Home Marriage What is the Main Duty of a Husband and Wife?

What is the Main Duty of a Husband and Wife?

What is the Main Duty of a Husband and Wife?

Marriage is a sacred institution that forms the basic building block of any healthy society. As husband and wife commit to lifelong partnership, they take on important responsibilities towards each other to nurture love and understanding within their relationship.

In this article, we will cover the duties and obligations of spouses from religious, psychological and sociological perspectives to understand what truly forms the heart of a strong marital bond.

Religious Views on the Main Duty of Spouses

Most major faiths and traditions provide guidance on the roles and responsibilities of husbands and wives. Let’s examine some of the key perspectives:


The Bible outlines marriage as a covenant between a man, a woman and God. Ephesians 5:25 states that husbands should love their wives as Christ loved the church—with sacrificial, redemptive and unconditional love. Wives are called to respect and submit to their husbands as the church submits to Christ.

The overarching message is one of mutual self-giving, forgiveness, care and commitment. Husbands and wives are to meet each other’s emotional and physical needs. They should help, comfort and encourage one another through good and bad times as equal partners.


In Islam, marriage is considered half of faith and the foundation of a moral society. The main duty of the husband according to the Quran is to financially provide for and protect his wife and family. He should treat his wife with kindness, equality and respect.

The main duty of the wife is to be obedient, chaste and take care of domestic responsibilities like raising children and taking care of the household. Both partners have a duty to please, satisfy and not deprive each other physically and emotionally. They are to resolve disputes peacefully through consultation and compromise.


Hindu scriptures outline main duties of Grihastha or married life which form the core of any successful marriage. For the husband, it includes providing livelihood for family, treating wife as an equal partner, and protecting her with empathy, care and respect.

For the wife, her primary duty is being a dutiful daughter-in-law who respects her husband and in-laws. She also shares responsibility of homemaking, raising children with love and wisdom. Both partners work to fulfill each other through open communication, trust and affection.

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The overarching theme across faiths is mutual love, respect, responsibility, fidelity and harmony as the core duties that hold a marital bond together. Let’s now examine what psychology says.

Psychological Perspectives on the Main Duty

According to relationship therapists and counselors, the main duty of spouses is to thoughtfully meet each other’s emotional needs for safety, security and belongingness:

Emotional Availability: Both partners should make regular time to actively listen without judgment, validate each other’s feelings and lend a compassionate ear in times of distress or anxiety.

Effective Communication: Clear, respectful and honest communication of needs, thoughts and feelings is key. Stonewalling, dishonesty and passive aggression undermine the foundation of trust and care.

Shared Experiences: Couples who engage in shared interests, activities and quality time together even with everyday chores report higher levels of bonding, understanding and intimacy.

Physical Affection: Non-sexual acts of kindness, affection and physical touch like hugs, pecks and casual intimacy go a long way in fostering a nurturing emotional climate.

Commitment: An unwavering commitment to the relationship through thick and thin acts as a safety net that allows partners to freely give and receive love without fear of abandonment.

Self-Growth: Healthy relationships require both spouses to continuously work on themselves, manage stress, resolve past wounds and grow independently yet interdependently as individuals and partners.

Psychologists affirm that meeting emotional needs for safety, security and togetherness through selfless care, respect, communication and commitment forms the bedrock of any thriving marital relationship.

Sociological Perspectives on Marital Duties

Sociologists emphasize the importance of cultivating healthy dynamics and dividing gender roles compatible with mutual growth:

Egalitarian model: Equal sharing of household chores, childcare duties, financial responsibilities and decision making leads to higher marital satisfaction particularly for women.

Complementarian model: Distinct yet interdependent roles where husband provides financially and wife manages home still works for many as long as based on mutual respect, consent and flexibility.

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Teamwork: Seeking a cooperative approach and regarding each other as teammates rather than competitors creates a psychologically safe space to weather life’s storms together.

Emotional nurturing: Both partners take care of the emotional well-being and personal development of each other through empathy, validation and quality sharing since traditional masculinity norms discourage the same for men.

Commitment to family: Steadfast dedication towards each other and their children forms the core binding social unit and a support system for mental health, stability and personal fulfillment.

Societal factors like work life balance, equitable childcare policies and cultural shifts that empower both genders also play a role in enabling individuals to meet their marital duties.

To summarize what we learned from religious, psychological and sociological perspectives, the main duties of a husband and wife can be understood as:

Unconditional love, care, respect, fidelity and commitment to each other’s emotional well-being and growth. Effective, honest and empathetic communication to address issues respectfully.

Willingness to sacrifice self-interest for each other’s needs through compromise and teamwork. Shared responsibility of household management and family duties based on mutual understanding and consent.

The foundation of a healthy marriage is built on both spouses prioritizing each other’s happiness through compassionate partnership rather than societal gender biases alone. Let’s explore this further.

Prioritizing Each Other’s Happiness through Partnership

While religion and culture provide guidance, the dynamics of each marriage are unique. The overarching theme across faiths and sciences points to duties of love, care, understanding and teamwork. But what does prioritizing each other’s happiness look like in practical, day-to-day terms?

Quality Time: Schedule regular dates without phones/devices and engage in shared interests to nurture intimacy through meaningful conversations and experiences together.

Acts of Service: Take over routine tasks for each other and offer backrubs/footrubs freely without expectations to cultivate bonding through small gestures of care.

Physical Affection: Cuddles, pecks and non-sexual intimacy maintain an emotional connection and alleviate stress through oxytocin and serotonin release.

Words of Affirmation: Compliment each other’s efforts/sacrifices sincerely with “I appreciate you for…” rather than backhanded praise which keeps motivation and confidence levels high.

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Compromise: Be willing to meet halfway on disagreements through respectful discussion, listening to understand rather than reply and validating each other’s perspectives.

Ask, Appreciate, Apologize: Regular check-ins about each other’s emotional/physical needs, expressions of thanks for big/small things & making amends for mistakes are relationship elixirs.

Laughter and Fun: Prioritizing play and humor through games, jokes and silliness is as important as serious duties to reduce stress and create positive memories.

The duties of a husband and wife come alive when both individuals commit to prioritizing each other’s happiness through selfless acts of kindness, understanding and teamwork daily instead of mere obligation or societal expectations alone.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

No marriage is perfect and all couples experience ups and downs. Some common challenges include:

Lack of Communication

Make time each day for non-judgemental sharing without accusations through “I feel…” statements. Listen without interrupting to understand perspectives fully.

Financial Disagreements

Create a joint budget together, be transparent about spending habits and commit to regular financial planning discussions to maintain trust and meet responsibilities.

Conflicting Expectations

Compromise by accepting not everything needs to be your way and make efforts to align expectations through negotiation and patience.

Lack of Intimacy

Schedule intimacy through massages/cuddling to relieve stress without demands. Try new activities together to spice things up and bond emotionally.

Busy Lifestyles

Prioritize high-quality couple time each week without distractions to reconnect emotionally and physically. Outsource chores occasionally for more togetherness.

Unresolved Past Wounds

Seek counseling together if past hurts still linger. Work at developing emotional vulnerability through active listening exercises to heal fully.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, while religious scriptures and cultural norms provide guidance, the essence of marital duties comes down to selflessly prioritizing your partner’s happiness on a daily basis through acts of service, quality time together, physical and emotional intimacy, words of affirmation, compromise and resolving conflicts respectfully as a team.


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