A marriage is a union of two people living together, both with their own inner gardens to tend to. A marriage which is cultivated with respect gives each spouse the space to grow and flourish, so they can work their way to being their best selves.
Let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Respect brings husband and wife together, giving them permission and autonomy to be themselves and to grow, with each spouse enjoying their journey and working towards their destination.
A Family Journey
Being part of a family means we often journey towards the same destination, and by cultivating respect in the marriage makes it easier to do things together as a team. When spouses feel safe and respected, they are more willing to make compromises and overlook the small stuff in the relationship.
Cultivating a Respectful Culture
Respecting your spouse means that you respect their boundaries. In doing so, you let them know how important boundaries are to you. By doing this, when it comes to you establishing and upholding your own boundaries, it becomes an easier experience, as you are not contending with their resentment at not being respected.
It can feel very comfortable when both you and your spouse like the same things and have the same values. Yet maintaining your individuality will help you both to flourish in your growth, where both of you pursue your soul’s desire.
Respecting and celebrating each other’s differences can help both of you connect to what you love to do – and sometimes that may be different for the both of you. One of you may be creative, whereas the other may be very practical. Remember, both of you may have been blessed with different skills from Allah, and connecting with those skills and growing them may be your means to connecting to your true calling and being able to express that.
Your differences as a couple will also give you the opportunity to bring more life and movement in your relationship, give you more things to talk about, and make you more attracted to each other.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
Thrive in Your Unique Beauty
What makes you special? How do you look after your body? What do you do to stay healthy? How do you look after your appearance? How do you live your life in the best way you can? How are you as a parent? What do you do in your spare time? How do you manage your own time? How do you spend your money? These are all questions the make you who you are.
Similarly, all of these questions define your spouse as well. How much control do you both have over your own life and preferences, and how much of ‘your’ preferences are you imposing on, or expecting from your spouse? As you let go of controlling your spouse’s life, start to nourish your own life by taking control over it.
Be Quick to Apologise
One of the defining features of a respectful marriage is apologising. The more easily you and your spouse apologise to the other for disrespect or hurt, the easier it is for you both to thrive. Couples who feel safe in knowing that their boundaries are being respected have fewer barriers between their love for one another. Check to see if you are every falling short in being respectful, and if you are, be the first one to apologise.
A Marriage Nourished with Respect
To summarise, the more that spouses respect one another, the closer they can connect. Respect is a two-way thing – we all want to be respected, so the best gift you can give your spouse is what you would love for your self – respect. By giving your family the gift of respect and acceptance, you can move forward towards your destination with harmony, with both of you flourishing in your uniqueness, creating a marriage that celebrates harmonious differences.
Respecting Others is the habit that we are cultivating in the month of September in the Cherished Seasons course, where we spend each month cultivating one habit from The Four Traits of a Cherished Muslimah. If you would like to nourish your life or relationships in a way that gains you Allah’s love, then come and join us! Check out what’s happening on my coaching platform: Cherished Muslimah.