Miserliness is another disease of the heart. A person cannot bear to part with something. It is the opposite of generosity. Those who are not miserly prefer others over themselves.
There is a type of miserliness that married couples might fall into and that is miserliness in giving our spouse our love, affection and care. After being married for a few years we may begin to say to ourselves, “My spouse is only giving me this much love and care therefore I will only give him/her this much in return." We are in effect being stingy in giving our love and care.
The better option is to move beyond what we expect others to give us and give freely of ourselves. When we don’t expect anything in return we are less likely to be disappointed. As a result also, when we are freely giving our love and care to our spouse it is more likely that s/he will give more of themselves in return. Our marriage relationship will then improve, insha Allah.
One scholar’s advice is:
1. Love others more than you expect them to love you.
2. Forgive others more than you expect them to forgive you.
3. Make dua for others more than you expect them to make dua for you.
This is the spirit of generosity that our Prophet Muhammad (s) embodied and that which we should emulate in all facets of our life.