While I’ve been working on our Anniversary celebration posts, I didn’t realize that it’s actually next week!
Weren’t we supposed to make it super special? The best anniversary celebration so far? We don’t have any concrete plans yet! Hmmm… any ideas?
At the same time I don’t want to set the expectations so high that I pave the way to disappointment.. you know what I mean?
Seriously, some ideas would help.
Back to 10 things I learned in 10 years of marriage.
Last week we discussed study-buddies, burgers and fighting…sounds more like a post on University life than marriage advice lol!
I’m especially excited for today’s points because a few simple tweaks to your daily behaviour and thinking can have positive ripple effects on the rest of your life starting now.
#4 Appreciate, Appreciate, Appreciate.
The ability to appreciate a situation or people is a reflection of our emotional intelligence and creativity. It’s the ability to see the oak in the acorn. Whether you were born with this intelligence or not, it’s imperative that you develop these skills. The consequences of not appreciating your spouse or people in your lives can be disastrous. Feeling unappreciated is the number one reason North American’s leave their jobs and why women leave their marriages of over twenty years. When we feel unvalued it harms us at our very core. It effects our self perception and festers into bitterness and resentment towards those that refuse to acknowledge us for who we are and what we do.
It’s so easy to take an awesome spouse for granted. You may appreciate their good traits but you feel fake or silly verbally acknowledging them. You might think to yourself, why state the obvious? Or worse, you have no idea how lucky you truly are and are too consumed with their faults than their positive qualities..
Appreciate your spouse for who they are and not necessarily what they do for you. Your appreciation should be unconditional. Knowing that you will be loved even if you lost your looks, your job or your health has a profound effect on any human being.
Practical ways to appreciate your spouse:
- Make a genuine effort to discover what his/her personal and professional goals are and strive to support them.
- Show them that they are special to you by trying to make what they like happen. Make your next date about her interests, tailor your menu around his taste. These gestures make your spouse feel special and loved.
- Compliment them to their family and to your children if you have any. Hearing from a third party that your spouse was saying nice things about you has got to be one of the nicest feelings ever.
- Make it a daily habit: write a note in your agenda or a reminder on your phone to make your spouse feel appreciated. One day it will become a habit.
Never underestimate the power of appreciation. Appreciation injects life into any tired and broken soul ; just the realization that you are valued and what you do is important, can spur you with new found energy and motivation to keep going
Appreciating your spouse is a Sunnah!
Islam places a great deal of importance on being grateful to Allah SWT. From the teachings of our beloved Prophet (PBUH), we can see that this gratitude extends to human beings as well.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said as narrated by Abu Hurairah: “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah” (Ahmad, Tirmidhi).
#5 Happiness lies in your attitude.
Many young couples start off financially unstable and at the bottom of the ladder. Especially when surrounded by other established families, it’s perfectly normal to want a more secure and comfortable life. While it’s admirable to be ambitious and strive towards your goals, you must be careful to not anchor your happiness to those goals.
Don’t wait for the double door home, the million dollar family or the dream job to make you happy. Live in the present. Be happy now. Be happy with what you have. If you can’t be happy with what you have now, forget about being happy when you have your dream life. It’s your attitude that makes you happy, not your possessions or even your ‘life’.
Remember: the secret to more is to be grateful with what you have. “..if you’re grateful, I shall increase you” (Quran 14:7)
When interviwed in their final years, most people regret not enjoying their life. Too busy chasing their ‘dreams’, they neglected the enormous blessings they already had.
The future, the past, more money, specific things- nothing can make you happy except your attitude.
“If you want to be happy,be”
Todays ‘lessons’ can be implemented immediately. I honestly pray that you do. Insha’Allah you will cultivate a tranquil relationship and be happy with your life at this very moment.
Remember: An appreciated spouse makes a happier spouse and your happiness lies in your attitude, not your life.
Stay tuned for more lessons I learned after 10 years of marriage. Oh and ideas for fabulous ways to celebrate our anniversary next week is greatly appreciated !