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Love Or Respect: Which Do You Prefer?

How Husbands Should Treat Their Wives

This is Part 2 of the Series: “Love, Sex, And Marriage in Islam.”

Men and women are different. Despite being equal in every mental aspect and almost every physical aspect, we are still different. Therefore, it should be no surprise that there is a difference in how husbands treat their wives and wives treat their husbands.

The most important emotion a husband can show his wife is love. That is what women are looking for from their men. Love.

Respect, friendship, and support are all important. But love is the foundation of all of these things.

I can give you all sorts of anecdotal evidence. Stories about women enduring all sorts of mental abuse and neglect because want their men to love them. And I can also cite cases where a woman would leave an otherwise good man if she feels he doesn’t love her.

But rather than do that, I’ll just quote from the Quran and hadith.

And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good.

Surah Nisa Verse 19

And from the hadith:

He has further stressed: “The most perfect believer in the matter of faith is one who has excellent behavior; and the best among you are those who behave best towards their wives.” Collected by At-Tirmidhi.

Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) are showing us the way men should behave with their wives.

  • Treat them with kindness.
  • Do not dislike or hate them.
  • Treat them with the best behavior.

It is very difficult to have a relationship like this with a woman and not love her.

And the interesting thing is, the more you love your wife, the more she respects you. Which brings me to my next point.

How Wives Should Treat Their Husbands

Men don’t need love as much as women do. But what men do need is respect. Men will fight each other over perceived disrespect. So it is important that a woman always show respect towards her husband.

Respect means to hold someone in esteem or honor. What men most want from their wives is to be honored and respected. The easiest way to turn your husband against you is to attack his ego.

And on the other side, the more respect you show your husband, the more he will love you.

The command to respect your husband comes from Allah in the Quran when He says:

So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allah would have them guard.

Surah Nisaa Verse 34.

And from the hadith:

When any woman prays her five, fasts her month, guards her body and obeys her husband, it is said to her: ‘Enter paradise from whichever of its doors you wish.’” Collected by At-Tirmidhi.

So you see that the primary commandment for a woman towards her husband is to respect him through obedience and modesty.

And it so happens that when a woman increases her respect for her husband, he likewise increases in love for her.

And when a man increases his love for his wife, she likewise increases in respect for him.

It Takes Two To Make A Marriage Work

Chances are if you ask a man why he doesn’t show more love to his wife, he would say: “I will love her more when she respects me more.”

And if you ask a woman why she doesn’t respect her husband she may say: “I will respect him more when he loves me more.”

The fact is it takes two people to make a marriage work. The husband has to show his love to his wife in order to gain her respect. And the wife has to show her respect to her husband to gain his love.

This love and respect also plays out in sexual relations between husband and wife as I explain in “Sex in Islam.” Men are turned on by women who respect them and women are turned on by men who love them.

My advice to you, if you are already married, is to begin showing your spouse more love and respect.

Brothers, whatever stage of marriage you’re in, show your wife that you love her.

  • Kiss her more often; not just when you want sex.
  • Buy her little gifts for no reason at all.
  • Just tell her you love her and why you love her and tell it from your heart.

If you do this, you will see your relationship with your wife grow to unprecedented levels. Your wife will begin to treat you like the great man she always wanted to marry.

Sisters, the same for you. Whatever stage of marriage you’re in, show your husband that you respect him.

  • Obey him without question when he asks for something within reason.
  • Let him be the man; do not shout at him or belittle him.
  • Ask his opinion and advice about things in your daily life.

When you do this, you will see your husband’s love for you begin to overflow. He will want to love you and protect you and make you happy in any way he can.

For those of you who are not married, please take this advice and keep it in the back of your mind. It’s very easy to lose love and respect for your spouse after the honeymoon is over.

But try with everything you’ve got to give love and respect and, Inshallah, you’ll get so much more back in return.

The next post in this series is a video called “5 Qualities to Look For in A Husband.” Go watch it now.

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Muttaqi Ismail

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