Love is a Verb: Take-aways from Conversations on Marriage

It’s nearing the end of the term, which is generally a tough time to attend events. But tonight at the University of Toronto, the Muslim Students’ Association put on an event called “Conversations on Marriage” in conjunction with a number of amazing cultural clubs on campus, and the topic was intriguing enough to pull us away from our books. The attendance was wonderful, the discussion was interesting, and there were so many gems to take away throughout the night! In my own discussion circle there were a couple of participants who had been married for a while, and they had advice worth sharing. Notes below.

  1. Marriage is for mature people. And in particular, men have to be very mature, and be able to balance between their wife and their mother. A man has to be able to be just with both.
  2. In a marriage, the two people involved have to make the intention that they are just going to make things work. That no matter what happens, they are going to make things work between them. That intention is what will help make your marriage last.
  3. It’s important for spouses to have compatible goals. They don’t have to be identical goals, but you need to be looking in the same direction, and not have dramatic differences. If you want to go into politics and your spouse hates everything political, not going to work…
  4. People should take a course on interpersonal relationships before they get married. Today people often think about what the other person will do for them, how they will treated and get in the relationship but they never consider what is it that they will be contributing, what is it that they will be doing in the marriage. It’s an important question to ask yourself.
  5. You can assess if someone is right for you by asking them what their expectations are of married life. If one spouse imagines ironed clothes every day and the other spouse can’t iron, need to talk about that.
  6. Ultimately the success of marriage is about the feeling and softness in your heart for that person, and kind words. The basis of marriage is love, mercy and being reasonable.
  7. You can like someone before marriage, but ultimately love is work and sacrifice.
  8. Love is also about respect
  9. (Reflections from a married participant): When I met my wife, I thought, “I wish I had met you sooner so we could have grown up together! That was a missed opportunity to not have spent my formative years with her.
  10. Ultimately to find the right partner and to find success, ask for guidance and pray that you meet the right person. And read the Qu’ran, there is so much power in doing that.
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