I have a big issue going on as I’m stuck between my mother and wife not knowing what’s the right thing to do. I have been married for the past 6 months and shukr alhamdulillah all was well for the first month.
After the second month there has been a lot of interference from my mother in law and as a result my wife had issues with my mother that didn’t even exist.
She basically makes up issues in her mind about the future which doesn’t exist and as a result ends up having fights.
The first fight was when my mother tried teaching my wife the way I like my food. She took offense, and then gradually she had many issues about my mother.
I stood as a husband making a mistake by standing up for her even when she was wrong and made my parents aware of what she did not like. And shukr alhamdulillah my parents understood me and stopped whatever my wife didn’t like them doing.
My wife sleeps till 12 in the afternoon and my mother makes the tea for her without any issues as my mother takes my wife as her daughter and says she’ll do the same for my wife as she does for me.
My mother makes me breakfast instead of my wife, the whole of ramadan I prepared sehri as my wife couldn’t wake up.
Despite all of this my wife still wants to move out and when I asked what’s the reason she wants to move out are there any issues with my parents, she responds and says there’s no issue but I just don’t want to live with parents because I left my parents for you so you should do the same.
She says if I do not leave the house she will leave me and go back to her parents. What does Islam say about this and what are my rights ? Because her father came and took her 4 times despite my disapproval.
In this counseling answer:
Your wife’s behavior is not acceptable but there are several ways that you can facilitate a process of change for the whole family.
The first thing is to be aware of everyone’s rights and fulfill them as much as possible.
Following this, trying to identify the underlying cause for your wife’s behavior will go a long way to fixing the situation, be it some kind of jealousy on the part of her and/or her parents or possible mental health problems.
You are in a strong position to be the middle ground that brings together both families.
Wa alaikum salaam brother,
It sounds alot like your wife is being quite uncooperative making things difficult for you and with the involvement of her own mother things are made even more difficult. Your parents have been very patient with her also and responded to her own needs, treating her as a daughter and backing away when your wife gets offended.
Respecting the rights and responsibilities of all
Before looking at how to move forward, the first thing is to look at the rights and responsibilities of all involved. Your wife’s behaviour is very disrespectful to your parents and shouldn’t be happening. They may not be her biological parents, but they are her elders and she should be giving them the same respect as she would her own mother.
And your Lord has decreed that you not worship except Him, and to parents, good treatment. Whether one or both of them reach old age [while] with you, say not to them [so much as], “uff,” and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word. (Quran, 17:23)
However, she also has the right to her own space too and is not wrong to ask you of the same.
Lodge them [in a section] of where you dwell out of your means and do not harm them in order to oppress them (Quran, 65:6)
Identify potential underlying causes
There could be any number of reasons why this situation is happening. Perhaps if you are aware of these potential underlying causes you will be able to identify if you believe any of these to be occurring and therefore tailor your response accordingly.
It may be a case of jealousy. Naturally, you will have a strong bond with your parents because they raised you, especially your mother. Since you are in the early stages of your marriage, your wife is probably looking for a lot of your attention.
If you were living alone then she might have received this more than as you live now with your parents. As a result, it may be that she is feeling jealous. That she feels she has to share your love with your mum.
Similarly, regarding the input of her own mother, perhaps she is also feeling jealous. That her daughter is living with someone else’s mother. Perhaps she fears that she may develop a motherly bond and love for this other woman and take that away from herself.
As a result she may be saying things, intentionally or unintentionally (the latter more likely) to put a wedge between your wife and mother. To prevent any strong bonds from being formed with a mother other than herself.
If you believe either of these may be the case. Then a good way to tackle it is to give the jealous party, be it your wife or her family the attention that they need. So they don’t feel that they need to get it via other less appropriate means.
So, for example, given that you are living in your parents’ house, perhaps you could organize some special time, just you and your wife once a week where you can get out of the house and give her your full attention. Likewise, with her parents. Make a point of going to their place regularly so that they don’t feel forgotten about and get your attention in a positive way.
Her mental health state
Considering her behavior is coming across as being quite lazy on the surface. It might be that she is suffering from some kind of mental health problem. Such as depression, and this causing her to sleep late and not be much involved around the house. Take a look at her behavior and emotions more generally and see if you think this could be the case.
Check out this counseling video:
Be the middle ground
In an ideal world your wife and her family and your parents would get along with no issues. But in many marriages, it is not that straightforward. It might be a difficult task, but you stand in the strongest position. To be the middle ground that unites everyone.
You can help nurture bonds between all parties by encouraging open communication in a gentle manner. Perhaps by inviting your wife’s family to your house to spend some time with your parents over coffee, or dinner, a light-hearted occasion. That encourages open dialogue between the families. This will help in the process of cooling any tensions and getting to know one another better.
Your wife’s behavior is not acceptable. But there are several ways that you can facilitate a process of change for the whole family. The first thing is to be aware of everyone’s rights and fulfill them as much as possible. Following this, trying to identify the underlying cause for your wife’s behavior will go a long way to fixing the situation.
Be it some kind of jealousy on the part of her and/or her parents or possible mental health problems. You are in a strong position to be the middle ground that brings together both families.
May Allah reward all your efforts and guide you all on the straight path. May He bless the ongoing efforts of your parents in their welcoming of your wife into their home.
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.