10 Best Pieces of Marriage Advice for Muslim Newlyweds

You’re probably going to receive all sorts of tips and advice as you embark on this wonderful journey called marriage. It’ll be hard to decipher between the good advice and the not-so-good advice. So with that being said, we’ve compiled a list of 10 best pieces of advice for newlyweds.

Here they are:

newlyweds

  1. Always, always treat each other with respect. No matter what.
  2. Watch your finances and learn to have healthy conversations about money.
  3. Delay starting a family until it’s right. You will feel the pressure of this as soon as you get married, but as long as you have a plan you agree on between the two of you, you’re fine.
  4. Learn how to give a massage. This is a great non-verbal way to show appreciation to your spouse.
  5. Be close, but give each other space. It’s important to know when to give each other space, but it’s also important to ask your spouse for this in a positive manner.
  6. Pay attention to the small things, they add up. As newlyweds, it’s going to take some time to adjust so pay attention.
  7. Maintain boundaries with family and friends. Again as newlyweds, this will be difficult at first, but everything will fall into place as long as you establish those boundaries early on.
  8. In-laws are not out-laws, but you must deal with them with sensitivity and respect.
  9. Don’t worry or get stressed out about sex. You and your spouse will find what works for the both of you. Communication is key!
  10. Never go to bed angry.

These pieces of advice will ensure both you and your spouse feel respected and comfortable. It’s all about balance and really understanding each other’s boundaries, and respecting them. It’s also important to put your trust in God at all times, that is probably the ultimate piece of advice we can give you.

4 Lessons in 4 Years of Marriage

My husband, Ahmed, and I have known each other our entire lives. Our parents were always such good friends and our interest for one another sprung from there. We were both born in Marietta, Georgia by the same nurses (and at home…no really), and we’re about 1 year apart. His family then settled in Missouri and my family in California. We got married on July 6, 2012 and had our wedding reception on July 8, 2012 here in California.

marriage

Which means we have been married for a whopping 4 years. Meaning: we’re still very new to this wonderful journey of marriage. However, we have learned some of the basics of marriage that I’ll share with you. In this day and age, it is important to establish a true friendship with your spouse. Someone you can laugh with and someone you can share all your pain with. Someone you know will never judge you and will always cheer you on. Someone who knows your strengths and weaknesses, and knows what buttons to never push.

No one can really prepare you for marriage. They may give you great advice, but the fact of the matter is everyone is different, and therefore, every marriage is different as well. So going off of that fact, I’m sharing with you some of things I’ve learned from my own marriage. So here are 4 significant things I’ve learned:

  1. We are all different. This is really important because when you first get married you’ll start to notice a whole lot of differences. Not bad differences, but just natural human differences. Things such as cleaning habits, eating habits, sleeping habits, etc. We all need to be mindful and respectful of our different habits. They do play a significant role in your marriage. For example, I love to stay up late and have a not-so-normal obsession with coffee ($$). Ahmed on the other hand, is an early bird and his cleaning skills are 100 times better than mine (amazing really).
  2. We have entirely different personalities. This probably could have gone with number 1, but I think it is important to discuss on it’s own. This can refer to whether you’re outgoing or shy, or how you cope when you’re upset or happy. There is a whole lot to consider when it comes to personalities. The key is to pick up on these cues from your spouse and the bigger key is to be respectful. You’ll start to realize when they need their space, or when they want to talk.
  3. Appreciation is key. This is huge. When you get married, you are choosing to spend the rest of your life with this person. You are moving out of your parents’ or guardians’ home and all that you’ve ever known, to create a new life with this person. You and your spouse are coming together with your different life experiences and you’re assuming new roles in a new household. It is important to be mindful and appreciate all the things your spouse does whether it’s solely for you or your marriage as a whole.  One thing you should also remember is that no role is superior to the other. Don’t ever make your spouse feel that they don’t do enough. However, you should both be aware of balance in the relationship. It’s not all about taking, you have to give just as much.
  4. Communication is extremely important. As with all relationships, communication is probably the key to a successful one. It is important to discuss with each other your expectations, your dreams, your fears, etc. However, one important thing to add is to be mindful of your tone. Without the right tone, communicating is simply pointless. If you are expecting something from your spouse, you need to communicate it to them in a respectful, calm tone. It is also important to note that if you need to discuss something serious, you and your spouse need to find the right time to sit down and talk. Springing a serious discussion on your spouse will most likely cause an argument.

So there you have it, 4 things about marriage coming to you from a not-so-newlywed newlywed. Remember its all about being mindful and respectful. We are all created different and we have all experienced different things in life. If we’re all mindful of our natural differences, our relationships would be that much stronger, inshAllah. Remember to always be patient, and take the time to show your appreciation for your spouse. Marriage is truly a beautiful journey. May we all marry our best friends and live happily ever after in this life and the next, inshAllah.

