In many disputes between spouses, each uses any means available to support his or her point of view against the other. One of such ways often used by husbands is to make oaths to pressure their wives into doing something or to prevent them from doing something. And then such an oath becomes an obstacle for the husbands to change their minds as they need to come up with the Kaffarah to pay, in addition to preserving their ego!
The prophet (SAAW) said: “For one to insist on an oath on his spouse is more of a sinful act than the Kaffarah set to break an oath.” Hadith by Bukhari.
That means for one to keep an oath causing harm in the relationship is more of a sinful act in the eyes of God than having to provide the Kaffarah. The Kaffarah, as we know for breaking an oath, is either freeing a slave, or feeding or clothing ten needy people, or fasting three days.
Keep in mind that some husbands use such an oath in the form of threatening with divorce. For example, for a husband to tell his wife she will be divorced if she did that or did not do that! Scholars apply the language of threatening with divorce as an oath and not an actual statement of divorce, especially if the intention was to pressure the wife on something rather than an intention of actual divorce.
By Sh. Kifah Mustapha