In this counseling answer:
• The first and the best thing you can do is call on Allah to intervene here.
• Understanding the motives behind her behavior can make it easier for you to understand things from her perspective and be in a better position to manage things more effectively.
• Let him know how much you appreciate him. His stepmother may be bringing his self-esteem down unnecessarily.
Wa Alaikum Salaam wa Rahmatullah wa Barakatuh sister,
It is heart-breaking to see our loved ones being mistreated by others as is the case with your husband by his stepmother. You probably feel quite powerless to do anything which only makes it feel even worse.
As someone who is not directly involved, it is better that you don’t interfere in their business directly. This may only make things even worse.
The first and the best thing you can do is call on Allah to intervene here. Make continued du’aa’ to Him to soften the heart of your father in law’s wife. Allah is the turner of hearts. Ask Allah to fix this for you that she will treat your husband better and appreciate that good work he does.
It is not fair that she seems to be the cause of your husband and his father not talking as much as they would like. Even Islamically, we are told to maintain good ties and to stand in the way of that is only going against Allah’s request and is not good. It is said in the Qur’an that we should repel evil with that which is better.
So, in this case, even though you don’t like what his stepmother is doing, try taking a gentle approach to the matter whilst still trying to maintain good contact with his father. If it seems that she doesn’t like him talking to his father in his presence, you could try improving relations with her first son that she will become more accepting of their relationship.
This can be made easier by trying to see things from her perspective. Ask yourself why she behaves like this. For what reason would she be unhappy with her husband and son being in contact with one another? Perhaps there is an element of jealousy.
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Naturally, as his wife, she wants to have her husbands undivided attention. If he gives some attention to his son, then she is losing out on this precious time. It may seem quite selfish to you, and maybe it is, but understanding the motives behind her behavior can make it easier for you to understand things from her perspective and be in a better position to manage things more effectively.
Perhaps, to begin with, you might arrange to do things altogether with both your husband and his wife involved. This way your husband and his father get to spend time together without taking his time away from his wife. Thus, she doesn’t need to have hard feelings towards them spending time together.
This will also be a way to build relations with his wife. Perhaps once they have an improved relationship, your husband, and his dad will be able to spend time alone together in the future without upsetting his wife.
Aside from working on relations with his step mum, you can provide him with alternative support. As his wife, let him know how much you appreciate him. His stepmother may be bringing his self-esteem down unnecessarily. You can fill this void by making sure that he does not feel bad about himself and feels confident that he is appreciated by you at least. You can make him feel that you value his efforts as his wife. Such kind of comments can be very reassuring to him and make him feel as valued as he deserves, even if his stepmother does not feel this way at present.
In sha Allah, as relations improve between them, she will also show him the same appreciation.
May Allah reward your husband’s hard work and soften the heart of his stepmother. May He plant happiness and contentment between all family members.
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