The Dance of Intimacy for A Better Marriage

Question and answer details
We are a newly married couple and Alhamdulillah things are going fine.We have an issue that needs your help: sometimes we find ourselves stuck in a problem due to misunderstanding or an unintentional behavior from one of us and this takes sometime to get things settled back as they were. We find ourselves in this cycle often: having good time together, a problem and some time till it is solved then good time again and the cycle continues.Can you please help us as this problem occurs frequently and we are really afraid it will affect our relationship on the long run?Jazaki Allahu khairan.
Dr. Maryam Bachmeier

Wa `Alaykum As-salam Dear Sister,

happilymarried_for_everThank you for writing in. You are describing a very common experience among newly married couples. You are doing a very good job in identifying a cycle. This is a sign that you are both committed to learning good communication skills and to having a great marriage.

One thing to keep in mind in the beginning of a marriage is that the union itself will trigger all of your insecurities and fears. This is a natural process as you are becoming purified at deeper levels through your bond and life together.

Learn what makes you feel insecure and communicate those fears with your spouse. Likewise ask your spouse to communicate with you the fears and insecurities also. Then, work on "learning" each other, and what each other's communications style is. You will likely both have to modify your own communications style to assist the other in understanding.

You can make an agreement to not feel offended or hurt, since you both know that you are simply misunderstanding. Often misunderstandings are a result of misperceptions about the other person’s motivations, etc. These misperceptions can be a result of processing what they say or do through a filter in your mind that is faulty due to insecurities, or it can be a direct result from having different communication styles, including tone of voice, body language, etc.

Additionally, communicating love style can be varied. For example, some people feel loved when their spouse does things, others need to hear words, etc... So, both of you should find out what the other person needs in order to feel loved, and both of you can make a concerted effort to say and/or do those things that make your spouse feel loved.

This is really just a very brief introduction as learning how to communicate effectively with your spouse to reduce misunderstandings is a very rich subject.

In the meantime, while you are "learning" each other and learning when something is serious or just a "behavior" and your spouse’s "way", learn to not be so upset over a disagreement. You cannot live with another human being and not expect a misunderstanding, or actual disagreement to happen once in a while. If you do not consider such happenings to be a catastrophe, they won’t be. They are just a part of life.

There is a dance of intimacy. The closer you both become and the more comfortable you feel with each other, the less you will fear the occasional spats that might happen from time to time. This is often a dance that helps couples learn about each other until they are comfortable with each other and have established that trust that each will love the other unconditionally. That is the actual goal of intimacy and that is what the soul is hoping for when it seeks union with a marriage partner.

With that said, you can make an effort to be aware of what is causing misunderstandings and practice better communication skills along with a lot of patience.

If you describe the actual cycle in specific, observable behavioral terms, I might be able to offer some practical suggestions.

For more guidance please try the following link(s):

About the Counselor:

Dr. Bachmeier is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the mental health field for over 15 years. She is also a published researcher, former adjunct professor at Argosy University, writer, and consultant to her Spiritual community in the areas of mental health, clinical disorders, cultural, family and relationship issues, and more

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information that was provided in the question. You are strongly advised to seek face-to-face counseling and consult your physician or therapist when making a drastic change in your lifestyle in terms of behavior, medication or diet etc.