Avoiding stubbornness in marital life
One of moral principles that leads to adaptability is to avoid stubbornness. Stubbornness causes that couples cannot get along with each other and it also disintegrates the system of family. Since stubbornness has an important and effective role on the inconsistency of family, we will analyze the conception of stubbornness first. Then the effects and consequences of the stubbornness of couples on the damages of family will be paid attention. After its factors are analyzed, we will present some solutions that a family can be preserved from the damages of stubbornness.
The conception of stubbornnessStubbornness means the recursion of an action and its continuity and it is not based on the desire of the opposite side or it is in contrast with the desire of the opposite side. One of the examples of stubbornness is that we repeat an action after we are prevented from doing it and we repeat a talk whereas the opposite side hates it. Therefore, there are two obligations about the conception of stubbornness: 1. The recursion of an action; 2. Continuing an action that is in contrast with the desire of the opposite side.
Hence, persisting on any matters is not stubbornness. But the meaning of stubbornness is that after reality is revealed, a person insists on false remarks and inappropriate actions or he or she avoid accepting true remarks with making excuses and expressing illogical remarks and he or she stands against the opposite side selfishly.
The factors of stubbornness
a. IgnoranceThe first ground and factor of stubbornness is stupidity. A stubborn person without enough awareness about the ugliness of an attribute and its results and consequences becomes stubborn against his or her spouse in order to deal with the inappropriate behavior of his or her spouse and he or she tries to suppress his or her anger whereas if he or she knows that conditions will be worse than whatever it is and they will have more problems, he or she will avoid stubborn and he or she will search the key of problems solution in another area. The messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) has stated
اياک و اللجاجة فان اولها جهل و آخرها ندامةُ
''Avoid stubbornness because its beginning is ignorance and its consequence will be regret''.
Ignorance causes that a person tends to bias and he or she stands against reality in a biased way. Quran mentions the reason of the inflexibility of Arabic polytheists against the invitation of the prophet their bias and blind imitation from their ancestors and states
و اذا قيل لهم اتّبعوا ما انزل الله قالوا بل نتّبع ما الفينا عليه آبائنا او لو کان آبائهم لا يعقلون شيئاً و لا يهتدون
'' When it is said to them '' obey whatever God has descended'', they will say '' will follow whatever we have acquired from our parents''. Should we obey our parents whereas they have understood nothing and have not gone right path''.
Sometimes, one of couples or both of them consider the inappropriate remark of their father, mother or their friends as norms ignorantly and they stand against their appropriate remarks. Therefore, they provide the ground of other struggles.
b. Censuring excessivelySometimes, one of couples sees the undesirable behaviors or features in the opposite side, he or she tries to make him or her of informed of his or her ugly attribute in different ways in order to remove it so that he or she gives up such an ugly attribute. The worry of the modification of the behavior of spouse is from affection toward spouses as it is expressed in a narration
من احبّک نهاک
'' A person that loves you prevents you from an ugly action''. It is expressed in the following verse
هُنَّ لِباسٌ لَکُم و أنتُم لِباسٌ لَهُنَّ
'' Women are the clothes of men and men are the clothes of women''.
An ideal spouse is inspired from the above verse and they try to provide the ground of the beauty of their spouse by any means. Of course, they make their spouse of aware of their weak points and undesirable behaviors so that they try to modify them.
An important that should be mentioned here is that the quality and quantity of such recommendations should not be avoided and we should try to prevent our spouse from such an ugly action by any means. But first, it is necessary that we make our spouse aware of his or her weak points like a mirror quietly and gently and she or he is prevented from ugly actions. Second, it should be paid attention that recommendation is not considered as censure. Third, moderation is applied about it. It is completely clear that excessive argumentation is considered as one of the most important factors of argumentation and stubbornness. Therefore, it is considered as the factor of stubbornness in different narrations;
عن علي (عليه السّلام) الافراط في الملامة يشّب نيران اللجاج
'' Censuring excessively cause the fire of stubbornness to blaze''.
The consequences of the stubbornness of spouses
According to the conception of stubbornness, it turns out that undesirable behavior leaves destructive effects on social relationships, especially on relationships among spouse. In this part, we will analyze some of these consequences:
a. The weakness of prudenceSince the most important purpose of a stubborn person is to do something that is in contrast with the action of the opposite side, he or she does not pay attention to his or her stubborn action, but he or she tries to provide lack of the satisfaction of the opposite side. In such conditions, such a person cannot make a decision and think properly and without knowing what consequences his or her behavior will have, he or she will behave in a way that he or she does not consider them desirable.
