An essential part of good character is staying away from blaming. The impulse to blame another person, particularly the spouse, often comes from one’s own issues such as poor coping skills, impatience, arrogance, etc. There is a story that emphasizes this:
A man heard that a sage was in the village and went to meet him. He was confused when he saw the man over the next few days pull out a mirror and look into it a number of times a day. He thought to himself “How can this man be wise? He must be so preoccupied with the way he looks that he has to carry that mirror all the time. He should not worry about his appearance. It’s what’s inside that counts. I think I must be wiser than him!” He decided to be bold and ask the so-called “wise man” why he was always looking in the mirror. The elder pulled the mirror from his bag and said, “I use it whenever I feel the impulse to find fault with somebody else for a problem I’m having. I pull out the mirror and look into it and it shows me the source of my problem as well as the source of its solution.” Looking within to find our flaws and issues so that we can design solutions is an act of courage, the beginning of wisdom, and a means to ensure good relationships. Ultimately, this practice is a source of joy.
It makes sense that the Prophet said that the marriage relationship fulfills half a person’s deen. It is the most important relationship after the relationship with Allah SWT and the Prophet. Within that marriage relationship, we have the perfect opportunity to put in place all the building blocks of good character such as honesty, trustworthiness, kindness, patience, and so on. And we have the opportunity to practice reflection, to look within, and honestly assess our weaknesses and then take action to improve ourselves. When we perceive the marriage relationship in this way, we realize it is a limitless bounty of good from which we can partake, and into which we can invest. — LivingEman staff