We all have that nosy person in our lives. A neighbor, a coworker, a family friend, a facebook friend, or even a close friend that simply asks too many personal questions. They linger at the mailbox, stay a bit too long at your last party, and you imagine they are the sort of person who’s not ashamed to peek through windows for the latest gossip.
Since my husband and I started courting 4 years ago, I’ve noticed the topics of these questions shifted from grades and work to my love life.
Relationships are more than just bragging about to your friends or worse venting about arguments. I’ve had friends ask about our big fights and our sex life, nothing is private or off limits anymore. This is totally inappropriate not just in a religious sense but because revealing such information brakes the trust the couple has built.
I love all things about my husband, even the things I dislike I like, because I married him as he is not for how I could change or mold him into the person I wish he was. Here are five things I love about my husband. These 5 things are ok topics for anyone to discuss about their relationships, so feel free to use this list to help you out of the next awkward conversation with that nosy person you politely want to steer away from the uber personal subjects without offending.
- He takes care of me and my household responsibilities when I am sick.
The first time I had my Muhammad visit my house I was up late talk to him and I vomited! I was so shocked and embarrassed but he just cleaned it up, helped me into the restroom, made up a bed for me, got me medicine, then stayed with me until I felt better. The next day I discovered the laundry and dishes I was supposed to take care of were all done by him. He said “We are going to be of one person, so we should care for each other better than we care for ourselves”.
He still does just that. During Ramadan I had food poisoning and severe dehydration, and he cared for me so much while working and maintaining our apartment he nearly got sick himself. It was so sweet and helped me to better myself quickly so I could care for him.
- He is protective.
As a self-proclaimed feminist, you might be shocked that his protective nature is something I love, but as a traditional woman and a Muslim I greatly appreciate it. Protective may be waiting for me outside the masjid so we can commute together or can be much more overt. On Jummah Downtown Cairo, especially Talat Harb, is very very crowded. Muhammad is always was walking in front of me while having me hold his hand, like a little elephant caravan. He says, “I am clearing a away for my queen so they know not to bother you.” In a city that has become infamous for sexual harassment, I have had few incidents and all were extremely mild (whistle, stares, hooting to say I’m pretty). I think I owe this safe feeling to his nature, for he did the same thing in the streets of Raleigh, NC when we would walk from the University to the masjid.
- He has such great discussions with me.
My husband can get very serious with work or very silly with his nieces and nephews, so I am always charmed when he takes time to chat with me about current events or serious philosophical matters. I fell in love with him by spending hours talking with him about Nietzsche, Rumi, Browning, Austen, and Shakespeare. As an avid reader and former politico, I find it great fun to wax the poetic or debate for hours and it is awesome to have someone with a similar knowledge background to share this with.
- He empowers and encourages me.
In December 2014 my Muhammad told me that I need to start publishing my writing, by February I was under contract to 2 magazines and published with a cover story in a 3rd. I was so surprised by this, but Muhammad was not. He knew my writing was quality because I’ve written him hundreds of letters, stories, and poems. He also has seen my stack of journals I’ve kept since I was 7 years old. My family is wonderful, but never really encouraged me in this because they worried about my future financial stability and rightfully so but Muhammad’s encourage also went beyond pride. He was focusing on what he thought would make me happy and to him my political and nonprofit work simply was not the answer.
He empowers me to educate myself in Islam, languages, computers, business, and anything I want to study. He even leaves me notes on usb sticks about which ebooks he recommends I read next. Currently, He helps me attend classes at Al Azhar. He also helps me pursue more writing opportunities and other creative and work pursuits. I hope I make him feel equally as encouraged and empowered.
- He is so kind and generous to all of his families.
He always is asking about my family and enjoys spending time with them. He spent his first Christmas with my Roman Catholic family in NC. The next visit he came after his college graduation and helped my mom and I with a Girl Scout celebration for the adult volunteers. It goes beyond that, now that we live far away, he is always asking me to message them, he skypes with them, and even added my daddy on his whatsapp. He is also curious about my big brother, his work and travels, and is always looking for cool things we can send he from Egypt.
He’s great with his family too. He’s the oldest of 5 and has 4 nieces and nephews so you can imagine how much he misses the laugh and noise of children. During Eid he took me to met them. I had already brought gifts from America, but he was so excited to see them he bought more (rattles, balls, toy cars, and tops). He was so silly with them but was happy to take care of the babies and discipline the toddlers when necessary. The sweetest thing was when he helped get supplies for all the women to cook, he left before we were up and put the ingredients in the refrigerator for us without saying a word.
I was so happy with all of this but yet I still forget that as husband and wife, we too are a little family. Yesterday he reminded me of this. He said, “I spend so much time working, commuting, and studying. I hate taking this time away from our family.” I asked if he meant Egyptian or American, and he said “No, pretty, I mean you and me!”
I cherish my little family of two, and I keep the sweetest and most frustrating parts of our relationship to myself. It’s precious and if I want my family to be more than just the two of us I need to nurture it.
I know in America we are very open and love to share, but sometimes we need to share more like we are on a wholesome family tv and less like we are on HBO, Showtime, and Netflix. You know more Little House on the Prairie less Sex and the City. More When Calls the Heart than House of Cards. Actually maybe a little like House of Cards, because if you plan world domination and murders as a couple then that show is probably a great role models for high level secrecy.
Seriously, let’s stop venting and bragging on facebook and tweet, stop wearing t-shirts that having written across them “I love my husband”, and stop asking other people such personal questions that are none of our business. Every relationship is in a different place with a different history, and a different destination, let’s all start to respect that more.
What are 5 things you love about your significant other? Comment below!
PS Don’t forget to watch today’s video and subscribe to my youtube channel