One of women had referred to me in order to solve her problem with her husband and she expressed that her husband did not care about his cleaning and did not take a shower for several weeks. Hence, she became stubborn against her husband several times and when her husband entered home, she turned up the voice of music or when she left home, she made up her face in order to get the attention of other men. There is no question that such a woman was aware of her action, but since she had been stubborn against her husband, whatever was important for her to stand against him and during this path, she did not care about likely consequences. Hence, Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) considered stubbornness as the barrier of decision making and states
اللجوج لارأي له
'' A stubborn person cannot think properly''.
He also states another Hadith
اللجاج يفسد الرأي
'' Stubbornness spoils thought and idea''.
b. Providing the ground of ugly actionsLack of the power of decision making provides the ground of the declination of a stubborn person. According to the mentioned example, it turned out that the loudness of music became the ground of spiritual and mental problems for the person and her family. Of course, when the fire of stubbornness was blazing, she did not pay attention to it. Therefore, stubbornness is considered the seed of evil according to the statement of Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) and it is considered as the most important factor on damages in the world and the afterlife.
Consequences that result from stubbornness have different examples that include:
1. StruggleA person that is stubborn causes problems and difficulties for others as well as himself or herself. A stubborn person enjoys his or her behaviors for a short time in family in a wrong way, but since he or she should compensate such behaviors, he or she will have troublesome future. The stubbornness of spouse provides the struggle of the opposite side and sometimes, it leads to mutual war. Imam Ali (peace be upon him) states
اللجاج مثار الحروب
'' Stubbornness causes war''.
Analyzing the root of most of family struggles elucidates this reality that the stubbornness of one of sides leads to such unpleasant scenes.
2. DeclinationStruggle due to stubbornness is as much as it results in declination and perishing. Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) states about this consequence
ثمرة اللجاج العطب
'' Perishing is the consequence of stubbornness''.
Certainly, a person that is stubborn will avoid stubbornness if he or she pays attention to this consequence will avoid stubbornness.
3. DishonorAnother disadvantage for a stubborn person is the decrease of social rank. Inflexibility and stubbornness cause disgrace and ugliness. The following from Imam Ali (peace be upon him) represents this reality
اللجاج يشين النفس
'' Stubbornness causes the ugliness of conscience''. Since a stubborn wife or a husband not only misses their respect among their spouse and children, but they also miss their value among relatives''.
According to such destructive consequences, the first Imam of Shias states
خير الاخلاق ابعدها عن اللجاج
'' The best attribute is the avoidance of stubbornness''. On the other hand, the messenger of God (peace of Allah be upon him and his descendants) mentions stubbornness as the worst attribute for women
شرار نسائکم... اللجوجة، العاصية الذليلة في قومها، العزيزة في نفسها الحَصانُ علي زوجها الهَلوکُ علي غيره؛
'' The worst woman are stubborn and disobedient, are modest against their tribe but selfish, are submissive against others but arrogant against their husband''.
The skills of prevention from stubbornness and removing it
After its conception, effects, factors and roots are analyzed, it is time to refer to some solutions that prevent from stubbornness in marital life:
a. Providing an appropriate groundStubbornness is the moods of soul and the cause of other reasons. Hence, a person that wants to prevent himself or herself from such a mood is necessary to eradicate the grounds of its existence. Therefore, the awareness of the consequences of stubbornness and the avoidance of censuring so much are considered as the factors of the prevention of stubbornness.
b. Imposition on soulOne of other solutions of the prevention of stubbornness is imposition on soul or practical struggle with stubbornness. In such situations, a person does not show stubbornness hard, but he or she should know that if he or she does reveal his or her stubbornness, he or she can be successful in the subdual of this unpleasant attribute. For example, when a spouse censures the opposite side excessively, he or she that is prone to express his or her stubbornness tries to subdue it when he or she pretends that he or she would not like to be stubborn. Amir Al-Momenin (peace be upon him) states has stated about the effect of such pretention
ان لم تکن حليماً فتحلّم فانه قلّ من تشبّه بقوم الّا اوشک ان يکون منهم
'' If you are not patient, pretend that you are a patient person because there are few persons to pretend to be like other persons, but they should not be as one of them''.
