I Want Marriage, Not Responsibility!

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By Pure Matrimony -

I think it’s safe to say that most women want the benefits of being married. We want some of the same things – to be loved and taken care of and to have a companion. But how many of us put in the work to receive those benefits? And how many of us are thinking, “what work?”

Some women think that the benefits of being married should be automatic, either because the husband loves her or simply because that’s what a married woman is supposed to get. Maybe they think they are entitled to these benefits, whether or not they are doing anything to deserve them. There are also women who say they do their part so they should receive the same.

It sounds normal, but the problem comes when the wife’s efforts correlate to her level of pleasure. Meaning the happier the husband makes her, the more she will do for him and if he is not making her happy, he gets the same in return (unhappiness). This image of the husband feeling the wife’s displeasure excuses her of responsibility for her behavior.

Before I got married, I was told “No man is worth your tears and the one who is, won’t make you cry.” This sounds nice and romantic but it is very unrealistic. This is to say that your husband would not do anything that would make you sad or upset.  And what happens when he does make you cry? Does that mean he is no longer worthy of your love?

Narrated by Ibn ‘Abbas: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “I was shown the Hell-fire and the majority of its dwellers were women who were ungrateful.”  It was asked, “Do they disbelieve in Allah?” (or are they ungrateful to Allah?) He replied, “They are ungrateful to their husbands and are ungrateful for the favors and the good (charitable deeds) done to them.  If you have always been good (benevolent) to one of them and then she sees something in you (not of her liking), she will say, ‘I have never received any good from you.” (Bukhari)

When I think about this hadith, I am speechless at the accuracy of it. And although you may think you don’t ever say this to your husband with your tongue, there are times when we say it with our actions.

You know that moment when your husband tells you he can’t come through on something he promised, something you were looking forward to, or when he hurts your feelings or makes you mad, and something switches inside of you. Something that makes you instantly stop caring about what makes him happy. Something that makes you storm out of the room or hang up the phone. That same thing that makes you say, “Hmph” and you no longer feel motivated to be nice to him. That’s the part that says, “I don’t need you. I’ll do it myself” or “Fine, you don’t want to help me, I won’t help you either.” Even worse, is when we act out by withholding our kindness to blatantly show our displeasure in an effort to get our husbands to “behave”.

This is when you have to remind yourself of a few things:

What is marriage about? Are you fulfilling the purpose? A couple is supposed to help each other get closer to Allah. What have you done to help your husband achieve this? Is marriage a one-way street? Are you in it just to have someone work to make you happy? Are you okay with pleasing your husband, as long as he is pleasing you? When you fell short and disappointed him, did you expect him to be patient with you or lash out with resentment and harsh words? If the answer is the former, then why do we think it’s ok for us to respond with the latter? If it’s hard for you to be good to him when you are hurt, then maybe you weren’t being good to him for the right reason in the first place. His rights are not dependent on your emotions.

There was a poster on the wall in my school classroom that read “When you point a finger at someone, there are three pointing back at you.” This means when you are pointing the finger of blame at your husband, claiming that he has fallen short, you need to take at look at yourself and analyze your own behavior.

Ask yourself, “Has he really done anything wrong? Has he not given me my rights or am I just unhappy about my wants not being met?” Sometimes you may find yourself thinking, “Why should I continue pleasing him if he isn’t pleasing me?” The answer is because you are married. A wife may ask, “Why should I be fake? Why should I continue to be there for him after he’s hurt me?” The answer is, “That’s what marriage is…it’s called Loyalty”. And if you’re reading this and the first thing you say is, “But he’s not being loyal to me!” – You’re doing it again. You are ignoring your part of the deal.

Remember how, before you got married, you made a list of the characteristics or qualities of your future husband? You wanted him to be patient with you when you burned the food, supportive when you were tired and helpful when you needed it.  Did you think about the qualities you would need to have?

I am not advising anyone to put up with a husband’s behavior if it involves something haraam or detrimental. What I am saying is that we need to realign our standards with Allah’s. We need to understand that we will not be questioned on the Day of Judgment about what our husband did.  And when Allah tells us of our responsibilities, that is exactly what they are – responsibilities.
Not negotiations or bargains.

Allah commands the husbands to “live with them (wives) in kindness” (Qur’an, 4:19)

Allah continues by telling them that when they are displeased with us, to focus on the other qualities we have that make them happy.

