Tuesday, May 18, 2021 | Shawwal 5, 1442 H
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The clicking thoughts of the true marriage


A young married couple walked past me but the body language between them told me a lot about their marriage’s status and how they communicate with each other. I noticed the distance between them. It was a good two metres from each other and one led another as if they were complete strangers. I only knew they were together when they sat down in the coffee shop opposite each other after they placed their order. The wife picked up her phone and appeared to send messages on the mobile phones while the husband looked at the crowd passing by. They must have been there for at least half an hour and I don’t recall them taking to each other. I also don’t recall if they ever looked at each other during that time.

When they finally got up, they maintained the same two-metre walking rule between each other. An obvious thought crossed my mind. What was the point of them being married when they behaved like they are just acquaintances? But they are not the only married couples who are in that situation.

Maybe out of boredom or just intense curiosity, I noticed a few other couples in the same situation in the next hour that I was there. Many miles separated their thoughts though they go out together for the evening. I don’t think I am an expert in the art of good marriage but even an idiot like me can figure out what it takes to stay happy together.

There are times when we all question the sanctity of marriage. It can be within a year of marriage or three decades later when challenges start threatening the togetherness of matrimony.

I think those staying happy together had a solid foundation from the very beginning. After that, it is not just one click that snaps together to unify married couples but a series of them to keep it going.

But though communication is essential for a happy marriage, it does not have to be verbal all the time. Thoughts between husband and wife can click together without a spoken word, too. How do I know that? I could see it in my parents. My father was a deaf mute which means he could not hear a word my mother said, nor could he speak an intelligible word. Yet, their thoughts were firmly bounded together without a spoken word between them. They communicated by sign language, gestures, touches and subtle looks between them.

We the children thought it was normal and we never thought it was a challenge between them because they did it in a way that satisfied both their needs. They never made an effort. They communicated in their own special way. It was just there and I now believe that’s what kept them happy together until the end.

As a matter of fact, looking back now, the powerful part of their communication were the gentle touches and subtle looks they exchanged during the course of their day. Those two actions never needed words. Years now, I firmly believe they provided a bridge of harmony between their thoughts. They overcame their marriage challenges by devising their own devices.

Do I use the same method with my own marriage now? I am not sure and I never thought about it until now. However, now I realise that words of mouth, if they have a certain weight, can make a difference but married people tend to exaggerate what comes out of their mouths.

I still go with the distance when you walk with your spouse in the shopping mall and whether your hands accidentally brush each other as you do so. Those are perhaps, small steps that take you too far in the long path of marriage.

Saleh Al-Shaibany


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