This year will be my 3rd year of being married to the woman I love.
I had a deep problem that was bothering me, and I decided to keep it to myself. But somewhere in my mind, I knew that I shouldn’t do that and I should express it to someone – especially someone really close, like my wife. I knew it, but I forgot.
Today, I was reminded of it.
When you find yourself a spouse, you are creating a team. In a team, we look out for each other. There is not such thing as winning without the other member of the team on board. When one member wins, the other wins too. When one member loses, the other loses too.
When you are on the same boat, there is no competition. You have the same goal: to keep the boat afloat and to reach your destination. If the boat sinks, it takes everybody with it. That is the analogy that I have to keep reminding myself in this marital relationship I am in.
For a while now, I have been contemplating on some financial matters. I have to make a financial decision that will affect my family. Seeing how big the task is, I intend on taking adequate time to think about it before making my move.
Weeks gone by and I can’t make a decision. My wife knew about it but I didn’t explicitly ask for her help. I thought that the decision to be made is in my department, so I should handle it myself. Plus, I don’t want to burden my wife with this extra task.
That is the kind of thinking that is wrong for a marriage, where you think that you should face a problem alone and that sharing the load would mean “burdening the other”. I have said it to myself before: we are a team. When one member of a team suffers, the rest of the team suffers as well.
So today, I decided to break that ego wall that I have erected between my wife and I: I asked for help. I was overwhelmed with the decision making process up to a point where I feel paralyzed. I honestly told my wife that I couldn’t make up my mind and I wanted to ask for her input.
My wife, being a cool person that she is, simply said, “Lets eat first.”
What a boss!
So we sat down, and we talked while eating. Just by virtue of sharing the problem with someone close to you, you can feel that the weight becomes lighter and lighter. You don’t feel like you have to carry it alone anymore. Plus, having an outside perspective might give you an idea you didn’t think of before.
After talking it out with my wife, I found a way out and I was relieved. I know what to decide and I know how to move on from there. This is one of the barakah (blessing) of musyawarah (discussion). We often forget that, simply because we feel like we have to face it alone or we don’t want to burden the other.
Speaking of burdening, it is more burdening for the other to see you burdened. For people who love you, they would prefer to share the load with you rather than to see you carrying it alone. They care about you and they want to help you when you have problems.
So don’t think that you are being selfish if you ask for help. For people who care about you, not asking for help is considered selfish. Perhaps you already knew that, but maybe you forgot like I did. Thankfully, I was reminded.