The Black Muslim Time UK’s very own ‘Soul Surgeon’, Aadam Muhammad, a qualified life coach, will be here to provide expert marital advice to our readers.
As salamu alaykum brothers and sisters. I hope you’re doing well and filled with positivity for love and marriage.
In our last feature, we looked at the unique nature of males and females and how we can use this special bond to build a great marriage. In this feature, we’re going to be doing the first of a two part countdown of the top ten reasons why some Muslim marriages fail. I encourage us all to look at these points critically – as to avoid making these mistakes in our own marriages – now or in the future.
We’re going to do something a little bit different and use a fictitious couple, Amina and Ismael, to help present our topics. They have been together for a number of years but their marriage isn’t in the best of shape. Let’s look at their relationship in hindsight to get a better idea as to how it’s probably become this way. Let’s get to it!
Amina and Ismael were introduced to each other by family members and friends a few years ago. Although they were pleasant to each other, they both began to feel that a basic and essential common ground wasn’t really there from quite early on. They didn’t share many interests or life viewpoints and even clashed on several minor points about marriage roles. But, the alarm bells were disregarded and overlooked as other factors – such as their age (30’s), family expectations of marriage and loneliness, shaped the choices and decisions they ultimately made. The two further meetings they had before they married made this a little more obvious but, by now, the couple had convinced themselves that ‘it will get better’ given time. Their marriage was entered into with personal doubt and uncertainty – amidst the gala, merriment and spectacle of the wedding.
- Unrealistic expectations:
They both hoped for and anticipated a wonderfully fulfilling marriage once ‘things got better’ but sadly they didn’t get any better. The growing unmet expectations of a fairy tale Bolly/Ghally/Nolly/Hollywood type marriage (take your pick) began to lead to increasing resentment, anger and bitterness. The dream simply didn’t materialise – principally due to the fact that these expectations were not thoroughly or honestly discussed at the pre-marital stage. Eager to impress each other, their conversations had principally revolved around their job status; how much money they earned and their efforts of keeping up appearances.
Her expectations were quite specific and particular – as were his – but it was debateable if they had even developed compatible qualities that would have matched the dream partners they had really hoped for.
- Negative attitudes & perceptions:
As time went by, they began to view each other pessimistically and started to think and feel that each other and the marriage were becoming a ‘burden’. They found themselves picking on each other over silly and insignificant issues about the house, what food they should eat and each other’s clothing . It reached a point where the first thoughts they had about each other were of annoyance and exasperation and instantly filled them with animosity. Conversations became sparse and their friends would often comment that they rarely had anything nice to say about each other when they socialised. These growing attitudes towards each other swiftly became central to the growing tension and mounting stress.
- Lack of compromise.
The ‘you either do it MY way .. or else!’ approach soon became a staple part of the little communication they shared. By now, they were both under no illusions that this marriage was swiftly becoming a ‘show case’ marriage which looked great at family and community functions– but was an absolute sham in the home. The pettiness had generated a rigid and polarised pattern between them, where neither wanted to be seen as giving in when it came to any level of disagreement. Compromising was totally unthinkable and they would often deliberately choose to do the complete opposite of what was expected – just to be obstinate.
- Spiritual ignorance
The question of spirituality was barely discussed at the outset. Both viewed themselves as having what they described as a unique ‘balance’ between Eastern and Western values and were thoroughly nominal in their level of Islamic belief and practice. Due to this, their pre-Islamic cultural practices played a significant role in their understanding of their religion – which would then further conflict with whatever genuine Islamic guidance they were offered. The shallow Islamic knowledge and practices they were accustomed to, only increased the marital disharmony – when it really should have harmonised it.
In the following part of this telling feature, we’ll be getting back to Amina and Ismael as we look at part two of ten key areas where Muslim marriages tend to be fail and how we can ultimately begin to overcome them.
Please also feel free to send in details of any marriage issues you may be concerned about or experiencing which I can help you with to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. All identities will be remain anonymous and confidentiality guaranteed. Finally, If you would like to use my services as a professional marriage life coach, please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07741 416 981 for all further details.
See you at the next article – inshAllah! Wa alaykumu salam wa barakat tuhu
© 2016 A. Muhammad. All rights reserved.