Because of high expectations about the early marital relationship, borrowed from past life and also from films, couples end up feeling hurt.
Life is not a bed of roses… How many times did you read or hear this adage whilst growing up?
Whether you were the indomitable idealist lost in a fantastical world of romance, make-believe and fiction, or the cynical realist who flicked away all hearsay regarding someone’s blissful matrimony with a “we’ll-see” eye-roll and contemptuous snort, the fact is that, notwithstanding life in general, marital life is definitely not a bed of roses!
It doesn’t take long for a married couple to realize, once the roses in the floral table centre-pieces at their walimahdinner have drooped and wilted, that married life is less about round-the-clock romance and more about being human, making mistakes, compassion, forgiveness, moving on from the past, adjustment, compromise, responsibility, Shari’ rights and persistent work.
When many people get married, they are more often than not young and never married before.
Whereas the innocence and naiveté adds to the giddiness of novel experiences, the lack of life experience and past interactions with people from the opposite gender also unfortunately fuel their level of expectations from their spouse, and make them enter their marriage with baggage carried over from witnessing their own parents’ marital relationship.
Now when he gets married, he might presume, against his better judgment that his wife intends to live exactly like his mother, which might make him attempt to replicate his own parents’ marriage with his wife. He might presume that his wife is inept to handle outside-the-home worldly matters, and is not street-smart; but rather, is predisposed and content to stay at home; aspires to cook at the level of master chef, and she may not be matured enough to be consulted for professional advice and major career decisions.Take the case of, for example, Adnan. A loving, stay-at-home mother who never had a job, was not educated beyond high school; never earned her own money, nor possessed much wealth. She could therefore not supervise her children’s homework or exam preparation beyond primary school level. Her kid always saw his father single-handedly take care of financial matters, never consulting his mother for any career-related discussions or professional advice. He grew up watching her mother keep house, cook, clean, sew and host dinners – and not much else.
He might start always comparing his wife, detrimentally to their marital relationship, with his mother or sisters, even going so far as to judge her novice cooking skills against his Mom’s polished, decades-old culinary expertise.
How often has a wife gone out of her way to cook an elaborate dish only to have her husband undermine it because his “Mom” made it better?
As a result, for the first few years of their marriage, his wife might struggle for him to accept her for who she is, particularly if she is highly educated, world-wise, well-read, professionally experienced, capable of handling money, and up-to-date with current affairs.
She might get frustrated at being coerced to keep her focus only in the kitchen, when her interests spill over into many other areas.
She might feel angry at being compared to someone else, and have all her skills and talents besides homemaking and cooking completely ignored.
Now let us look at the other side of the coin: when a wife carries her baggage of past life experiences and observation of her parent’s marriage into her marriage, in the form of high expectations.
It is common for many wives to expect the same, if not a better lifestyle and standard of living, than that which they were accustomed to before marriage. Whether or not they were a pampered ‘Daddy’s Girl’, if they were always kept on a pedestal and showered with love and material gifts on demand, they might be in for an awakening after marriage.
By naively falling into the trap of assuming that their husband will immediately love, trust and indulge them just like their parents used to, they might soon also suffer the consequences of “carry-over-syndrome”.
Sometimes new brides’ expectations from their husbands are based entirely on their past relationship with their father, who might have consulted them in all major family decisions and valued their opinion as an individual with a head on their shoulders. Consequently, they will expect their husbands to do the same from day one, and when that doesn’t happen in the beginning, they might get hurt.
The question that arises then would be; who is responsible for this pain? The person who did not come up to expectations, or the person who kept those expectations too high, made unfair comparisons, and expected perfection much too soon?
Now picture this scenario: Sameera got married thinking that her husband would have long, deep conversations with her over romantic dinners at restaurants. She expected that he’d dish out pocket money for her from day one, just like her father did with her mother, and consequently, that he would be earning enough to havethat much money in the first place.Life is Rosy…..
