Keeping the flame alive


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Love is like a fire that can either keep you warm in coldness of life or it can burn you to ashes.  I have experienced both.  Seven months of marriage and I’ve stayed warm and collected ashes altogether but despite how much it has burnt, I would still work to keep the flame alive, I can still not let it go off, and I still will never let it burn down all that I have.  I love my husband with all I have, more and more each day.  Alhumdulillah I am lucky to have him.  And yet, he is a typical husband who drives me nuts at times but I have learned that it is up to me whether or not I want to let him drive me nuts.  I have learned that often times problems in marriage start nurturing, yes, even though *nurture* is a word that is mostly used for giving a positive outlook for something, still I have used it and the reason is that often times, the problems in our marriage is what we choose to nurture unintentionally.  We choose to let the problem grow, giving it all it needs to evolve and grow to the point where we can’t stand each other.  We put ourselves first, and while at times you do need to do that still, in a marriage, you need to keep your partner first, regardless of whether or not they put you first.  If you love them, there are no rules, no ego, no conditions, just do it.  And as I have learned, it isn’t so hard after all.  If you start taking care of the possibly little things, the big things will take care of themselves.  Kind of like oxygen in life.  You need oxygen to live, and yet it is the care of oxygen that is neglected the most.  What do you need to do?  Just plant more trees, keep the environment alive, and that isn’t so hard, is it?  You plant a tree and take care of it until it grows, and then it starts taking care of itself and gives you fruits, and oxygen, of course.  It cleans the air that allows you to live better.  And have you noticed how more greener the place is, the more full of nature, and the more you have positive feelings in you?  Likewise, in marriage, just take care of little things and soon after they start taking care of you.  Why fight over petty issues like “he didn’t reply me,” “he can’t put the folded clothes in closet or put the dirty ones in basket for laundry,” “he doesn’t listen to me,” “he doesn’t have time for me,” “we don’t go out,” “he just misunderstands me,” “he only supports his family and highlights my faults,” “he can’t keep things I tell him to himself,” “he doesn’t tell me if I have cooked good food,” “he doesn’t thank enough,” etc.  And while these are “little things” that men need to really pay attention to more, still, why let them stop you from doing your part?  Why let it all stop you from being the wonderful creation of God that you are?  There is a reason that God made you the way you are, that HE made you a woman, and one of the biggest attributes of woman is her ability to forgive, to overcome hardships, to embrace everyone, to love, to give, to understand, to comfort.  Yes, men don’t understand that, or perhaps don’t realize it.  Thanks to the mainstream media, women have mostly been portrayed as emotional beings who can’t think logically or are too dumb, and too sensitive.  While it is true to an extent, it is not entirely factual.  A woman may be sensitive but she is stronger than him, strong enough to take care of the emotional and physical needs of men and her family, whereas not all of the times can a man take care of emotional and physical needs of his wife and in very rare cases can he even take care of the two, mostly it would just be one of them while other, not too much.  Similarly, she may look dumb, but she is more logical and rational than men in a lot of cases b/c she can think from her heart and brain but men can only do that from brain.  A woman can take care of herself whereas usually men need an intimate partner.  And I don’t mean to underestimate men or be a feminist, but these are realities.  Not all men and women are like that.  But majority is.  My point is, as a couple, as a team, the main focus should be on each other and making the marriage successful, and therefore, if the other is not paying attention, it could be because he/she is incapable of doing it.  And that is when you need to play your part.  Now, while it may look that it is all in vain, it is NOT!  The result may not appear right away but you will see it in coming days.

I’m a person who can’t resist an argument, esp. if the argument is on wrong basis or biased or racist.  And hence me & my husband end up having a lot of arguments, not on regular basis, but usually when people are around because we both have an opinion.  And sometimes I hated the fact that why can’t he simply agree with me, why does he have to object?  So, my dad answered me this and it did make sense.  He said, “Man may be convinced at heart that his wife is right, but in a group of people, even his family, closed ones, he would just not admit it and keep arguing.  It is better for you to give up than hurt his ego in front of anyone.”  Now, being the person I am, my feminine nature objected it right away but then when I thought about it, it was really worth consideration.  Our society is a society where not only females, but males have to face certain criticism regarding their behavior.  And if my giving up an argument in front of group of people would save our relation, what’s wrong in it?  I mean if I think about it, what exactly is I’m getting by winning an argument?  Applaud? Praise? But if that is costing me my husband being hurt, are they worth it?  And answer is “No.”  There have been numerous situations where I just hate what my husband does, little things that drive me nuts.  But when I put them all on reality check of what I’m gaining and losing, I realize that I would rather ignore those little things than lose my love, my partner, or let any of that come between us.  And the best part is that even my husband does that, ignoring little things.  There are times when I find out later that I was wrong, at fault, my behavior or my act, and when I realize how he ignored it and didn’t let it come between us, I am thankful.  Alhumdulillah.  And that encourages me more, to ignore what he does.  It is then that I realize that marriage isn’t hard.  It needs both of us, like a jigsaw puzzle of 2 pieces, that may not be perfect individually but they complete the picture, the complete each other.

And that’s how you keep flame alive.  You see what’s bothering you, and you ignore it for the sake of each other, or perhaps you share it with your partner, you tell them, but you don’t let that come between the two of you.  You need to ask yourself is that really worth put your relationship on line?  Because if you let it come between you now, no matter how little it is, it will keep growing to the point where you both will be standing miles apart, and the price to pay for being together would be far more than you have to pay now.  In fact, if it is indeed so little, why even bother wasting time on it?  If he fails to do something, you do it.  If he doesn’t text you from work, you text him.  And trust me, you may not realize it, but one day when you won’t, he will ask you what’s wrong, why didn’t you text him, and it may not be in a way saying “I missed your text today,” but it would mean that.  He may not say it as often or maybe ever, but if he is looking forward to dinner or lunch, and eating a tummy full, he likes the food you cooked.  Because if it is once in a while, he is hungry, but if it is regular, he loves it.  If he doesn’t put things where they need to be kept, it is because he trusts in you that you will take care of him.  And I know how much we women want to hear those loving words, but sometimes you need to understand his language.  Try to learn his even if he is too busy that he is unable to learn yours.  Go ahead, keep the flame alive.  Don’t let little things ruin your relation.  Be patient, be loving, be caring.  You, as a woman, are best at it.  And for a change, stop comparing yourself or your life or your happiness with anyone else’s, because truth is that neither of you two are same as that couple, nor are your backgrounds, or your surroundings, and definitely not your life.  And if none of that is same, then how can you expect your relationship to have same result as theirs?  And if you do want to compare, compare your life with those having harder times than you are, that will make you be thankful for what you have!  But no matter what you do, keep the flame alive!

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