The marriage and the “happy ending”
Is Marriage the Solution for our problems?
Many people, in finding who they think are their true loves, think that the goal of the marriage is to find permanent love, comfort and solace from their spouses. This leads to obsessive binds, where emotional attachments are formed on the other spouse for permanent happiness and contentment of the heart. This reasoning is false, for one cannot rely on permanent love and happiness from another human being. Human beings are themselves changeable in their short term interests and goals.
If on the other hand, the focus of the couple is fixed on the hereafter, then the couple realises where they are placed in relation to each other. They will realize that they cannot find perfection in each other, that they cannot place all their hopes in each other as both of them understand that true happiness comes from Allah.
With marriage comes responsibility, and both the husband and wife have roles which they are obliged to observe. The husband is the head of the family, not because of his capacity to earn a good income, but because upon his shoulders lie the responsibility of leading his wife and children to paradise. A wife’s role is not to be a socialite and a chef, but to support her husband in that goal, and to raise and educate the children so that they follow the same course.
If this is the common goal that the couple agree upon before embarking on their married life, then whatever glitches which come in between are minor obstacles. The couple does not take their eyes off the main criteria: the overriding goal of reaching jannah.
Nothing is Permanent
With this comes the understanding that a spouse is not a means of permanent happiness, but rather a source of tranquility while we embark on our journey to the hereafter. Together with this understanding, we should also comprehend that our spouses are not the conclusive means for our emotional fulfillment, but rather, as a companion that would accompany us for part of the way in striving towards the journey to Allah. Finally, we should also understand that whatever love that we carry in our hearts for our spouses should not supersede or override our love for Allah. It is when we shift our emotional dependencies and happiness to our spouses, only to discover their imperfections, inevitable mistakes and inabilities to fulfill such needs, that cracks and fissures appear in our marriages, ultimately towards our own destruction.
The same way that dollar bills cannot give us happiness, we should also keep an eye on our expectations in what our spouse is able to deliver. In relying on our spouses for our ultimate emotional and physical cravings, and giving our spouses priority to the One, the Giver of such spouse, we are creating our own undoing, often with devastating results.
What is a happy ending?
There is no such thing as a happy ending in this world. While humans are tuned in for the search of eternal bliss, it is a fact that all marriages will end. It can be through divorce or death, but in the natural order of things one or both of the spouses will be separated from the other. Like the whole impermanence of this world and all it contains, marriages are temporary arrangements, a means to an end for us to get to our ultimate destination in the hereafter.
Yet, in the case of true love, such love endures beyond the grave. Even if one spouse dies ahead of the other, the surviving spouse will comprehend that the earthly marriage merely granted a temporary companionship in this life, and still keep an eye on the original goal.
In a lasting marriage, both spouses acknowledge that they are a trust for each other, and were a gift granted by Allah to each other to be cherished and appreciated, not abused. The happy ending is the one that comes in the hereafter, the happy ending is if we reach our goal of jannah, either alone, or inshaa Allah, with our spouse in dunia.