What about us? Do you think that we should do the opposite?

Source: Andrea Umm Abdullah, http://saudilife.net/marriage/25498-i-want-marriage-not-responsibility#comment-3698

30 Comments to I Want Marriage, Not Responsibility!

  1. awww this is soo sweeet. It really did remind me my mistakes. You should be always greatful.

  2. May ALLAH bless all our sisters and daughters the Wisdom, to understand and accept the Role of being a wife. Also how much ALLAH will be pleased with them for everything in their marital life to please their husbands in any Halal way.

  3. These article extremely makes one reflect on one’s part in marriage. Not just for females. Barakallahu fihi. Jazakumullahu khayran

  4. first of all thanks for these informations which present u as a real good muslim, it is great to know our responsibilities and duties, as wife and husband, baraka allaho fikoum.

  5. These article extremely makes one reflect on one’s part in marriage. Not just for females. Barakallahu fihi.
    May ALLAH bless all our sisters and daughters the Wisdom, to understand and accept the Role of being a wife. Also how much ALLAH will be pleased with them for everything in their marital life to please their husbands in any Halal way.

  6. even smiling is sadaqa ………and smile is contagious even among strangers then how can other good deeds not be contagious …..subhanAllah………women are emotionally more strong than men while men are physially more strong………….sisters should take it seriously that emotional part of husband wife relationship they are responsible for so if it is week we women are wrong or switched off so dont blame the hubby, if u take the husbands hand 99 out of 100 he will give it to u smiling …..so next time he is frowning check your face in the mirror

  7. Aysha Richards

    When a man abuses his wife are we just to put up with it and continue to live with that abuse. I say no Allah didn’t intend for us to have to live. Should we live in fear in our own homes. Should we dread the time of day that he comes home from work. I dealt with it for 15 years no matter how hard I tried to make him happy. He wasn’t happy with himself and he took it out on me. When I left I never looked back. Alhamdullah Now I have a real husband and I never knew marriage could be so sweet. I just can’t believe that I tolerated s
    being treated like a dog for all those years.

    • “I am not advising anyone to put up with a husband’s behavior if it involves something haraam or detrimental.” Islam gave women the right to devorice for a reason. I’m sorry you had a bad exsperience, and I’m glad your in a better one.

  8. Subhanallah, really good article, a good way n lesson to remind me to be a good wife in the future with another perspective, really inspiring, thank you so much sister, may Allah SWT always blessing and guide your life always, amiin.

  9. Rafiq Alfred

    Barakallah Feekum, Very Good Advice this remind me of my first marriage that did not work, now I am more cautious in seeking marriage. I am still seeking marriage with a good zawj, with the main quality and charecteristic Muslimah who has more understanding of deen. I think leads to less problems and constantly seeking knowledge and applying it.

    As Salaamu Alaykum Wa Rahamatullah

  10. This is a women’s nature, like the human nature to judge. It’s not that women mean to be like this, be we fall into the trap. We need to stop ourselves more often and think of all the times our husbands have been patient with us, or done something special w.o being asked, or supported us in our struggles. We as wives set unreasonable expectations for our husbands, and get mad when our husbands don’t meet them. Instead we need to look at all that they do, instead of what they don’t, and try to repay the kindnesses and support.

  11. Girl should make a list about herself that what kind of pleasure she will give to her husband.. If we want happiness we have to sacrifice too.. there is nothing wrong with it

  12. I personally agreed with the article. We girls do have some dreams we should have to think about our partners happiness and care about his family pleasure too..

  13. MashaAllah this article is really good..but what a women should do when she comes to know that her husband had a girlfriend before marriage..coz my friend came to know abt her husband had a girlfriend before marriage but left her for some reason he is really good to her but the fact that my friend cant bear the idea that her husband liked a girl before her which makes argue with him all the time he is always nice to her n explains to her that it was a mistake but she is just not able to tolerate plz suggest something to advice her n save her mariage/….

    • Assalam alaikum,
      you should advice your friend , that leave the past of her husband , because she is present in her husbands ,present and future , though it hurts the past but its better to live happily with the husband , as he is caring and loving towards her so its better to be good toward the husband and it is always better to live in present rather then with past .Inshaallah she will be more happy then ever with her husband.

