Top 3 things you need to make a marriage work (Surprise: Love isn’t one of them!)

Being a part of this book has, in ways, affirmed and strengthened my connection with my husband, while at the same time putting it under a scrutiny I had never expected. Our love story is tame compared to the wrenching stories of love, loss, and triumph in the rest of the book. I jokingly refer to us as the filler, the fluff, and I’m ok with being that. Years ago I said to friends that having a boring life is the best thing I can aspire to.

It has also put me into a position of counseling those who contact me on facebook- many of them converts who have married, are getting married, or want to marry a man from another country. Sometimes I feel like a fraud- like I’ve painted myself as a woman who knows what in the hell she’s doing when, frankly, I’m pasting it together as it comes along.

Truthfully, I feel like I was given the perfect husband from the beginning and our success has nothing to do with me and everything to do with this amazing man I was lucky enough to marry. He’s been patient with me much longer than anyone should ever be expected to, and I’m so thankful for that. He takes care of it all and is just taking me along for the ride.

Our marriage isn’t perfect by a long shot- I don’t know anyone who is. But the one thing I always tell the women who contact me is that the single most important thing in a marriage is not love, it’s communication. The second most important thing is also not love, it’s compassion. And the third most important thing in a marriage is still not love, it is patience. If both partners have these three things in abundance for each other, then love is a forgone conclusion.

Alhumdulillah, thanks be to God, I think that after close to 5 years of marriage we’ve got those three things down. It took practice. It took tears. It occasionally even took some throwing of crockery, but we finally, after everything, got it down.

Molly Elian Carlson converted to Islam in 2005 and then converted to marriage in 2007 to the man of her dreams, literally. She was born in Minnesota, but has lived in many places including Cairo. She, her husband, and the Egyptian street cat she took in, moved back to Minnesota in 2009 and live there currently. She loves to read and to write, and hopes to one day publish that novel that has been sitting in the back of her head for years.


3 Comments on “Top 3 things you need to make a marriage work (Surprise: Love isn’t one of them!)”

  1. Tamer el-shimy says:

    well as a friend of elian i would like to say he is a real good man and he is really proven by the year passes he is good friend and a good husband and im wishing that you both live happily forever , also would like to say that millions of marriages filed also they loved each others so i say love isn’t enough and what molly said communication is the way beyond for a happy marital life
    tamer el shimy

    • Assia says:

      Maashallah nice story and thanks for advice. Wish you the best and succefully marrige.

    • Tamer thank you so much for your beautiful words. I don’t know how I haven’t seen your comment until now! You were the best boss ever and you the best friend. Wish the best for you and your wife and looking forward to see you soon.