Some wives complain, in their messages, that their husbands do not bother to do any chores related to the family, whether inside or outside the house, even if it is a routine or simple matter, and this, of course, makes them feel sad, hurt and frustrated.
Dear Muslim husband and wife,
To help with the housework is one of the emotional requirements of the wife. It creates a feeling of peace and happiness within the house. This help includes, for instance, cooking meals, washing dishes, washing and ironing clothes, cleaning the house and taking care of the children.
In the beginning of the marriage, the husband automatically co-operates with his wife in the housework; a help which she welcomes.
But with the passage of time, and with the husband’s increasing engagement in his work outside the house, neither the husband nor the wife regard it as an important emotional requirement, and at that point, the countdown of the time bomb starts.
When the children come, the needs automatically increase: there is a need to increase the income and to bear more household responsibilities.
While the mother focuses on the needs of the infant, the father’s natural reaction to help takes the form of providing more money, which makes him mainly concerned with his work: he searches for overtime at work in the hope of increasing his salary.
Here, many disputes take place between the spouses, especially when the wife is a working woman, and is exposed to the same pressure that the husband is exposed to.
This can be avoided if both spouses tackle the issue with love and intelligence. Failing this, the reserves of the bank of love will suffer.
Most husbands do not help with the housework, whether or not their wives work. The working wives return home exhausted and unable to do the housework in the best manner, which means that a lot of work in the house remains undone.
Such women hardly rest, even on holidays: they spend all their time taking care of their children, cleaning the house and doing the laundry. They then need help with the housework, which forces them to resort to external help from maids, in order to be able to cover that emotional need. Running the household and fulfilling the husband’s demands contribute in increasing her share in his bank of love; and vice versa, i.e. helping the wife contribute in increasing his share in her bank of love.
Both the man and woman have a role to play and responsibility to bear in the house. Good companionship between them requires that they should co-operate in these responsibilities. Among the most important responsibilities due upon the woman is to dispose of the household affairs, and nurture the children.
These responsibilities, though borne by the woman for the most part, should be shared between the spouses according to the principle of co-operation.
The emotional needs of both the woman and the man
Confidence and care are among the emotional needs of both the man and woman.
When the wife has confidence in her husband’s capability, he becomes more eager to care for and serve her. Similarly, when the husband cares for his wife, she becomes more confident of him and of his capabilities.
The joy of sharing
Successful spouses are those who share in doing many simple things, like planning for the future, arranging the library, cooking a quick meal, making arrangements for something related to the children, and other such simple tasks which contribute to the kind treatment and affection between them. Thus, each of the spouses feels happy and contented on seeing his/her partner beside him, sharing his/her joy and grief, and not leaving him/her. A successful life is based on the principle of give and take, love and reassurance that there is someone who supports the person and will always be by his side no matter what happens.
The family’s beauty is reflected in the co-operation between the spouses in carrying the burdens of life. At times, the husband sacrifices and serves his wife, and the wife does the same at other times and serves her husband.
Service is not the exclusive characteristic of one of the spouses without the other: both spouses are partners in it. The best way to treat a woman is if her husband sympathizes with her regarding the housework, and assists her in this regard. If a woman, who is a housewife devotes her effort and energy to the service of her husband and children, and, at the same time, receives neither encouragement nor appreciation, she will fall a victim to frustration and intense emotional deprivation. This is why the Messenger of Allah, sallAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, took this into consideration. He never obligated his wives with the burden of his service. He used to serve himself, and hasten to help his wives, to the extent that he would put his leg forward for one of them to mount a camel.
A man’s awareness of this fact, good treatment and service of their wives has an impressive effect on their spiritual tranquility and emotional stability. This causes the woman to receive her husband in a state of utmost happiness and contentment, no matter how destitute and poor they might be.