  14. I think that this article is blind to the fact that this lack of appreciation can be for both the wife AND the husband. What about the husband who marries and doesn’t want any responsibility of caring for his marriage. Once married, he expects his wife to cook, clean and satisfy all his wants and desires while he fails to acknowledge that she also has needs. This kind of husband can live as he wants and NEVER has to pick up after himself because “that’s what a wife is for.” He lives as a king while his wife lives as a slave. A wife can do good for her husband from her heart because she loves him and that is how Allah command us to live, but when the marriage only takes and it seems like a one way street, it is inevitable that the wife will become weak and fall short in pleasing her husband because like a bank account, you have to keep making deposits in order to withdrawal. When you withdrawal too much, you overdraft and you have to pay fees. To avoid paying the fees, you have to be sure you make enough deposits to cover your withdrawals. I believe it’s the same with a marriage. Responsibility is not only for the wife. It is also for the husband. And his responsibility is not only to give her a roof over her head and food to eat. Satisfying basic human rights is not sufficient to fostering a happy and healthy marriage. It’s not just a physical responsibility the that husband has to satisfy. He also has an emotional responsibility as well.

  15. not all men deserve sacrefice for them, if the man treats his wife bad and doesn’trespect her he doesn’t deserve her. i am married and very happy with my husband because we bothe try to make eachother happy . i am a working women and my duty towards my hasband isn’t just cooking and cleaning… (i think the examples given in the article reduce it to that unfortunately)sometimeswe argue but i don’t think such things are avoidable. for me deen is very important in a mariage, and our deen doesn’t tell us to tolerate being treated disrespectfuly. jazakoum allaho khayran

  16. Seeing some of husband-wife quarreling for this last month making me a little afraid to have a marriage. Afraid of doing those bad things unpurposed and regret it in the last. So I’m grateful that I read this now, before I’m getting married, alhamdulillah.. It’s so something n_n
    I’ll try my best to gain the sa-ma-wa menage. hope I can be a faithful and loveable wife for my husband 🙂

  17. I think this article is biased. Many people in general (men and women) expect a one-sided relationship. This article is written as if one-sided relationships is a female problem. This is far from the truth.

    Firstly, I think it’s great for women to be reminded not to fall short in their duties to their husbands. And yes, a women striving to please her husband should not be dependent on her emotions. However, one-sided relationships are MUCH MORE of a male problem, then a female problem. To write an article making it look like it’s a common female problem overlooks sexism towards women, which is worse as a social problem than sexism towards men.

    On average, there are MUCH MORE ungrateful husbands than vice versa. This is precisely because of cultural values and teachings that place greater importance and pressure on women to please their husbands than vice versa. The vast majority of the world’s cultures today are male-dominated – women do not have much of a voice, and nor are they encouraged to seek their rights.

    There is nothing Islamically wrong for a woman to expect her husband to love her and treat her with respect. What is wrong is for someone to expect rights, but no responsibilities in return. I agree there are women who expect a one-sided relationship, but the reality is that the majority of women only end up in relationships where they’re giving more than they’re getting. This article makes it seem like the average woman expects more than she deserves. In reality, even among Muslims, there’s too much dysfunctional marriages where it’s male-dominated.

    To tell women to never point their fingers at their husbands and accuse them of falling short in duties is unjust, there are many women who give up their rights just to please their husbands. How are we supposed to end sexism if we tell women that somehow it’s still their fault, no matter what? I agree that there are cases where women are not being grateful, and in no way am I saying that the average woman is perfect (no human being is), but if we want to live in a world where both men and women are treated in dignity and in respect, we have to properly put things in perspective.

    Also, it’s only human nature that the kinder someone is to us, the kinder we are to him/her. I’m not saying it’s right, especially since Islam is all about being the better person in every situation (not just marriage relationships), but I don’t think it’s fair to tell someone who has been mistreated in any way not to express anger or put up with it as if it’s an easy thing to do.

    • In_search_of_truth

      I agree with you. I know a number of females who face domestic violence when they are fulfilling all their duties properly; in fact more than that. Many women earn when their husbands are not caring about the family and many husbands have deserted their wives after impregnating them. After all this when you read such articles, i really feel- Allah or islam is not biased towards males, the people of this world are… A female is physically weak and many arent stable financially, in this scenario, for having a society which would get the sisters their rights, we need muslims to remind the brothers of their duties while i see it happening vice versa…

  18. Starbrite

    Assalamu Alaikum..

