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6 Green Flags of a Healthy Relationship

This blog post is an excerpt from The FYI’s Marriage Prep Toolkit. Check out the full toolkit and The FYI’s very own online marriage prep course here

When getting to know someone for marriage, it can be helpful to know which red flags signal incompatibility or unhealthy relationship behavior. But sometimes we need to know the “green flags” as well – the signs or patterns of healthy relationship dynamics. To know what’s wrong or unhealthy in a relationship, you must first know what a healthy relationship looks and feels like. 

      1. First, in a healthy relationship, you are clear about how you expect your partner to treat you and what is unacceptable to you. You know what kind of behavior crosses these boundaries, and you stand your ground if you experience it. 

        1. All couples have arguments, but they should be rare, not the rule. Know that you should be able to mutually resolve conflicts, or compromise without pressure to let go of something important to you.

          1. Couples in a healthy relationship spend time together but they also spend apart from one another. They have a healthy social and emotional support system beyond their spouses. You should have mutual friends but also separate friends. Mutual interests, but also separate interests. 

            1. In a healthy relationship, each partner takes ownership of their needs. They also realize that some needs must be met outside of the relationship. For example, if you struggle with something like your self-esteem or your spirituality, your spouse can support you on the journey. But you need to take ownership of meeting your needs and nurturing your self-development. 

              1. Shared support, decision-making, and power in the relationship are required for a balanced relationship. In a healthy relationship, there is give and take. Each partner is willing to hear the other out. Each sincerely tries to understand where the other is coming from. 

                1. In a healthy relationship, both individuals can observe their own behavior, reflect on it, and 

                  1. Finally, a healthy relationship is balanced and takes effort from both partners. Sometimes, one partner may find themselves constantly playing the supporting role for their partner but does not feel supported by their partner because of this imbalance. Know that both of your needs and desires are equally important. The goal is to work as a team to meet each other’s needs and desires. 

                If you are courting or engaged, rate how your relationship rates on these qualities of a healthy relationship: expectations, boundaries, social support system, and balance in give and take. Ask yourself, does your relationship feel healthy and balanced in all of these ways? If any points raise concerns for you, learn more about what red flags look like in a relationship here. 

                Remember that it takes two healthy, self-aware individuals to enjoy a healthy relationship. If you identify an area where your relationship could improve, consider how the both of you can work towards a stronger relationship together. To learn how to address red flags and conflicts constructively in a relationship, check out The FYI’s Marriage Prep course for courting and engaged couples here.

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                Zakat eligibility of The FYI

                The Family & Youth Institute, or The FYI, is a well-known Muslim organization in the United States. It works to promote mental health and wellness by strengthening and empowering individuals, families, and communities through research and education. It has been working for many years to bring Islamic perspectives to understanding and promoting mental health in our communities.

                It is dedicated to serving and supporting Muslims – safeguarding our deen, our families, and our future generations. Therefore, the work of The FYI comes in the category of ‘fi sabeelillah’ or the Path of Allah, within the eight categories where Zakat money can be used.

                Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah, and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah, And Allah, is Knowing and Wise.”
                (Al-Tawbah 9:60)

                According to scholars who widen the meaning of fee sabeelillah to include any activities that promote Islamic growth, The FYI is indeed eligible to receive part of the Zakat funds for its programs and services. I urge Muslims in America to support this organization through their donations, general charity, and through their Zakat. I ask Allah swt to strengthen and guide The FYI to continue its good work in supporting Muslims.

                Shaikh Ali Suleiman Ali, PhD

                About Shaikh Ali

                Sh. Ali Suleiman Ali was born in Ghana where he spent his childhood studying with various Muslim scholars. He then moved to Saudi Arabia and enrolled in the Islamic University of Madina.  He graduated with a degree in both Arabic and Islamic Studies. Dr. Ali went on to complete his Ph.D. in Islamic Studies at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

                Sh. Ali serves on the Advisory Council of The Family & Youth Institute. He is the Senior Imam and Director of the Muslim Community of Western Suburbs in Canton, Michigan. Additionally, he serves as the Director of Muslim Family Services in Detroit and is a council member of the Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA). He is also a member of the North American Imams Federation (NAIF) and the Association of Muslim Jurists of America (AMJA).