In this counseling answer:
“Encourage good relations between your wife and sister. Do something all together. It may be that she has an issue with your sister because she simply doesn’t know her very well and may be making negative assumptions about her because she has nothing to go on other than that you spend a lot of time with her. Perhaps you could invite your sister round regularly so that your wife can get to know her more and make relations easier between you and them.”
Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,
Masha Allah, congratulations on your marriage and birth of a baby girl. May Allah make them both the coolness of your eyes that will bring you much happiness in both his life and the next.
It can be a big challenge when our loved ones face chronic illness and difficulties as your wife is. Not only will you be potentially almost feeling the pain for her as I’m sure you don’t like to see her suffer, but at the same time, it places an added stress in your daily life. When going through such hardships, naturally we like to turn to others that we are close to, such as siblings, to experience a bit of comfort in our lives. Unfortunately, however, such relations may make things difficult for our other loved ones, such as a spouse. This can be for a number of reasons.
Jealousy can be one of them, especially if it is that the spouse, in this case, feels like they are concentrating to much attention on the sibling in this case. Even though this might be far from the truth, it may be that she feels you are abandoning her to spend more time with your sister. In this case, there is no problem in you spending time with your sister as you are her mahram.
The only time it could be a problem is if she was interfering in your marriage, or if you were actually spending too much time with her to the point that you were neglecting to take care of your role as her husband. It may be that you don’t feel like this is the case, but you should certainly try and take a step back and analyze if any of these things might be happening. If you still feel not, then understand why your wife might feel this way.
Being so I’ll she might feel she requires more of your attention than she is receiving, but at the same time, she also needs to understand that you are also a brother too and have duties to your sister also and that there is no harm in you spending time with her also. She does also need to understand that spending time with your sister does not eliminate your love for her too.
You might, therefore, make sure to make an effort to show her this love to make her feel more secure in your marriage that she will not feel upset about you being with someone else who you are entitled to be with.
Perhaps a way to make this easier on all parties might to have regular designated time to both your wife and sister. This way your wife will be clear about when and where you will be with your sister and it will be clearer to her then how much time you do actually spend with her son that she cannot say you spent too much time with her. Obviously, this also needs to apply to your wife also.
One thing that many couples find helpful is to have a date night say once a week. Perhaps your sister could help take care of your daughter at this time. This will allow you the space to spend quality time alone together and strengthen your marriage. This will make your wife feel special and loved. Making this a regular thing will also provide her with a security that no matter how much time you spend with anyone else, she always has this protected time with you each week.
Encourage good relations between your wife and sister. Do something all together. It may be that she has an issue with your sister because she simply doesn’t know her very well and may be making negative assumptions about her because she has nothing to go on other than that you spend a lot of time with her. Perhaps you could invite your sister round regularly so that your wife can get to know her more and make relations easier between you and them.
It may be that the stress of this scenario is only making her physical (and mental) health worse, so taking these steps to reassure her and give her special attention may even be a boost to her wellbeing too.
May Allah bring you ease and contentment in your marital home as well as wider family relationships.
Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.