Nov 30, 2012

Posted by in Life Pepper, Spousal Relationship | 11 Comments

The APT Approach: 3 Simple Steps to a Better Marriage

By Fatima Khan

Alhamdu lillah, the one lesson that sisters are able to pick up on from my webinars is that of the APT approach: to Appreciate, Praise, and Thank your husband, everywhere and everytime.

So what is it about the APT approach that makes me stress it so, just about in every question I am faced with. Surely I’m better equipped as a Relationship Coach to come up with an original answer to each question that sisters ask me. The truth remains, that the most original and honest thing you can do, in any given situation, is to simply be APT.

“The affair of the believer is amazing! The whole of his life is beneficial, and that is only in the case of the believer. When good times come to him, he is thankful and it is good for him, and when bad times befall him, he is patient and it is also good for him.” [Muslim]

How about that? Every thing is beneficial.

Appreciate, Praise and Thank your husband.

Appreciate him for all that he does, the duties that he fulfils and the extra steps he takes towards your marriage.

Praise him to let him know you appreciate him, so he knows what he should be more of, or do more of.

Thank him for the small favors he does for you, even if it’s taking out the groceries from the car, or turning off the lights when leaving the room.

The APT approach is complete only when you apply it both in solitude and in company of others.

If you are a garment for him, as he is for you, then you provide as much a covering for your husband as he does for you.

I’ve had many sisters counter this with questions revolving around the husband’s actions and all that he ought to do, and doesn’t. Sisters, no one shall bear the burden of another. You are ultimately responsible for your actions and duties, exactly how our Prophet sal Allahu alaiyhi wa sallam told us when he said, “(I order you) to give the rights that are on you and to ask your rights from Allah.”‘ [Bukhari]

For starters, here are 3 ways you can adopt the APT approach from the instant you are done reading this article, bi’thnillah.

1) Correct your language, even the voices inside your head.

The biggest favor you can do to yourself from this very moment on, is to drop the, “BUT.” Give your husband his due credit by paying him an absolute compliment with no exceptions. The, “but” may help you connect two sentences together, it also makes you feel that one statement is not as true as the next.

Even something as simple as, “My husband’s a great father but he forgets our family commitments sometimes” can be set a world apart just by dropping one word. “My husband’s a great father.” Full stop. “Sometimes he forgets our family commitments. Full stop.

You’re on your way to recognize each sentence as a fact, and to give your husband the credit for all that he does do right. Without the contradictions you’ll find the APT approach much easier to follow inshaAllah.

2) Who do you spend the most time with?

Alhamdu lillah, you’ve got a whole lot of things to be thankful in your marriage. How would you feel to share that with the people whom you spend the most time with? Imagine having to think pleasant thoughts, and speak pleasantly of your marriage for the majority of your day, with those whom you’re most in touch with. Chances are, you’ll be smiling all the way until the evening when your husband comes home, inshaAllah.

Take into consideration those sisters who complain about their marriages or are unhappy about some aspects, giving preference to the dark cloud over the silver lining. You may have come across such sisters in many age groups, and can easily see how a younger sister like that progresses as an older wife. If you fit this description, or know anyone else who does, ask yourself whether the chosen path actually takes you in the direction you seek. If not, then what will?

Also sisters, please make du’a for anyone whom you know to fit this bill, for their marriage and their dunya and akhirah.

3) APT approach with your families

This is a simple step that branches out into immense barakah for your marriage and your families inshaAllah. Appreciate, praise and thank your husband around your family and his. Your parents will be ecstatic to hear of the qualities in your husband that make you happy, and his parents will be humbled to hear of their son in such an admiring manner.

All three steps combined, your husband will want to think of ways to put a smile on your face for all the positive input he gets as a result bi’thnillah.

You are your husband’s garment, adorn your relationship with praise and gratitude because drawing attention to his drawbacks to anyone bares your flaws in turn. The APT approach will magnify the good that is in your husband, and encourage him to bring out even more of all that you acknowledge. What you respond to the most, is what he’ll give you in turn, for that is where he gets his wife’s attention from.

Fatima Khan is a Certified Life Coach and an NLP Practitioner specialising in Relationship Coaching for Muslim Women. She is energetic and optimistic. Her optimism shines through and enables all around her to develop a stronger outlook on life and their relationships. She has a website: http://www.lifepepper.org/. You should sign up for her weekly newsletter by clicking here.

  1. Masha Allah.. I really liked the APT approach.. actually it is very true. Our hubi love to do something for us so that we will appreciate them.

  2. but no1 appreciates or thanks us for staying up all night wid the sick child or for switching off the lights or even helping with the groceries from the car…

  3. Alhamdu lillah sis, what is one thing that you will do more consistently from now that you were not doing as much earlier?
    For me, it’s a word of thanks

  4. wow thats a nice one Hafeeza, I guess we need to keep telling them thank you for the things they do for us. So this will help them do more for us:) Insha Allah…

    Sometimes we take things for granted I guess.. We need to constantly remember the APT.

    Alhamdulillah I try the APT as much as I can. But as humans we tend to forget sometimes.. So insha Allah, I should make sure next time I dont forget it at all:)

  5. You’re right Hafeeza, imagine just how much of a difference it would make if you were to start for the both of you inshaAllah, and be consistent with it. A habit takes about 3 weeks to form completely, so does letting go of a previous habit for a better one inshaAllah.
    How awesome it would be to see a marked change in your relationship just by 3 simple words bi’thnillah! 🙂

  6. Ameenah says:

    Jazakhum Allahu khairan sister for your advice. I have found that just applying small bits and pieces from your tips has already started to help my marriage. My husband is starting to do the things that I want him to do without complaining and sometimes (would you believe it) without being asked. Allahu akbar, we need to make the most of the inate instinct of men to make their women happy. Alhumdu lilah.

  7. Masha Allah! That is soo nice sister Ameenah.

    It is very true, we feel too good and happy when our spouse does something for us, even without us asking them to do so:)

  8. SubhanAllah sister Ameenah, I believe every word of it 🙂 I feel the wonders of embracing the roles Allah azza wa jal has set out for us, each day myself alhamdu lillah. Am so happy to hear that yet another sister has begun to benefit from the khayr!

    And all this with small bits and pieces, subhanAllah – imagine if you were to dive headfirst into this with zero inhibitions and apprehension: that’s what I tell every sister who comes to me 🙂

  9. Sister Hafeeza, God thanks us, appreciates us, and praises us. Live your life well, appreciate yourself, your husband, and God, and do not waste one more precious second yearning for approval.

    We do not know what our husbands say behind our backs. My husband doesn’t compliment me much directly with words. I have often heard from friends and even enemies that he speaks highly of me to others: how well I do things, how much he respects me, how smart I am, etc. Alhamdulillah. Maybe your husband talks about you like this. Does that make you feel differently?

    A man’s love for his wife goes so deep, so deep. We don’t always see it.

    Sister Fatima, God will surely reward you. I am bookmarking this blog. Maybe you can see that I am already trying to absorb your wisdom about "but" statements. I see how much it nourishes my husband when I APT him, how the APT helps him feel safer about coming closer to me, and how much it hurts him when I restrain my enthusiasm. God bless him, and help me be a good wife and him a good husband.

  10. JazakAllahu Khairan sister Suzza for the comment.

  11. I wish and pray that all sisters have this APT approach. Jzk sister for this .

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