Naina shared her happy marital moment with me. “My husband is most happy when I sit in his workshop and quietly watch him work on his lifelong hobby – carving his wooden boats. Those are our moments of bliss and connection.”
. Mariam said that she and her husband revel in the frequent debates, challenges and dares she engages him in. “They stem from the different cultures we come from. I don’t accept silly cultural mentality submissively. Our engagements broaden our visions and also lend sparks to our relationship.”
.Huda discloses her marriage secret: “I let him cook every other day and praise him for the bland food he prepares. That is his way of de-stressing after work.”
.Many of these examples seemed to directly oppose the oft-touted golden rules to successful marriage and those famous ‘how-to-please-your-husband’ guides laid out time and again by scholars, speakers, counsellors, aunties and other well-wishers: “Put on makeup before he comes home….Dress to dazzle….Don’t ask questions…Be submissive….Win his heart through his stomach….Be with him all the time…Do this…Do that….”
Affection, comfort and mercy are indeed the valuable acquisitions of marriage. I learned that the quest for these fruits becomes easier once I set my goals right; once I recognise where the stream of love is ultimately flowing from and acknowledge that, like other things in life, happiness in marriage too is a bounty from Allah SWT. Once I differentiate between the means and the outcome of marital affection, I can redirect my efforts and seek from the Creator (SWT) rather than the man He (SWT) has made as my partner – thus become soley depend on the bestower of that blessing.