This Ramadan (and forever) be a good wife

After giving lessons to husbands, Asma is back with some instructions to wives.

By Asma Anjum Khan for,

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I drew a blank, as I began to arrange my thoughts on the virtues of a good wife.

Most guys would say, beauty comes first, and that means the girl should be fair and a darker shade is a complete no no, even if the guy is ten shades darker himself. Next?

She should be homely, docile, and good in kitchen.

Remember hearing how the tag of being a Good Girl was thrown about, around you, as you were growing up?

By ‘good’ they meant, one who observes silence, like Maun Vrats Bapu Gandhi did. The only difference being, the latter’s were protests against something he deemed wrong; and hers go on becoming a ‘naturally acquired’ habit.

Silence is indeed golden but if you don’t speak up, at the blatant abuse and violation of your rights ; it must be said, you have become your own worst enemy. Take a stand , when you feel, you are denied your natural rights and the rights granted to you by your religion.

Find an apt time to speak ; but don’t bicker.

Ask any guy and the one thing he hates most is your constant bickering. The dictionary defines it, to argue about petty and trivial matters.

Need I say more?

But should you bicker; bicker the literary way.;

Flow or fall with a gentle repetitive noise; patter.

A person constantly squabbling over every pretty issue; repels people around them.

Talk politely yet firmly what you find unpleasant in his behavior.

Respect is what men covet most. Do it, willingly.

Even during disputes and arguments, never ever make the mistake of using insulting and demeaning terms of reference for him and people he loves [ His parents, sisters, etc.]. One wrong word, stings sharper and deeper than the sting fish. So, be careful ,with your words, not just with him but with everyone around you.

The burden of words is too heavy to carry.

Don’t be sweet tongued, but let honey get mixed in your talk occasionally.

As they say, you don’t know people, unless they open their mouths. Refined language, a genuine, genial tone of utterance, are certainly wonderful things to have, in your kitty.

*This suggestion is gender neutral.

Minds of men and women work differently. If a man’s works like a set of different boxes, one open at a given time; a woman’s is like a browser with several windows all open at the same time. That’s what perhaps gives us women an edge and the advantage of multitasking. That said; let’s try to grasp, the innate difference that nature has bestowed the two genders with.

It’s a general complaint that men are not available emotionally; you can’t lean on their’ emotional’ shoulders because they have none. This surely is heart breaking. Many times, this not being available emotionally is not because he doesn’t love you, but because his mind works differently. Hence you may find him holler, watching a cricket match instead of being with you, listening to your woes or how your day went. Try to understand. Give him , his own space, where he will get rejuvenated and be refreshed, to come back to you.

Don’t bog him down, give him his own ’me time’. Men feel suffocated if they are chased down [ your non-stop texts?] with incessant demand on their time and attention.
Let them be.

While it’s hugely problematic that men, after some years of marriage, start becoming ‘absent’ in their marriage, let’s understand this as well. They are good men but they have made the mistake of taking things for granted. Try to talk to him about it. No use fuming though.

Women , need to have a life of their own.

Get a life of your own. Develop a hobby, read books, go out or do something for a cause. Invite children from underprivileged backgrounds and teach them for an hour or so. This will give you a sense of fulfillment, a sense of purpose. Most of all it won’t make you feel less worthy, because he didn’t have time for you. Give him, his own space and protect your own. He will start cherishing you more, appreciate you more, when you have your own things that interest you, other than him. Go to your mother, lean on the shoulders of your sisters, female friends cousins for that extra-essential emotional support.

It’s a basic human right, no one can deny.

Hubbies should not resent this, for don’t you guys spend time with your friends and that great friend of yours, that[silly] Sports Channel?

Accept the fact that men, many times would be emotionally absent and move on. You have your own hobbies and interests.

Stop being boring and predictable:

Charm him with your smile. Do things that please him and before dear feministas attack me; let me state; this appreciation and ‘making happy’ will come back to you. It takes two to tango. Your husband must realize the effort you are putting into your marriage, else you might feel disappointed. Any which way, there is no harm in taking the lead.

Never try to alienate him from his people:

He is your husband but he has his parents, his people , to whom he is attached, like all of us. He may give in to your tactics and machination for the time being, but he resents you inwardly. Respect your in laws, even if you can’t love them.

Never praise your father in front of him!!!

You don’t need to go to the UN to learn some diplomacy.

Look into the mirror:

No, take another look and another and one more. Have you put on weight? Bags under eyes? Not done. Women stop caring for their appearance, after a stage. This can be a serious mistake. Go for a walk, hit the gym, get back into shape and remain there. Be attractive. Take out that beige sequin dress and look beautiful. He will fall for you, again and again, I bet!

But, wait!

It’s highly probable that the creature coming home after eight hours of work and two hours of commute; may not notice you and the beiged sequin.

Take a deep breath. Find a mirror. Wave at the lady and say, Hi Beautiful!

Stop feeling frustrated at his non response. You are your own best friend and admirer.

If you feel unattractive about yourself, then you will be unhappy, and withdraw from your surroundings. With this deep discontent inside you, do you hope to make a happy marriage?
Hmm, so he has returned late, one more evening. He has also forgotten to send a plumber for the leaking tap. What’s more, come IPL, football or Super Bowl, he sits glued to the TV set, forgetting that you exist or pretending you don’t exist.

Sad situation.
The only consolation here is that, you ain’t not alone here.
Let the guy, enjoy his sport.
Be a sport, girl.

Having said that ,enjoy your own company. Be your own friend. Stop depending on any one for support.

Stop Pampering him.

You will find many women say, they have three children, if they have two. This allusion to the husband as your third kid is doing a lot of harm to him and to your marriage. He is not a kid, but an adult who should be responsible and mature. He is Qawwam .i.e. A caring, honest Imam/leader; an emotionally intelligent man who understands his responsibility towards women. If Qawwams are not found around, unfortunately, then let’s try to help our sons be ones. An early induction into the Qawwam thing will do them[ and us] loads of good.
This is a crucial point and should be noted with some alacrity. What we now don’t get to see , may be our next generations will do. Hope is eternal.

My last moot point is the ridicule women have to face when they ask the hubby dears to be present with them. To ‘be’ with them. To talk to ,to listen to, to crack jokes with, and sometimes just to quietly lean on their shoulders. All this is dismissed with scorn and contempt with oft repeated dialogues.

1]You have gone bonkers[Read mad]
2] Stop watching, those silly romantic movies.
3] This is real life, not a film.

This commentary can’t be rejected in its entirety. Our busy schedule and stress of the modern day, leave us exhausted, with little time, on hands. Yet, we know, without some sweet romance, bonhomie, affability, life seems dull, dreary and boring.

Let us have a look at how our beloved Prophet PBUH conducted himself , with his wives. He took out time for each of them, talked to them about his day and listened to their tales[ he even would attend his wife’s story sessions,] he helped them in household work. He gave them sweet nick names and took them out on expeditions, raced with them where once he won and teased the loser. He would joke with them, tease them. He was not even shy of proclaiming his love openly for them in public. Yes, you have read it right. Once he was asked whom did he love most; and his answer was Aishah. The questioner quickly shot another salvo, saying his question was about the men. Ponder over the second reply of my beloved Prophet PBUH,
Aishah’s father.

Notice even the second reference was not without the name of the woman whom he said, he loved most.

Anyone taking a cue here?

(Dr. Asma Anjum Khan teaches English and talks a lot, read her more stories Asma Nama) .