Hence, patience and the avoidance of stubbornness provide the ground of the occurrence of such a mood are provided in a real way.
c. Family consultationIn most of cases, stubbornness happens when a spouse feels that he or she has no role in the process of decision making and his or her spouse makes decisions about their marital life by himself or herself. In such conditions, he or she thinks that he or she should insist on his or her own opinion.
Family consultation is a solution that prevents from such a feeling. This process is implemented in a meeting with the presence of all of family members in a house so that they can talk about a topic and a certain problem. Each family member expresses his or her own idea about a problem and actions that he or she likes to be done so that an intended solution can be gained. All of point of views are considered so that a family can decide which path is the best.
Couples that talk not only about disagreements but also about the reason of the appearance of such disagreements spend little time arguing with each other.
d. Reuniting after separationSome couples believe that if they spend less time with each other, their marital relationship will be more effective. But what is important is the quality of this relationship rather than its quantity. If a relationship does not have an appropriate quality, the increase of its quantity can be troublesome. 76 percent couples that have just retired say '' because they spend more time with each other, there are more stress and struggle among them''.
Separation for a short time increases the quality improvement of marital relationship because a chance is provided for both sides so that they feel that they need each other and they can achieve to enjoyable reuniting. Maybe, what is expressed among people represents this point is that if couples spend more time with each other, their stress increases. Of course, this separation should be temporary and it should not be forever. Reuniting is desirable and we use separation in order to establish it.
f. ExtinctionExtinction is the process of leaving out undesirable behavior through passing over the intended behavior. When you pay attention to the stubbornness of the opposite side, in fact, you are improving it and he or she knows that his or her action will be effective. If your spouse does something and wants something that is not qualified for, first you should reject him or her. Then you should ignore his or her request and should not allow him or her to prevent you from your job. Of course, you should not argue with him or her.
The process of the change of your behavior and will make him or her feel unsuccessful more than anything else and he or she will continue to test you so that he or she can make you flexible. But finally he or she will understand that unnecessary persistence will have no use any more. It is completely clear that the condition of success in this skill is permanence along with prudence.
g. The removal of struggleTo remove struggle, we should present past matters seriously. When you are talking, you should talk about topics that are happening now. We should not argue about whatever may happen in the future. We can get better conclusion about whatever is related to this time and place.
h. Relationship palyRelationship plays are a course of skills that train persons to increase their awareness and to have effective relationships. People that are in touch with their addressees and want send a message to him or her may transfer inadaptable messages. An inadaptable message is a message through tongue that is not adaptable with sending messages through other members that send messages. Implement the following stages in order to observe the effect of relationship play.
Stand behind each other and talk to each other;
Stand across from each other face to face to look at each other without talking;
Touch each other with closed eyes as you talk to each other;
Talk and look at each other without touching each other;
And finally talk to each other as you look at and touch each other.
The last phase shows that when you talk to each other, you touch each other and have direct look at eyes, no harsh and angry messages will be sent through tongue because such a combination is in contrast with angry. But messages that are transferred to addressees through looking or talking can be in line with angry. Moreover, when a person sends a message to you that has problem, this shows that he or she may not have communication with you. Because if he or she had communicated with you, he or she would not have sent you a problematic message.
When this skill is effective that the grounds of stress are being provided. If stress increases to the highest point, we should avoid communication face to face let alone communication is done with all of forces completely.
i. Acting the role of opposite sideActing the role of opposite side with providing a chance for family for understanding the opinion of others helps them from another aspect so that they can have new point of view. A wife or a husband is asked to accept the role of his wife or her husband and then specific problems in this relationship are discussed from the point of the view of the opposite side. When persons see that their spouse can present the point of view of the opposite side carefully, they become extremely happy.
Imagine that you are in the place of your spouse and acts his or her role. Discuss about the problem of your relationship and pretend that you are in his or her place. You should try to behave like him or her and suppose that you are a person that you should be kind toward him or her. You should try to finish discussion in the favor of your spouse. Your spouse does such an action and behaves in the way that you behave in the time of argumentation. Sometimes, when you hear your remarks from your spouse and express remarks in the role of your spouse, you find a new point of view.
j. The explanation of reasonsIn most of cases, the root of stubbornness is that the opposite side has presented his or her reasons for certain decision. In such conditions, a person that considers his or her behaviors and thoughts logical and does not recognize a reason for done behavior from opposite side insists on his or her own point of view. The logical explanation of decisions has an effective role on the reduction of stubbornness in family. The following example is about relationship between children and parents not spouses, but it shows the effect of stubbornness from lack of logical reason well.