She expected him to wear the kind of clothes she liked whilst at home, just the way her brother did, lounging around in branded tees and sweatpants.
As it turned out, her husband did not dine at restaurants, and preferred having her cook everything at home. He was interested in little else but physical intimacy the first few weeks, and long conversations just caused delays. He wanted to relax and ‘be himself’ when at home, which translated to wearing a vest and worn-out PJ’s. He never gave her any money, but more than willingly bought her whatever she needed. He did not consult her about his career or professional work, as he wanted their time together to be more about her. Nevertheless, he was madly in love.
There was nothing in the least wrong with Sameera’s marriage, nor was her husband lacking in any significant way, but because of her high expectations and preconceived notions about the early marital relationship, borrowed heavily not just from her past life experiences but also from films, glossy magazines and novels, she ended up feeling hurt and disappointed.
She thus started to spiral into a downward eddy of ingratitude and anxiety, believing that her husband and her relationship with him was lacking in many ways, when for the most part, everything was fine.
Both the spouses, in the above fictional scenario, were unintentional victims of the “carry-over-baggage” syndrome, if we can call it that. They carried their own past relationships with their parents, and their parent’s marital relationship with each other, over into their own marriage, instead of letting their relationship develop a new, purely on the basis of their unique personality traits, strengths and weaknesses as a couple.
It can take years before the ups, downs, peaks and trials of married life unveil to each spouse the true positive and endearing qualities of the other. Every couple eventually falls in love, finds happiness and becomes each other’s best friend, but this necessitates for each one to stop comparing their spouse to their parent of the same gender, and learn to value them for who they were.
Adnan’s son will then be able to realize that whilst his wife might not be able to expertly ‘cook up a storm’ in the kitchen, – yet – she can do many other things. She can drive a car, educate his children, give him career advice, build his resume online, check and respond to his work emails, draw up and adhere to monthly and annual household budget, and also save money for the family using the “envelope” system.
Sameera will be able to realize that her husband is much caring and romantic than her father ever was, and let’s her have a lot of leeway in the way she chooses to run the household, bringing out the hidden administrator and interior designer in her. And that he looks just fine in PJ’s.
Once she stops comparing him to her father, and he stops sizing her up against his mother, they will be able to not just appreciate each other for who they are as unique individuals, but will be also able to build their spousal relationship from scratch, free from clichéd expectations and childhood baggage carried over from the past.
That was when they started to truly enjoy the recurring pleasant “you- also-have-this-amazing-quality?” surprises!
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My name is Halima and I'm from Gauteng, South Africa and my husband (Arshad) is from Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa; we are both South African Indians.
He liked my profile on muzmatch on the 8th of April 2018 and on the 9th we started chatting and Alhamdulillah, today we are husband and wife.
About a month before I joined muzmatch I remember speaking to my mother in the kitchen as we cooked supper and she had full confidence that I'd be getting married soon.
I told her that I felt that maybe I'm just not meant to get married and be happy, taking into consideration that I personally felt like one could never find a decent man whose intention is to make Nikah in this day and age.
My Moulana had recommended that I join Nikah/Muslim match-making groups and muzmatch populated amongst my searches, so I downloaded the app and registered. After a while I had lost hope so I deleted the app from my phone but did not deactivate my profile.
It was a Monday morning, I had woken up to get ready for work,
I checked my phone and I had an email notification from muzmatch which read "Arshad likes you".
I was quite surprised; I looked at his profile and his biography was quite captivating but it seemed so surreal - this was too good to be true.
I used the link in his bio to view his Facebook profile, we had a mutual friend which was my cousin that also resides in Kwa-Zulu Natal, so I felt a bit more assured that this is definitely real considering that I had started to think that this could potentially be a catfish.
We started chatting that very morning and there was an instant click. It felt like we were long lost friends because of how well we understood each other and could complete each others sentences. We had the same interests and the same intention; we could speak for hours on end without running out of things to say.
We had realized that we are most definitely soulmates.
