Marriage Today

Silent Spouses: Misunderstanding Patience

Communicating Openly is Not Against patience!

In order for a marriage to be successful, it has to be more than just an insipid, business-like relationship, in which the man provides for his wife and children with money and other basic necessities of life, and the wife, in return, provides sexual intimacy, progeny, and homemaking services.

It is important for both husband and wife to be emotionally close to each other. This is what Allah enjoins in the Qur’an, when He uses the words “love” and “mercy” to describe their mutual relationship.

This closeness cannot be achieved unless each of them communicates to their other half what they are feeling, what their wishes and complains are, and what is bothering them. When a husband and wife are not close, they vent their feelings to others besides each other, such as a sibling, a parent, or even an adult child. This causes further cracks in their relationship.

Whether these feelings are positive or negative, they should be expressed in a moderate and reasonable manner, without shouting, nagging or arguing. Keeping emotions bottled up inside in the name of “patience” or “sabr” is a one-way street towards a bored, mechanical married life that reeks of dullness and monotony. A husband should know what is bothering his wife, and vice versa.

Talking openly to each other about what each spouse thinks is missing, wrong or lacking in their lives, whether over the phone, or over a private dinner outside the home, or in the privacy of a bedroom, is important for the husband and wife to sustain their love and curb any distance that might be coming between them.

We should remember that becoming compliant victims or mute bystanders of oppression and injustice that ruins marriages and sours other relationships, whether at a family or communal level, is not patience or sabr!

Rather, it is cowardice – a trait truly unbecoming for a righteous believer.


First published: April 2016


Pages: 1 2