When two potentially-marriageable people meet each other for the first time, it usually stimulates butterflies in the stomach because everything is new and interesting. If marriage happens, it also means living together under the same roof. Everything is still fresh and exciting. In time, after having gotten used to each other’s habits, both the tolerable and annoying ones, conversation is most likely degraded to a minimal, ie:
1.What time have you booked the washing machine for today?
2.Why is the baby crying?
3.What’s for dinner tonight?
4.Do you expect me to clean that up for you!
The first question is a reminder to a routine. The second could be said in either an irritated or concerned tone. The third is at a risk of sounding like a ‘command’ and no spouse likes being ordered around. And the last, but not least is a rhetorical question, on the borderline of nagging.
Therefore, a couple might find themselves sitting at the dining table completely silent or talking only of domestic matters. That is not how a marital relationship should be whether it has been two years or ten! Without conversation, there is a risk of spouses becoming emotionally, mentally and physically distant from one another, thereby making their relationship weaker and weaker.
Instead of asking ‘How was your day?’ it is better to ask ‘Has anything interesting happened today?’ Other conversation starters are as follows:
1.Islam. Hadith or Qur’an. Share what you have read.
2.An exciting new book. Recommend it to one another.
3.Plans. Talk about fun activities to do together. It gives the couple something to look forward to.
4.Feelings. A warm cup of a tea usually brings out the warmest from within. It is okay to share feelings with one another whether the wife misses her mother or the husband is stressed about a client.
The strength in a marital relationship relies on the reminder that Allah wishes spouses to be like garments to one another, warm and comforting. Talking keeps the marriage alive, thereby bringing spouses closer to one another and to faith. Even if it seems like life revolves around routine and the children, it should not. ALL relationships require attention. Make a warm cup of tea, sit down together and start talking.