(163) Who greets who: Are you also tired of debates on marriage?
An Arewa24 TV talk show presenter suggested that if a man’s wife doesn’t greet him as per tradition, he should greet her. That provoked many men on Northern Nigerian social media. It’s yet another round of endless debate on marriage. Thus, I posted this article as my contribution to the discussion. Enjoy.
The marriage question will continue to dominate our public discourse for a considerable time. In contrast to the Western world and other regions, Hausa/Fulani religious and social traditions prohibit sex outside of marriage. However, as humans have an inherent desire for sexual activity, marriage remains the only legitimate way to satisfy that craving.
Conflicts will occur as long as men and women live together, desire to raise a family and do much more. We are not meant to agree on everything. Some disputes are solvable, others intractable. While divorce is halal, it's significantly discouraged by both Islam and our culture. So, what do we do?
Many couples, especially the wives, live under unfriendly conditions in their marital homes. That supposedly saves their image in the broader public view. However, only a few remain silent today. Thanks to social media, many choose to speak out via various channels. "Please, hide my identity" is ubiquitous. While some of those stories are fiction, others are genuine.
My marriage is a decade old. Alhamdulillah: the journey has been very smooth. My advice to couples is: do what works best for you. I occasionally reveal the working formula of what I consider a happy union. However, it may not work for you as we differ in many ways.
Study your partner carefully and do what they value, what cements your relationship, even if it means greeting each other hourly. It doesn't really matter. No spouse is perfect. Marriages flourish (or survive!) when the parties involved learn to tolerate each other's imperfections.
Also, respect your spouse. Remember to appreciate each other's efforts as often as possible. Normalise saying "Thank you", "I am sorry", "You look beautiful", "The food is delicious", etc. Although they are easy to utter, their significance and impact are deep.
May Allah (SWT) continue to bless our marriages, amin. May you, too, get a deserving life partner, amin.