Mother-in-Law Ignores Me & My Kids

Answer by Aisha Mohammad-Swan

17 August, 2017
Q As-Salamu Aleikom. I have been married for 4 and half years now. We live in a joint family with my husband’s parents and two sisters who have learning difficulties, and also a disabled brother and sister. I cook, clean the house, and try to help out as much as I can with my disabled brother and sister-in-law, but for some reason, my mother-in-law has stopped talking to me. Now it has come to the point where she doesn’t talk to my kids either. This breaks my heart as my older daughter was once very close to her grandma, and slowly she has lost that as my mother-in-law refuses to talk to her. It saddens me to say that my husband sees all that is happening and still refuses to move out so we can get on with our lives. Whatever I do for the household, none of it is appreciated but rather thrown back into my face. My husband says to me if I want to leave I can, but he will not move out with me, meaning he would divorce me. I understand his situation as both of us have an attachment to his disabled siblings that even I find it difficult to leave. I’ve tried to talk to my mother-in-law, but she uses reverse psychology and makes me look like I am mad. What shall I do? I have 3 young children.


In this counseling answer:

“I would suggest dear sister that you ask your husband to intervene. It is his responsibility to restore calm and kind relationships within the family.”

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum dear sister,

I am sorry to hear of the situation you are in. May Allah (swt) bless you for your most caring, loving and generous treatment of your in-laws and your husband’s siblings.


It is sad that your mother-in-law has stopped talking to you and your children. Has she ever said why? It sounds as if she is going through something and is taking it out on you, sadly. I would suggest dear sister that you ask your husband to intervene. It is his responsibility to restore calm and kind relationships within the family. He needs to find out why his mother is acting like this. Perhaps in sha’ Allah, you can sit down with your husband and go through a timeline of when this behavior started and what may have triggered it. It sounds as if prior to this there was harmony and love amongst everyone in the home.

I encourage you to speak with your husband and tell him how much you love his family, especially his mom. Tell him that you are sad and confused as to why she does not talk to you. Ask him if he could please find out why. After identifying the “why”, you can then together work on a solution in sha’ Allah. If he refuses, I would suggest sister that you seek counseling in your area to help you through this and provide supports for any future changes you may choose to make.

You sound like a wonderful sister, wife, and daughter in-law. Please hold on to your wonderful self, and don’t let other people’s issues make you feel as if you are a bad person. Often, we can unknowingly absorb others’ negativity, making it our own when it is not ours. Hang on to your values, your compassion and your love for others; it is, indeed, a gift from Allah.

Please let us know how you are doing.


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.

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About Aisha Mohammad
Aisha received her PhD in psychology in 2000 and an MS in public health in 2009. Aisha worked as a Counselor/Psychologist for 12 years for Geneva B. Scruggs Community Health Care Center in New York. Aisha specializes in trauma, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, marriage/relationships issues, as well as community-cultural dynamics. She is certified in Restorative Justice/ Healing Circles, Conflict Resolution, Mediation, and is also a certified Life Coach. Aisha works at a Family Resource Center, and has a part-time practice in which she integrates healing and spirituality using a holistic approach. Aisha plans to open a holistic care counseling center for Muslims and others in the New York area in the future, in sha' Allah. Aisha is also a part of several organizations that advocate for social & food justice. In her spare time she enjoys her family, martial arts classes, Islamic studies as well as working on her book and spoken word projects.