When I was a child, one day the teacher of my kindergarten said to me '' you can take your trained mice provided that you bring me a letter from your parents for the permission of such a job''. When I went home, I would like to keep my trained mouse at home, but my parents disagreed immediately in spite of the fact that I insisted on it and they did not explain about their disagreement because no explanations were presented at any time. When I faced to the disagreement of my parents, I wrote a permission letter myself and folded it in the way that only its white corner was seen. Then I wanted my father to write his name there so that I could practice his handwriting. Next day I took the permission letter to school and although the teacher gave me my trained mouse, my parents made me give it back school. I did not know why they would not like me to have a trained animal.
Hence, your spouse does not listen to your remarks and is stubborn with you because he or she cannot understand your purpose from limitation that you have provided for him or her. Therefore, explain the reason of limitations for him or her so that the grounds of stubbornness decrease.
j. Using humorsWhen one of couples is sense of humorous, the rate of their opposite points decreases about 67 percent. Humor has an important role in a normal family and a family needs a joke book in order to record funny things that happen.
If you have recorded funny events in your family joke book, you can use it as a source in the time of stress, anxiety or struggle. If you write more matters in this book and extend your joke book, it will be more useful for you. A wife and a husband should be patient and mild against bitter and harsh words that you hear from your spouse and they should change the scene of war to the scene of humor. For example, if a woman gets angry and says '' I am tired of too much work of this house, my knees have no energy, I pick up my cheddar and go to the house of my father''.
Considering the matters of the life too serious causes that cold and boring soul covers the warm club of family and it changes freshness and happiness to depression. There is no question that using humor does not mean making fun of or ridiculing at another person and we should prevent from factors that lead to such misunderstanding.
k. The reflection of feelingThe reflection of feeling, as it can be understood from its name, means the reflection of the feelings and emotions of spouse. The meaning of the reflection of feelings is to retell the emotional content of the messages of your spouse and to consider value and validity for them. The reflection of feeling causes that the opposite side feels that others understand him or her and listen to his or her needs.
The kind of your relationship with your spouse shows whether you are weak or strong in the reflection of feeling. For example, when your spouse says '' you don't appreciate my job, don't respect me and consider me as a useless and needy person, but I am very angry from such a situation''. Sometime, you say to your spouse '' if you hate your job so much, why don't you give it up? Although you try to suggest a solution to your spouse, she feels that you have not paid attention to her and have ignore her feelings. She would like you to sympathize with her, to confirm her feelings and modify her feelings with listening to them. When she sees such a thing from you, she feels how cold and boring you are against her permanent feeling; therefore, she becomes stubborn. But after you listen to her remarks, you say to her '' are you really sad because you make a lot of efforts and work hard at home. Nothing should make you sad. I am sad because these matters have made you sad''. Then your spouse feels that you have understood and respected her; therefore, she avoids stubbornness.
l. The reflection of contentThe reflection of content the same as the reflection of feeling is like a mirror that acts against the messages of your spouse. Only difference is that the reflection of feelings reflects emotions, but the reflection of content reflects the conception and meaning of the remarks of spouse. The reflection of content is like a brief phrase that gives a chance to your spouse so that he can understand whether you follow wisdom and logic.
Misunderstanding may happen among couples in the kinds of communications especially verbal communication. One of ways that provides a chance for you in order to remove misunderstanding is the reflection of content. We do not want only to sympathize with our spouse through this way and in fact, we soothe her, but we also want to remind her a reality without stress. For example, when your couple sympathizes with you and talks about different ways that she has tested and has not achieved any results and expresses her tiredness and hopelessness, sometimes, you sympathize with her and say '' you should not feel failure and I am sure that everything will be right''. In such a situation, you give a kind answer, but your answer may seem imperative and make her stubborn. You answer her in this way '' you tested whatever you thought, but they were not according to your desire. We are responsible for affairs that are under our control''. Such an answer gives a chance to her so that she can believe that you have understood her. This skill is the duty of all persons that would like to be a good listener and send a common message to their spouse.