Marriage is not always this rosy rom com where you wake up to your husband holding flowers for you and you feed each other chocolate till you die. You don't spend your entire day sighing and composing love ballads for each other. And breakfast in bed is really not that common. No. Marriage is messy. And it's understandable because it's a relationship that is not bound by blood. It's not like a parent-child or sibling relationship where you just instinctively love them, warts and all. The only thing that binds you to your partner in a marriage is that you chose them and they chose you. And what will ensure you continue to live with them through joy and sadness is whether you have love and respect for each other.
It is not easy. Sometimes you want to be left alone, sometimes you want to scream at them, sometimes you are exasperated at the annoying things they do. But at other times they make you smile, they fill your heart with a joy you wouldn't have known otherwise, they offer you a kind of companionship you didn't know existed, just the thought of them makes you happy to your toes.
So it's kind of sad that despite all this, the person who's the closest to us is also the one who see the worst of us. They see our real ugly side that the rest of the world isn't aware of. Ask any married couple and they will agree that their partner has seen them at their most horrible and unattractive point. It's inevitable when you have two people sharing physical, mental, and emotional space for so long.
However, It's not right and it needs to change. So to address this, and in preparation for Ramadan, for the past few days I have been more conscious (most of the time) of what I say. Sometimes I feel a snappy or sarcastic comment rising at the back of my throat and I swallow it. I remind myself that It is just not worth it. That momentary satisfaction of saying something "witty" is not worth the pain you cause your partner. In my case I've noticed that often what I say sarcastically is me projecting my insecurities and hurt on my husband. I am not being funny, I am trying to deflect from issues that I am not ready to tackle.
And what's a better time to confront the deepest,murkiest part of yourself than now? You are fasting from not just food but also all other mindless activities. This month literally forces you to reflect and ask the difficult questions you'd been putting off.
For this reason, Ramadan never fails to give me the warm fuzzies. No matter what my spiritual or emotional state, the beginning of Ramadan is like a small but growing glimmer of light through the darkness, through the emotional thunderstorm.
Ramadan is hope. This hope that it doesn't matter if I have hit rock bottom, I can still get up, dust myself, and begin climbing again. This month is for myself. The devils are tied away, so who I am this month is who I really am. What I am this month, I am responsible for it.
Ramadan is accountability. My relationships are an amanah (trust) entrusted to me by God. Am I honouring them in the right way or am I being selfish and hurting the people who love me the most? It's difficult to call yourself out, but you need to do that.
Take that first step. Reconcile. Treat that open wound before it festers into something worse. Take this month as an opportunity to address issues you had been brushing under the rug till now. Isn't it time to heal?
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