Is Passionate Love in Marriage…Real?

“I’m afraid of getting married,” she told me. She, like the countless other women who had approached me, confessed what she thought was unique to her. “I’m constantly told by older married women that I should enjoy my life being single because marriage is a burden. I’ve never seen an example of a happy marriage. My married friends call me to complain about their husbands and ask me for advice. How am I supposed to know what to tell them?! I try to provide support, but all those conversations do is make me feel even more insecure about committing to someone in a marital relationship. I truly want to get married, but I’m honestly afraid of being unhappy.”

“Is it possible…” she trailed, her voice cracking, “Do happy marriages… you know, the ones in the movies where they can’t wait to be with each other, where they’re madly in love with each other…do they exist? Is hot, passionate, love even real?”

The amalgamation of her questions were the same which young women have consistently approached me with; their innate desires to get married often overshadowed by the fear of an unavoidable matrimony of suffering. Having little to no examples of passionate marriages in real life and being inundated with romantic love stories such as “The Notebook,” these young women have continuously posed the same questions, “Is it possible to be happy in a marriage? Is that physical, emotional passion, real?”

The answer? Yes! Yes, it is possible. Yes! It is real. While it may be problematic to compare a real-life relationship to the fake ones portrayed in a few hours of a movie, your marriage still can make Ryan Gosling’s and Rachel McAdam’s characters jealous of your fiery, playful, emotionally intriguing, physically flaming relationship.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Noha Alshugairi1 , provides wisdom based on research describing the ingredients required for such a relationship. She shares, “Psychologist Robert Sternberg describes 7 forms of love depending on how much passion, intimacy, and commitment the relationship contains. He describes the one that has all 3 factors as consummate love. This is the love that will withstand the test of time and will bring a couple the sakina (tranquil) marriage Allah describes in Surat ar-Rume.”

So, if it does exist, how can a single person seeking such love attain it in their future martial life? The beginning of the answer lies in helping ensure one marries the right spouse.

The following are 10 considerations one could make through this process:

  1. Know yourself.
  • Knowing your priorities, your general life perspective, your own expectations in marriage, will help inform what you should be looking for in a potential spouse. Ask yourself: why do I want to get married? What are my needs in a relationship? What do I expect out of marriage?
  • Also, understand that marriage is not the solution to your own deficiencies, nor will it be the solution to all your life problems. Work to develop your own self without expecting marriage to somehow mystically change your life. Marriage can be a great source of support and encouragement for self-improvement, but if we are not personally working on ourselves now, how can we expect that it will be easier with the additional baggage of another individual who is also imperfect?
  1. Prioritize your criterion.
  • Create a list of core and extra qualities you need in a spouse. Also, understand what you absolutely cannot accept. As advised by Noha Alshugairi, “Really focus on core criteria that will make or break a marriage. If you are not sure about the difference between core and extra criteria, talk to people who are married or to professionals.”
  • Know that some criteria are much more important for the success of a marriage than others and be reasonable when considering a potential. If the individual you are considering has everything you want except for the absolute most important item on your core list, then this person likely is not the one for you. Recognize that your list may change as you evolve as an individual. Keep a written copy so that you can consult your list over time and take note of those changes.
  1. “Engage your mind before your heart.”
black substance on fire
Photo by Matteo Kutufa / Unsplash
  • A phrase coined by Noha Alshugairi, this step aims to help one focus on finding the right person for a lifetime. In the thrill of considering a spouse, many people become blind to discernable signals that would have otherwise been obvious. Emotions have their place; but do not allow your emotions to control your decision. Use your mind to consider whether this person is logically the right choice for the rest of your life, while consulting your heart to make sure it is comfortable with your decisions. Making sure everything checks out is much more difficult to do when one is blinded by emotion; don’t get caught up in the excitement, only to crash once you get married and realize the person you live with is not the one you should be with.

2. Understand that taqwa (God consciousness) is not enough, and compatibility is a requirement.

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  • Let’s consider this idea: if a God-conscious person takes a class in college, yet they do not do any of the coursework or they do not do well on their exams, will they miraculously get a good grade in the class simply because they pray five times a day? Unlikely. Then how much more true is this in a marriage!
  • Taqwa alone is not enough; the prospect needs to be compatible as well. The marriage of Zayd and Zaynab, both incredible companions of the Prophet ﷺ (peace be up on him) who surpassed us all in their piety and good character, is an example of two great people who divorced simply due to their incompatibility. Thus deliberate: are we both considering expectations in similar ways? Religiously, are we aligned in our perspectives and goals? Is this person really good for my growth as an individual? For my mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health and security? Will they be a parent? Do we share similar interests and perspectives? Will they be good for my family?

3. Recognize the importance of pre-marital counseling with a qualified marriage and family therapist and ask questions.

  • Speak to a professional therapist; not an Imam (unless they’re professionally qualified). Not a friend, unless they’re a marriage counselor. Someone who is trained, experienced, and who knows how to help you identify important issues and develop strategies to help you both ensure you’re marrying the right person for you and that you’ll, God willing, continue to feel that thrill with years after you’ve tied the knot.
  • Ask questions which will help you understand the Potential’s perspective on life and marriage. 150 sample questions may be found in Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine’s book: Before the Wedding.

