There are a few things that have been troubling my mind lately. In attempt to get out of my troublesome feelings, I went out to a book store in a quest for a good book. I was halfway through reading Tess of D'Urbavilles, a tragic love story that eats up so much emotion in reading it, thus I decided to look for something more philosophical or poetic, or something on the other side of romanticism. But the opposite happened...
The Relationship Books.
|urgh, my bed sheet looks so ugly in this photo|
After scavenging hither and thither around the store, I couldn't find a single book that suits my early preference and I settled for the least expected book, although the book has long been in my to-be-read list, I do not have a plan to read it so soon. But somehow, I bought it. I actually bought a combo pack, one is Men Are from Mars, Women are from Venus and the other one is Mars and Venus staring over.
I've heard about the book so long ago, became quite interested but somehow remain skeptical on the contents albeit all the good reviews I read about it.
The book has really shed a new light in understanding not just male species, but my own as well. for example, one thing that strikes me the most is on how men and women cope with stress/problems differently.
Not so long ago, a friend has said to me that when he's upset or stressed out, he prefers to be left alone to 'cool off'. he'll be fine afterwards. I thought, 'hey. taking time to cool off seems like a good practice, it gives you time to contemplate and avoid saying anything irrevocable'.
Thence on, I've been trying to do the same. I thought it was merely a personal preference rather than something to do with gender differences, it seems to me like the most rational thing to do so perhaps I could copy. Although sometimes it does work but most of the time, I found out, no matter how long I take the time to 'cool off' and assure myself that I'm really okay afterwards, I never really felt so. instead I came out resentful, the problem that bothered me became an unresolved feeling although I was no longer thinking of it, it bore a tendency to surface in an aggresive way at the most inappropriate time resulting something more damaging. Instead of really 'cooling off', all the suppressed negative feelings jumbled up and became a resentment. In the book it tells how women by nature talk things out. Women most of the time do the thinking through the talking, that is how we 'cool off', although this is rather general and might not apply to every woman in the world but in my case, I think it's rather true. When I talk things out, I do feel so much relieved although the thing that bothers me might still be there.
Listening to a woman even without giving out solution to her problem is offering a support she needs. The book talks on this at length on how men often jump up to giving solution to quickly and it is not the best thing to do. Although you guys might not feel like helping by just listening, but to her, you've become a great help in unburdening her trouble heart. A women is halfway in love if you listen to her attentively. haha. Ah, read the book, guys!
Anyways, there is so much in the book that I cannot summarize here and I hope I'm not giving a wrong idea that the book is mainly on understanding women. It also says equally at length on men. How you guys like to go to your cave.. haha! So ladies, we've got so much to learn, don't seek to be understood, we must learn to understand as well.
Either you are in a relationship or not, I seriously recommend the book, and if you are soon to be married, it is the best book you could pick up in between the spare time of deciding on your dulang hantaran. I cannot say that I now fully understand and would make a good partner for having read the book, 98% of the things I read remain just a sensible theory inside my head and only 2% that I can now try to put into practice (that's from chapter 11). The rest of the chapter would require me to have 'someone' or in any other word, would require me to be in a 'relationship' to put it into actions. haha!
I finished the books with mixed emotions. Part of me is grateful that I have read the book before getting married, although as I said it does not confirm me into being a perfect or understanding life partner, it does give an insight of men in general and highlights all the challenges I might be facing if I ever to live with one as man and wife. Therefore, other than preparing myself on understanding the science of marriage in Islamic perspective (fiqh munakahat), I should learn the art of it as well. However the rest of me beginning to doubt my readiness and ability in getting involved in it. This isn't what you are supposed to get after reading a self-help book. It seems rather counter-productive, but to me, as I look on the bright side, doubting my own ability can also be a good encouragement to improve oneself in many aspects.
Not so long ago, for some reasons, I had wished I would marry early. ahaha. Nowadays, as one by one of my girlfriends is leaving the market, or when sometimes mum jokingly calls me 'anak dara tua', I do wish some good man comes along to sweep me off my feet and gentlemanly ask for my hands. The thoughts however normally does not last longer than a brief passing moments in treading the age of two and five. I say to myself sometimes, Khadijah married at the age of 40s (according to some narration) yet she got the best of the best men in the world. So why worry? When the time comes, and if it shall happen according to His decreed, it shall happen. He knows best.
Although wisdom does not comes with age, one does not gain it overnight either. Life is a continuous learning process, with it requires us to age... and as we age, the child inside us never really go away. There's a little girl in me who throws tantrum once in a blue moon I know. It is not about being not really a girl but not yet a woman. It's about admitting the coexistence of both. As the saying goes, "In every man, there's a child hidden that wants to play". We age and grow wise at different rate. We are no robots programmed to undergo uniform life cycle through out our lives. My life might not pan out as I had planned or like any other of you who could've inspired me, although sometimes I question why things happened the way it did, and I rarely able to fully comprehend every eventful experience in my life, I know that I have learned something out of it. To me, maturing is not just in the ability to be involved in 'big things' which we never care when we were little like politics or economy, but also in being able to perceive things that had long concerned us in different ways, like loving your parents, the color of the sun or the amount of sweets you can take daily. All that I know of, we must continue to do what we think is best for us, put the best effort and fight for it and pray lots and lots. Indeed, He is The Oft-Giving. Same goes to the idea of marriage, I will do what I could now and truly ask Allah for it. Afterall, kita kena berusaha, kan? Rezeki, sama jugak jodoh tak datang bergolek.
On Love (FAQ)
Here's the thing, people sometimes asked, if you were to get married what kind of person do you like? Other than being god-fearing and other typical things I do not wish to write up here, there's always one thing I always wish for...
Here's Sir Walter Raleigh's quote from the movie Elizabeth the Golden Age.
Although the queen initially sort of scorned what he had said, but later in her privacy, she repeated the words to herself showing how much the words had affected her. Indeed, I am no queen, no throne not much money, not a great beauty, and simply just a plain village girl... I do still wish and ask Allah, to send me the one who likes me for just myself for we couldn't see what's hidden in a heart and the reason and true intention in someone's action. I like to be liked for myself, to be accepted as plain as I am with every impediment that comes with me, and that would be such a great appreciation.
Okay. haha. what a super long post. Should any of you read it from top to here, I really appreciate your time. Thank you so much for reading. Again, I recommend the book and I ask Allah to give us the best partner in life who'll fight for love that lasts till paradise. To newly wed or friends getting married, barakallah and may Allah make easy for you.
Allah knows best. :)