One of the most beautiful things in life is to be in a happy and healthy marital relationship. However, living happily ever after does not just magically happen. While the compromise, negotiation, and commitment of marriage comes with its challenges, it is also part of an incredible journey and the start of a beautiful family. God states, “His creating spouses for you out of yourselves so that you might take comfort in them and His creating love and mercy among you. In this there is evidence (of the truth) for the people who (carefully) think.”1 Like everything else in life, marriage comes with many challenges and obstacles, with respect, communication, and understanding being key ways to overcome them.

Secrets to a Happy Marriage

For many, the first year of marriage is the most challenging. When two people come from different lifestyles where things are done very differently and each thinks that their way is the right way, there can naturally be disagreements. Keeping in mind that respect and understanding are key aspects to any successful relationship, finding what works for both parties can take time and patience. Having disagreements is very normal and not always a bad thing if we are being respectful of each other’s feelings, ideas, and opinions. Often, disputes lead to growth and closeness, as the couple learns how to overcome conflict to create long-lasting love and a sustainable marriage  tested through the obstacles of life.

Moreover, meaningful communication is another important factor in a marriage. In society today, it is easy to communicate with others via social media or text message. The lack of human interaction amongst friends or colleagues in the workplace may work for an extended period, but when a couple lives and spends the large portion of the day together, it does not bode well for a healthy and successful marriage. We need to communicate regularly with our spouse. If the line of communication is limited, one can expect additional challenges that can unfortunately lead to a separation on bad terms. For a happy marriage, discuss matters in person, not on the phone or via text. This includes the smallest decisions, like what we would like to eat for breakfast, as well as big decisions, such as whether we are ready to purchase our first home!

Finally, we should never, ever compare our marriage to someone else’s. It is so easy to do this while scrolling through our social media platforms and we see a couple holding hands, sitting by the ocean, and looking at each other romantically. It looks like they have the perfect marriage, and we start to question our own. Remember, people on social media only share the good. There is no marriage that is perfect. Stay focused working on your own marriage and striving for your own happily ever after.

Bits of Advice:

1. Forgive and forget: It may sound cliche, but it is important for both parties to be more forgiving. Naturally when you live with someone, arguments are bound to happen. If we let go of the small things and focus on the future of the  relationship, as opposed to consistently bringing upback the past, we have a much greater opportunity for happiness.

2. Give each other space: Just because two people are married, it does not mean they have to be together all the time. It is crucial that each person has their own space whenever needed. This allows each one to do what they love, recharge, or even just hang out with friends. Being away from each other sometimes is healthy and creates a balance in the relationship which will create a stronger bond between the couple.

3. Learn to compromise: Without a doubt, marriage requires a sense of compromise like nothing else. Two different people, who came from two different families, who have two different life experiences, are now a union. Though this sounds beautiful, work must be done on both sides so that beauty can shine through.  This requires us to give up some things sometimes, and our spouse to give up some things sometimes. Through compromise and finding a middle ground, we build trust, love, and compassion.

1. The Holy Quran 30:21, Muhammad Sarwar translation.

1- قال الله تعالى: (وَمِنْ آيَاتِهِ أَنْ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنْ أَنفُسِكُمْ أَزْوَاجًا لِّتَسْكُنُوا إِلَيْهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيْنَكُم مَّوَدَّةً وَرَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ).

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