Reality check - Are You the Right Spouse?
Try this simple test. Write down on a piece of paper ten crucial qualities or personality traits that you are looking for in your ideal husband or wife. These can be anything which is important to you – for example, generosity, no previous baggage, loyalty or sense of humour.
Now, look through the items one by one. Of this list, ask yourself honestly how many of these qualities you possess. Did you yourself pass or fail the checklist that you wrote? If your potential spouse wrote an identical checklist, would you be able to meet the criteria?
Human beings are often oblivious to their own flaws and limitations. Of course we want only the best for ourselves, and it is good to aim high. However, we must also be introspective on what we have to offer the other party.
We are all composed of habits, good and bad. When all the make-up and clothes are stripped away, it is the habits that remain. Therefore, let us have some justice in the equation.
Parents want to promote the best candidates for their children, which is only natural. However, what if parents raise their children to lack quality – the bad upbringing resulting in children who are hollow, inconsiderate and unable to do anything by themselves? How can parents demand the best for their children when they do not raise their children to also be the best?
Similarly, for those of you who choose your own spouses, what do you have to offer the other side? Do you ever analyse what is it about your personality that makes you attractive and deserving of being their life partners? Do you assess your flaws and try to overcome them? If you want a good life partner, you have to be one too.
I had a conversation with a Muslim career woman in her late thirties. She said that if she found a potential husband (who had to first pass the rich and handsome test), he must be able to accept her stormy temper, tantrums and demands – behaviour that she does not even display to her friends. In her opinion, that was the test of whether he truly loves her. Does this make sense? What man would like to put up with someone whose definition of love authorises his wife to give him her worst rather than her best? This particular woman also had little to offer in terms of everything else, being moody, overweight and spoilt - yet she never saw the need to work on herself rather than having unrealistic expectations of others. After a string of disappointments in her relationships, she is still unmarried.
Analyse Ourselves First
To those who want to get married, remember that the person you choose is a reflection of your soul. Goodness attracts goodness, and quality attracts quality. The best way of finding a good spouse is to develop your own quality first.
Being blessed with good looks is not enough! Looks, like wealth or money, come and go. You may be passionately in love today, but that passion will fizzle away if there is nothing substantial to sustain it.
Ask yourself a few tough questions, which only you can provide the answers to.
If you are a male:
• Do you have the characteristics worthy of being called a man?
• Do you have the qualities of a leader?
• Can you be a teacher of your wife and your children?
• Do you have the manner, knowledge, wisdom and piety to be a role model within the household?
• Are you ready to educate your wife and your children?
• Are you capable of leading with patience?
• Do you have the maturity to lead a household?
• Can you accommodate and compromise?
If a man finds a good woman, she will see him as a role model and try to emulate his qualities. What kind of goodness can you pass on to her? Will she see quality, or will she see a mess, composed of misplaced ego, bad manners and childishness?
If you are a female:
• Do you have the characteristics worthy of being called a woman?
• Do you have the capacity to choose a leader as your husband?
• Are you willing to humble yourself to your husband's leadership, despite your university degree and career?
• Are you ready to learn if your husband educates you?
• Do you have the quality to educate and guide your children?
• Can you be contented if your husband is not able to provide luxuries?
• Are you a good role model for the next generation?
• Do you have the maturity to raise your children?
• Can you accommodate and compromise?
If you are still driven by stubbornness, ready to argue over the smallest matters and to create drama in the household whenever things do not go your way, then you need to reassess yourself first before entering into the institution of marriage.
For men and women, the first step of finding a spouse is to find yourself first.