Like many other marriages, Yusuf and Fatima’s marriage seemed to be experiencing some turmoil. Both were sincere and not a night passed when they would go to bed without making peace and amends.
Fatima comes to her husband Yusuf with a proposal: “I read in a magazine, a while ago, about how we can strengthen our marriage.” She smilingly and lovingly offered.
“Each of us will write a list of the things that we find a bit annoying with the other person. Then, we can talk about how we can fix them together and make our lives happier together.”
The husband agreed. So each of them went to a separate room in the house and thought of the things that annoyed them about the other. They thought about this question for the rest of the day and wrote down what they came up with.
The next morning, at the breakfast table, they decided that they would go over their lists.
“I’ll start,” offered Fatima. She took out her list. It had many items on it. Enough to fill 3 pages, in fact. As she started reading the list of the little annoyances, she noticed that tears were starting to appear in Yusuf’s eyes.
“What’s wrong?” she asked. “Nothing” Yusuf replied, “keep reading your list.”
Fatima continued to read and tears flowed now more profusely from Yusuf’s eyes and began to wet his beard. Fatima somewhat nervous read all three pages to her husband. She neatly placed her list on the table and folded her hands over the top of it.
“Now, you read your list and then we’ll talk about the things on both of our lists.” She said happily.
Quietly Yusuf stated, “I don’t have anything on my list. I think that you are perfect the way that you are. I don’t want you to change anything for me. You are lovely and wonderful and I wouldn’t want to try and change anything about you.”
The wife, touched by his honesty and the depth of his love for her and his acceptance of her, turned her head and wept.
Lesson: If you focus on your partner’s imperfections you will never be happy. You will always be dissatisfied, wanting more, feeling deprived, feeling frustrated. And you will end up making your partner miserable, and pushing your marriage into misery.
Instead, look for what is good in your partner. See his/her beauty, good habits, loving or kind gestures, relationship with the Creator Allah, hidden potential, and Islamic aspirations. If you look for beauty you will find it. Nurture that beauty by appreciating it, and it will grow. The love between you will deepen like a strong river, becoming more and more powerful over time. And those little things that used to bother you so much will seem not very important at all.