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Husband’s Work Life is Killing Our Marriage

Questioner

T

Reply Date

Apr 13, 2018

Question

Assalam-u-alaikum. I am married to a very nice person. However, the problem is that he has been working under his father who doesn't give him any day off in the week. Being his wife, I want to spend some time with him, but he doesn't want to ask for a single day off. He considers this disobedience as his father wants him to be there on Sundays as well. Doesn't a wife have the right to spend at least one day a week with her husband?

Counselor

Answer


Husband's Work Life is Killing Our Marriage

In this counseling answer:

Try to understand the difficulty your husband faces. Try to talk sensitively with him about your desires and rights as a wife.


Wa ‘Alaikum Salaam dear sister,

As a wife, you certainly have rights over your husband, including the right to spend time with him. Likewise, his parents have certain rights over him and he has rights over them as their child. In this case, he also has the rights of a worker, regardless of whether he works for a family member or for complete strangers.

Fulfilling these rights in a balanced way when they overlap each other, without upsetting or disrespecting anyone, can be difficult. Understand that from his point of view the situation is very difficult. He might feel like he needs to let someone down which, at present, is you.

As his parents have been there for him for his entire life and have given him this opportunity to work and provide for his family, he perhaps feels more obliged to fulfill their rights and pay them back everything they have given to him. However, he needs to realize that this is coming at a cost to his marital relationship and that he needs to satisfy your own rights, too, which he presently rejects to some extent.

He works 7 days a week and as a worker should be entitled time off in the week. Besides needing the time to spend with the family, working every day is unhealthy and can lead to burnout. The tiredness and lack of energy from work can also have negative effects on family relationships.

Perhaps this is a concern you can raise with your husband; that it’s not just the fact that you don’t get to spend any time with him as you are entitled, but that you are worried about the detrimental effects his continued work routine will have on his health.

Perhaps your husband doesn’t realize just how much this situation bothers you. Maybe, with such a large workload he has gotten so caught up in work that he is unable to see the effect it has on you. Have you tried talking to him about it? Let him know that you really want to spend at least one day a week with him and that this situation upsets you.

In fact, it is essential for spouses to spend time together. It is an important way to grow stronger and closer and to build a stable relationship. If a couple seldom spends quality time together, these are difficult to attain. You say that he is a nice person, so, in sha’ Allah, he will understand you and make an effort to seek time off.

Perhaps, his father doesn’t realize that the workload he places on his son affects his relationship with you. Perhaps, you and your husband could approach his father together to politely let him know that as his wife you wish to spend at least one day a week with him. Select together a day in the week which would be practical for him to have off (maybe this day is not a Sunday). This way his father still has some control over the situation, but you will also get to spend at least one day in the week with him.

It is understandable that he might feel like he disobeys his father, but if his father doesn’t understand the impact of having any time off on his marital relationship, then he will continue to expect his son to work 7 days a week.

Conclusion:

Try to understand the difficulty your husband faces, but also try to talk sensitively with him (and his father, if you are able) about your desires and rights as a wife (as well as your concerns for his health if he continues to work such long hours).

May Allah (swt) make it easy for you. May He (swt) strengthen your relationship and bring you happiness and contentment in your marriage.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hannah Morris

Hannah Morris is a mum of 4 and she currently works as Counsellor and Instructor of BSc. Psychology at the Islamic Online University (IOU). She obtained her MA degree in Psychology and has over 10 years of experience working in health and social care settings in the UK, USA, and Ireland. Check out her personal Facebook page, ActiveMindCare, that promotes psychological well-being in the Ummah. (www.facebook.com/activemindcare)

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