A friend of mine who is a student of deen and attends regular circles of senior scholars got married and every time he was asked, “How is life after marriage?’ He always replied with only one ayat from the Qur’an,
وَمِنۡ ءَايَٰتِهِۦٓ أَنۡ خَلَقَ لَكُم مِّنۡ أَنفُسِكُمۡ أَزۡوَٰجٗا لِّتَسۡكُنُوٓاْ إِلَيۡهَا وَجَعَلَ بَيۡنَكُم مَّوَدَّةٗ وَرَحۡمَةًۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَأٓيَٰتٖ لِّقَوۡمٖ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.
Yes, life changes after marriage but many life is constantly in a change mode even without marriage. A marriage is not only about physical intimacy but also about pain and sorrow. But which part of life is without pain and sorrow? Yet most people continue to go through nursery to graduation listening to scoldings of teachers and bullying by classmates. Later, they tirelessly look for jobs and if they get one, they struggle to survive in office politics. But when it comes to marriage they behave like marriage-phobic. We are always faced with confusing hypothetical situations like the comparison of ‘married vs unmarried life’.
There is no doubt that life does change after marriage but then it changes even after graduation too. Yet many youth are tempted to worry about, ‘How will be my life after marriage?’
The concise answer to ‘how is life after marriage’ is not too different than life before marriage. After marriage, most couples do fight but they have grown up fighting with siblings and classmates too. Before marriage, we struggle to earn and after marriage, we continue to earn. Life after marriage is similar to a workplace where seniors keep on instructing like a mother-in-law and co-workers grading our performance like sisters-in-law while we are prompted to attend workshops to program our thinking that- the customer is always right and not to argue with them. It is quite amusing that no one teaches us the same about marital life.
We pay thousands to master the skills of persuading customers, avoiding disputes with seniors and earning millions through applying them but do not apply any chapter of persuasion on our spouse. The application of one hadith on avoiding disputes in marital life can cause dramatic coolness in domestic life.
أَنَا زَعِيمٌ بِبَيْتٍ فِي رَبَضِ الْجَنَّةِ لِمَنْ تَرَكَ الْمِرَاءَ
The Prophet (ﷺ) said: I guarantee a house in the surroundings of Paradise for a man who avoids quarrelling even if he were in the right
At offices, we willingly or unwillingly display friendliness and courtesy to protect our jobs but at home, we are the very opposite, trying to boss over our spouse instead of being friendly. That is why many people survive job cuttings but let their marital happiness get killed.
Memorise this hadith and recall it every time someone instigates you to expose the shortcomings of your spouse or inlaws,
مَنْ سَتَرَ مُسْلِمًا سَتَرَهُ اللَّهُ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ
Whoever screened a Muslim, Allah will screen him on the Day of Resurrection
Whenever someone asks you, ‘How is life after marriage?’ Do not share with them your agonies but brighter sides. Your negative words may prevent someone who is looking forward to building happiness through marriage. Avoid saying, ‘I regret.’ but declare, ‘We are still decorating our relations.’ Instead of saying, ‘My spouse is a bad cook.’ say, ‘My wife is still polishing her cooking skills.’ Replace, ‘My husband does not earn enough to buy luxuries’, with, ‘My husband is fulfilling my basic necessities.’
A positive outlook fetches positive results and a negative outlook brings forth bitter fruits. So instead of a focus on ‘How to live after marriage?’ people try for a weaker option, ‘How to live without marriage?’ The choice is yours.