P.S. Ahmed and I recently started a YouTube channel to share our journey as a Muslim-American couple. Check out our first video here! Videos coming to PMW’s YouTube channel soon inshAllah.

Marwa Diaf
Editor
editor.perfectmuslimwedding@gmail.com

44 Things You Should Know Before the Wedding Night

So you’re getting married. Congratulations! You probably have given some thought to the wedding night. You may have heard stories from friends, but you still have tons of questions and you may or may not feel too comfortable asking for advice. We definitely understand your struggle. So we decided to put together some things you can expect and some things you should probably know before the wedding night. This may be a great thing to share with your fiancé as well, so you’ll be on the same page. We tried to include answers to those really tough questions as well. So go ahead, get reading!

wedding night
Photo by Azlan Dupree Available under the Creative Commons Attribution License

Expectations:

1. Expect you and your partner to be self-conscious. It’s ok. It’s okay to have the jitters. You will both be a little (or a lot nervous). If you let go of expectations, all the better.
2. You’re not a pro nor do you have to pretend to be. Unless you’ve been married before, this will be both your first time so if it feels awkward, clumsy or just clueless, not to worry. Like most things in life, practice makes perfect.
3. There is no single way to have or experience sex. What’s right is what works for both of you.
4. Repeat: “You don’t know everything.” The wedding and honeymoon is not the end, it is the start of your life.
5. Forget the picture-perfect wedding night and opt for being the best version of yourself.
6. Don’t expect to have sex multiple times a day and daily. Keep it balanced.

Communication:

7. Communicate expectations and concerns. Forget the fantasies. Sex isn’t like in the movies. Real sex, although enjoyable, is well…realistic. Talk, play, and joke around. The more relaxed you are, the better.
8. Share the mental scripts that are going on in your head. The more you trust and the more you share your vulnerabilities the more intimacy you will build. This does not mean you have to confess your whole past life.
9. Recount the day. Laugh at the funny things that happened.

Comfort & Relaxation:

10. Keep your next day free. Any time you have a time pressure you are not going to enjoy it.
11. Share your anticipation, your passion. Small gestures count a lot.
12. If you’re tired or just too anxious it is okay not to have sex on your wedding night.
13. Confidence will come through practice, attitude, and how you prepare including your dress. Make it as sexy or romantic as you are comfortable with.
14. Remember you have the freedom not to have sex on your wedding night. If you waited so long one more night won’t make a difference.
15. Inner fears run from “will it hurt?” to “will I perform?” to “will he or she find me attractive?” These are not easy to answer, but if you lower the bar of expectations and communicate, that will ease the way. Think about it, billions of people have been getting married and having sex over centuries. You, too, will figure it out.
16. Embrace the excitement. Give love, get love.
17. Take deep breaths. It is one of the keys to relaxation.
18. Both of you can undress in different spaces, what ever makes the two of you feel comfortable.
19. Handle the awkward moments with grace. You can make fun of yourself (but not your spouse).
20. If you can, spend the first night at home before you head to the honeymoon.

Accessories & Ambiance:

21. Give a surprise gift. Make the night memorable. It could be flowers, a poem you wrote, chocolates, the list goes on.
22. Use accessories like lingerie that work for both of you. Keep it sexy and classy.
23. Don’t use the Kama Sutra or other guides to set your expectations. Keep it simple and don’t try anything you’re not comfortable with yet.
24. Prepare the room. Use candles, flowers, incense and other decorations to create an ambiance that makes the two of you feel comfortable.
25. If you have a choice firmer beds are better for sex (and the back) than softer ones.
26. Change the lighting. Soft low lighting is better than a lit up room.

Diet/Hygiene:

27. Avoid eating at least 3-4 hours before having sex. Also avoid foods with strong odors as well as hard-to-digest foods.
28. Urinate and relieve yourself before (and after). Don’t let wanting to go to the bathroom and emptying your bladder get in the way of sex.
29. Take a shower before and after sex.
30. Keep a towel nearby.

Foreplay:

31. Start with kisses and sweet words before you get to the next level.
32. A man’s arousal happens quickly, but to be fair to your wife, you need to allow her time to warm up.
33. You may enjoy it. It is like learning to first ride a bike. You will have a few stumbles, but once you get the hang of it – you’ll enjoy it. Enjoy the foreplay as much as you can. The actual act may only take a few seconds.

