“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought.” [Ar-Rum 30:21]
One of the biggest objectives of marriage according to the laws of Allah ﷻ, is that affection and compassion must prevail among the spouses. One of the important things that keeps this blessed bond alive is: maintaining a good flow of communication between the partners.
Communication, which is the exchange of emotions, desires, feelings and beliefs, is the mortar that holds a relationship together. The relationship between a husband and a wife should be based on good and kind treatment, with love and compassion towards each other, and proper communication is what forms a basis for all these. Not being able to word one’s thoughts properly, adding underlying statements, expecting something without actually talking about it, interpreting statements with bias, not listening to what the other person is saying, not paying attention and replying inappropriately are some forms of miscommunication. Moreover, misunderstanding and misinterpretation is the stemming cause for a number of divorces. So, it is obvious that couples should maintain an optimal level of understanding,in order to help each other across the journey of marriage.
Tips to be an effective communicator in a marriage:
- Be open and honest
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said,
“You must be truthful, for truthfulness leads to righteousness and righteousness leads to Paradise…” [Sahih Muslim 2607].
A believer should be truthful throughout his entire life and to all.Honesty should be maintained in his personal life and as well as with his family members. There should be no lying, deceiving, cheating, falsifying or withholding of information between spouses; both the partners should be transparent inside and out.
Also, there should be openness in communication, which means that one should convey exactly what they think or feel in an appropriate way such that the listener understands. For example, a person who is stressed due to work can let his wife/her husband know that they are stressed because of such and such reason and that they should be left to work alone or helped in some way.
Stating reasons is also important. If you want something or dislike something, you should say exactly the reason for your attitude. Moreover, ask for clarifications if something that has been stated is not clear. This might help your spouse understand you better.
- Listen attentively
The key component of communication is listening attentively or actively to the other person. It means, one should pay attention to not just the words spoken but also the underlying mood when it was conveyed,which includes the speaker’s expressions, tone of voice and the bodily gestures that accompany it. This can be done only by turning towards or facing the speaker, and listening to what they are uttering, while at the same time monitoring their facial expressions and comprehending the tone and volume of their voice. To let your spouse know that they are important and valuable to you, you just simply must give due importance to their speech by listening to what they are saying, acknowledging it and replying to it in the most objective way possible.
- Provide mood congruent response
Consider the example, when the husband is annoyed due to work and he shouts, “Where is the other pair of socks? Nothing in this house is in order!” And the wife immediately yells, “The other pair flew away. You aren’t blind right? It should be in the cupboard!”
Both are displaying a faulty communication style. The husband could have been more polite, which would have represented his concern towards his wife, and at the same time it would have been a more direct approach to represent his urgency or frustration.
Sometimes, it is on part of the person who is responding to be more careful in the way he/she responds. The responder should be able to understand the context of the statement and reply in congruence to the mood. In this case the wife may have rather said, “Sorry, I am packing your lunch. Could you check in the cupboard once more?”, and by doing so she could have made the situation better and avoided miscommunication.
- Be empathetic and non-judgmental
Empathizing plays a significant role in a successful marriage. If your spouse is talking to you, especially anything that is emotional, try to be understanding of what they are trying to communicate and try to feel it as if you are going through it. Try to resonate with their feelings and be as selfless as possible. Ask them in what way you can help them through it.
While communicating with your spouse, try to be as non-judgmental as possible. Firstly, listen to them and talk to them exclusively from their perspective, do not enforce your opinions and wishes upon them. Secondly, don’t keep reminding them of their mistakes. Thirdly, if at all they do make a mistake, do not attribute that to their personality or character in an instant. Assume that it is due to situational factors and give them the freedom to rectify it.
- Be kind and polite
Your spouse is the most influencing and significant person in your life. So, be kind and polite to them, as kindness is the most legitimate form of romance. Let’s recollect the hadith in which our beloved Prophet ﷺ has said,
“…And the best of you are those who are best to your women” [Jami at Tirmidhi 1162].
Men are obliged to provide kind treatment towards their wives, which includes of speaking kindly and politely to them. Similarly, to every married woman, her husband assumes the protective role for her and Allah (ﷻ) has made it obligatory for him to provide for her. Thus, it is their duty to be kind and polite towards him. Use gentle and humble words and do not speak harshly to each other.
“…They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them…” [Al-Baqarah 2:187]
The fact that a man and a woman are considered garments to each other suggests that they both have an equal share of responsibilities in their marriage; wherein they maintain an intimate and close relationship without any secrets;confiding in each other whether it be joy or sorrow; while also shielding their flaws and protecting each other. It is on part of each one of us, to obey this command of Allah ﷻ, and exchange love with our spouses through proper communication.
Written by: Taz Iris
Edited by: The Editorial Team
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