Monday, 4 May 2020

What can I do to make your day better?

🍀بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم🍀 
ﷺ ♥̸̨͡🍃ﷺ♥̸̨͡🍃ﷺ 

A wonderful true story.
The million dollar question that will save any relationship,
"What can I do to make your day better?

"How I Saved My Marriage
By Richard Paul Evans

My oldest daughter, Jenna, recently said to me, “My greatest fear as a child was that you & mom would get divorced. Then, when I was twelve, I decided that you fought so much that maybe it would be better if you did.” Then she added with a smile. “I’m glad you guys figured things out.”

For years my wife Keri & I struggled. Looking back, I’m not exactly sure what initially drew us together, but our personalities didn’t quite match up. Aиϑ the longer we were married the more extreme the differences seemed. Encountering fame & fortune” didn’t make our marriage any easier. In fact, it exacerbated our problems. The tension between us got so bad that going out on book tour became a relief, though it seems we always paid for it on re-entry. Our fighting became so constant that it was difficult to even imagine a peaceful relationship. We became perpetually defensive, building emotional fortresses around our hearts. We were on the edge of divorce & more than once we discussed it.

I was on book tour when things came to a head. We had just had another big fight on the phone & Keri had hung up on me. I was alone & lonely, frustrated & angry. I had reached my limit.

That’s when I turned to God. Or turned on God. I don’t know if you could call it prayer — maybe shouting at God isn’t prayer, maybe it is-but whatever I was engaged in I’ll never forget it. I was standing in the shower of the Buckhead, Atlanta Ritz-Carlton yelling at God that marriage was wrong & I couldn’t do it anymore. As much as I hated the idea of divorce, the pain of being together was just too much. I was also confused. I couldn’t figure out why marriage with Keri was so hard. Deep down I knew that Keri was a good person. Aиϑ I was a good person. So why couldn’t we get along? Why had I married someone so different than me? Why wouldn’t she change?

Finally, hoarse & broken, I sat down in the shower & began to cry. In the depths of my despair powerful inspiration came to me. You can’t change her, Rick. You can only change yourself. At that moment I began to pray. If I can’t change her, God, then change me. I prayed late into the night. I prayed the next day on the flight home. I prayed as I walked in the door to a cold wife who barely even acknowledged me. That night, as we lay in our bed, inches from each other yet miles apart, the inspiration came. I knew what I had to do.

The next morning I rolled over in bed next to Keri & asked, “How can I make your day better?”

Keri looked at me angrily. “What?”

“How can I make your day better?”

“You can’t,” she said. “Why are you asking that?”

“Because I mean it,” I said. “I just want to know what I can do to make your day better.

“She looked at me cynically.

“You want to do something? Go clean the kitchen.

“She likely expected me to get mad. Instead I just nodded. “Okay.”

I got up & cleaned the kitchen.

The next day I asked the same thing. “What can I do to make your day better?”

Her eyes narrowed. “Clean the garage.”

I took a deep breath. I already had a busy day & I knew she had made the request in spite. I was tempted to blow up at her.

Instead I said, “Okay.” I got up & for the next two hours cleaned the garage. Keri wasn’t sure what to think.The next morning came.

“What can I do to make your day better?”

“Nothing!” she said. “You can’t do anything. Please stop saying that.”
”I’m sorry,” I said. “But I can’t.

I made a commitment to myself. What can I do to make your day better?”

”Why are you doing this?”

”Because I care about you,” I said.
“Aиϑ our marriage."

The next morning I asked again. Aиϑ the next. Aиϑ the next. Then, during the second week, a miracle occurred. As I asked the question Keri’s eyes welled up with tears. Then she broke down crying. When she could speak she said, “Please stop asking me that. You’re not the problem. I am. I’m hard to live with. I don’t know why you stay with me.

“I gently lifted her chin until she was looking in my eyes. “It’s because I love you,” I said. “What can I do to make your day better?””I should be asking you that.””You should,” I said. “But not now. Right now, I need to be the change. You need to know how much you mean to me.”She put her head against my chest. “I’m sorry I’ve been so mean.””I love you,” I said.”I love you,” she replied.”What can I do to make your day better?”She looked at me sweetly. “Can we maybe just spend some time together?”I smiled. “I’d like that.”I continued asking for more than a month. Aиϑ things did change. The fighting stopped. Then Keri began asking, “What do you need from me? How can I be a better wife?”

The walls between us fell. We began having meaningful discussions on what we wanted from life & 
how we could make each other happier. No, we didn’t solve all our problems. I can’t even say that we never fought again. But the nature of our fights changed. Not only were they becoming more and more rare, they lacked the energy they’d once had. We’d deprived them of oxygen. We just didn’t have it in us to hurt each other anymore.

Keri & I have now been married for more than thirty years. I not only love my wife, I like her. I like being with her. I crave her. I need her. Many of our differences have become strengths & the others don’t really matter. We’ve learned how to take care of each other & , more importantly, we’ve gained the desire to do so. 

Marriage is hard. But so is parenthood & keeping fit & writing books & everything else important & worthwhile in my life. To have a partner in life is a remarkable gift. I’ve also learned that the institution of marriage can help heal us of our most unlovable parts. Aиϑ we all have unlovable parts.

Through time I’ve learned that our experience was an illustration of a much larger lesson about marriage. The question everyone in a committed relationship should ask their significant other is, “What can I do to make your life better?” That is love. Real love is not to desire a person, but to truly desire their happiness-sometimes, even, at the expense of our own happiness. Real love is not to make another person a carbon copy of one’s self. It is to expand our own capabilities of tolerance & caring, to actively seek another’s well being. All else is simply a charade of self-interest.

I’m not saying that what happened to Keri & me will work for everyone. I’m not even claiming that all marriages should be saved. But for me, I am incredibly grateful for the inspiration that came to me that day so long ago. I’m grateful that my family is still intact & that I still have my wife, my best friend, in bed next to me when I wake in the morning. Aиϑ I’m grateful that even now, decades later, every now & then, one of us will still roll over & say, “What can I do to make your day better.” Being on either side of that question is something worth waking up for.
A beautiful story teaching a valuable lesson..many relationships today are strained , others do not work out, couples are getting divorced even after being married for 10 , 20 years or more because their marriage was one-sided where the one spouse was doing all the giving & the other spouse continuosly taking ,showing no care & appreciation.
Imagine if every one of us would be concerned continously about the other, worrying more about fulfilling others rights instead of expecting ours to be fulfilled! Our world would indeed become a beautiful one where peace & joy would abound.

Perhaps Allah Subhana wa Ta'ala locked us out from the outside world so that we can journey within ourselves & reflect on all those qualities that we need to pinpoint & work on. We can never change another but we can indeed change ourselves. 
Reading the seerah of our Nabi sallallaahu alayhi wasallam & delving into his ﷺ noble character. & esteemed life will give us insight of the character traits that we need to imbibe in our own selves to guarantee beautiful & successful relationships with all the people that we share our lives with.

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