Mutual Expression of Love Between Spouses

Question

I have been married for five years now. I experienced very hard psychological and financial problems, which, thanks to Allah, eventually came to an end.
I love my wife so much and she loves me, but she always accuses me of not expressing my love to her, and of being practical more than necessary while she is so romantic. She has been repeating such words so many times that I have grown to hate myself recently, though I do my best to ensure happiness for her and for my home. What shall I do?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.
All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Thanks for your question, and we beseech Allah to inculcate love and affection among all married men and women.

As a Muslim husband, you should know that women tend to be more romantic than men. They like to hear tender words, to be praised, to feel that they are being cared for, to be the main concern of their husbands and the one to whom he directs his ardent love. You love your wife and your heart is full of love for her, but she does not hear anything of it. You begrudge the tender words she needs and the praise she deserves.

She deserves that you listen to her, praise her, and sympathize with her when she is troubled. She really needs this. She cannot ask anyone else for such things; she is a good believer and a sincere wife who can never ask another man for such emotions. Do you like her to be miserable? Do you accept that she suffers thirst although water is near but you keep it from her? You should know that her need for compliments and tender words is as real as her need for sustenance, clothing, and other things that you believe to be the source of happiness.

Real happiness needs psychological nourishment and material things are not enough to fulfill this kind of nourishment. So, express your love toward your wife, and give her the right she deserves-to be complimented, treated gently, played with. Let her see your love, and show her your great need for her. Men often find it difficult to open up and express their feelings, but this is what she is seeking. Talk to her, even about small things that happen at work, and also show an interest in what she does. You should do so in order to let her express her feelings and not to make her lose hope in you and, consequently, lose interest in you. Of course, we do not mean that she would be interested in another person.

Once, the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) was sitting with one of his Companions when another man passed by them. The man who was sitting with the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “I love this man (for Allah’s sake).” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Have you told him?” The man replied in the negative. So the Prophet said, “Go and tell him.” Thereupon, the man stood up and said to the other man, “I love you for Allah’s sake.” The other replied, “May Allah, for Whose sake you love me, love you.” (Reported by Ahmad)
Thus, I would like to ask you who is more worthy of such feelings than the man with his wife and the woman with her husband?

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to do so with his wives; he used to express his love toward them by word and deed. As for words, it is reported that `Amr ibn Al-`Aas (may Allah be pleased with him) asked the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) saying, “O Allah’s Messenger, whom do you love most, after Allah Almighty?” He (peace and blessings be upon him) replied, “`A’ishah.” `Amr ibn Al-`Aas then said, “And from among the men?” The Prophet answered, “Her father (Abu Bakr).” This hadith shows how great was the Prophet’s love for `A’ishah, and this love was well-known among his Companions.

`A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, “It would happen that Allah’s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) would take a utensil containing food, give it to me while I was having my menstrual period, and adjure me to eat from it. Then he would take the vessel being keen to put his mouth on the same place I put my mouth on.” Of course, the Prophet did this as a kind of compliment and to let his wife feel his affection. `A’ishah also swore that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to do the same when drinking water. She would drink then he would take the utensil and drink from it, putting his mouth where she had put hers.

By doing such things, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) intended to guide his nation as to how the relation between the spouses should be, how affection and mercy can last between them, and how the husband can talk gently and play with his wife.

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Be lenient toward glass vessels (that is, women)!” In this hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) called women “glass vessels,” for they need care either in treatment or even in speech. Allah’s Messenger further said, “Treat women kindly.” In addition, Allah Almighty says, “… and speak kindly to mankind …” (Al-Baqarah: 83) It goes without saying that our wives are more deserving to be treated kindly. They are our helpmates, our children’s mothers, the ones who make our homes comfortable and fulfill our love desires.

In addition, a good word is an act of charity. The devil, indeed, sows discord among mankind. So if you, dear brother, want to preserve your happiness and insure that your wife is doing her duties toward you with content, you should know that the most beloved deed to Allah after the obligatory acts of worship is bringing happiness to a Muslim’s heart.

So what do you think of your most intimate companion, your permanent neighbor, your other half, your wife that you have chosen from among all other women? It does not take much effort on your part to learn to say “I love you” every day, to take her a small gift now and then, to phone her from work just to say “I love you,” to take her out alone now and then even if only for a walk, or in other ways to show your affection. Such small steps can go a long way to making her happy and strengthening your marriage.

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