The Main Act:

34. For the honeymoon and first night it is best if both bride and groom bring along, over-the-counter contraceptives like condoms (you can get variety packs eg from Durex).  These do not have to be used, of course, but it’s better to have them, until you have time to discuss when you want to start a family.
35. Treat sex as a journey of exploration rather than just a mechanical action.
36. Natural and external lubrication is important. Be patient and give the bride some time before penetration.
37. Forget about orgasms. Just focus on enjoying each other.
38. For men, premature ejaculation, the first few times may happen. With patience and practice it shouldn’t happen as often.
39. For women, the hymen may or may not bleed during intercourse. Bleeding is not a sign of virginity. Gentleness, patience and a loving attitude are key to helping reduce pain.
40.It may or may not hurt. As with any muscles you have not used before, you may be sore afterwards. Be gentle, sex is not a sprint. It is a mutual exercise.
41. After sex, don’t go to sleep right away, but make the after-glow last. Feed your spouse’s ego by telling them how great it was and how they look.

Learn & Grow:

42. In the morning you can ask for feedback. What worked, what could be better, how they feel, how was it different than expectations, etc.
43. Make small adjustments along your journey of discovery.
44. Learn to explore each other’s bodies. There is always room to change it up.

We hope you found these tips about the wedding night helpful. If you have any additional comments feel free to email us, or leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts!

Oh and don’t forget to turn off your cell phone.

10 Life Skills to Master Before and During Marriage

Although life is an ongoing education, there are some skills if we master, we can benefit from both before and during marriage.  We are not advocating you need to have all these down before marriage, as we all have our strengths and weaknesses. However, just being aware off them and for them to be a work-in-progress is all that counts. This is the difference between a marriage that struggles and one that flourishes

Here are the 10 life skills to master:

1. Learn, live and lead a healthy life
a) Your diet: eating nutritious,wholesome food
b) Your sleep: practicing good sleep hygiene
c) Your body: treating your body with respect and giving it exercise
d) Your spirit/ruh: Spirituality combined with faith
e) Avoiding risky behaviors

marriage
Photo by new Frank van Leersum available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

2. Managing relationships
a) Identifying expectations
b) Managing inter-personal relationships
c) Knowing you, your family, those you interact with and God.
d) Understanding human nature
e) Conflict resolution

3. Learn the art of effective communication
a) Starts with active attentive listening
b) Followed by articulation
c) Learning what to say what not to say
d) When best to say it
e) Best way to communicate with someone, direct, indirect, email.

4. Learn the art of decision making
a) Learning which decisions are more important than others
b) How to research (Online, talking to people,…)
c) Determining needs vs wants, important vs urgent
d) Process and criteria to decide
e) Doing Istikhara (asking God for guidance)

marriage
Photo by Azlan DuPree available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

5. Mastering education
a) Understand that education is a life-long process
b) Know the benefits and harms of technology
c) Learn how to master the right technologies

6. Coping with life
a) Learning about how to deal with daily and life-changing challenges/problems
b) At school, work, with family, friends, adversaries
c) How to manage your internal dialogue
d) Knowing your values and how to use them to guide you
e) Managing stress

7. Art of thinking
a) How to do critical thinking
b) How to be creative
c) How to be self-aware
e) How to show empathy

marriage
Photo by Steven Depolo available under a Creative Commons Attribution-license

8. Managing your finances
a) Learn how to become a wise consumer
b) Understand quality vs price
c) Creating a budget
d) When to save, when to spend, how much to spend
e) Understand the role of advertising and how it influences you

9. Goal-setting
a) Identifying short term and long term goals
b) Understanding that time is the greatest asset you have
c) Always using your energy at the right time to be the most productive
d) Knowing what to take on and what to say “no” to

10. Media and Community
a) Understand the psychology of how the media influences you
b) Not only what is being said but why and how
c) What isn’t being said is just as important as what is being said
d) What are you doing for the common good in your community?

5 Ways to Divvy Up Chores With Your Spouse

You went from divvying up wedding duties, to now trying to figure out how to split house chores with your spouse. There are a few of us out there that may think the wife is required to do chores, and that may be true in some households. Depending on how your marriage dynamic is. Definitely okay if wife is not working, but even then, men should always pitch in and vice versa.  This is mainly for those households where both wife and husband work. Here are some ideas to keep everything fair.

Perfect Muslim Wedding and Ayesha Khan Photography 11

1. Decide who prefers to do what. One person would rather clean the bathroom over the kitchen, play to each other’s preferences. It will make this a lot easier.

2. Switch off every day. “Today is my day to clean the kitchen.” Keep track of it on a calendar that you both can see.

3. Can’t decide who is going to wash the dishes? Think about who made dinner, the other person should be responsible for clean-up. You could also try drawing out of a hat, or the old rock-paper-scissors.

4. If spouse had a horrible day, offer to do some extra chores. Remember to give each other a break once in a while.

5. Practice “if you see it, fix it.” Cleaning up throughout the day brings some of that stress off you and your spouse’s backs later on, after work. If you see that the trash is getting full in the bathroom, take it out, despite who’s “turn” it may be.

These are just some simple ways of dividing up those chores. There are probably 100 more things you can do. Marriage is all about team work, so remember that as you’re chasing away those dust bunnies.

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