Within 2 weeks he called my parents to ask for my hand in marriage. In July 2018 (21st), I booked a flight to visit him and his mum for the day and after spending time together we knew that this was the right decision and that Allah SWT had created us for each other.
We then saw each other once again in August 2018 (25th - A surprise for my 21st birthday planned by him and my mum); and again in November 2018 when he flew up to attend my younger sister's wedding with his mum, younger sister and brother-in-law.
Slowly the long distance had become difficult, our younger sisters were both already married and settled and we started wondering when would we actually get married. In February this year he decided to relocate to Gauteng and found a temporary job.
His dad visited my parents and they decided to set a Nikah date, Alhamdulillah once the date was set everything fell into place by the will of Allah. He found a job as a PC Engineering lecturer and we were able to find our own place with our parents help and support.
Today I am happily married, living my dream with my husband and I have wonderful in-laws that love me as much as they love Arshad.
The most important quality I wanted in a husband was someone that could take my family as his own and Alhamdulillah I found that in Arshad.
We are now a huge happy family Alhamdulillah.
Jazak'Allah muzmatch! Arshad has found me due to the creation of this wonderful app (He always says that he found me, not the other way around).
I would advise everyone to put their trust and faith in Allah SWT, never give up hope that Allah SWT will send the one who is meant for you when the time is right - for Allah is the greatest of planners. May all the other individuals find their spouses through this app as well Insha'Allah.
Halima & Arshad
My name is Yasmeen and I found my husband, Taymoor, on muzmatch on the last day of last ramadan. We were both divorced.
The first time we talked on muzmatch was in June and we got married one month later in August 2018. I always wanted to send our story to inspire others who are searching for a good husband and wife.
We are both Egyptians, from Cairo, we even work & live very near to each others in New Cairo city. I am a digital marketing manager and Taymoor is an IT manager. I am 37 years old and he is 40.
I have a daughter who is 12 years old, and I was searching for a real Muslim man who would be a good husband and father. Finally I found Taymoor, who is a good man and a good Muslim, he is very kind.
I am telling my friends that I found someone who really looks like me from the inside. He was divorced and also has a kid, who is 5 years old. When we first chatted on muzmatch we spoke for over 6 hours, he was surprised much we got on, he even thought that this was a prank!
I couldn't believe that I finally found the man I was looking for. The first time we met, was after Eid al futr, in the House of Cocoa, as Taymoor knew that I loved chocolate. We talked about ourselves for over six hours, I did not want to leave and neither did he.
After we met I told my family and friends, and he did too. He and his family visited us and we got married in only two months, I never imagined that I would find my soulmate and marry him that fast.
I always wanted to find a man to trust and love, after being a single mom for years, I found out that my dream man was hard to find, but alhamdullah I found him on your app.
Alhamdullah, we are very happy together, my daughter lives with us and his son visits us on the weekends. You cannot imagine how much I am now recommending muzmatch to all my friends.
It didn't even take me long to find my husband. I used the app for almost one month or less.
I am so happy alhamdullah now that I married a real muslim I always wanted.
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My name is Sara and I just wanted to thank muzmatch and let you know that I finally got engaged on 24th December 2018 and found my Fiance - Ghazunfar on the App.
We are really happy Alhamdulilah and just wanted to thank you for creating a platform for Muslims to find a suitable match for marriage!
I believe it's a real blessing because initially we matched but we didn't talk as he hadn't read my messages and was not appearing online. After around 4 weeks, I unmatched however after some weeks I logged in and I came across his profile again. After some giving it some thought I decided to rematch and give it a try again.
The next day he replied to me and the is history. Its been a almost a year since we matched on Muzmatch and we have set the Nikkah date which will be 1st March 2019 in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
Our families are very happy and we are looking forward to entering into the blessed union of marriage Insha'Allah. We just wanted to say keep up the good work, may Allah bless you and request that you keep us in prayers.
One last thing to everyone using the muzmatch App - please do not give up, there is someone out there for us all!
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