Case Study A1 – Unrealistic Expectations

By Khalid Iqbal – Founder Rahmaa Institute

One way or another, we all communicate – especially with our partners. Even silence communicates something. But how effective and productive is your communication? And don’t be mistaken, effective communication and productive communication is very different. Most people communicate their anger, disappointment, or other feelings effectively if they want to. But the question is, by communicating their feelings effectively – will they have a productive interaction? For couples who are having problems, the answer is usually no.


  1. Read part 1 to the group and discuss identify the real issue
  2. Review questions and discuss within the group
  3. Choose one person from the group to present both parts of the scenarios and group solutions to the issues



Ali and Fatima have been married for four months. They both work full time and lead a busy social life. A few days before Ramadan they started to talk about how they should adjust their schedule to include sahoor and tarawih. Prior to this they would eat breakfast together before rushing out to go to work. After the first week of Ramadan Ali one day said to Fatima “Not again, I am sick of having cereal bagels and fruit for Sahoor. I know you can never be as good as my mother who used to make paratha (freshly fried flat bread) and saalan (curry). We used to wake up with the smell of good food. Now I don’t even feel like getting up for sahoor with the kind of food you make. With the food you make me feel hungry and tired in mid afternoon. I miss my mother already. My mother warned me about you.”


Fatima and snarled back “I also work full time. Why don’t you go to your mother if you miss her food?”



  1. What is the message you get from this conversation
  2. How would you categorize Ali’s communication effective, productive or destructive?
  3. How would you categorize Fatima’s response?
  4. What would you recommend them to change their communication to productive?
  5. Where do think this marriage is heading and what do you recommend them to change their course
  6.  How do you think house hold responsibilities should be divided within a marriage?
  7. Are there any responsibilities that should not be shared?
  8. Are there any responsibilities that should be shared?
  9. How did your parents divide responsibilities

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