When rocking a Boat Saves a Marriage from Drowning!

Says Aisha, "My husband and I never seem to have a moment of agreement, it's been arguments right from the first day of our marriage! No matter what I feel over an issue, he always wants his

Opinion to be accepted and would never give up in an argument until he has the last word! I have tried to discuss my feelings over this rationally, but it only leads to more argument, because I really dislike this trait about him.

Most times, we start off discussing in a civilized manner then end up having a shouting match, which eventually ends up with me crying and both of us not speaking to each other for days! I never imagined marriage would be like this, it's like a constant battle field and we have only been married for two years! Already our marriage is affected, because I simply let him have his say so that we can have some peace. Things are better now, but I am not happy. "

"I refused to accept it at first, but I have come to realize it now that my wife says and does a lot of things that really brings out the worst in me!

When I try to talk to her she becomes very stubborn and rude and we always end up having a big fight. I am really getting tired of coming home everyday to one fight or the other, I am beginning to think of getting another wife or just get a divorce" - Abdullah

Someone you know? A brother? Sister? Cousin? A colleague at work? Or your next door neighbour? Perhaps if you looked in the mirror, you'd see Aisha or Abdullah staring right back at you!

The characters and their accounts above are imaginary, but the substance of their accounts bear

very strong resemblances to your marital lives right now, or are dead on bull's eye right about the feelings in some marriages right' now or have been!

Couples, often times and early too; find out that marriage is not all chocolates and roses: particularly when the arguments start. These arguments or fights are usually caused by a variety of issues which can be summed up under major categories. These are money, sex, housework childlessness, parenting, personality clashes, behaviours, habits, Job, inter-family relationships, amongst other things.

But is fighting always a bad thing? Some experts believe that arguing, far from being a bad thing is actually one of the healthiest things a couple can do. In fact, research shows that couples who argue are more likely to be satisfied with their marriages than couples who withdraw from conflict.

A Woman said she was tired of a marriage after fifteen years. She had been known to be a quiet and easy going woman who never got angry. Theirs appeared to be the perfect marriage, the type many prayed for, So her family and friends simply concluded that she was the difficult one when she said she was leaving the man. When she tried to explain how his conduct had always bothered her, but had put up with it because she didn't want to fight him, nobody supported her. As far as many were concerned, if she'd put up with it for fifteen years, it meant she could live with it!

Again this scenario which by the way happened, is very true for many married couples and in fact any human relationship/interaction, from parent to child, to between friends, Employer/Employee to colleagues at work. If you give a person an inch, he or she might take a mile consciously or unconsciously.

When conflicts are perceived as many tend to do, as a win or lose situation, it becomes unattractive and dangerous as in the case of Aisha above. Initially, Aisha faced the situation headlong, trying to express and assert herself; whether properly or improperly is another issue. Then because of the constant tension, she started to give in. She stopped talking arid the resentment which she had found an outlet for was now locked in and began to build up, giving birth to a ticking time bomb!

Conflict is in fact a signal from the relationship saying, Something has to change, Pay attention here. Once a person understands this, conflict can become the doorway to more intimacy in all areas: emotional, sexual, spiritual, and intellectual.

Avoiding conflicts might work sometimes if the strategy is to come back another day "to fight" but not to run away altogether. Of course, it might be useful to change strategy; choose appropriate timing or the right environment e.t.c.

Ignoring the problem like Abdullah is trying to do instead of trying to resolve the problem constructively, appears a case of postponing trouble and even multiplying it by bringing in another woman into an already volatile environment!

How Conflicts Can Help Or Sink Your Marriage

Don't believe all you read and watch on TV! It might be possible to stay without fighting or arguing and still have a healthy marriage as some testify; it however happens in an 80 to 20% ratio, with conflicts in marriage taking the majority!

How we react and respond to conflicts is dependent on a number of factors like the age of the marriage; the age of either one or both of the couples, the environment they are in circumstances surrounding the issue and other external factors and influences.

Many newly weds begin to have frequent arguments and fights; sometimes really bad ones from the third month of being married. By then many pretensions have been dropped and reality checks begin to take place! As the marriage grows, these arguments' could take more positive and matured dimensions by thinning out in frequency and leading to better understanding, tolerance and hopefully more wholesome intimacy between the couple. Just as well, argument may become very negative, growing in intensity and frequency until there is a total breakdown in the marriage.

Arguments between spouses should define the relationship better. Try to move on from the last argument, no matter how bad and learn from it. A lot of much needed home truths come out in the open in the heat of an argument and help to bring up issues that had otherwise been swept under the carpet.

Don't be afraid of rocking the boat!

Communication is key; it is always better to talk about it. If you are not the talking type, write it or just find a way of showing it. The important thing is to express it so that the issues might be addressed on time, before it is taken any further.

However when arguing, try to stay on the issues rather than calling names and revealing secrets. It takes one Put-down to undo hours of kindness you had given to your partner. The key is in managing the arguments by expressing the feelings in a constructive manner.

Constructive expression of gripes, criticisms, and annoyances is a matter of knowing how to express oneself and choosing the appropriate time and place for the conversation.

Learn from the master conflict manager himself, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

He had a way with his companions, wives, children, grandchildren, other Muslims old and young and even non-Muslims. He managed people with different dispositions, inclinations, personalities, colors, ages and in varying circumstances successfully. His ahadeeth are replete with many of these situations, some of which could give you pointers to the solution to that problem that is threatening your marriage.



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