By Rufus and Jenny Triplett
On any given day, someone is struggling with their marriage. They’re looking for help via books, social media, advice from friends, family, imams and even therapy. Sometimes, when overcome with desperation, proper vetting of advice is not of importance. But getting a quick fix is.
Little did we know that what we really had on our hands was a playbook of real life experience bounded and binded on Amazon.
The book has sold over a 100,000 copies independently worldwide, has been translated into three other languages (Italian, Portuguese and Spanish), and has taken us across the country and around the world for book signings and marriage workshops and global talks about marriage and divorce. Our marriage has allowed us to do interfaith work at the same time. Part of our dawah mission to give greater understanding about what Muslims really believe. The general principles of marriage are similar across all religions. Because of this, we get invited into diverse spaces. We don’t think that there hasn’t been any faith to which we haven’t given marriage advice.
With the success of the book, people were looking for more. What more advice can you give? So, we started the “Surviving Marriage Podcast
” to speak about timely topics. Sometimes subject matter appears in the news that inspires a podcast episode. In two seasons of streaming, we’ve tackled gender roles, sexless marriages, in-laws and more. There is never a lack of topics to discuss, because there is always so much going on with conflicts in marriage.
In our 30-plus years of marriage, numerous people have come to us for advice on marriage, raising kids, business and such. What we are finding now is that the respect for the longevity of our marriage brings them to us, but the fun and dynamics of our relationships keeps them coming back. There is a joke in Muslim communities that people get married at Fajr and divorced by Isha. We’re trying to change that. We want to try to help them stay married at least to see Ramadan reoccur in the same lunar cycle.
Rufus and Jenny Triplett
A common factor in marriages is a lack of communication. Plenty of relationship gurus will tell you that communication is a key to marriage success but they don’t tell you how to communicate. We do. We created a whole card game to get people talking and to keep people talking. Our “Surviving Marriage Couples Card Game
” is 99 questions for one great conversation. People are using it for sit downs, speed dating, courting and connecting with their mates. The feedback has been phenomenal, and it warms our hearts to get messages from people that have seen a change in their marriage.
The card game’s questions are organized in three categories with questions like:
1. For Better or For Worse
What's an insecurity about yourself you've had to overcome?
2. For Richer or For Poorer
How did your parents handle financial difficulties?
3. In Sickness and in Health
What's one food you didn't like as a child but now eat?
Prophet Muhammad (saw) advised Muslims to marry; he forbade the practice of celibacy. He said, "Marriage is my precept and my practice. Those who do not follow my practice are not of me." He also said, "When a man has married, he has completed one half of his religion."
While on a marriage panel last year at ISNACON with Nadirah P, Baba Ali and Imam Siraj Wahaj, the questions from the audience largely centered around millennials are having a hard time with their parents and their choices. The card game can actually be played in a family setting. We played it with Rufus’ parents, who have been married over 52 years, and the answers were quite revealing.
As we both were raised in two-parent households, our childhoods and environments shape us and are impressionable as to who we become. We bring all of who we are into a marriage. Most often, only a third of that is initially shared with your mate. Asking the right questions can spark dialogue and take your marriage to places it needs to go to get healthy. Even though it’s a game, there are no winners. Conversation is the winner. When we teach couples how to have better conversations and that’s a win for us.
Plenty of people get married. Staying married is the hard part. No worries. We are here to help. Whether by book, by podcast or by card game, our mission is to get you to twenty years. Once you get there, the beyond should be easy.
Rufus and Jenny are one of the few professional husband and wife teams who do just about everything together, while surviving over 30 years of marriage being attached at the hip. Honored as Ebony Magazine’s Couple of the Year in 2012, and one of the 14 most Inspiring Couples in 2013, they are known for their motivation, empowerment and healthy examples of happily ever after. Their list of accomplishments are long but are highlighted with being military veterans (Marine Corps and Navy respectively) and co-authors of Surviving Marriage in the 21st Century.
The Triplett’s co-own Dawah International, LLC, a multimedia company that publishes various media projects and are requested keynote and session speakers and for various platforms. They have appeared on numerous TV shows including Dr. Phil, CNN, and TLC. For more information, log onto their website - www.rufusandjennytriplett.com. Follow them across social media platforms @rufusandjenny