Bismillah. Before we get into the tips, I need to define an unreasonable spouse. An unreasonable spouse is a spouse that makes everything difficult just because they get a kick out of it and because they can say NO or enjoy saying NO to you. For instance, you want to take advantage of a free offer and they tell you no. When you inquire why? They have no good reasons to support the disapproval but everything to keep a tight leash on you or even control and micro-manage you.
They go as far as requiring obedience from you and complete compliance. A reasonable spouse does not ask for obedience because it’s earned in this case. A slave obeys a master. For instance, believers obey their Lord’s commands without questioning them. We owe that much to our Creator for all the bounties and blessings He bestows upon us alhamdullilah.
Many unreasonable spouses think it’s their right to demand obedience. You cannot demand it; you have to earn it. If a husband treats his spouse well, she will obey him out of love and not out of compliance.
To continue, it’s so common for unreasonable spouses to be one-sided with their point of views. They demand the world and give nothing in return. A marriage is not a dictatorship, it’s a democracy. It’s also teamwork.
“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought.” Quran 30 Verse 21.
So what do you do when you’re faced with an unreasonable spouse or even a tyrant for that matter? Well, try these tips:
Invoke the name of Allah often
Allah always comes faster to His servants that constantly say His name out of love and concern.
“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” Quran 2 Verse 186.
Seek help from crossed trained professionals and the community if it gets verbally (dangerously) or physically abusive
I say crossed trained professionals because if the domestic abuse help is biased and think Islam is an oppressive religion, you’re at a loss. You need well rounded folks to help you through recovery. Now, about the community. I pray and hope that your community is run by open-minded leaders that have a zero tolerance policy toward abuse and not those who just give a slap on a wrist and send the couple back home to fix their issues that can’t be resolved if no one intervenes.
Ask yourself, what’s the lesson Allah wants me to learn from this?
Perhaps Allah wants you to learn humility. Or maybe, Allah wants you to be closer to him and increase your faith. Indeed, with hardship comes ease. It could also be that Allah wants you to be an advocate for that challenging cause in the future and help other in need insha’Allah.
Strive to be creative and to find loopholes in your spouse’s judgements that can allow you to get to your reasonable demands.
If your spouse told you that you can’t help your family with the family money which is nonsense. He never said, you can’t use your own money to be charitable. Think and act carefully! Plan your moves.
‘The Prophet (sallallahu aleihi was salam) stated this to Hind bint `Utbah, the wife of Abu Sufyan, when she came to him and said, “O Messenger of Allah, Abu Sufyan is a stingy man. What he gives me is not enough for me and my child, unless I take from him without his knowledge.” He told her, “Take what is enough for you and your child, in moderation.” (The Ideal Muslimah p.90)’
A wife is not a spouse’s dog because a dog obeys its master. She respects her spouse because spouses are equal.
“They (your wives) are your garment and you are a garment for them.” Quran 2:187
Now sisters, ‘A woman came to ask the Prophet about some matter, and when he had dealt with it, he asked her, “Do you have a husband?” She said, “Yes.” He asked her, “How are you with him?” She said, “I never fall short in my duties, except for that which is beyond me.” He said, “Pay attention to how you treat him, for he is your Paradise and your Hell.”  * reported by Al Nisai and Tirmidhi.’
So in conclusion, I advise you to be patient even when you feel your dignity being tramped all over. You must never loose sight of the prize at risk here; Jannah. I’m not the most patient person but I’m definitely determined to see my dreams through. Allahu alim and may He make our marriages easy, ameen.
Originally published in and Hayatimagazine.com
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