Ads by Muslim Ad Network

Mother In-Law Causing Financial Struggles; Help!

08 April, 2024
Q Hello there, I have been married to my husband for 11 years now and have 2 children alhamdulillah & my youngest is 8 months old, I am a English white convert, and am trying my best to keep learning & teaching myself about Islam. I have been struggling in my marriage for years now. Partly because of my husband and partly because of my mother in law.

Since we were married my husband has given his mum money, at first it was because he always had so how can he just stop, or because she was struggling financially, or because she needed new things. She then moved 150 miles away, to a more expensive city (the most expensive) and then asked for more money. I don’t ask for anything from my husband and we both have worked over the years but I always have earned more, I pay all the bills, buy the food, buy clothes for the children and us, pay the rent, feed the pets, everything. My husband pays his own phone bill, pays for the running of his car and buys things for the house (washer, cooker, sofa and so on) over time of sending his mum money every month I realized she was living better than us so I told him he needed to stop sending money, she has a better phone than me, better sofas, better clothes, goes out to parties and for food. My husband reluctantly agreed.

He started saving money (to give to his sister on her wedding day) . We saved £1500 and his mum said he could put it in her old account. When it came to the wedding day the money was gone and we had to borrow money to buy clothes for the wedding. She said she spent it on her daughter buying things for the wedding but when I asked this to my SIL she said she hadn’t received any money from her mum & she hadn’t bought anything. My MIL spoke to my SIL that day and then all of a sudden my SIL agreed she had bought things. (What she said she bought added up to about £100 though NOT £1500).

I questioned it and my husband told me to stop questioning and don’t mention it again. Then a little while after she was in trouble with money again, she was in debt and needed us to send money every month, for one thing or another, over the time we have sent probably around £40000 over. And that doesn’t even include the money she has asked us to send back home, or any of the things we have bought her (sofa, tv, washer,dryer etc).

She has 6 sons and one daughter and no one else is giving anything. At one point my husband was sending £100 per week!!! She refuses to move back near us where it’s cheaper and always acts like it’s making her health bad if I say we can’t send money (she faints or has headaches and stomach pains but the doctor said she’s fine) she really has my husband under her spell. And we are not allowed to tell ANYONE that we send her money just in case his father finds out (which I don’t understand!) but I’m not willing to make that an argument in my home. Every time I question his mother or her intentions it turns into an argument.

Also I don’t speak their language (my husband doesn’t teach me and it’s hard to find a course as the language is only spoken in one country) . I find this difficult when we go see them because they don’t make any effort to try to speak to me. My MIL also tries to cause arguments between me and my husband. For example she will ask for pictures of the kids (even though she hasn’t even met my youngest face to face, they haven’t been to see us and they know we can’t come to them as our car is broken.) I’ll tell her I’ll send them when I can as I’m really busy, she will tell me that it’s ok she doesn’t want me to send her pictures of them if I’m too busy it’s ok she understands, but then rings her daughter and cries saying everyone blames her for asking for pictures all the time why is she getting blamed. Then rings my husband and has a go at him saying why is your wife not sending pictures to me! It’s rude that she doesn’t send them! He then has a go at me and starts an argument. I speak to his sister and say she’s just caused an argument and my MIL denies everything she said to my husband , and again he tells me to drop it.

My husband has a bad temper and never questions or says ANYTHING to his mum no matter how much I ask him or speak to him about how it hurts my feelings. She has another daughter in law who is from the same culture as her and she treats her so nice, but then talks about her behind her back. She buys her gifts all the time, sends her things and came to see her child the first day she was born. The other daughter in law doesn’t do anything for my MIL though. My husband blames me for not knowing the language or the culture. She also talks bad about us never having any money or not having a nice enough car or house, and this really gets me angry because if we didn’t keep giving her then we would have! Also if my husband buys me something (as small as some shoes, as big as a washing machine) she will say “that’s nice I also need a new one” and he buys it for her.

I can’t speak to anyone about this because no one is meant to know, I have no release. When I speak to my husband he gets angry. And if I speak to my mother in law she either twists my words or “gets ill”. I can’t take this anymore, I am crying all the time and I’m starting to hate all of them, I don’t want to see any of them and none of them do anything for me or my children! I don’t want to hate and I am a very laid back, easy going person. I have put up with a lot from his family about my ethnicity, my house, the way I live and I never bite back.

They try to use the Quran against me saying what I do is not Islamic but then when I research they leave parts out to suit their needs. My MIL also “makes jokes” that she knows will start arguments with me and my husband but then when anyone questions her she either lies or says it was a joke. She even put a stop from me trying to see the local imam for advice because she didn’t want him to know “our” business. I wouldn’t mind neither as she is so far away but my husband calls and videos her 3 times a day sometimes more. Sometimes we both wake up and before he’s said good morning to me he picks his phone up and rings his mum.

I feel like I am being put in 2nd place all the time. She has also asked him for money on occasion and told him not to tell me and to lie about what he’s done with the money. And my husband being the eldest child said to me that it was his duty to send his parents to hajj, so we sent £5000 to send them and they didn’t go and the money's gone! I can’t afford to keep doing this, and I can’t emotionally keep it up either. We live a very modest life and don’t go anywhere or do anything. We give to charity and help our community with whatever we have left. Sometimes he has gone into debt to send to his mum. Please tell me what I should do and where all this stands Islamically.


It is OK to feel frustrated because of the financial problems caused by the overspending of your husband on his mother. How can you resolve it and have more balance in your assets?

Read the Quran together, and remind him of his obligation to provide for his family first. Supporting her mother is fine, but he also has to fulfill his duty towards you financially. Keeping family ties does not mean that you have to endure toxic relationships.

How can you maintain your emotional well-being? Check out Sr. Aisha’s answer here.

Read more:

About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha has a PhD in psychology, an MS in public health and a PsyD. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years at Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. She has worked with clients with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, trauma, and OCD. She also facilitated support groups and provided specialized services for victims of domestic violence, HIV positive individuals, as well youth/teen issues. Aisha is certified in Mindfulness, Trauma Informed Care, Behavioral Management, Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and Confidentiality & Security. Aisha is also a Certified Life Coach, and Relationship Workshop facilitator. Aisha has a part-time Life Coaching practice in which she integrates the educational concepts of stress reduction, mindfulness, introspection, empowerment, self love and acceptance and spirituality to create a holistic healing journey for clients. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocates for prisoner rights/reentry, social & food justice, as well as advocating for an end to oppression & racism. In her spare time, Aisha enjoys her family, photography, nature, martial arts classes, Islamic studies, volunteering/charity work, as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.