The day I got married to my husband was a major turning point in my life, and I can safely say it was the same for him. Not because it was marriage, but because of what our decision to marry each other represented to each of us. It was who we were that brought us together, but remaining as those same individuals would not be enough to keep us happily together. I am the first to admit to the world that marriage isn’t easy. I must embrace the growth and development it brings forth in who I am becoming as each day passes. We both aim every day to give our relationship the spotlight it not only deserves, but requires. On some days, things go as planned, and on others, many others, one or both of us fall short. Because we refuse to give up and allow the comfort of mediocrity to set in, whatever is swept under the rug is exposed pretty quickly. Dealing with that ‘dust’ isn’t always pleasant, but like a clean house, it gives us a fresh operating base for our love. Take some time out just to admire how far you’ve grown as a couple, or if the reality is to see how far you’ve grown apart, it’s an opportunity to have a heart to heart and recommit to each other once again, make the conscious intention in your heart to work towards the kind of relationship you once had and believe is possible again, insha Allah.
How can I show my emotions in a way that does not scare or bore my husband, where he actually listens to my concerns and issues and takes me seriously?
Before I tackle your question, I would like to draw some attention to several beliefs you have expressed regarding the way your husband receives your concerns and the way you express emotions. The assumption, as you have put it, is that he is either scared of your emotions or bored by them, and that he doesn’t take you seriously when you bring up something you are concerned about.
Is it one hundred percent true that he is always scared of your emotions? How do you know that it’s true that he is scared of them? What signs are present in his body that express fear? The alternative then is that is he isn’t scared, but bored? Those are quite different aren’t they? Perhaps he is neither scared nor bored of your emotions, but in reality you express yourself in a way that is truly overwhelming for him personally. How? When we show strong emotion, and a man doesn’t see a window ‘in’ to bring a solution, one coping mechanism is to shut down. I’m thinking blank stares, yawns and stretching, little emotional feedback or input on your comments. It may simply be one of those ‘Mars and Venus’ moments that John Gray is most noted for writing about.
Since your question provided such little detail, I am naturally left with many scenarios in my head. I usually assume, unless otherwise stated, that you have married a really nice, decent Muslim man, and if that is the case, I know that he cares about your emotions and what you are feeling and going through; working on your delivery may be the only change that has to be made. The most essential rule is to avoid the blame game. What is really wrong beneath the surface doesn’t get expressed, and frustrated accusations come out instead.
I suggest you take the opportunity to ask him what happens when you express emotions or concerns, and ask if there is a better way for you to share what’s going on in a way that is respectful to him. You may be surprised at the insight he offers, if you are willing to listen without being defensive.
How do I convince my husband to let me visit my mum every 2 weeks or so? He doesn’t have a problem with her coming over, but he doesn’t want me to visit her/spend the night at her place. This really hurts me and I find it difficult to have to choose between my husband and my mum.
I think it’s wonderful that you have such a close relationship with your mother, and continue to maintain that relationship with her, masha Allah.
I have to say I am in agreement with your husband regarding you staying the night with your mother, without him, every few weeks. You are a married woman now, and your natural desire should be to have your husband near you, and for him to desire you being near to him. If visiting her means every other weekend you are gone, having to stay the night due to distance, then I can understand his frustration. That’s a lot of time you two aren’t spending together doing things that are fun and relaxing. You shouldn’t have to choose between your mother and your husband, and he also shouldn’t have to choose between having his wife nearby, or being alone without her several times a month.
If you can visit her without staying the night, and you can go down and back in a day, then every few weeks may be fine, but your husband should be coming along too. You can enjoy the drive together, have a nice meal with the family, and maybe even help out your mother with things around the house that your husband is more capable of doing. I understand you may want time alone with your mother, but you can also call her during the week, and even use skype video to speak with her. Today there really aren’t any barriers to communication on a personalised and consistent basis. If your mother doesn’t have that kind of technology, get it for her!
Once we get married, our relationships with our family of origin are going to go through some changes, and while there is never a need to stop being emotionally close to your parents, or visiting them, there is a need to become even closer to your husband. He is your primary relationship now, and I sense that there is some work to be done beneath the surface in order for you to desire his presence at a greater level. You are welcome to send a follow up question for further clarification.
Note: There are some husbands who seek to control who their wife can speak with, limiting family interaction, friends, and community as a way of isolating her from those she trusts and those who love her. This comes in the guise of forbidding the visiting or talking to family, monitoring all conversations, and reading through emails or text messages. If you find you are being isolated from those who have been in your life for many years, then I encourage you to seek professional support to see what to do in such a situation. Islamically, no one should ever desire to see you cut off from the people you love and who love you, who raised you and cared for you in your life. A husband’s role is to support you in your relationships, not reduce them.
Megan Wyatt is the founder of Wives of Jannah, a rapidly growing organization of thousands of Muslim wives who are inspired by the core goal of rekindling marriage as an act of worship. She coaches wives and couples to learn the art of her key technique Fearless Vulnerability. SISTERS magazine, an international publication now online, features Megan in their relationship column where she answers questions from wives around the globe. She is also the co-founder and key trainer for Find Your Mr. Right where she guides single Muslim women in finding, meeting, attracting, and marrying their future husband. She co-authored and published a book with her 13 year old daughter called “How to Get Hijab Ready: A Guide for Muslim Girls Ages 8-11.” A homeschooling mother of four, Megan resides in Southern California with her children and husband Zeyad Ramadan.