Allah Swt, in his infinite wisdom and mercy, created the bonds of marriage as a permissible, enjoyable means of uniting two strangers to live with each other in love and peace. Theoretically this exists, but sadly the reality is that it isn’t always maintained and many Muslim marriages are breaking down.
Everyone is demanding their rights yet they fail to think from the other angle and neglect to fulfil rights of others. When a situation becomes very black and white people forget the essence of Islam; justice, forgiveness and humility. These qualities are lost in an argument and so a cold war ensues between husband and wife.
Keeping in line with rights, the greatest right of a woman is to be treated with kindness, but on the other hand the greatest right a husband has over the wife is Respect. Anger and displaying angry behaviour is a very disrespectful way of behaving with someone. Similarly provoking and angering the husband tantamount to disrespect. Marital breakdown is usually a consequence of anger and acting upon anger in hastiness.
In order for a wife to respect her husband she must first understand and avoid factors that anger him. Anger manifests itself in different ways but it tends to have a deeper underlying cause. A wife must try to decipher what the root cause of the anger is before any solutions can be reached. The following are a few reasons as to what can anger a husband, ranging from minor to major causes:
• Hunger - Hunger can make someone very irritable and short tempered. A husband expects food to be ready when he comes home from work. This may seem insignificant, but if this happens regularly then it might be an indication of his displeasure at his wife’s time management/ organisational skills and lack of consideration.
• Neglecting Children and household duties - A wife may have commitments elsewhere, eg. Work, da'wah activities, personal hobbies. As a result children or managing the household is neglected. This indicates that your husband may be displeased with your priorities and may want you to reassess your commitments.
• Work/money problems - Finance can usually cause a huge strain on marriages, and the pressure of being the breadwinner can take its toll. However if the wife is oblivious to the husbands situation and spends endlessly then this means she doesn’t acknowledge his effort and is abusing his generosity. Alternately the husband may be having problems at work that he can’t discuss with his wife, leading to feelings of inadequacy and fear of redundancy.
• Family problem - He may be having problems with his own family which he can’t tell you about, but which affect him deeply. Being in the dark will only make you question and misunderstand and it may anger him at your lack of sensitivity.
• Mistreating someone he loves - You may not have showed good conduct or hurt someone who he loves and respects, such as his family members or close friends. Your words/actions may or may not have been intentional, but someone was hurt by it and informed your husband, thereby causing him hurt and anger.
• Hurting him with previous words/actions - Maybe you had said or did something quite a long time ago that really hurt him, but which he didn’t mention at the time. Consequently he had let the issue grow and took his anger randomly out on you at a later point.
• Making him feel inferior - You might be a very confident, successful person, who is good at multitasking. If you are arrogant in your approach then this will convey through your words/actions that you have no need for him or be undermining his authority. To him it may indicate your lack of gratefulness and recognition of his qualities and capabilities.
• Committed a sin/not doing Fardh duties - You may be committing a grave sin that your husband may or may not be aware of, but punishment is such that it can indirectly affect your marriage, particularly if a woman is unchaste. Alternately you may not be doing your fard obligations e.g. salah, not observing proper hijab or engaging in unislamic activities, music, dance, etc.
• Socialising/going out too much - Your husband might dislike who you socialise with or that you socialise too often. He may think that you’re taking advantage of his leniency or that you’re never available when he wants you to be. This may result in neglecting him and the household. Husbands have a sense of gheerah (exclusivity/possessiveness) so he might feel this is infringed if you go out so often.
• Not fulfilling his desires - You may be not be fulfilling his desire properly or refusing to do so altogether. This can lead to frustration and anger, as well as a cause for him to look elsewhere.
• Not allowing him to spend sufficient time with children/family - You have a problem with him spending significant amounts of time with the children or you deny him access to children (if separate), or you dislike him spending time with his own family or someone else he is close to.
These are only a few suggestions, there are of course many more which are unique to each marriage. This is in no way suggesting that men are blameless in these scenarios, rather it is a step towards understanding why we blame them. Neither should women feel that it is biased towards men as it just presents one side, it is general advice for women as a whole to try and understand from the other angle. To present from the woman’s angle would have to be discussed as a separate issue.
Wives should bear the following advice in mind when trying to resolve a problem. Understand to the best of your ability what the problem is, accept where you have gone wrong even if it may be hard to. Have the most sincere of intentions to please Allah and your husband, do plenty of nafl (optional salat), and recite often and earnestly make dua that Allah swt gives you patience and understanding.
Pray that Allah reunites your hearts and brings you closer.