You’ve met people who are preparing for their big day. Rarely do you meet people who are preparing for their actual marriage, a lifelong commitment to another human.
Their focus usually is on the outfits, venue, catering, guest-list, gift registry, invitation cards, photography, and so on.
People forget to ask the tough questions that later begin to frequently emerge in the marriage. This follows the usual regretful thought: I wish I had known this or that about him/her before I got married.
It’s important to pause and question if you are spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepared for the days that would follow the few hours of the wedding day glitterati.
The following strategies may help you and your future spouse become aware of the different facets of your commitment to each other in marriage. These strategies are for you both to do together in a halal and safe manner.
- Meet with a professional counsellor, coach, or a spiritual guide, to openly discuss expectations you both have from each other in these areas: Love, Relationships, Career, Money, and Spiritual Practice.
- Spend time with a mentor couple who has a solid marriage and can share their wisdom with you.
- Have regular conversations to discuss these relevant topics:
- Values – if your values are similar, you feel valued in the relationship.
- Beliefs – if your beliefs are similar, there is less conflict.
- Self-confidence – if there is a healthy level of self-confidence, there is no competition, rather everything becomes a collaboration.
- Mental health – talk about anxiety and how you manage it.
- Physical health – talk about exercise and how you can plan on incorporating that in your marriage.
- Emotional health – talk about how you feel about the way anger, suspicion, and jealousy need to be displayed in your marriage. There is a healthy way of expressing these emotions that is constructive rather than destructive.
- Spiritual health – talk about your Creator and share your inner-most thoughts about spirituality and how you practise Islam daily to be close to your Creator.
- Trauma – being transparent about trauma means that you will feel safe in the marriage and not feel anxious every time there may be a trigger. Your future partner will be able to understand why you may be acting out and support you through healing from trauma. It’s okay if you don’t wish to share specific details but at least tell your future partner if “something bad happened in childhood”.
Falling in love with the person you are marrying is beautiful. Remember though that love is a verb and needs to be demonstrated through ways where you value each other, believe in each other, are collaborative in your daily life, enjoy optimal mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health, and respect each other’s trauma triggers, and help with each other’s healing.