Couple Relationship is Key


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Couple Relationship is Key

  1. 1. Saadia Z. Yunus, MA, MFT The strongest chains are not always visible…
  2. 2. Marriage in Islam The Qur'an says: "Your spouses are a garment for you, and you are a garment for them" (2:187)  "It is He who created you from a single soul, And made its mate of like nature in order that you might dwell with him/her in love...."(7:189)  So the male and female complete each other - together they make a single self and this is how they must strive to make their lives together - as if they are one being, one person, one spirit.
  3. 3. A Strong Foundation  The marital relationship is the foundation of the building called family  Order of Importance  God, Spouse, Chil dren  The BEST thing you can do for your kids is LOVE your spouse
  4. 4. A Good Divorce VS. Bad Marriage  Empirical evidence suggests that children are harmed less by the elements of a divorce than the discord between dysfunctional parents  A low-conflict environment is crucial to the healthy growth of a child
  5. 5. Child’s Mental/Physical Health  Mental and physical health:  Child perceptions of parent marital quality directly predict mental health indicators— anxiety, depression, and internalizing behaviors  Parent marital conflict is related to overall child health, digestive problems, fatigue, and chronic illness Adolescents Substance use, sexual activity, religio us activity, and education outcomes
  6. 6. Marital Conflict  The slightest hint of aggression or hostility sparks a sharp increase in cortisol levels and cardiac stress in children  Children exhibit same stress reaction when parents:  yell at each other  are contemptuous with each other  call each other names  roll eyes  give out an exasperated sigh  avoid their partner  use intimidation (e.g. point a finger at their partner or glare at them, etc.)
  7. 7. Teaching By Example  Children witnessing unhealthy communication patterns between their parents grow up with a misunderstanding of what a healthy relationship looks like  Witnessing marital conflict that is resolved with respect, warmth and empathy has shown to have a very positive effect on children learning how to manage stress in a healthy way and teaching them how to resolve conflict in a healthy manner
  8. 8. Healthy Family  Individuals exist within relationships  Family roles:     Husband, wife, mother, father, daughter, son, sister, br other Hierarchy: Husband and wife Boundaries: Rigid Vs. Diffuse: How close are you? Triangles, Coalitions Coparenting is essential!  Head coaches of the same team  Discipline within the arena
  9. 9. Healthy Couples  Successful marriages have a higher ratio of positivity vs. negativity  The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work (Dr. Gottman, based on decades of research) Enhance your love maps 2. Nurture fondness and admiration 3. Turn toward each other instead of away 4. Let your partner influence you 5. Solve your solvable problems 6. Overcome gridlock 7. Create shared meaning 1.
  10. 10. Get help before it is too late…  It is better for you. It’s better for your children.  Gottman-The average couple waits six years before seeking help for marital problems  Half of all marriages that end do so in the first seven years  This means that the average couple lives with unhappiness for far too long.
  11. 11. The Prophet (S), the Therapist  Islam encourages therapy  He did not have one answer for every question  Paid attention to people, considered their psychology, articulated his counseling in a way that would help them specifically  Ability to empathize with people; Non-judgmental  Get rid of the stigma! It is good to go to therapy
  12. 12. Action Plan! What’s yours?
  13. 13. The End: Resources  Resources:  Books:   The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families --Stephen R. Covey The 7 Principles for Making Marriage Work --Dr. John Gottman and Nan Silver  THERAPISTS:   Find me on Facebook and Twitter   Online Islamic University counseling References: The University of Notre Dame, 2002, ASPE, 2009, Wendi Hill, 2012,