Assalamu Alaikum, I’m a woman reverted to Islam for some time. I married a UK-born Muslim man of Bengal. We have two young children, but now I’m in a difficult time.
I’m doing everything I can to please him with the food of his origin, but now he does not want to eat. He always says that he does not feel like eating and that the problems of life did it, but I know he does not want to eat, because I am not a Bengali woman who will make the perfect food.
Please help me understand this because I feel terrible wife, I make the food and he denies, before I praised, today does not want to. I feel like a defeated woman.
As salamu alaykum dear sister,
Thank you for writing to our live session. As I understand your situation, you are a revert who is married to a UK-born man from Bengal. You stated that you were having a difficult time at the wedding and you’re doing everything you can to please him, however, I’m a bit confused and I think you possibly mean your marriage, so I will address it as such.
Cooking to Please Husband
According to you, you do everything you can to please him, especially cooking his foods of origin for example. This is a very loving gesture sister, May Allah reward you. However, you feel he does not like your cooking and refuses to eat saying he has no appetite. As a result, you feel he may prefer a Bengali wife.
Possible Reasons for Lack of Appetite
Sister, I am sure that the food you are making is very tasty. It could be that your husband is depressed. He did refer to the “problems of life” as being a reason he does not have an appetite. This very well could be true because with stress, the responsibilities of supporting a family and working, ensuring that one is making enough to provide, and other factors can affect one’s appetite.
Speak with your Husband
I will kindly suggest insha’Allah, that you sit down and speak with your husband about how you feel. Perhaps begin the discussion by asking him how things are at work, how his day is going, and if anything happened during the day that made him happy. Insha’Allah, he will open up and talk about what he is feeling. You may then want to discuss with him how your day went, and how you cooked him a meal. You may wish to tell him that you are trying very hard to cook his favorite dishes but feel he does not enjoy them. You may wish to ask him if there are any tips for making the food as he likes it. He may truly like the food, but indeed be feeling stressed and as a result, have a lack of appetite.
Different Style of Cooking
Insha’Allah, by spending time talking with him discussing how he is feeling may give you insight as to why his appetite is diminished. It may also be a chance to see if there are certain ways he likes his food that is different from traditional Bengali. Perhaps you are cooking it Bengali style, but maybe his mother added different ingredients to make it unique.
Stress, Depression or Food Dishes
Sister, in a marriage there are a lot of stressors, challenges, and adjustment periods. Perhaps he is feeling that he is not a good husband just as you are feeling that you are not a good wife. If these misunderstandings and feelings are not discussed and resolved it can lead to more problems within a marriage. I am willing to bet that you are a very wonderful wife, and he is a wonderful husband. Simple misunderstandings such as not wanting to eat food can be blown up to make a simple issue ruin an otherwise good marriage. Please do find out if he may be depressed, worried about something, or if indeed he is used to a different style of Bengali cooking.
Insha’Allah, please do speak with his sister and find out what else is going on. It does sound like he is indeed under stress from other things in life that has nothing to do with your cooking. Insha’Allah, please do remember that your husband married you because he found you appealing, compatible, and an asset to his life. I am sure you married him for the same reasons. We wish you the best!
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