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Communication, the Most Important Skill in a Marriage

Questioner

D

Reply Date

Aug 13, 2017

Question

My husband, who is otherwise a wonderful person, has some personality issues that confuse me. He can deny something he did in a very convincing way and years later admit it. I’m wondering if he has memory issues. But the problem is that this causes confusion, loss of trust, and other issues in our relationship. Why would he intentionally lie to me? But sometimes the stories change so much that he eventually does admit lying. Though, it’s rather a misunderstanding and not a lie. The other problem is that I feel like he can only see issues through his own lens and can be very defensive. I feel he is unjust. He also seems to cause fights between people maybe not intentionally but due to his temper issues. Once he kicked some people out of the apartment and then came up to me and said this was my plan and I wanted this to happen. Another time he caused problems by humiliating a relative in front of another relative. What is wrong with him? I feel very confused because I feel he misunderstands and humiliates me in public while he doesn't think he does so. His anger issues are scary as well.

Counselor

Answer


Communication, the Most Important Skill in a Marriage

In this counseling answer:

Be patient with your husband as showing our vulnerabilities is not easy, especially for men. In terms of anger issues, remind your husband to seek refuge from Shaytan, and if he becomes angry to change his position or state.”


Wa ‘Alaykum Salam dear sister,

Thank you for your question. I believe the following issues are most important to recognize, especially when it comes to marriage: communication, trust, and understanding. One of the most important skills in any relationship, and especially in marriage, is communication. If communication starts to become tainted with a lack of honesty, then this can certainly lead to deterioration in trust and later a lack of understanding or misunderstandings.

From what you’re telling me, your husband is, otherwise, a wonderful person but seems to have situations where he may feel he can’t be completely honest because perhaps a mistake was done. He fears admitting to it or appearing that he made a mistake, and so he feels he may need to cover for it in order to ‘save face’ or protect his ‘ego’- a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance, which can sometimes be more prevalent in a man since he feels he has to maintain ‘masculine’ traits like being strong or being right all the time, when we know that none of us are always strong or always right.

So, it may help to kindly and gently remind your husband, perhaps indirectly through an article or a story at first if you feel he will be defensive, that as human beings we are created weak as Allah (swt) tells us in the Quran,

Allah would make the burden light for you, for the human being was created weak” (4:28)

and that it is fine to show our vulnerability, especially to those closest to us like our spouse. Showing our vulnerability and asking forgiveness from Allah (swt) or others whom we have wronged are important for any relationship. The importance of spouses showing this vulnerability to one another and in turn showing acceptance, forgiveness, and understanding can be demonstrated in the verse,

“They are your garments and you are their garments” (2:187)

Although, this verse is used in the context of intimacy, there are Quranic interpretations that explain the great depth this verse has when they explain that Allah (swt) uses this metaphor of spouses being like each other’s garments to stress the importance of spouses being there for the mutual support, comfort, and protection of one another. Spouses protect each other in times of tribulation and safeguard each other’s honor and cover each other’s faults. So, try sister to embrace this meaning and help your husband also understand and embrace this meaning in sha’ Allah.

Also, be patient with your husband as showing our vulnerabilities is not easy, especially for men. Encourage him that even if he has made a mistake, you will try to refrain from judging him and understand where he was coming from and help him to overcome it in sha’ Allah. And again, gently remind him of how important honesty is to you and that you will respect his honesty.

As for the part about misunderstanding/humiliating you in public, you need to notify him that you find this hurtful and would like him to be more aware and refrain from doing such things – again, in a kind way. Respect is so important in our relationships, and sometimes there needs to be an honest and kind conversation to remind different parties in a relationship to have more respect.

Finally, in terms of anger issues, remind your husband to seek refuge from Shaytan, and if he becomes angry to change his position or state – so, if he is standing to sit down, or if he’s sitting down, to lie down. There are also many other recommendations and help for people who wish to seek more support with managing their anger – which includes seeing a counselor. You did not provide too many details about the anger issue, but you did mention it was scary. If your husband ever becomes angry and you fear for your safety or the safety of children, if there are any, you should ensure that you seek a safe place to be at, at least until he has calmed down. If it continues to be a problem, then you should encourage him to seek help to overcome this issue.

All the best my dear sister.

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About Um Hadi

Um Hadi has BA in Psychology & Education and acquired certifications in Leadership, Life Coaching, Adults Training, and Relationship Coaching. She is currently completing her Masters in Educational Leadership.


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