Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work

Assalamu aleikum,

I stumbled on a manual I used during counseling class before I got married, and thought I would share some of the wisdom I learned in this class with you insha’Allah. They are based on John M. Gottman’s observations and works. He actually published his thoughts recently in a book.

To continue, the seven principles are:

1. Enhance your love maps

A love map according to Gottman is the part of our brains where we store all the relevant information about our spouses. For instance, their favorite food, their favorite color, what ticks them, what makes them happy, etc. Knowing these things help a great deal in the preservation of a healthy union.

2. Nurture your fondness and admiration

Being respectful and humble go a long way. Valuing each others’ point of views says amongst other things, ‘I admire your intellect and I don’t always have to agree with you to be fond of you.’ The best example of this is our Rassullulah (sallallahi aleihi wassalam) and Aisha (radi allahu anu). They loved each other dearly but still had opposing point of views times and times again. Subhanallah.

3. Turn toward each other instead of away

Foster good habits. Read my Daily Romance Tips. A good marriage will always be the result insha’Allah.

4. Let your partner influence you

Share power in a marriage. It’s a team and one party can not act like a dictator. A leader needs to be a good follower. Power trips only amount to disagreements in the long run.

5. Solve your solvable problems

Pick your battles and learn to differentiate between problems you know can be solved and those which will never be. Why? Because solving some problems are pointless and will never be resolved. You need to get used to them and move on. It’s called being realistic.  People don’t change and sometimes we have to learn to accept our differences.

6. Overcome gridlock

Where there is a will there a way like it’s said. When we can’t make our spouses see things under our lenses, we don’t despair. We find a way insha’Allah.

7. Create shared meaning

When we get married, we have to strive to find common ground and create new traditions which don’t add to the faith but enrich all aspects of our lives for the sake of the marriage and love for each other. Sure we can bring from our past and customs but focusing on the happiness of the nuclear family comes first.

I hope these tips help anyone in need and jazakh’Allah khair for reading.

Wassalam,

Papatya*

Papatia Feauxzar

Papatia Feauxzar is a former corporate America Senior Accountant. She focused on personal finance in graduate school. She has a Master of Science in Accounting (MSA). Around the year, Feauxzar prattles on personal finance tips here and on her blogs. She is also the Online Editor of Hayati Magazine and the author of the first Ivorian Cookbook in English. Visit her at www.djarabikitabs.com or www.fofkys.com .

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