Marriage Makeover – Ep 1/5 – Self Development – Haleh Banani
Improving your relationship with others begins with acknowledging and making the commitment to overcome personal shortcomings. In this talk, Sister Haleh Banani explains how critical self-development is to achieving a successful marriage.
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Salam Alaikum Quran Weekly, this is holla banani. I'm going to be talking to you about one of the most important aspects of having a good marriage and that is self development. Bismillah was Salatu was Salam ala rasulillah
in Nala holla Yura yiruma, Manhattan euro euro may be for him. Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of the people until they change what is in themselves. Generally, we think of this first in reference to changing the oma. This exemplifies the power of self change. When we change ourselves, we're able to change the situation on could refer to a man or tribe. We can take lessons from this first, that if changing yourself is so powerful that it can change an oma, imagine what it can do for your marriage to change your marriage, your marriage is not going to change until you spend time on changing yourself your habit, your attitude, if you're angry, if you're pessimistic,
if you have self esteem issues, it will definitely affect your marriage. Many people put the blame and responsibility on of improving the marriage on their spouse, they'll come to me and basically they tell me fix my wife, and our marriage is gonna be great. Or they'll come with a list of 10 things that they want me to change in their husband, it's really easy to put the blame on others. But this verse is indicating that we need to start with ourselves. This is a call for reform and self development, which is primarily why I made the pillar one in my marriage program self development until we acknowledge our shortcomings, which is anger, insecurity, jealousy, our desires
and arrogance. and overcome them. We can't really thrive in our marriage. There was a client that I had, who was basically suffering in every relationship, she was angry, she was very arrogant and possessive. And every single relationship had fallen apart. When she came in, she wanted to work on her marriage. So I was only working with her. As we started to work on her personality as she learned about anger management, and she overcame her possessiveness, she started acting more maturely, and she gained all of those important skills and tools and being a better person, her relationship started to evolve, her husband tried to start treating her differently, her kids
responded to hurt differently. So it's really about working on yourself in order to improve your marriage. Now, many people that come to me for therapy, they come alone, they're only there, and I work with them. And as they change, then their relationship improves. And it's really important to realize that peace and happiness needs to come from within. You can't depend on your spouse to make you happy. Many people are waiting to meet Mr. Right or read, Miss right to be happy, finally. But really, you have to work within, you have to get that peace, you have to have that happiness within yourself in order to come into the marriage to be able to provide and give in the marriage. It's
essential to grow spiritually, emotionally, and in every aspect of your life. And the self growth and self development is so critical. If we don't spend time in changing ourselves, we can expect the marriage to improve. I had one male client recently that postponed getting engaged because he wanted to overcome his addiction to watching inappropriate material before he got married. And that's admirable to be able to prioritize working on yourself prior to getting married. It's really important to adjust our intention when we want to make a change in the mallamma love in the dead. Verily our deeds are by our intentions. So if we make our intention to change in order to please a
lot, first and foremost, I want to be a better person. I want to be more devout. I want to be a more giving more compassionate person. So first, we're doing it to please a lot. Then it's about changing to improve on a personal level. I want to be a better person. I want to be someone that I myself can be proud of. And then you do it with the intention of improving your marriage.
