Part 4: 10 things I learned in 10 years of marriage.

Salaamz!

As I publish post after post on the topic of love and marriage during my 10 things I learned in 10 years of marriage series, I thought it would make sense if I gave a little more context to where my advice was coming from.

I was 22 years old when I was married. I was naive and very idealistic. I’m embarrassed to admit that Hollywood was my primary teacher when it came to relationship expectations.

Though my parents are the perfect example of a successful marriage Alhumdullillah, I didn’t recognize it as such back then. For some reason I felt like Monica and Chandler were more similar to the type of relationship I was going to have. I assumed the rules by which my parents abide wouldn’t apply to me because they had an arranged marriage that barely factored in their personalities – it was more of a merger of families. I was going to marry someone who shared my  vision and was compatible with me. Someone who made me laugh and ‘got me’ (and scored within the appropriate range in the ever accurate SEVENTEEN Magazine personality quizzes).

Monica and Chandler from FRIENDS

Monica and Chandler from FRIENDS

So, you can imagine the enormous amount  I learned in these past 10 years of marriage! The learning curve was pretty steep!

 

I must admit I was pretty short sighted when it came to married life.I thought that as long as you had two compatible spouses dedicated to the relationship , it was pretty much all you needed- it should  be smooth sailing from then on. I used to think that love is something that naturally happens and that if you had to ‘make it happen’ then it really wasn’t love.

How wrong I was! (more…)

Part 3: 10 things I learned after 10 years of marriage

Salaamz guys,

So we celebrated our Anniversary this Wednesday.. Allhumdullillah it was great! Technically there’s more celebrating left to do- we were planning a mini vacation, going away for a couple of nights somewhere local. We haven’t settled on where because we have yet to make a decision on whether or not the kids will be joining us. We’ve never spent the night apart from our youngest; he’s not two yet. I’m not sure if I would be able to enjoy our vacation because I would be too worried about how he’s doing. Sigh. So it’ll have to be a place that has activities for the kids.

Our actual anniversary was one long gluttonous day. We pretty much did a couple of outfit changes and ate out all day. Guilt free -I will hit the gym everyday for the next month- order the most expensive item off the menu – kind of day. My only regret is not taking many pictures. We are horrible with selfies and the restaurant we had dinner at was very dimly lit. The candle light dinner was ,more of a tiny pen light dinner.

10 years! Allhumdullilah, can’t believe it! So much has changed since then.

 

'Regret that we had Siamese Attachment Surgery? Never!'

‘Regret that we had Siamese Attachment Surgery? Never!’

When we first got married we were that annoying couple that makes you wanna cringe and gag. Just for the record, I DON’T MEAN PDA.  We couldn’t bear spending time without each other and when were apart we would be texting each other constantly. I’m pretty sure we drove our family and friends up the wall!

Why the exceptionally long honeymoon stage?

I believe a lot has to do with the fact that the entire experience was so new for us. Neither of us ever dated or had a romantic relationship  prior to being married. Even our courtship was very dry and by the book. Our interactions were always purposeful and limited to what was necessary. There was nothing romantic about it! So  moments after our nikkah we truly began to freely talk and get to know each other.We made up for a lifetime deprived of romance. My sister and sister in law are probably rolling their eyes right now..lol.  It was beautiful. We were on cloud nine everyday. I had never been happier in my life.

We’re a lot ‘better’ now, Aside from making a conscious decision to not be so joined at the hip, time, children and life in general helped as well.

Today’s post was supposed to be two points of what I learned after 10 years of marriage. Instead I had to cut it down to one point because I kept writing  and writing subtopics. Sorry! I’m really working on my excessive post lengths! (more…)

Haircuts, terrorism and humanity

Salaamz!

I know what you’re thinking..where is the next part to the 10 things I learned in 10 years of marriage series?? I’ve been holding my breath waiting for it this whole time! Worry not, it’s coming!

As I sat down to put final edits to the marriage series post, I thought I would write a little bit about getting ready for the actual anniversary day- which happens to be today!

As part of my anniversary festivities, I decided to get my hair done:, wash, cut style and a hot oil treatment- the works.

Getting the works (image from project52pros.com)

Getting the works (image from project52pros.com)

My usual place(if you can consider 6-18 months usual) for haircuts used to be a chic salon at the mall. Not only did  they do an amazing job but they had a specific section built for Hijabi’s!I feel it is our obligation as Muslims to support businesses that cater to our needs so beautifully- and if I get a gorgeous style out of it then all the better, right??

I called them last night to book an appointment. Apparently they changed names and split into two locations. The receptionist was friendly until I mentioned that I would like the woman only room. I couldn’t help but notice that she sounded cold all of a sudden.

