Case Study C1 – Interfering relatives

By Khalid Iqbal – Founder Rahmaa Institute

One way or another, we all communicate – especially with our spouse. Even silence communicates something. But how effective and productive is your communication? And don’t be mistaken, effective communication and productive communication are 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. Read part 2 and discuss
  3. Review questions and discuss within the group
  4. Choose one person from the group to present both parts of the scenarios and group solutions to the issues


CASE STUDY: Bilal and Farhana have been married for 4 years and do not have any children yet. Bilal works long hours and Farhana has a regular 9-5 job. Bilal usually comes home late in the evening very exhausted and like to watch TV or do stuff on the computer to unwind, and usually ends up staying later than Farhana. Farhana waits for him for dinner and sometimes feels disappointed when he says he is not hungry. She often goes to bed hungry without food and wonder if he again has stopped by his parent’s home and ate before coming home. Weekends are taken with home chores, family obligations (Both side parents live close by) and socializing with friends. Because of Bilal’s schedule Farhana now stays with her parents for 1-2 nights during the week (they live nearby). Bilal feels it reflects poorly on their marriage. So he sat with Farhana to express his expectations.


“Tahira Auntie was asking me again if our marriage is okay or are we having martial issues. The whole world is noticing that you are always at your parent’s home. I have never stopped you from going, but going 2-3 times a week is just too much. I know that my work schedule is intense but I am working hard for our future and want you to be there for me when I come back home.”


Farhana just kept quiet went into the bedroom and started to cry



  1. 1) Identify the issues facing this couple?
  2. 2) Identify the community pressures on the couple?
  3. 3) How should they tackle these issues?
  4. 4) How was their communication, What do you recommend to make the conversation productive
  5. 5) How much time do you spend with your friends now?
  6. 6) How much time do you spend with your family now?
  7. 7) Do you think you give priority to your family or friends?
  8. 8) What do you think is a healthy balance of time with spouse, family and friends?

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