4. Prepare for your lifetime; not just a one time event.

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Photo by Sweet Ice Cream Photography / Unsplash
  • Oftentimes, both parties focus completely on preparing for the wedding, pouring money and time into a few hours of the start of their lives together, without investing on preparing for their lifetime together. Pre-martial counseling, speaking with married couples, reading books and researching what makes marriages thrive are avenues few new couples have engaged.
  • Read books on the communication styles of men and women, on love languages, on successful marriages and fulfilling the needs of one another. Readings recommended by Noha Alshugairi:
  • The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman
  • Marital Myths Revisited by Arnold Lazarus
  • Things I Wish I knew Before We Got Married by Gary Chapman
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman

5. Observe the Potential and keep things on the down low.

Photo by Mikhail Vasilyev / Unsplash
  • Observe them, consider their reactions when they’re frustrated or embarrassed; it is likely that their unconscious reactions will be the habits they’ve instilled. If there is something you do not like, never expect that it will be something that they will change. They may initially, if they like you enough to want you to marry them. However, be very cautious as this type of change can be fleeting, and when reality kicks in after the marriage, it would have been a red flag you should have taken seriously.
  • If you’re considering someone for marriage, do not share it with the world. Don’t post it on Facebook and tell random people in casual conversations. Keep your affairs private, with the exception of those who matter through this process. Protect yourself and the person you’re considering from simply being something to talk about. This is serious business; appreciate and respect one another’s privacy.

6. Consider the roles of your parents, and own your decision.

Photo by Daniel Cheung / Unsplash
  • Parents play different roles often based on their background and this can impede a marriage or help it succeed. Consider your parents’ roles in your courtship process and also openly discuss their roles in the life of you and your future spouse. Will you live together? Will you be expected to choose between the preferences of your parents or in-laws versus the preferences of your spouse? Where do you and your future spouse’s priorities lie in relationship to parents? Answers to these questions may help you decide whether a Prospect is worth considering.
  • Remember: You are the one living with this decision for the rest of your life. Make sure it is you who is completely certain of this being the right choice; pressure from parents or any others can lead to a life of misery. Own your decision for your own self, regardless of how difficult it may be to deal with the way others react.

7. Discuss expectations.

silhouette of man and woman sitting on ottoman
Photo by Etienne Boulanger / Unsplash
  • With the instability of the economy and the ever-changing roles of men and women’s educational and career pursuits, the once “obvious” division of responsibilities requires clarifications. What responsibilities are specific to the husband, to the wife, and to both as a team? Who will work, or will both? How do you consider raising kids? For how many years will one/both support the other in their educational or career pursuits? Who is responsible for what types of housework? A clear discussion of these issues may help ease tensions that can arise when there were unstated expectations one or both parties had entering the relationship.

8. Pray istikhara (prayer seeking guidance).

Photo by Ashkan Forouzani / Unsplash
  • Consult God about your decision. You may not see any obvious signs of why this is or is not the right person, but you may feel it in your heart. Beyond the jittery feelings of excitement or nervousness, your heart may speak to you about its level of trust and comfort in this matter.
  • Someone I know continually felt that the person she was engaged to marry was the wrong guy. She spoke to her parents multiple times, but each time they dismissed her concerns and convinced her he had everything she was looking for. She could not pinpoint why she felt something was wrong and continued with the marriage. She tried to convince herself that her parents were right and she did not have a solid reason to say no, despite the fact that she did not feel good about it. Within one year, she realized the “pious” and “good-character” man everyone thought she was marrying was a front for who he really turned out to be. Her marriage ended in divorce and her parents felt guilty about taking her pre-marriage concerns so lightly. Her heart had spoken to her after making istikhara, but she had continually ignored its messages because of the pressure she felt from others. Listen to your heart and trust your intuition.

Finally, love and passion is only one aspect of marriage. And it is not necessarily an obligatory component for a happy marriage. Many couples do not have a “passionate” relationship and they are more than happy and successful in their marriages.

Additionally, it is possible, that even when a person carefully engages in the entire process of choosing a spouse, with wisdom, depth and research, they may not find themselves happy in their marriage or they may eventually divorce.

Choosing the right person and putting in researched effort aids significantly in preparing to maintain a zesty, romantic, compassionate relationship, if that is what both are looking for, but it is only one step amongst many steps in the right direction.

Thus, discuss your own ideal vision for marriage honestly with the Potential and figure out what steps it will take to help you both get there.

The vigor may be powerful in the beginning of a happy marriage, but it has the potential to become an even stronger, indescribable force of awesomeness with the blessing of God and work from both spouses. Passionate and sustainable love in marriage can be real for many. But it takes work, growth and sacrifice from the very beginning and through end.

Source article: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/relationships/marriage-family/spouse/is-hot-passionate-lovereal/

22 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

South African Match! #muzmatchsuccess

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.

We did our Nikah last month (March 9th 2019).

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.

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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.

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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

3 days ago

Egyptian Romance #muzmatchsuccess

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.  

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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.  

4 days ago

Get married, free, on muzmatch.

Close Call #muzmatchsuccess

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!  

4 days ago

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