A Healing Marriage

Jan 17, 2021

This is an article from the Cherished Marriage Series

Welcome, January!  As we embark the new year, allow the healing energy of winter to nourish you, so that you can start the new year taking the steps to be a better version of who you already are right now. As the trees and ground rest, allow this space to one of pause and reflection.  Of preparing yourself to start afresh.

A healthy marriage is one that focuses on healing, where both spouses acknowledge their own and each other's wounds and provide a supportive framework for each other to grow, not only despite the dark times they have been through, but, in fact, even more so.

Here are 12 ways to create a healing marriage, where both of you can be protecting friends of each other.

'And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another;’

At Tawba (9:71)

            1.   Unconditional Love

Come from a place of unconditional love, submitting to Allah's name Al-Wadud, by being loving, always.  Choose loving words, especially when you know your spouse has an emotional wound that is affecting them.

            2.   Acknowledging the past

When your spouse behaves in a way due to a wound from their past, instead of seeing their action at face value, remember that we behave according to the filters our external experiences go through.  Ask yourself:

  • Which values or beliefs does my spouse have which is causing them to behave this way?
  • Which experiences have they been through which is now causing them to make these decisions?

Getting clarity on why your spouse behaves in the way that they do can help you to be more acknowledging and accepting of them in the present moment.

            3.   Coming from a place of mercy, all four ways

Allow healing to take place in your marriage by coming from a place of mercy.  The Cherished Muslimah manifests mercy in four ways:

Submit to the mercy of Allah

Allow your marriage to witness the mercy of Allah, who fulfils our needs regardless of whether we deserve them or not. How can you become more merciful in your marriage?

Emulate the mercy of the Messenger ﷺ  

Allow your marriage to be the means by which you connect to The Messenger of Allah ﷺ, who was a mercy to the worlds

And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds!

Surah Al-Anbiya (21:107)

He was merciful to everyone, the young, old, men, women, rich and poor. How can you emulate the mercy of the Messengerﷺ  in your marriage?

Be merciful to yourself

Coming from a place of mercy towards yourself will give you the inner strength to be able to be more merciful to your spouse.  Be gentle on yourself and support yourself in the areas you need to heal.

Be merciful towards your spouse

Look at how you can fulfil your spouse's needs within your means and capabilities, especially if their needs are easy to fulfil.  Perhaps they need regular alone time, and you can create an environment that supports this?

            4.   Listening

Be present when your spouse speaks to you and truly listen to them.  Switch off your phone, and don't interrupt.  By doing this, you create a safe space for them to show their wounds to you – which can be a vulnerable experience.  Listen to them, without judgement, and acknowledge their truth, knowing that it is coming from their values, beliefs, memories and decisions.

            5.   Respecting their choices

Creating a healing space in your marriage by respecting the way your spouse does things.  This may be the way they self-care, or even how they eat.  Often, not having autonomy over our own life can create its own wound.  A Cherished Muslimah chooses to focus her control over her own life, freeing up her need to control others.

            6.   Giving Love

Look to see if you are giving your spouse in the love language[1] that they prefer instead of the way you feel most comfortable.  Love is a very powerful healer. Here is the list of the five love languages:

  • Words of Affirmation – does your spouse prefer compliments and verbal feedback?
  • Acts of Services – does your spouse appreciate when you do things for them?
  • Gifts – does your spouse like it when you give them gifts?
  • Quality Time – does it mean a lot to your spouse when you do things together, even if it’s simple things like going shopping together?
  • Physical Touch – does your spouse value physical affection and touch?

See how you can bring more love into your marriage using your spouse's preferred language.

            7.   Balancing your life

To create a healing space in your marriage, make the environment conducive to healing by balancing your own life. See if you are over-focusing on any particular area of your life, causing you to neglect other areas.  Check also to see if you are allowing time and space for your own healing to take place.

            8.   Balance your masculine and feminine polarities

Often when we have wounds in our lives, we can end up overly-masculine, rigid and controlling, or overly-feminine, becoming submissive and weak.  Remember, both men and women have both masculine and feminine energy. We often balance each other out when living together, so if a man is masculine, the woman automatically starts being more feminine, (and vice versa), and interestingly, if a man is more feminine, then his wife will automatically start becoming more masculine (and vice versa). 

Suppose your spouse is extreme in either masculine or feminine energy. In that case, you can balance this polarity by healthily offsetting their polarity, so that they can bring themselves back to a healthier way of being.

If your spouse shows the 'darker' side of masculinity (being aggressive), you can offset that extreme by coming from a healthy place of masculinity (by being strong and direct).  If you were to be feminine, it would bring out more masculinity in them, which isn't what you want.

Similarly, if your spouse shows the 'darker' side of femininity (e.g. being indecisive and lacking leadership), you can help them become more balanced by coming from a place of healthy femininity – by being accommodating and suggestive.  If you took the reins and pushed forward with masculine energy yourself at this point, it would bring out even more femininity in them, which could make them go even darker into the feminine.

            9.   Rapport

Look at the ways that you can create rapport with your spouse through your actions and words. See where you can align yourself with their values – perhaps religion is important to both of you, or watching a television show you both enjoy?

Check your body language is building rapport – match and mirror your spouse, especially when they feel down. Remember – the beauty of being rapport with someone is that you can use that rapport to lead them to a healthier place. Rapport is a topic covered in the Cherished Seasons course.

            10. Forgiveness

Come from a place of forgiveness in your marriage allows for mistakes to happen and heal. If your spouse makes mistakes due to their wounds, be as forgiving as possible (within reason, see the next point about boundaries). If your spouse lets you down, communicate your expectations from them, forgive them and move forward in the direction you want your marriage to go.

They (are) garments for you and you (are) garments for them" 

Surah Baqarah (2:187)

            11.  Boundaries

It is essential that you have healthy boundaries, especially if your spouse needs space to heal.  While you can be supportive towards them as they heal, it is essential that you maintain a degree of separateness from them. Their problems are not your problems (unless they affect you directly, in which case, it is important to take the initiative to get your own needs met). Creating healthy boundaries is a topic covered in the Cherished Seasons course.

            12.  Encourage Seeking Help

Getting professional help in order to heal is often seen as taboo – yet it should not be the case.  We often don't like to admit we have problems – it can seem as though we are admitting a weakness.  I like to use the analogy of the dentist. We would happily go to see our dentist if we had tooth pain and would not hesitate to tell others we were going, yet for inner, emotional pain, it seems embarrassing to admit we need help.

To change a culture, we must first change the way we do things ourselves.  Start within – get help for your own issues and talk about it with your spouse, so that they are encouraged to do the same. 

            Final thoughts

Create a healing garden for you and your spouse—a place where you both feel safe enough to heal.  Be a space of tranquillity for not just each other, but yourself as well. 

‘And among His signs is that He created for you spouses from among yourselves
That you may find tranquillity in them;’

Ar Rum (30:21)


[1] Gary Chapman, The Five Love Languages

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