- Sister, I am sorry to say this, but the reason why Ramadan is taking such a toll on your marriage, is not fasting. It is the imbalanced dynamics in your marital relationship.
- For a healthy marriage, a husband should fulfill his role of being the primary provider. That is, if he is healthy and has the means to find work. If he is unable to find work despite effort, and his wife agrees to work, he should contribute in other ways. He should do this by making the domestic chores easy for her. It is a give-and-take. No relationship can work on a one-way street.
- Sister, you will have to take a polite but firm stand. Otherwise, you will burn out, physically as well as spiritually. The red flag is that you cannot wait for Ramadan to be over. This indicates that your faith is already suffering because of your husband’s lack of empathy.
Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.
I am sorry to hear about your situation, sister. I ask Allah to make ease for you, and grant you relief from difficulties. Ameen.
You are right about one thing. Ramadan is not easy for everyone, especially during summer months. The days are long and hot. One can feel very fatigued and drained. For those who have to work as usual, fasting can take its toll.
However, it is important for us to maintain a correct perspective about fasting. When mentioning this pillar of Islam, Allah says in the Quran:
“Allah intends for you ease, and does not intend for you hardship..” [2:185]
Allah points out that we should not perceive fasting as a hardship. He does not intend to create difficulty for us by sending Ramadan into our lives every year.
Rather, He has mandated the fasting of Ramadan in order to grant us ease.
“But how?”, one might wonder. Since, at the surface, it does seem as if Ramadan only makes our lives more difficult.
Ramadan is supposed to be a “break” from worldly routines
Sister, Ramadan is intended to make us take a break from our worldly matters. This includes many of our social and familial commitments. Even personal hobbies and leisure activities should take a backseat during Ramadan.
True, we should not neglect our obligatory duties towards others. However, we should curtail all extra burdens in life, in order to focus just on worship.
Whether it is cooking, cleaning, domestic chores, errands, or even our jobs. Allah sends Ramadan to let us cut back on all these. Even if it is just a little bit.
The same applies to our marriages. It is the sunnah (habit) of our Prophet (pace be upon him) to become socially reclusive during Ramadan. Even his companions would talk less than usual to each other during this month. This social seclusion is supposed to increase as the month progresses. The Prophet would not be sexually intimate with his wives during the last ten days. In fact, he would retreat into a complete social withdrawal, known as i’tikaf.
It is beneficial for every Muslim, man or woman, to follow the habits of Prophet Muhammad. This means that, as Ramadan progresses, one should become socially distant from others. Even if one cannot engage in i’tikaf.
That is why, I would suggest that, for now, please take a break from talking to your husband. Instead, focus on how you can make the last days easier for yourself.
Ramadan is not the cause of your stress
Sister, I am sorry to say this, but the reason behind why Ramadan is taking such a toll on your marriage, is not fasting. It is the imbalanced dynamics in your marital relationship. That is, seemingly, your husband does not work (at a job), and sleeps throughout the day whilst fasting. Instead, you not only work, but also do the housework. You are therefore overburdened beyond your capacity. This is a clear skew from the laws of Allah.
For a healthy marriage, a husband should fulfill his role of being the primary provider. That is, if he is healthy and has the means to find work. If he is unable to find work despite effort, and his wife agrees to work, he should contribute in other ways. He should do this by making the domestic chores easy for her. It is a give-and-take. No relationship can work on a one-way street. Compromise and adjustment is a must in marriage, in order to survive the trials of this world.
Nevertheless, I have to point out the positives in your situation too. First off, it is commendable that you both have not abandoned fasting. Secondly, he avoids arguing with you whilst fasting. This is also prescribed, as fighting is forbidden in the state of fasting. However, he should not ignore you completely, nor overlook your valid needs for assistance. Thirdly, you feel guilty for nagging him, yet want to remain emotionally close, despite being overburdened.
Your intentions are good, and this is a good sign.
Advise him firmly, to give a helping hand
Sister, you will have to take a polite but firm stand. Otherwise, you will burn out, physically as well as spiritually. The red flag is that you cannot wait for Ramadan to be over. This indicates that your faith is already suffering because of your husband’s lack of empathy.
In order to take this stand, I suggest that you do these things:
- Communicate clearly to your husband that you need his help. Since you said that you both are already fighting a lot. I suggest that you do this in writing. Write him an email or handwritten note, asking him for help.
- Cut back on all lavish food treats from now, until Eid. Inform your husband clearly that you cannot prepare elaborate meals any more.
- Make use of foods that do not need elaborate processing. Such as fresh fruit, tossed salads, cereals, grains, and one-pot dishes. Prepare recipes that are nutritious yet simple, not deep-fried. E.g. pilafs, meat and vegetable bakes, stews, or pasta. Get breads from the store. Switch to overnight oats for Suhoor. Cook and freeze meals on the weekend.
- Stop doing chores such as any special laundry or deep-cleaning. These can be postponed, from now till Eid. Just do what is necessary.
I pray that Allah makes ease for you, and increases the love and understanding between you and your husband. Amen.
And Allah knows best.
I hope this helps.
Salam and please keep in touch.
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