    I definitely agree with your article that marriage comes with its responsibilities.
    However, there are limits to everything.

    I had an emotionally and verbally abusive husband, who rarely spent time with me and forced me to live with his abusive family members in the same house.

    He wanted to mentally torture me by divorcing me (talaq), but he didn’t know that I would be happier than him on being separated from him.

    My life with them was stifled. It’s now going to be 10 months since my divorce.

    I can now breathe again, Alhamdulillah and I am grateful to Allah for today although I was very sad when the divorce happened.

    Alhamdulillah ‘ala kulli haal…

    • When men fail to “live with women with kindness”, then they too will face the consequences. Being submissive doesn’t warrant taking abuse all the time. Eventually people crack. But abusive people will always have karma. I know cos I’ve witnessed it myself. They get to be overly harsh to the point of cruelty, injustice, misery for a period of time but later on in life, tables turn, and someone with more authority over them like at work, elder in family, even their own close friends will come down hard on them. Cliques & groups who are united in negative things do fall out among each other anyway- they will have their fair share of upsets & disappointments. (This is irregardless men or women). Anyway, Allah SWT rewards those who are patient in spite of peoples treatment of them. May Allah SWT replace your sadness with somethings better, my dear, & grant that man & his family a good change.

  19. pissed off man

    Y r dese articles alwayz about women? Fuck off if ur going to always post this shit, just because ur being abused and r being ‘patient’ by taking it, doesnt mean every1 else has 2 tke it. My sister was beaten 2 death by a religious muslim man becoz she dared leave the house widout his permission. Now quickly ur husband is calling u 2 bed, run and respond to his needs b4 he goes out looking 4 sum1 else 2 fuck. U lot paint such dirty pictures of muslim men.

  20. This is good. Islam is balanced after all. It teaches everyone to all be functional human beings in the community, to play their roles with steadfastness: as a wife, friend, sister, daughter = nurturer, lover & building a warm cosy home for the family where love, kindness, mercy & all forms of goodness PREVAILS.

    Anyways, when we continue to do good in spite of all the shortcomings, there are times when we’ll eventually get our way with sad pouts & guilt them with sympathy & pity. Instead of bursting with anger, sulks, getting even or stop being nice. When we’ve put in our share of loveliness & sacrifice, they’re still more likely to incline towards our sadness & endearing endurance than our anger or tantrums or negativity. hehe ;p

  21. Assalamu aleikum;

    What do you say about a man who does not work and support his family while the wife works and takes care of everything? I don’t think Islam allows a man to sit while the wife works.

    Thank you

  22. ma sha Allah article. Its easy to see only husband’s side and ignoring yours, even if husband i bad, ungreatful, etc… if you still love (exactly) love will still keep you up do good things for him, love for the sake of Allah, you will be glad despite anything bad to you do good because its wonderful feelings do good being mean do this through hurt. If you realy love husband you will still ask Allah to dont punish him for his hurts to you, you will do this hidden. Those who cant give for the sake of Allah cant get the same, have to remind in Islam we have lots of mercy in relationship for example if we are hurt we can silent 3 days !!!!! 😀 )))))))))))))))))))))) thats cool

  23. In India..even today ..a gurl gets married not just only to a man but his entire family…Allah Subhan wa talla inculcates natural love and affection amongst husbnd and wife…
    I had a bad experience in my 1st marriage..as the man already had another women in his life before he married me…after that i waited for 3 long years for anothr man..
    this time i personally worked even more harder to keep him and his family happy..bcuz i never wanted to loose on this 2nd marriage…..but right from day 1 i was made to realize that i am a fulltime maid at their place.. i ws given no rights of a wife…not even to become a mother?
    I was alwyas very religious and had the knowledge that amongst all the jaiz things Allah subhan wa talaa hates divorcee the most…but after being ill treated and tortured …what step should a women take??

  24. Beautifully written!!
    Much needed article in todays world..Honestly we women are unthankful sometimes..

    Agreed that men could be wrong sometimes.., but Allah is All seeing and All knowing!
    The man and his wife have their own responsibilities to fulfill for their marriage to work.
    If the man is failing at some point, why does the women have to do the same in return?

    End of the day, she is answerable to ALLAH and none.!
    Its always better to be patient, and trust Allah that everything will be fine!:)

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