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Sister-in-Law Accuses My Husband of Killing Their Mother

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Oct 28, 2018

Question

Both of my in-laws have passed away. Just a few years ago, I married my husband. My sister-in-law’s behavior and attitude towards me and my husband and our son has been very rude and hostile, even before our marriage. Despite us trying to be very gentle with her and asking again if she has any specific reason to behave with us like this, she is offended so that we might try to correct it, but she gives no answer. When my mother-in-law passed away, she accused my husband of killing her. After my father-in-law’s death, she does not talk to us at all. Should we still hold ties of kinship with her as my husband is epileptic and her bad behavior affects his health.

Counselor

Answer


Sister-in-Law Accuses My Husband of Killing Their Mother

In this counseling answer:

“While he cannot cut off ties with her as it is against Islamic principles, you can kindly suggest to him that you both go on with your lives without her being so involved.  You may suggest that he continue to help her out and make sure she is okay. However, beyond that, I would kindly suggest limiting the interactions with her.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaykum,

Thank you for writing to us. Sister, I am so sorry to hear what you and your husband have been going through. It sounds like your sister in law has been an angry and spiteful person even prior to your marriage to your husband. It is a toxic relationship that may not easily be resolved. As she has accused your husband of very severe and serious accusations, they are not to be taken lightly.

I would kindly suggest sister that you sit down with your husband and talk to him about how he feels emotionally. I can imagine that he is hurt beyond words. Ask him what he would like to do as it is his sister and ultimately it is his decision.

While he cannot cut off ties with her as it is against Islamic principles, you can kindly suggest to him that you both go on with your lives without her being so involved.  You may suggest that he continue to help her out and make sure she is okay. However, beyond that, I would kindly suggest limiting the interactions with her unless she gets some mental health counseling as it does sound as if something is not quite right with her. She does not sound reasonable (accusing your husband of killing his mom etc.) and she could be suffering from a mental illness based on what you have described.


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Sadly, often times, when a loved one passes away, such as his mom, the ugliness, is amplified in already greedy or disturbed family members. As she had issues before their mom’s death, it appears it has only gotten worse now that both parents are deceased. Unfortunately, your husband, yourself and your child are the “victims” of her anger and wrath.

I would kindly suggest speaking to him about your care and concern for her as your sister-in-law. But that your concern lies more with him and your son due to her increasing vile and dangerous accusations and behaviors. Insha’allah your husband will be able to find a way to limit contact with her and at the same time look out for her best interests.  He must already know that his sister’s behaviors, anger, and accusations are not healthy for him, his wife and child, who are a priority.

Sister, I see you love your husband very much. I am so sorry that you both are going through this. I cannot diagnose but I highly suspect your sister-in-law needs to be assessed as well as ongoing counseling to manage her anger, moods as well as possible delusions (killing the mom, accusing of fraud, etc).

Perhaps your husband can reflect upon his childhood with her and look to her behaviors while she was growing up to see if there was anything different about her, or if she experienced any trauma or issues that could have caused this. At any rate, please do consult with your husband as to what he would like to do, express your support and love regarding his decisions about her, suggest that he insha’Allah try to engage her in counseling, ensure she is taken care of.

However, I would kindly limit your and your sons time spent with her until she becomes more stable if she ever does. Your husband will have to decide what is best for him. Right now, it is a toxic situation.  Please do make du’aa’ to Allah for protection as well as for the restoration of your sister in laws senses.

We wish you the best.

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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 poetry projects.

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