I brushed it off at first. There’s a lot going on in the news lately and maybe I was being a tiny bit paranoid. So I justified it to myself.

Erdos-Bloody-Scissors (Image from adst,org)

Erdos-Bloody-Scissors (Image from adst,org)

Later that evening as I was PINning haircut ideas I kept thinking about what might happen the next day. What if my stylist was a Muslim hater? Enough to give me the haircut from Hell? What if I get attacked? I’d be in a pretty vulnerable position. Seated. hijab-less. Eyes forward. Under an apron. Arms sealed away.  This woman bearing sharp shears and swaying and snipping  to and from my head.

 

And then I thought to myself Wow, it’s just a haircut! (more…)

Fabulous Friday: Date it forward!

Salaamz!

Happy Friday!

As promised this weeks Fabulous Friday is about fun date ideas for married couples since it’s my Anniversary month.

I love the idea of ‘dating your spouse’. I feel like it is to relationships what a vacation is for your life- it rejuvenates and refreshes .

(image from shalaedin.wordpress.com)

(image from shalaedin.wordpress.com)

Not all couples either have the time or believe that one should set aside separate time specific to spending quality romantic time with each other. Almost everyone I know struggles with over scheduled days and never ending ‘To Do’ lists. Suddenly marriage becomes more of a co-worker relationship than a romantic bond. Sometime it’s warped cultural values that prevent couples from nurturing their relationship.

Either way it’s a shame because they are really missing out. Allah SWT has placed such importance on marriage, that it’s mind boggling that we don’t focus on it as much as we should.

 

One of the worst things Shaytaan can do is break apart a marriage!

(image from nairaland.com)

(image from nairaland.com)

Jabir reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, Iblees placed his throne over the water and then he sends out his troops. The nearest to him are the greatest at causing tribulations. One of them says: I have done this and this. Iblees says: You have done nothing. Another says: I did not leave this person until I caused discord between him and his wife. Iblees says: You have done well.

Source: Sahih Muslim 2813

Grade: Sahih (authentic) according to Muslim

From this hadith we can understand that marriage is very sacred in Islam. If shaytaan is most pleased with his minions that cause marital problems, imagine how pleased Allah SWT will be with those who do the opposite?

Date it Forward

 

So this weeks Fabulous Friday is dedicated to providing Date Nights for other couples in our lives. Have you ever witnessed another couple experience a rough patch? Sometimes it’s simply life tugging at them in opposite directions straining their marriage and most of the time it’s pure misunderstandings manifesting into ‘problems’.

Though it’s usually wise not to interfere in someone else’s marriage issues (unless asked), there’s no harm in playing the Love Doctor!

All marriages, those plagued with problems or those caught up  in the fast lane deserve a little boost now and then.

Here are some Date it Forward ideas for the couples in your lives.

1.Bait N’ Switch.

Invite the lucky couple over for dinner. Once they get to your home hand them directions, cash and restaurant reservation details. If they have kids, set up a fun night for the kids at your place or another fun activity. The couple will probably be all “ok, this is weird..etc”, don’t listen, usher them off to a romantic evening.

Chai tip: be willing to order in dinner ‘as planned’ just in case things don’t go as you wish.

2. Date Night Voucher.

IOU date night voucherAs part of a gift or just because, print out one of these vouchers for a couple with kids. (Click here to download and print voucher)

Sometimes the couples that need Date Night the most, are the ones least capable of making it happen.

 

 

 

3. Group Gift

(image from groupon.co.in)

(image from groupon.co.in)

Next time you’re invited to a house warming or large gathering where several other of your friends are attending, organize a couples get away for the host. Let others know that you will be bringing an envelope that they can put money in and sign a card for the group gift. At the end of the evening, calculate the total contributions and inform the host couple that they are being sent away to a local bed and breakfast etc. All they have to do is provide you with a date that they are free and you will arrange the rest.

 

For all three Date it Forward ideas, encourage the couple to do the same unto another couple. I believe that Date it Forward is exactly what the Muslim community needs.Healthy families contribute to a healthy society. We need our children to grow up with positive role models in a safe and loving environment. It’s a win win situation when the couples in your life thrive and have strong relationships. Sometimes they just need a little nudge and some help.

Have you ever done your own version of ‘Date it Forward’? Got any more ideas for sprucing up other couples love lives?

 

Chai later,

signature

 

p.s. Don’t worry, next week will be about more Halal Date ideas for you to go on.

 

10 things I learned after 10 years of marriage:Part 2

Salaamz!
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.

