The Fundamentals of a Healthy Marriage – with Dr. Mohamed Fekry

The warmth of a loving relationship between parents extends beyond the walls of their home, to shape their children’s lifelong perception of family and love. There is no doubt that a strong loving relationship between parents is a crucial step in creating a happy home for children.

The way the parents deal together is the most influential example of how to interact and communicate in a romantic relationship. When turbulences occur in this relationship, no matter how hard the parents may try to conceal their problems, children are still highly sensitive to the tensions between them. No whispered criticism goes unheard. No misunderstanding goes unnoticed. Every little detail will affect the way children will perceive love forever.
In order to learn the fundamentals of a healthy marriage, The Kangaroo Mamas interviewed Dr. Mohamed Fekry, Professor of Psychiatry in Ain Shams University and Consultant of Marital Relationships.


Dr. Fekry, why are there so many marriages failing these days?

The core of a healthy marriage is communication. But there are so many factors that are hindering communication between married couples. Long working hours is an example. And being busy with other forms of communication like phones and iPads is another example.
Back in the days, people used to visit their dear ones during feasts.  Then visits were substituted with phone calls. Afterwards messages became the main greeting tool used. The same thing happens in marriage, the less effort people exert in order to communicate, the sooner they will drift apart.

Why do people fail to communicate?

No time. People spend more time in work than ever before. Also the unwillingness to listen can ruin communication. In many cases, we start a conversation with the intention of winning the argument before we even listen.

How we can raise our children to enhance their future relationships? What are the qualities we need to teach them to help them become good partners ?

The most important factor is to not differentiate between genders. We should raise boys and girls alike. In our society the man is raised like a “king”. He is not used to be opposed. He enjoys much more freedom than his sisters.  He doesn’t share house chores. Boys should learn to help in the kitchen.
Also girls need to learn to object and say ‘no’. There is a limit to compromise. Girls should be able to refuse being treated with aggression or anger. They shouldn’t stay silent when their partners commit unacceptable or disrespectful behaviors.

In the cases of frequent marital quarreling, how does this affect children?

Fights between parents ruin their children’s sense of security. It makes them prone to anxiety. And it can trigger behavioral problems like aggression and violence. It can also result in difficulties in education. They might even refuse attachments all together. Those children are also at a higher risk of experiencing a variety of health problems like disturbed sleep and nightmares.

If the mother becomes depressed, how would this be reflected on her children?

Depression can result in negligence and lack of interest. A depressed mother may not be able to keep up with her children’s needs. She won’t be able to maintain the home or complete house chores. She will pay less attention to details which will affect the wellbeing of the whole family.

Is there a formula for success in relationships?

We need to understand deeply that we are all extremely different in everything. We were created different so this is how we are meant to be. We need to communicate and be flexible. We will never change each other. And we don’t need to do that. No one changes actually . We need to accept the differences and communicate to create strong bonds. We need to share experiences together. The more a person’s world is separate from their parter’s the more they will drift apart. That’s why relationships fail after years. Each is living in his own world. Relationships are like open wounds that need extra care to stay healthy.  The more effort and time is put in the relationship, the stronger it will be.

Cover Image: The collage artist Karim Farid. Instagram account: krim_farid

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