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In-Laws Interfere in Our Private Life

18 December, 2023
Q As-Salamu 'Alaykum, I am a recently married woman. We live along with my in-laws in the same house.

My problem is that they interfere in our private life. For instance, they pass comments on me when I have intercourse with my husband.

I perform ghusl early in the morning so they identify by that we had intercourse. They pass comments on me which make me feel really bad and uncomfortable.

They would say that my only interest is having intercourse with my husband, and my mother-in-law even straightly instructs me not to have intercourse with my husband frequently. But we want it!

I feel this is the private life of a husband and a wife, and no one else has the right to impose restrictions on their sexual relationship.

But my husband keeps silent; he does not stop them saying such stuff to me. Am I wrong to think like this?

Please answer me as this affects my marriage. Thank you.


In this counseling answer:

Your in-laws (or anybody else) have no right to interfere with you and your husband’s sexual relationship.

What your in-laws do is projection. Learning about these phenomena can be very helpful.

Your husband must be your spokesperson.

You must tell your husband how you feel about these comments.

As-Salamu ‘Alaykum Sister,

Thank you for sending us your question. I am sorry to hear about the situation you are currently dealing with. Certainly, you have every right to privacy regarding your sexual relationship with your husband!

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You are absolutely correct to think that anything between a husband and wife should remain private and free of interference from anyone. Even parents and other close family members.

To say it again, your in-laws (or anybody else) have no right to interfere with you and your husband’s sexual relationship.

I am sorry to read that they make negative comments to you about such issues. I’m sure you may feel hurt, confused, ashamed, and/or offended by such comments. Please note that you have nothing to be ashamed of.

From your question, I also read that you are a newlywed. You and your in-laws still have not gotten used to each other and may still feel threatened by each other’s presence. By feeling threatened, they may feel that you have taken away their son from them and deal with this feeling by putting you down.

This is called projection; it happens when a person protects him/herself from negative feelings by denying that they feel them. Instead, they accuse others of having those negative attributes. Understanding why some people behave the way they do can be helpful.

At least you would know that you did not do anything wrong with anyone. Others behave negatively because they cannot deal with the feelings they harbor.

Check out this counseling video:

However, the comments that you are hearing are still unacceptable. As a newlywed living with your in-laws, your husband must be your spokesperson. You must tell your husband how you feel about these comments. Talk about how he can help stop them. After all, he is your husband and your in-laws’ son. He has the responsibility to make you feel respected and comfortable (as well as his parents).

We also know that Islamically, everything related to the sexual relationship of a husband and wife must be private and respected. It appears that in your situation, your in-laws have crossed the lines.

It would be expected that their son (your husband) let them know respectfully that such comments are unacceptable. There is nothing wrong with him enforcing boundaries in a respectful manner, even on his parents. He is starting a family and in order for his family to succeed and flourish, he needs to make sure that needs are met and boundaries are respected.

I ask Allah to help you and your husband establish a wonderful marriage and a successful family.



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 are liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Aliah F. Azmeh
Aliah F. Azmeh is a licensed clinical social worker who practices in Detroit, Michigan. Aliah graduated with a Master's degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan in 2007 and has experience working in the United States and overseas. Aliah currently works as a clinical social worker and provides individual, family, and marital counseling at Muslim Family Services in Detroit, MI.