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What Would You Do to Save Your Marriage?

Best Marriage-Saving Advice from Our Readers and Professionals

4 – Don’t Work Alone

But if only one person is rowing the boat of personal growth…

Many of our readers and counselors agree that they couldn’t do the work alone. Both parties in the couple need to work on themselves and work on the marriage. 

Losing your patience? Patience is always recommended to people who are frustrated in their marriage. How can you tell when you have been patient enough, but your marriage isn’t getting better?

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When you’re being patient with a behavior that isn’t righteous. For example, waiting for your spouse to stop cheating or using drugs isn’t patience. This is abuse and makes you an accomplice to the sin. Another way is when you feel you’ve self sacrificed. Marriage requires sacrifice, but self sacrifice is too much,” cautions About Islam’s counselor Naaila Moumaris-Clay.

One Key that Affects our Relationships with Others (Counseling with Naaila)
About Islam’s Naaila Moumaris-Clay is also half of the husband-wife counseling duo “That Clay Couple.”

When you are patiently working on yourself, your partner may see the benefits and join you in improving your marriage. Or maybe only then you will be able to see things for as they truly are.

One sister said:

Honestly, working my own personal development and self esteem is what ended my marriage. I realized I was in a situation that was super dysfunctional and traumatic being married to my ex, and when I learned how to accept and honor myself better, I saw for sure that he wasn’t going to be able to do the same. So I split. And it was the best decision I have made in years” – Sister E.

Counselor Naaila Moumaris-Clay explains what happens in situations like E’s: 

When a person refuses to go get help, he or she is telling you that they’re ok being sick. This is a person you cannot work with. Doing the relationship work isn’t a priority for them. You have two choices. Be sick with them or go get healthy in your own space.”

When Sister S saw that her husband was unwilling to work on himself and the marriage, she also left.

For me, I decided to leave – and the fact that I followed through and showed that I wasn’t afraid to be alone – made him wake up and fix up. He literally saw his whole world fall apart and it shook him. The pain of the break meant that actually we could come back together and whilst we are by no means free from issues – my boundary was set and the rawness of it all will probably never leave us. It’s a good thing, because it reminds us we never want to go there again- what changed was respect.

We try much harder to respect one another and have empathy. I recently wrote something about unconditional positive regard (have a look at it and apply it in terms of spouse) this helps me a lot. Making lots of dua and finding ways to allow my voice out in a manner that it will be heard and accepted.

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