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My Husband Always Misunderstands Me

Questioner

S

Reply Date

Aug 27, 2017

Question

As-Salamu Alaikum. This is Pakistani Muslimah writing from Saudi Arabia. My husband is a pharmacist in England. We had our niqah in Pakistan and we are planning to get married. My husband works very hard. He goes in the morning and comes home late. His job is very difficult. When he gets home, we talk on the phone for an hour daily about our usual activities. My husband loves me, and I love him, too, but he never ever understands me. He always misunderstands my words and starts fighting over them. He loses his tamper quickly and gets angry over things I didn't even mean. He just fails to understand what I try to tell him. Apart from this, he is a perfect life partner, Alhumdulillah. But I am getting really fed up with his negativity. I always try not to talk to him about anything that would make him angry. I try to be what he wants me to be like, yet I fail to satisfy him. I have to swear to God to prove that I didn't mean what he assumed.I need a counselor for this. We are getting married in 4 months, Inshallah, and I am getting fed up with his behavior.

Counselor

Answer


My Husband Always Misunderstands Me

In this counseling answer:

“Your husband seems to be a caring and hardworking person who is committed to you. Keep the positive characteristic highlighted, and I am sure you will be able to work on the small adversities that will come along the way. Marriage requires adjustment like anything else new. Both partners are responsible to participate in a healthy way. Nothing will be always perfect, but while you have good intentions and trust in Allah (swt), the problems will slowly be solved, in sha’Allah.”


As-Salamu ’Alaikum sister,

Alhamdulilah you seem to have a great husband. To give you better advice, it would be important to know what he gets so negative about. In any case, I will give general advice about communication skills. In sha’Allah, you will find it helpful.

From what I understood, your problem isn’t really negativity; it is a matter of communication where you feel he does not really understand what you say or what you really mean.

I would like to point out first that you should be very grateful that even though he has long and hard days, he still takes time to talk to you daily. It is a sign that he really cares about you and give you priority in his life. It is understandable that when someone has such a stressful life, any little thing can make him lose his temper. It does not always mean that the person is aggressive; it could be the circumstances he is involved with.

In this case, you have a great responsibility in what to discuss with him during your calls. You probably know him for a while, and you can sense his mood. This way, you can carefully decide what to talk about. If he is having a bad day, simply don’t bring any more problems, unless it is extremely necessary to discuss in that specific moment. Considering that your only contact with him is over the phone, you both should take advantage of this time and keep your talks on a positive subject.

You need to make sure that you are clear in what you say. If you want to ask something, go straight to the point; if you want to tell a story, be short in detail. Males can sometimes have less focus on phone conversations. If you feel he said something that upsets you, before telling him you are upset, ask him nicely to repeat. Maybe he will realize he should not talk to you that way. More importantly, knowing that he needs a lot of rest and tends to be negative, try to bring to the conversation away from what you know are unpleasant subjects for him.

The key to your problem is to work on communication. I don’t think he means to be rude, but he probably has very little patience to try to understand what you mean after a long day. On top of it, phone conversations are not always accurate to know for sure someone’s state.

Here are some important coaching tips that you should share with him that might help improve your communication:

Effective communication is a two-way process and the most important part of it isn’t talk – it is listening. Focus your attention on what the other is saying without making assumptions based on personal experiences.

Use the principle of paraphrasing: it can help you to make sure you are hearing the significant other properly. Whenever your spouse makes a point, repeat it back saying “what I understand you are saying is…..”, and then allow the other to agree or not. It can help the couple avoid misunderstanding.

“I” statements: Whenever you feel hurt by what your spouse said, instead of starting the criticism by saying “YOU did this”, use “I” statements to show how you really feel. Say “I felt (your emotions)….”; “when you (describe the behavior), I”…etc. Such statements are more constructive than commanding. If you feel he is being negative, ask him to word it in another way because you don’t feel it is beneficial.

Use a number scale for how each of you feel: (feeling negative) 1- 10 (excellent). Check in at the beginning of conversations and during using these numbers. This way, you know what to expect, and if you should change the subject.

Seek Allah’s guidance: positive communication is more likely to happen when you let Allah be an active participant of your conversation.

Once you are married and living together, consider seeing a marriage therapist or relationship coach. He/she can help you improve in your growth areas early on!

In conclusion, sister, you are in a loving relationship. Your husband seems to be a caring and hardworking person who is committed to you. Keep the positive characteristic highlighted, and I am sure you will be able to work on the small adversities that will come along the way. Marriage requires adjustment like anything else new. Both partners are responsible to participate in a healthy way. Nothing will be always perfect, but while you have good intentions and trust in Allah (swt), the problems will slowly be solved, in sha’Allah.

May Allah help you,

***

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About Karim Serageldin

Karim Serageldin, founder of Noor, completed his BA in psychology & religion, followed by an MA in east-west psychology with a specialization in spiritual counseling. He is a certified life coach with years of teaching and community outreach experience. His practical work and research includes developing a modern framework of Islamic psychology, relationship, family and youth coaching. He provides seminars and workshops in the United States. You can contact Br. Karim at: http://www.noorhumanconsulting.com or facebook.com/noorhumanconsulting

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