To my single friends who wonder what it’s like living with a spouse

In other words, I’m trying to show you what marriage really is since men and women do things differently. I’m not a marriage expert but I feel called to share some realities with you, who still thought that marriage and living life with a spouse is a bed of roses. Because unfortunately, that’s not always the case. 

I have to make it clear that this blogpost doesn’t necessarily depict my personal life. Rather it’s from my general readings, observations and sharing from my close friends who, apparently, are struggling with their marriage. Capiche? 

Okay so you said “I do” or “Aku terimah nikah“, had your reception on the same day or the day after, unwrapped your gifts and added up your cash receipts, moved in your new home and this is when the real story begins. Here are some of the things that could make it hard for you if you refuse to lower your expectations and accept your spouse for who s/he is. 

1.  Home deco: Generally speaking, men don’t bother about matching the curtain with the couch, buying Corelle or Noritake glassware. But that’s a totally different story for the wife. Home is like our heaven on earth so it has to be perfect, at least to us. This might create a little dispute because one might want to save money from buying what is deemed unnecessary, but the other wishes the opposite. 

2. Travelling: This is among the biggest misconceptions about marriage. Some people perceive marriage as the ticket to halal travelling with their partner but be real guys. First, you don’t always get to travel, if you’re living the normal life of working 9-5 because chances are you gotta pay your bills, car, mortgage and what is there left for travelling? It might still be possible though if you’re a cheapo. But what if your spouse isn’t? Backpacking might be feasible even if you don’t earn a fortune, but if the wife wants luxury hotel instead of hostel, would you still be travelling the world together? 

Second, men see vacations differently from women. Say (again, I’m just generally saying this) the wife suggested for a weekend getaway in Bangkok to experience TukTuk and some authentic halal Tom Yam. When we women usually do things impulsively, men prefer to get things planned. The wife might think, okay I know a good TomYam at this-and-that restaurant and that little info is sufficient to start her mission. But for them men? They would want to know the GPS coordinate, the opening hours, the business style (takeaway or eat there), the transportation, the route, got toll booth or not…everything to be decided beforehand! 

Now this issue my friend, is serious because it could turn what is expected to be fun into disaster. Even if they wanted for this getaway to be memorable and romantic, things might be awry just because of their contrasting preferences in planning for a vacation. That said, I have to be fair, if both of you are of the same boat, then praises be to God because going for a vacation would be a lot easier. Both of you don’t mind staying in backpackers and that you’re okay with eating leftovers for breakfast, all set! I mean… you get my points, no? 

3. Chores: I stand by the notion that both husband and wife are to do the chores together. I agree with chores rotation just as we are trained to do the duty roster back in school days. The concept is simple, we all eat and take a dump, we clean.  Long gone the days when men watch TV while waiting for his Teh O to be served, leaving the wife cooking, rocking the baby and brewing a cup of Teh O for him. Banyak cantik. If you want a Teh O, you handle the kids. If you want Nasi Lemak, you shower the kids or clear the trash while your wife cooks. That’s basic teamwork. 

But in reality friends, you might marry a moron who only comes home to eat, sleep and watch TV. If you already have, take that as a challenge. You gotta let your spouse take some responsibilities and you, yourself have to accept that you don’t have to do everything. The thought about you have married a wrong person might come across your mind but that’s only shaytan’s bad whispers to destroy your marriage. Oh come on y’all, you can nail this. 

4. Your spouse’s bad habit : You will never know until you live with him/her. This is when you discover his/her loud snores, that he/she picks his/her nose, and he/she farts, the he/she leaves the toilet bowl unflushed and worse you have to live with it. This is also when you try to look back your old Facebook photos and truly realised that you have understated your caption “I’m stuck with you forever” because YOU REALLY ARE! Anyway, apart from living with it, you have the rights to restrain your spouse from doing those bad stuff at least in front of you because they’re simply gross. Or you could talk about this, and figure out some solutions. I don’t know, maybe like putting up a reminder on the bathroom wall that says “Have you flushed the toilet babe? -Love,  Husband”

I’m not penning this to scare you,  friends. I’m only trying to help you foresee what your life will likely be after tying the knot. So you could be prepared or even bring about these issues during your engagement period.  Does Islam allow such discussions? Absolutely! Engagement or courtship is the right time to know each other seriously. 

My wish to those who are planning to get hitched or already found the one,  all the best in getting to know your partner.  You might not know it all, but at least with this simple writing, you could get a glimpse of what to expect in co-working with your spouse.  

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