50 Things You Need to Know About Marital Relationships


Excerpted from Al Maghrib Institute’s “Fiqh of Love” seminar with Shaykh Waleed Basyouni.

  1. Great relationships don’t just happen; they are created. You have to work at it.
  2. If your job takes all of your best energy, your marriage will suffer.
  3. One of the greatest gifts you can give your spouse is your own happiness.
  4. It is possible to love and hate someone at the same time.
  5. When you complain about your spouse to your friends, remember that their feedback can be distorted.
  6. The only rules in your marriage are those you both choose to agree with.
  7. It is not conflict that destroys marriage; it is the cold, smoldering resentment that you hold for a long time.
  8. It’s not what you’ve got, it’s what you do with what you have.
  9. If you think you are too good for your spouse, think again.
  10. Growing up in a happy household doesn’t ensure a happy marriage, or vice versa.
  11. It’s never too late to repair damaged trust.
  12. The real issue is usually not the one you are arguing about.
  13. Love isn’t just a feeling; it is expressed through our actions.
  14. Expectations set us up for disappointment and resentment.
  15. Arguments cannot be avoided, but destructive arguments can be avoided.
  16. One of the greatest gifts you can give your spouse is focused attention.
  17. Even people with happy marriages sometimes worry that they married the wrong person.
  18. Your spouse cannot rescue you from unhappiness, but they can help you rescue yourself.
  19. The cost of a lie is far greater than any advantage you gain from speaking it.
  20. Your opinion is not necessarily the truth.
  21. Trust takes years to establish and moments to destroy.
  22. Guilt-tripping won’t get you what you really want.
  23. Don’t neglect your friends.
  24. If you think, “You are not the person I married,” you are probably right.
  25. Resisting the temptation to prove your point will win you a lot of points.
  26. Generosity of spirit is the foundation of a good marriage.
  27. If your spouse is being defensive, you might be giving them reasons to be like that.
  28. Marriage isn’t 50/50; it’s 100/100.
  29. You can pay now or pay later, but the later you pay, the more interest and penalties you acquire.
  30. Marriage requires sacrifice, but your benefits outweigh your costs.
  31. Forgiveness isn’t a one-time event; it’s a continous process.
  32. Accepting the challenges of marriage will shape you into a better person.
  33. Creating a marriage is like launching a rocket: once it clears the pull of gravity, it takes much less energy to sustain the flight.
  34. A successful marriage has more to do with how you deal with your current reality than with what you’ve experienced in the past.
  35. Don’t keep feelings of gratitude to yourself.
  36. There is no greater eloquence than the silence of real listening.
  37. One of the greatest questions to ask your spouse is “How best can I love you?”
  38. Marriage can stay fresh over time.
  39. Assumptions are fine as long as you check them before acting upon them.
  40. Intention may not be the only thing, but it is the most important thing.
  41. Good sex won’t make your marriage, but it’ll help.
  42. Privacy won’t hurt your marriage, but secrecy will.
  43. Possessiveness and jealousy are born out of fear, not love.
  44. Authenticity is contagious and habit-forming.
  45. If your spouse thinks something is important, then it is.
  46. Marriage never outgrows the need for romance.
  47. The sparkle of a new relationship is always temporary.
  48. There is violence in silence when it’s used as a weapon.
  49. It’s better to focus on what you can do to make things right, then what your partner did to make things wrong.
  50. If you think marriage counseling is too expensive, try divorce.
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27 Comments

  1. Sufism World says:

    Very true – I like number 48 (don’t know why)

  2. Is-za Jelass says:

    THank you for posting this. I points are honest and for the most part, very true. Inshallah we all continue on the Striaght Path and improve our relatinships as well as humbling our egos.

    I am posting this on my blog After the Nikah: A Journey into Muslim Marriage so I can help continue the dialogue for education about marriage. :)

  3. abu abdullah says:

    i remember reading most of them from 100 things one should know before getting married book, as recommended by YB.
    jazak Allah khayr for posting.

  4. Farida says:

    I love it mash’Allah:
    number 37 is amazing: ‘One of the greatest questions to ask your spouse is “How best can I love you?”’ this means a lot… it resets your mind all over again

    of course number 50 is a wake-up call:
    “If you think marriage counseling is too expensive, try divorce.”

  5. Justin says:

    Those are very good points. Thank you, Shaykh.

  6. pandoragate says:

    excellent points… thankyou for this post.. jazakAllah

  7. Br. Corey says:

    Concerning 28….both of those are equal to the value of 1. But yeah, I get the point, lol.

  8. saleh says:

    MashaAllah! Every points make sense. However, one must also consider the external forces, such as the parents, family members, and friends. Some of my friends are separated due to their family. After 10 years of marriage life, I personally believed that both husband and wife must have clear objectives in life, and on the same page. What’s most important is the Iman and trust in Allah.

