When two human beings with completely different genes and upbringing, decide to live together, no doubt, there will be misunderstandings. Marriage does not preclude fighting. There will be small fights. There will be big fights. There will be fights so fierce that you will wonder why you got married in the first place. (NB: “fighting” here does not mean taekwondo or kick boxing!)
“Don’t fight” is not a realistic advice to give to young couples. Ask those who are giving that advice if they have never fought with their spouse. The most beautiful marriages are those built upon years of learning – learning from mistakes, waxing stronger after every misunderstanding.
You need to define what you’re fighting about in the first place. Many times, after a fight, you would want to beat yourself up like, ‘hey! what was it we were fighting about?!’. Fight for what is worth fighting for. Be sincere. Don’t be egoistic. Don’t insist on always winning every argument. Only a bully does that.
When one of you is on fire, let the other one be water. You can never quench fire with fire. You can reserve your own fire for later, when your partner is more relaxed. But at that point, when the argument has become heated, someone needs to break the cycle. Seek refuge in Allaah against Shaitan. If you’re standing, take a sit. If you’re sitting, recline on a couch. This is the Sunnah.
At the peak of anger, you would feel like spitting the bitterness from your mouth. Don’t do it. You will do more harm and you will regret it later. Wait until the fire has been extinguished. The Messenger of Allaah (peace be upon him) said: “If any of you becomes angry, let him keep silent.” (Reported by Imaam Ahmad, al-Musnad, 1/329; see also Saheeh al-Jaami’, 693, 4027).
You should never go to bed with grudges in your heart. Not against your spouse. Not against anyone. It isn’t healthy for you physically, mentally or spiritually. Be the first to say ‘I’m sorry’ when you’re wrong. Be the first to forgive – not until you get an apology; just break the silence and let peace reign. You may look like a fool, but indeed, it increases your rank in the sight of Allaah.
Do not bring the children in between you when you’re having a misunderstanding. Do not write “I am mad with your mother/father” all over your face so that the children begin to see your spouse as a devil incarnate. You may reconcile and forget about it; but your children will never forget “the day daddy made mummy mad”.
If things get out of hand and you’re unable to resolve your differences, talk to someone, but choose wisely whom you talk to. Don’t talk to your partner’s sworn enemy or biggest fan. Opt for a neutral person. Talk to knowledgeable, pious elders from both families. Reconciliation is always the preferred way to go. (Quran chapter 4 verses 35 and 128).
But if reconciliation is not possible, walking away honorably is better than dying slowly in a loveless marriage. (Qur’an chapter 2 verse 227)
May Allaah bless our marriages. Aameen.