Case Study B2 – Marital Interference

By Khalid Iqbal – Founder Rahmaa Institute

Jameel and Sadia came to me for marriage counseling especially in the area of communications that they were having. They have been married for almost 2 years and have one child. They have been having communications problem since after the birth of their child. He does not trust her anymore. She feels that he is a very loving father but not a loving husband anymore. They hardly talk to each other anymore.

Both are originally from Pakistan. He came to North America as a student and stayed after finishing his education in computer science.. Saadia was a fresh high school graduate when his mom proposed to her parents for the wedding. Jameel went along with his mother’s decision. He however asked that he wants to communicate directly with Sadia over the phone and letters. Sadia agreed to the letter but was reluctant to talk over the phone (There was no internet in the early 70’s). Her excuse was since there was only one phone in the house and it was located in the common area and did not want everyone to eavesdrop on their conversation. This resulted in minimum or very little communication between them before the marriage.

The marriage was great, they were instantly in love with each other, and on the way to America they had their honey moon in Europe courtesy of their father in law. They just could not have enough of each other. Jameel also wanted to catch up on so many things that he wanted to say to her regarding the life and challenges of living in America, how different it is then the life in Pakistan where women don’t have to work and are mostly at home.  He also wanted to know his wife for three to four years before they had their first child. That would give them the chance to settle down financially (He just spent all of his savings on the travel and marriage). He also thought that will give Sadia a chance to know the American life style. Pick up on her English language and may be find a job.

It did not happen the way he was planning and she got pregnant within a few days. They were both happy with the news of becoming parents, and started to learn about parenting and thinking of moving into a two or three bedroom apartment and start decorating the baby room.

One day Jameel walked into the bedroom  and heard Sadia over the phone giving the good news to someone “See I listened to your advice, of not taking the pills that my husband wanted me to take and I am pregnant. Now my In-laws or anyone else will not be able to raise the question why I am not getting pregnant? He had such weird ideas of family planning and not having a child for 3-4 years.”

Jameel overheard the conversation in shock. All his joy of becoming a father of the child from a loving wife seems to be shattered. He felt that all the love and communications that they had and agreements were fake. He felt so angry he left the house in disgust. He did not know how to react.


  1. What do you think is the real issue?
  2. Who is at fault? And why? (Jameel, Sadia, both, The person who advised her? Or all of them)
  3. Should Sadia have talked to Jameel about her intention when the topic of children cam.
  4. In your opinion why didn’t she?
  5.  Is Jameel over reacting? What would you advise him to do?
  6. How would you handle such a situation of you were one of the party?
  7. Should outsiders be allowed to interfere in the affairs of married couples?
  8. If yes who and in what circumstances?
  9. How was it in your case (For married individuals with children)?
  10. When would you want to start a family (For unmarried or recently married and do not have a child yet)?
    1. Right away or
    2. Wait or
    3. Depend upon circumstances or
    4. Decide mutually between husband and wife?
  11. How should Jameel and Sadia fix their marriage and communications problems? What would you recommend?
  12. What is your experience of in-laws or other family or friends trying to influence one partner in family matters

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