Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Who enters into a nuptial agreement, which signifies the most demanding of commitments, without expectations?
How does one recognise one’s marriage is headed in the right direction if one lacks expectations of marriage?
How does one realise one’s marriage is not working well if the marriage is not expected to yield anything?
Zero expectation of marriage is another borrowed concept, adopted and promoted by some Muslims.
It is no wonder many Muslim homes are best described as legalized co-residency.
Marriage is one engagement that demands expectations from each spouse as well as of self.
Expectations Of Self include:
1) Sustenance Of Originality – Marriage is not meant to change one to whom one was not prior to the marriage.
One must retain one’s core beliefs, thoughts, principles and identities throughout marriage.
2) Self-Development – Marriage is an on-the-job skills-acquisition centre.
Marriage is not a retardation of self, but a source of fulfillment and growth.
One develops and improves on interpersonal skills of communication, compassion, and care.
3) Spiritual Bond – Marriage is expected to enhance one’s spirituality, for one has found a compatible partner to exchange knowledge and stroll hand in hand towards the blissful splendour of Jannah.
This mutual sincerity leads a sensible woman to live by example and shun the dual life of harshness in her relations to the public and feigned humility to her spouse.
A responsible man acknowledges his imperfections and seeks the assistance of his spouse to identify discrepancies in his conduct.
Each spouse becomes a source of eternal pleasures for the other.
Expectations Of One’s Spouse:
1) Satisfaction – One expects one’s spouse to be pleased with one’s identity. Why else did the marriage take place?
2) Compassion – As surprising as this may seem to some individuals, one must have a proven record of demonstrated compassion to one’s spouse.
Compassion is a non-negotiable pact which every person with a living heart expects of marriage.
3) Honesty: Truthfulness deserves the same.
An honest person expects nothing short of straightforward truth conveyed in kindness from the other spouse.
4) Loyalty: No one should enter into marriage, only to worry about what one’s spouse is doing in one’s absence.
5) Consideration: One enters into marriage expecting to be part of the life of one’s spouse.
6) Compromise: One expects one cannot have everything one’s way.
One expects there will be no quota of who has the final word. One expects marriage to be a mutual interaction without “It is your turn”.
7) Companionship – Marriage brings a couple together both physically and emotionally.
Marriage earns one a life companion and not a wayfaring guest who arrives at one’s door out of the blues to be gone in a short while.
A spousal companion is equally not a domicile bodyguard who rarely interacts with one.
8) Affection: Each spouse expects marriage to be a generously loving relationship.
Shared affection enables a marriage devoid of cruelty.
Expectations Of Marriage:
i) Liberation – Marriage frees one from constant approvals of parents and ushers one onto the threshold of freedom.
ii) Responsibility – Marriage elevates one from a minor who relies heavily on parental guidance to an adult responsible for own life and family.
The Fruits Of Positive Nuptial Expectations
These are numerous and include:
a) Peace of mind;
b) Self-regulation, for one sets own standard instead of living by the standard of others or worse devoid of a standard;
c) Respect, for one is willing to cooperate mutually and justly with one’s spouse to enable each other’s expectations;
d) Dignity, as one retains one’s sense of pride and self-worth, for one is not subject to any behaviour or treatment outside of one’s expectation;
e) Protection, one is shielded from heartache and trauma.
If one does have positive nuptial expectations and one’s marriage seems to be a disappointment, one has the choice of a reconciliation, a divorce or a mutually benefiting arrangement.
If one’s marriage is as one expected, with some minor surprises, one may choose to adjust to accommodate those unexpected realities provided one’s action is through informed choice.