. So Alhamdulillah this thing about finding a middle ground and an opportunity for you to hear what it is you're doing wrong and also be corrected and be guided and be reminded, is really a great way to improve yourself. Now so it is not perfect Far from it. But he's perfect for me.
And I am far far from perfect. But I know that for the relationship to improve. I need to hear what it is about me he doesn't like so that I can improve upon it. And like I said, he gave me the same opportunity.
Now I continue to talk to myself. I learned
To be very self aware, and very real with myself, I looked in the mirror a lot at my flaws, my character flaws, and I tried my best to work on it, I would ask myself several questions. Some of them would be, would I want to be married to a person like me? Would I want to live with someone like me? Am I attractive? both inside and out? Are my qualities? Is my character attractive? That is the insight. Have I done my purification of my heart? Am I a good person? And then do I take care of myself on the outside so that he would find me attractive? Am I a pleasure to be around? Do I add value to him and to the relationship? Do I lift his spirits up? Am I encouraging of him and his
plans and expectations and so on? Am I his cheerleader? The Chairperson of his supporters club? Can I trust myself to be by his side during the ups and the downs, the good, the bad, and the ugly times that are ahead. Now the things that I wanted from my husband before I got married, do I have those qualities myself? Am I that same person? Do I have the qualities would I want to come home to someone like me? I'm like committed to the relationship. Sadly,
I had a lot of work to do. And this reality check this introspect. This self awareness was a real turning point in our relationship. And they asked you please to do the same. Please back this video and write down all these questions. And then ask yourself these questions. Be truthful to yourself, be real with yourself, have the courage to ask your spouse to share what it is about you they don't like because this is a way of strengthening the relationship and growing and be sincere in your intentions when you do it.
And most importantly, after hearing all these things and becoming more self aware, work on it, start to build yourself, improve upon yourself and continue to grow and inshallah Allah will make it easy for you Allah will fill in the blanks. inshallah. During the next episode, I'll be sharing with you more tips of what worked for me and how to strengthen your relationship with your spouse. If you enjoyed this, and any of the other episodes that I have shared, please forward this on to other people and let it be of benefit to them. You can follow me on Facebook or you can join my YouTube channel and insha Allah there will be many, many more to come. May Allah continues to strengthen the
bond between you and your spouse and continued courage and the strength to look in the mirror and see who you really are, and help you build on your great qualities. Assalamu alaikum