What is a hookah and what does it have to do with marriage? Both are great questions, so allow me to explain.
Have you ever seen Alice In Wonderland? Remember the caterpillar? If so, you may remember the caterpillar was smoking something through most of the movie. Well, that is a hookah. (pron. hook·ah). The actual definition is “an oriental tobacco pipe with a long, flexible tube that draws the smoke through water contained in a bowl.” Apparently, hookahs were popular in ancient India. They were both customary and a sign of prestige.
So that’s what a hookah is…what does that have to do with marriage?
We received our first hookah from some friends in India. It was novel and something to do for fun from time to time. It can be relaxing but more than that, it’s a fun social thing to do. No it isn’t good for you but neither is the buffet line at Kentucky Fried Chicken but I digress…
For us, the hookah often became the only thing that we could do together that would calm our nerves, lower our voices and keep us in the same room for an extended period of time.
So, when we were at our worst, fighting, yelling (even screaming at each other at times) we found that we could at least calm down if we sat down to smoke hookah together. Some may say, “you really need to stop and pray when you’re fighting like that” and they would be right.
But our fights were nasty (really nasty at times) and we needed something to bring us together.
It was common at times to go from yelling and screaming at each other to one of us saying “Hey, do you want hookah?” Which would often return a reluctant “sure” type response. That was commonly when we knew things were going to be ok.
But regardless, we would soon find ourselves sitting in our living room, calmly smoking hookah. It was in those moments that we had some of our best conversations. Whether it was the small amounts of nicotine in the shisha (the tobacco used in the hookah) or God using the hookah to settle us down, it worked.
So today, we find that we are thankful for the hookah and we actually credit it with saving our marriage to some degree.
Before any of you write to ask if we are condoning smoking as a way to resolve marital problems the answer is no. That is just one of the things that helped us. The point really, is to find something that will keep you both in the same room and allow you to talk through your problems. You may consider something like; taking a walk, sharing a bottle of wine or playing cards. For us, that ended up coming from an ancient Indian custom.