Anytime when people go in with the wrong intention, or they're going in with just the intention of pleasing other people, if their change is not acknowledged, if no one is appreciating that, then they're going to get discouraged, and they're going to stop. But when you go in with the intention of wanting to please Allah, and wanting to be a better person, so regardless of whether anyone appreciates you or anyone acknowledges you, you're still committed to making that long lasting change in gene therapy for the past 20 years, I've noticed that there are certain characteristics that need to be improved in the sisters and some characteristics that could be improved in men in
order to improve the relationship. So self improvement for women, I would summarize it in three different areas. One is emotional stability, that is having control over your emotions, not being a drama queen, not overreacting, not crying, and yelling excessively, because these are the things that the brothers complain about the most about their wives, they feel that they're walking on eggshells, they feel that they're dealing with someone who has a ticking time bomb, they don't know what's gonna set her off. And so this creates a lot of insecurity, and a lot of lack of trust in the relationship where the husband will not know what's going to set the set his wife off. So having
that emotional stability of being in control of yourself is really critical. The second thing is being secure. I have seen that insecurity is really the main problem that women face in all relationships, whether it's their marriage, whether it's with their in laws with their friends, there's a sense of feeling either intimidated or feeling insecure about others feeling threatened by other especially other females. So if we work on building our self esteem, if we work on feeling really good about ourselves, then we're not going to be so affected by the other females in our relationships, and that will definitely improve our marriage and improve our friendships and improve
the relationship with our in laws. The third thing is growing intellectually, many of the sisters are Mashallah very well educated, very intellectual. Now, what happens is that once they get married, they choose to stay at home, take care of the kids in the home, which is completely admirable and so respected. Mashallah. But what happens is that they stop putting time and attention in their intellectual development. So what's happening is that the brothers are going to work, they're excelling, they're learning, they are advancing, while the sisters may not be doing the same, they may be at a standstill, and they are dedicating their time they're sacrificing for the
family they are providing they're doing so much, Mashallah. But they may not be spending as much time on the intellectual development. And I think that it's really important to continue that self growth, to be reading on a daily basis to be exposed to the news, the world events, and continuously grow and improve. That way. You do not grow apart from your spouse, I had a client that came in. And what happened was that her husband was a physician, Mashallah very intellectual making so many advancements in his careers. And so she was staying at home. And she was also very intelligent, very educated, but she had become so consumed with taking care of the kids into home, where they started
growing apart, they were no longer as stimulated when they were having their conversations. And I think that that's critical to continuously work on gaining that intellectual stimulation. Now, self improvement in men could be summarized in three different areas. One is self control, not being verbally, emotionally or physically abusive. This is a big one. And this is where a lot of sisters complain about their husbands that, you know, he has a temper, he just loses it. He yells and screams and says hurtful things to me. And sometimes, unfortunately, some brothers will get so upset that they may act physically towards their wife. I had one client who they were newlyweds and they
were just having a discussion about the end loss. She was very frustrated from her in laws, and she consistently complained to him and he kept telling her Stop, stop saying that I can hear you say that. And she kept at it. And finally he got so angry that he ended up slapping her and he felt devastated. He was like, I never thought I would hit my wife. He was crying in the session that is like this is so unlikely this very uncharacteristic of me but she just wouldn't stop but we need to learn how
to control our emotions, because once you say something once you act in a certain way you can ever take it back. And that was something that changed their relationship forever. When someone becomes physical in the relationship, when you say something offensive or hurtful, your relationship changes, and you can never get it back. I remember one brother who came in for therapy. And he was telling me, you know, it was all my fault. And I told him, Are you being sarcastic? Is that what she told me? He said, No, it was truly all my fault. She was a wonderful wife. She was a great mother, she did everything. And I just didn't acknowledge her. I didn't appreciate her. I didn't tell her
anything. And now she's filing for divorce. She's filing for divorce. And I have no one to blame but myself. And it was so sad the day that he went to court, he had a session with me and he told me, he said, I went in court and I fell to my knees, I kissed her feet, I told her, please don't do this. Don't end our marriage. And it was too late. It was too late. So the second way that brothers can improve themselves by being expressive. He need to learn to express her emotions, I know that many of you may not be comfortable with that it feels awkward you, it's just not part of your personality. But you need to change that in order to make your spouse happy. And part of our goal is
to keep chipping away at our negative trades until we come that ideal Islamic personality, we need to aspire to be like the Prophet salallahu alaihe salam, and regardless of what our personalities are, like, we need to keep working on ourselves. Until we get there. It's really important to continuous to learn and grow on an emotional level. Take some courses on marriage, take some self development books on how you can understand yourself better, maybe do some parenting courses together where it can be on the same page. And I know that many of you are so caught up with work and providing for the family, you don't have as much time. So maybe you can decide to have a book
that you're reading together with your spouse, maybe a audio book, put it on fast speed, listen to it together and discuss it in order to continuously be on the same page and grow both spiritually and emotionally. The last thing that I would recommend is that you become appealing for your spouse. So you've worked on yourself, you have changed certain aspects of your personality. And then it's about finding out what your spouse likes because each person has their own likes and dislikes. So find out what it is how your spouse likes you to dress, what is it that they enjoy? And what is it that you can do to make them feel loved. And another thing is to stop any kind of annoying behavior.
When a couple comes in, one of the first things I have them do is to stop the annoying behavior because you may be doing things unknowingly, that will really upset your spouse and every time you do it, it could really irked someone so you need to stop those negative behavior first and then start doing the loving acts. Do things that will make your spouse feel loved make them feel appreciated make them feel that they are your number one priority. If you can make your spouse feel like a priority. They will be happy person so do your best apply these things. Make the changes within yourself first like the verse says that if you want to have an impact on the oma if you want
to change first start with yourself so change yourself before you can make the change in your marriage and Sala
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