Fight fair (Image from ultraupdates.com)

Fight fair (Image from ultraupdates.com)

Last week we discussed study-buddies, burgers and fighting…sounds more like a post on University life than marriage advice lol! (more…)

Fabulous Friday: Halal Date Ideas

Salaamz!
Have you guys had a chance to read yesterday’s post about this months blog series on love, marriage and relationships? According to Google Analytics and from the response I have been receiving from you guys- this seems like a pretty popular topic! That’s good to know because love and marriage is one of my favourite topics to discuss.
A point within the realm of love and marriage that deserves special attention is Dating Your Spouse. In my post on Day Dating, I discussed the virtues of making time for your spouse and nurturing your relationship – especially after kids. Unfortunately most couples don’t make the time or effort to add some  much needed fun into their marriage, and some that are interested are lost for ideas.

Worry not, I decided to incorporate the weekly Fabulous Friday into the Anniversary theme with: Halal Date ideas. Every Friday, for the month of November I will list three Halal date ideas that are more creative than ‘dinner and a movie’. (more…)

10 things I learned after 10 years of marriage

Salaamz!

So it’s November Allhumdullillah..the month of my Wedding Anniversary!  This year is our big 1-0! Can you believe it?? I can’t! Lol..the fact that I can’t believe it offends my husband. “Did you not think we would make it this far?” He asked me all startled.

It’s not that..I just can’t believe that I’ve been married for a decade Allhumdullillah.

As I’m getting ready to celebrate 10 years of marriage, I can’t help but remember the four other couples that didn’t make it. Within my social circle there were 7 couples getting married around the same time. Today 4 of them are divorced. In fact, two marriages broke down within the first four months.
Being a paranoid worry wart to begin with, I couldn’t help but be effected by the marriages crumbling around us.
Were we next? Could their divorces have been avoided? Or was this simply another example of bad things happening to good people? (more…)

Fabulous Friday

Salaamz guys,

Remember me?

I know I know, I’ve been pretty bad with posting here ,I’m sorry! I’ve been under the weather and working on some pretty cool stuff which Insha’Allah I will unveil soon.

Ugh, it’ just been me, my sinuses and I. Not only have I been behind in posting articles, I missed out on two fabulous party’s in Mr.Raja’s Neighbourhood; I wasn’t kidding when I said we party in the weeknights. As part of my resolve to stay optimistic I’m trying to see the benefit of  being stagnant this week. It’s been a time for me to reflect more than to produce. I feel like I’m about to break through my cocoon  soon…kind of like a thought incubating period

This weeks fabulous Friday is kind of an indication of what’s been occupying my time: positive change. . (more…)

Fabulous Friday

Salaamz !
So my toddler annihilated my phone.
Words cannot explain how I feel right now..but Leo’s gonna try:

how am i supposed to live gif from pinterest

how am i supposed to live gif from pinterest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not just because I’m disconnected from WhatsApp messages, google analytics, my calendar and the realization that I have the memory of a goldfish; but also because I’m becoming painfully aware of just how addicted to my phone I was.
Allhumdullillah I was offered a few phones by my brothers- an S3, S4 and S5 all Samsungs though (umm could I keep all three?). But I’m about the iphone life! Okay, yeah I think that scored pretty high on the ungrateful meter. I was thinking about what a pain its going to be to remember which apps I had, to pay for them again and get used to the android life. I can’t help but feel like I’m cheating on Apple and switching to the dark side.

A few lessons:

~I’m never buying a new phone, or expensive camera, or nice anything..not until the kids are teenagers.
~My brothers are the best Allhumdullillah.
~I shouldn’t put all my eggs in one basket; a good old address book could have really been helpful right now.
~I’m a better mother than I thought. Secretly I always worried how I would react if my kids ever killed my phone…apparently I’m not as horrible as I thought..yaaaay! Maybe the shock paralyzed me from going crazy or I was too preoccupied with resuscitating it to be a psycho. (more…)

10 ways to be the best you

“Everything you need to know about how to live life, you can learn from a flight attendant”.

air hostess (image from makeupandbeauty.com)

air hostess (image from makeupandbeauty.com)

I waited for him to say more but it seemed like his statement was complete. With a raised eyebrow, I slowly nodded and tried to smile politely as I mentally put the Naturopath sitting across from me in the ‘quack box’. The quack box is a place in my mind where I put people who have crazy ideas, like the aunty’s who tell you to stare at white people through out pregnancy if you want fair skinned children.
Why did it take me 5 months to get an appointment with this guy? He spoke very slowly and simply; I couldn’t help but think either he was slow or he thought I was slow. Initially I had a hard time telling if he was simply pausing or finished talking; I had cut him off at least four times in the past two minutes!

He was the complete opposite of me, I talk fast, use my hands to sign out half the conversation and make a lot of sudden gestures. He speaks, moves, blinks and breathes slowly.

But he thinks really fast.

Within ten minutes of our session he described me to the T. It was frightening and comforting all at once. I quickly removed him from the Quack box and leaned in to hear what he had to say. (more…)

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