How Can I Make My Wife Happy When I Work, Cook, Clean and Tend to the Children?

Shafi'i Fiqh

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad


At the beginning of my marriage, I had some financial issues that understandably caused marital problems. I was advised, and alhamdulillah was quick to resolve this, and I am now, as I should be, the sole provider for my household. I also cook regularly, clean, and tend to our young child when I can. My wife is still not happy, and we have not been regularly intimate for over two years. Am I fulfilling my obligation as a husband and father? What are my rights?


Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. 

There is something wrong with this picture if your wife is still not happy. Are there mental stability issues? Are there in-laws involved? My instinct tells me that you are doing too much and that she is not happy with herself.


You have reached far beyond your obligations by taking on the cooking, cleaning, and tending of the children. She should be doing the majority of those things. Why isn’t she? She should also be responding to your desire for intimacy, as long as she is healthy and physically able. There is more than meets the eye here, and only you know what the real problem is. Do you demean her? Do you treat her well? Do you complain about her a lot?


Sometimes, a woman doesn’t want her husband to do everything but instead just wants tender, loving care. You should try stepping back from doing so much and just give HER attention. When a woman gets that kind of attention, she usually jumps up to fulfill her other obligations.

I feel that your taking over the home might be making her feel inadequate. Usually, when a woman complains that she has too much to do, it doesn’t mean that she wants you to pick up chores, but rather that she wants you to show gratitude, love, and care. Even giving her a 5-minute foot massage speaks volumes. Her mood will dramatically improve from these things instead of cooking and cleaning.


Continue to spend time with the children because this is a different category altogether. Children need both of their parents, and bonding with them is necessary and should be present from a young age. Being close to the parents will make them closer to Islam than anything else. Take a look at the following resources:

Traditional Methods of Raising Children

Parenting – A Reader

Keys to Raising Righteous Children: Eight Lessons on Successful Parenting


I do admire your hard work and dedication and applaud you for that. But because it doesn’t seem to be working; change your tactics, which will help you in the bedroom. A woman usually wants to feel loved by her husband and close to him before intimacy. Connecting to her emotionally during the day will facilitate a physical connection in the bedroom. 

Take these tips:

My Wife Refuses Marital Intimacy With Me and I Feel Unwanted. What Should I Do?

What Advice Can You Give for a Woman Whose Husband Does Not Want to Be Intimate With Her

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad  

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.