Praise be to Allah.
Undoubtedly a great deal of criticism and arguing in front of the children is something negative that undermines harmony and love. Our advice to you and your husband is to reduce that as much as possible, and to show restraint; each of you should force himself to be patient with the other and to delay issues of arguments and discussion until you are by yourselves.
Our advice to the husband is not to think that any human being could be free of faults or shortcomings, because that is part of human nature, so how about the woman, whose basic nature the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) has told us about, and said that there is no hope of changing her nature completely.
It was narrated from Samurah ibn Jundub that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said:
“Woman was created from a rib; if you try to straighten her you will break her. So be kind to her and you will live with ease with her.”
Narrated by Ahmad (20093) and Ibn Hibbaan (4178); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
Moreover, our advice to you is not to respond to criticism with more arguments and stubbornness, because this will put more strain on the connection between you, which is about to break because of that. Being more easy-going and diplomatic is something that is required from both parties. It is required from the husband, in the form of kindness, overlooking mistakes and showing compassion, and it is required from the religiously committed, smart and wise wife to put up with the annoyance of her husband, and not to be so harsh with him if he is harsh with her; rather she should be easy-going, as much as she can, avoid provoking his anger and not be confrontational. She should be as gentle as she can, and be soft with him.
It was narrated that ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbaas said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Shall I not tell you about your wives among the people of Paradise: the one who is loving, fertile, and beneficial to her husband, who if she is upset or annoyed, she comes and takes her husband’s hand, then she says: ‘By Allah, I shall not sleep until you are pleased with me.”
Narrated by an-Nasaa’i in as-Sunan al-Kubra (9094); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in as-Saheehah (287)
What is well-established in psychology, and what is known from experience, is that stubbornness and arguing with a husband who is not patient with lengthy discussions and arguments will only result in bad consequences for the marriage and will increase resentment between the spouses.
Our advice to our sister is to discuss less and go along with him, and to show a great deal of admiration for his thoughts and opinions in general, even if you differ concerning some of the details. With this attitude you can reduce arguments, dispel resentment and make him more open to listening to your discussion and point of view. It would be a good idea for you to go to a psychologist who specialises in couples counselling, because that can help to uncover the subtle causes of the problem between you and deal with the matter in an effective manner.
You should realise that it is not a must for the husband to consult his wife; rather he may consult someone whose opinion and experience he trusts among his family and friends, or experts other than people whom he knows.
The most that can be said regarding the issue of a man consulting his wife is that it is something that is encouraged and is good, and it comes under the heading of kind treatment and noble character. Moreover, people vary in their nature, attitude, way of thinking and behaviour. So be wise, and do not take risks with regard to your family life and marriage. Forgive him some of his harshness and put up with some of his obstinacy, so long as it does not involve sin and no obvious harm will result to you or your family. Put up with what you dislike, for in patiently bearing what one dislikes there is a great deal of good, as the most truthful one (the Prophet – blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said.
· With regard to the mother’s instinct, from a linguistic point of view the Arabic word for instinct means nature. In terms of psychology, it refers to human behaviour that is based on nature and heredity. Every person has instincts and inclinations that differ according to his inherent nature and hereditary factors. Based on that, the mother’s instinct is no more than maternal behaviour that is based on her nature and genetic makeup. One of the most well-known manifestations of these natural instincts is the mother’s instinct to protect her child and ward off anything that may harm him.
But this instinct may become contaminated and malfunction because of unsound social influences and customs because of which the mother sees what is beneficial as harmful, so that facts are turned upside down in her mind and she becomes confused.
Therefore the mother should not be regarded as reliable unless it is proven that she is mature and well balanced, and that she is not influenced by unsound standards that are alien to sound human nature.
The same may be said concerning the father’s instinct and what may result from it.
Your husband should be kind to your mother and treat her well, even if she has a different point of view than him. That is because she is like his own mother, and responding in a better way to bad treatment has a magical effect on people. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Repel (the evil deed) with one which is better (i.e. Allah ordered the faithful believers to be patient at the time of anger, and to excuse those who treat them badly), then verily! he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend”
In addition to that, you should pay attention to the fact that your husband does not like you to consult your mother, because your insistance on consulting her and seeking her opinion, despite what you say about the relationship between them not being good, makes matters worse. A man does not like even someone who agrees with him to interfere in his decisions and leadership, so what you think about one who differs with him?!
So do not do what he resents and do not refrain from doing what he likes. We give you the glad tidings that the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) gave: “If a woman offers her five daily prayers, fasts her month (of Ramadan), guards her chastity and obeys her husband, she will enter through whichever of the gates of Paradise she wants.”
Narrated by Ibn Hibbaan (4163); classed as hasan by al-Albaani
And Allah knows best.