  9. nurul says:

    subhanallah.
    I love this one,,
    Arguments cannot be avoided, but destructive arguments can be avoided.

  10. Tricia says:

    I agree with Saleh that “triangulation” (read: strangulation!) is what many Muslim marriages suffer from. Big tendency from patriarchal cultures. In-laws (particularly the man’s mom) constantly making sure the girl is good enough for her dear son (who of course has no flaws). She often opens his eyes to flaws which he didnt see/care about before his mother made it an issue.

  11. Is-za Jelass says:

    I once heard an imam make a very valuable statement about the mindsets we need to achieve to be ready for marriage…he said “marriage is an adult decision.” As an adult I don’t let other people make decisions for me and I am very weary of influence (take it with a grain of salt) and I am glad my husband is the same alhamdoolilah. SOme people never truely grow up and still have their mothers nipping at their feet. It perpetuates immaturity, poor decision making, and mistrust in the relationship. Its unfortunate that people still suffer these unneccessary issues in marriage when all they have to do is stand up for their spouse and put their foot down.

  12. Salmaan says:

    Excellent resource for all couples and this will come in very handy in my professional work. Jazaks!

  13. zilia says:

    i need more articles for pre-wedding knowledge, this article is good one. thanks Sir.

  14. Ahmed says:

    Salaam,

    Does anyone know of a database with muslim marriage counselors?

    JAK

    • Suz says:

      Aleikum salaam, Brother Ahmed. I am also concerned with finding a human counselor. I’m realizing I have to look for faith, kindness, and wisdom. I Googled “Muslim therapist” and got some interesting things from going past the first pages; I am not sure I would call them “results” yet. The intersection between Islam and psychology/counseling is tricky. Remember that Islam gives us amazing resources and understanding that are not usually available to Western psychology. Psychology does have a lot of insight to offer, and especially in cognitive-type therapy there is much that is useful. The learning mindset is a great resource; but the greatest resource of all, before, during, and after, is always Allah and the many ways He has shown us to get closer to him and farther from evil. What can ever be more important than our personal relationship with the Eternal One? If I can’t get right with Allah, there is no way for me to get right with my husband. The more I can get right with Allah, the more things will happen for the best.

      • Sarah says:

        I know there’s a Muslim psychologist/counselor in the Santa Clara, CA community by the name of Kamal El Shaer? You should be able to find him via mcabayarea.org. He sometimes does weekly Family counseling.

  15. Wasim says:

    Learned a lot! JazakALLAH for sharing!

    Trust takes years to establish and moments to destroy

  16. Sadia UK says:

    Assalamo alaikum

    The list above (in full or in part) seems to have been taken from the book “101 things I wish I knew when I got married” by Linda and Charlie Bloom. I think this should be acknowledged in the original post and hope it is done so in the seminar programme.

    Wasalaam

  17. Mohamed says:

    Number 48 is amazing:
    “There is violence in silence when it’s used as a weapon.”
    :)

  18. Wasim says:

    45.If your spouse thinks something is important, then it is.
    I believe the element of TRUST/FAITH is of utmost importance for happier and healthier relationship.

  19. Amanda says:

    “11.It’s never too late to repair damaged trust.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! I’m sorry, but the second adultery or abuse happens it’s already too late. Even if I don’t figure it out right then, it’s already too late.

    The rest were pretty nice though. Just remember next time that every person has their “unforgivable”.

  20. muslimah says:

    i wonder if its worth it? why compromise and make life miserable and try to please somebody constantly.
    Human beings are not trustworthy, Allah is and will be, always. If something is suffocating, you probably are in a place thats burning, leave it…

    • Nuraini says:

      similar to what I thought before I married. I figure I was going to be real careful about who I marry, did everything right to maximise my chances of ending up with someone reliable and with whom I could be happy in the long term. While this probably helped, it does NOT mean the marriage itself will be any less challenging though! i am growing up very painfully, and unexpectedly, via the medium of my marriage.

      now I think that – aside from its necessity in propagating a community of Muslims that would mutually assure our ability to practice the deen – marriage is probably the most common crucible through which Allah tests and moulds souls, so as to be fit for heaven.

  21. lost hope says:

    that is why marriage is half our deen – there is immense reward from allah (swt) so just compromise and be lucky you are married as there are many single muslims who would love to be married soon, insha allah.

  22. Nadia says:

    Thanks! This post was great. Wise words for non-Muslims also.

  23. Adam Shittu says:

    JazakAllah khair yah Seikh
    Everything you said here is absolutely true. And it will forever be meaniful as long as there’s lifes living on the earth.

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