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Reflections on Muslim Relationships

When is the last time you checked in on your own personal relationship with your spouse?

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When is the last time you checked in on your own personal relationship with your spouse?

As relationship coaches, Victoria and I fully understand and appreciate the significance of nurturing a healthy marital relationship. We firmly believe that it is an ongoing journey that necessitates consistent attention and effort, what we call ‘remaining curious’. 

While special occasions (like the new year), often prompt reflection and introspection, we advocate for regular ‘Relationship Audits’ to be conducted to maintain a strong and thriving partnership throughout the entire year.

Regardless of the specific time or occasion, conducting periodic relationship check-ins can truly fortify the bond between couples and elevate their connection to new heights. 

Here are ten ideas to help you initiate a conversation for your annual reflection.

Aligned Faith Practices

One crucial aspect that we encourage couples to evaluate is their faith. It is essential to assess whether their spiritual beliefs and practices are harmonised or if a divergence exists. Sharing faith practices and actively working towards spiritual growth both individually and as a couple can have a profound impact on the strength of the relationship.

For instance, setting specific goals that are aligned with religious practices, such as dedicating time for joint prayers, attending religious lectures together, going to Jummah together, or engaging in charitable endeavors within the community, can foster a deeper connection and reinforce the couple’s shared spiritual journey.

A couple that we worked with, Aisha and Junaid, decided to dedicate a specific time each day for joint prayers. This not only became a spiritual commitment but also a shared activity that brought them closer together. They also set a goal to attend Jummah prayers together, at least once a month.

Why not try our ‘Soulful Connections‘ digital card download designed exclusively for Muslim Couples? It’s the perfect tool for starting meaningful faith-based conversations that deepen connection on a spiritual level.

Filling Your Love Tanks

Another vital consideration is the concept of ‘Love Tanks’, which was introduced by renowned relationship expert John Gottman. This metaphorical representation highlights the importance of emotional connection and fulfillment within a relationship.

Couples should evaluate whether their emotional needs are being met and consciously replenish each other’s ‘Love Tanks’ by engaging in acts of kindness, expressing appreciation, and actively listening to one another. These small but significant gestures can significantly contribute to overall relationship satisfaction and resilience.

Determined to revive their emotional connection, Sarah and Ahmed committed to filling each other’s love tanks consciously. They started with small but meaningful acts of kindness. Ahmed, aware of Sarah’s love for surprises, began leaving heartfelt notes in unexpected places, expressing his love and appreciation.

Learn Your Love Languages

Understanding and embracing each other’s Love Languages is crucial for a thriving relationship. Gary Chapman’s concept recognises that individuals express and receive love in unique ways. By aligning with each other’s preferred love language, couples can enhance their ability to express and receive love effectively, fostering deeper emotional connections and a sense of being understood and cherished.

Why is love so important? There’s a need to be genuinely loved by another in all of us. In fact, being loved could be considered one of our most basic and fundamental needs. It turns out that our level of happiness is linked to how we feel loved and cared for.

There is also a need for us to love and care for others. It is deep-seated within all of us because the fulfillment of this desire also enhances our happiness levels. Discover your Love Language by taking the quiz here.

Health Goals

Embarking on shared health goals is yet another important aspect that can strengthen the bond between couples. By adopting a balanced, halal, and tayyib (wholesome) diet or incorporating regular physical activity together, couples not only promote physical well-being but also cultivate a healthier lifestyle as a unit. Supporting and encouraging each other’s health aspirations can create a powerful sense of unity and shared commitment to overall well-being and longevity.

Amira and Zayd identified daily evening walks as a practical and enjoyable way to stay active while spending quality time together. Additionally, they decided to combine their walks with the remembrance of Allah, incorporating a spiritual element into their physical activity. 

Exploring Intimacy

Intimacy doesn’t start in the bedroom, no! But rather in the deep emotional connection that you foster outside the bedroom. Within the boundaries set by our faith, maintaining open communication about intimate desires, consent, and mutual satisfaction is crucial.

