Words are not objective, they are expressions of inner emotional states and so is how you view your marriage history.

By Nabi Raza Abidi

Much of your spouse’s outlook on your relationship’s history is informed by his/her current emotional state. How he/she views your personal/marriage history is a subjective enterprise and prone to change based on how he/she views the state of your relationship now. If there was a recent fight about something, chances are that you may be blamed for years of misery and for being the biggest mistake of his/her life. If things are going well, you will be praised for being the best he/she could have ever found.

The point I’m trying to make here is that when your spouse says something negative to you, or blames you for making his/her life miserable, don’t let it hurt you too much; chances are that his/her words are an expression of a temporary state of mind and a temporary interpretation of the marriage’s history. By putting in daily effort to change your spouse’s mental state, you will also be able to go back in time and change your marriage’s history to a more positive one. If “time-travel” is possible, this is one way to do it so to speak.

Too many people despair at words that are said by their spouses. Our words are expressions of our temporary states; they are expressions of our inner scars, pain and joy. At other times, hurtful words are the result of clumsiness, absence of serious thought and so on. They are not expressions of a deep seated will.

Once we understand the internal mechanism that drives human language, words will begin to hurt less and we will be able to look at the quality of our relationships with a more objective and bird’s eye-view. This puts us in a position to make wiser decisions about how to repair our marital relations and not react in ways that will make matters worse.

Waʿlaikum as-Salam,
Yours Faithfully
Nabi Raza Abidi
Resident Imam of the SABA Islamic Center
San Jose, California