Failing Our Sons
...While we spend so much time teaching our daughters how to be good wives, no one takes the time to teach our sons how to be good husbands.
We rarely say to them, “When you see your wife frustrated, don’t just leave the room to avoid her; try to comfort her, even if you think her reasons for being angry are unjustified.” No one says, “If you pull yourself off the couch to get a snack or something to drink, offer to get her the same.” No one says, “Sometimes she just needs you to be there… really be there.” No one says, “There are a million ways to show her you care, and even though it will take some effort to find which she likes best, you do have to do it.”No one teaches them the importance of fulfilling their wives sexually. No one says any of that.
Why are we always teaching our daughters how to be wives when we almost never teach our sons how to be husbands? Why do we not give our daughters this same courtesy? The sad truth is, no one cares. No one cares what kind of husband he will be; shy of physical abuse (and even then, sometimes they still don’t seem too concerned), he can be the worst husband in the world, but it’s up to his wife to suck it up and provide him with a happy home no matter how unhappy his careless treatment makes her. The bottom line of this double standard is that we give husbands the right to be neglectful, and then when the marriage falls apart, the wife is blamed for being unable to keep it together.
If we care about the wellbeing of our daughters and of the Ummah overall, we must spend more time advising our sons that their role in the home plays a significant part in its atmosphere. We must explain to them repeatedly that their responsibilities go far beyond just the financial aspect. We must ingrain in them – just as we do to our daughters – their spiritual and emotional duties as a spouse. Studies show that children whose mothers are happy are themselves better adjusted and happier, leading to increased
happiness in adulthood as well. But where does that wife’s happiness come from? If her husband neglects her, caring only about his own satisfaction, whether that be emotionally or intimately, there is no way she will be able to find happiness. If he expects her to carry the full load of child-rearing and act as though he is not responsible, this, too, will have a negative effect on her, and consequently, on the entire household.
If, however, we teach our sons how to communicate with their wives – complement her on how she looks, express pride about a professional accomplishment she has achieved, show appreciation for the warm cooked meals she provides, embrace her when she’s sad or frustrated, talk to her about things which are occupying your attention, spend time with her where you are fully present, etc. – then we give them the communication skills which are essential in making their marriage successful.
By putting as much effort into teaching our sons how to be good husbands as we do to teaching our daughters how to be good wives, I have no doubt that divorce rates would decrease and there would be a sharp increase in the overall happiness in our homes. Many people are familiar with the hadith in
which ‘Aishah (RA) states that Prophet Muhammad (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) “used to keep himself busy serving his family and when it was the time for prayer he would go for it.”
We must emphasise this in our homes, to our sons, and encourage them to emulate Rasool Allah (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) in all his actions, including his treatment to his family. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not saying that we should not teach our daughters, nor am I saying that we should not advise each other about how to improve ourselves as wives. Not at all. We must teach our daughters and continue to advise each
other because marriage takes work. All I’m saying is that we need to make certain that our sons understand that marriage takes work from both parties. They must learn early on that just because women are more inclined to give in a relationship does not absolve men from giving; wives have desires and emotional needs for which their husbands are responsible. But the true advantage of being a husband is that the more he gives, the more he’ll get back. The happier he makes his wife, the more eager she will be to please him.
Marriage is very much a positive feedback system; while both members give, the system produces more love and happiness. If one member slacks for a while, the system will continue to run, but only for a limited time. If either member doesn’t exert the required energy for extended periods of time, the system will fail.
Honestly, it’s that simple.
May Allah bless our Nikkah's with love, understanding, grant us mery and be garments unto each other, Aameen
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