Exploring new ways to deepen intimacy can greatly enhance emotional closeness. Reflecting on cherished intimate moments from the past year allows couples to acknowledge and appreciate the connection they share, intimate moments that contribute positively to the vitality of their relationship. 

Emotional Support

Expressing emotional support is another key consideration. By reflecting on instances of emotional support provided and received over the past year, couples can acknowledge and appreciate each other’s efforts in nurturing the relationship.

Expressing gratitude and recognising the emotional care exchanged can foster a stronger emotional connection and create an environment of trust and support. Understanding the power of the hadith: ‘He who does not thank the people is not thankful to Allah’*, Layla regularly reminded Bilal of his strengths and capabilities. During tough days at work, she would leave encouraging notes around the house for him and send thoughtful text messages to uplift his spirits. 

Quality Time

Evaluating the quality of time spent together, rather than solely focusing on quantity, allows couples to ensure that they are fostering meaningful connections. Engaging in activities that promote bonding, such as shared hobbies, meaningful conversations, or pursuing mutual interests, strengthens the emotional connection between partners and enriches their time together.

Mariam and Abid planned weekend hiking trips to nearby scenic locations. This allowed them to enjoy the beauty of nature, breathe in fresh air, and engage in physical activities together. During their outdoor adventures, Mariam and Amir made a conscious effort to disconnect from their devices to have quality time together. It also provided a chance for them to connect with nature, and see the natural beauty of Allah’s creation and glorify Him. 

Charitable Work

Assessing our connection to the broader community and exploring ways to deepen our spiritual ties can also have a positive impact on our relationship. Engaging in charitable endeavours and strengthening ties within the Ummah (Islamic community) can nurture a shared sense of purpose and spiritual growth within the relationship, creating a strong foundation built on selflessness and compassion.

Instead of limiting their charitable efforts to occasional events, couples can commit to volunteering regularly at a local soup kitchen, for the homeless or the local Mosque.  

Dedicated Spiritual Space

Creating a serene and dedicated space within our home for prayer, reading the Qur’an, or quiet reflection can serve as a sanctuary to deepen our spiritual connection. Collaborating on establishing or enhancing this sacred space fosters a shared commitment to spiritual growth and strengthens the bond between partners.

Yusuf and Aisha collaborated on designing and enhancing their dedicated spiritual space. They chose calming colours, incorporated meaningful Islamic artwork, and selected comfortable prayer rugs to create an atmosphere conducive to tranquillity and reflection.

Spending Habits

Reflecting on our spending habits without blame allows for open dialogue and understanding. Discussing financial goals, budgeting together, and making joint decisions regarding expenses fosters trust and a sense of shared responsibility, contributing to a healthier financial relationship.

In cultivating a harmonious financial relationship, it’s crucial to create a safe and open space for discussions about money. Rather than assigning blame, approach these conversations with a shared understanding that each person brings unique financial values and attitudes to the table. This paves the way for honest dialogue and sets the foundation for a collaborative approach to managing finances.

Conclusion

By delving into these considerations and engaging in open, respectful conversations, couples can actively nurture their relationship’s well-being and lay the foundation for a resilient and fulfilling partnership throughout the year. It is through consistent attention, effort, and dedication that couples can truly thrive in their journey toward a lifelong partnership filled with love, understanding, and growth.

If these questions lead to arguments rather than constructive discussion, consider seeking guidance. Your marriage is a significant part of your Deen (faith), and it’s vital to invest in its growth, longevity, and happiness. Get in touch and we will be happy to help.

May our marriages be blessed with love, understanding, and an unwavering commitment to grow closer to Allah, Ameen.


Coach Taf and his wife Victoria Matesky are certified relationship coaches who offer a unique, faith-inspired approach to marital coaching by delivering sessions together. With their combined expertise, they provide invaluable guidance, fresh perspectives and support to help Muslim couples repair and strengthen their marriages. For more information on their work, please visit: www.teafortwo.uk/thrive 

Coach Taf can be found here: www.coachtaf.com 

*Sunan Abi Dawud

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