Salam, Me and my wife are practicing Muslims living with my mother. My father expired 7 years ago. Since I am the only child of my parents, my mother lives with me.
My mother and her family members are infinitely difficult people to deal with. She is talkative, manipulative, opportunist, occasional liar and ungrateful to any good manner or behavior. Her tongue is like a razor blade with which she can inflict unbearable pain to anyone. I'm her only son but she was never respectful to me ever. When I was a child, she always used to beat me for petty issues. Since my father was a timid person, he couldn't discipline her.
After marriage, I had infertility issues. My mother openly insulted me for that in front of my wife and I didn't reply a word. Right after marriage, she used to insult my wife and her parents just because they were not well dressed in family occasions. My wife never replies back. My wife used to have a panic attack before I would home for office as my mother used to insult her in my absence.
I used to pray to Allah so that he gives me enough patience to bear with my mother. The only reason I still live with her because my loving father requested me in his deathbed to take care of her.
I cannot end talking about my mother. Sometimes she's good and next she says or does something that will break your heart and make you so angry that you start hating her.
She is delusional and makes fake complaints. I always take care of her and bear all medical expenses at posh hospitals but she still makes complaints that I do not and will not take care of her in old age. In her eyes, other guys are better sons but not me no matter how much I try to make her proud. I've always been a good student, introvert and a man of dignity. Her words hurt me so much.
Recently me and my wife have decided not to talk with her much unless there is a necessity because talking to her is risky as she can say any foul thing anytime.
I know my mother is a test for me from Allah and I pray to him to give me strength and sabr to deal with her, but often I get tired of her and wish her death but immediately I repent for such thoughts.
Please let me know whether the way I'm dealing with her now is okay from Islamic point of view and what else can I do.Thanks. Allah Hafiz
As salamu alaykum dear brother,
Shokran for writing to our live session. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re having difficult issues with your mother. As you described your childhood however, she was abusive and did not treat you well even as achild. Sadly, your mother did not realize that her abusive ways were destructive and harmful behaviors which she needed to address.
Caring for an Abusive Mother
As a consequence of not getting help, your mother is still treating you and your family abusively in her old age. May Allah bless you brother for your kindness, taking your mother into your home given the circumstances, as well as providing the best of care for her. While we are to take care of our parents, especially in their elderly years, this presents as a difficult situation given her abuse and disruption of the family dynamics.
Brother, insha’Allah it may be an option to have your mother stay in her own home or apartment. A lot of families do take this route when there are conflicts at home such as you are describing. While some mothers may not like the idea at first, they often times end up enjoying the independence and privacy. It may also benefit the family in general as there would be less trauma and abuse going on, especially in your situation.
Posh Care versus Regular Care
I’m not sure about the additional expense that would be incurred, but insha’Allah you and your siblings could split the cost of a small apartment for her. However, as you are already paying for “posh” hospital visits and things such as that, perhaps it would work out in a long run if you rearranged the finances regarding paying for quality care versus “posh” care. The main goal is to ensure her needs are taken care of which could still be accomplished if she had her own place and the “extra’s” or “posh” services were cut back to regular quality care.
There is to be no Abuse in Islam
Brother, your mother does not have the right to speak abusively to you nor your wife. She is still expected to treat you both with respect and proper adab. Abuse is not to be tolerated in Islam. In the long-term this will cause problems between you and your wife, and possibly interfere with your marriage. It most certainly is not a good example for your children if you have any yet. It is a toxic environment for all.
Brother, I can imagine that there is a lot of tension at home and it is probably not a very happy place for any of you. I would kindly suggest that insha’Allah, you discuss with your mom the rules of your home and how to treat each other from an Islamic standpoint with proper adab. If she is resistant you may wish to discuss the option of her either getting counseling to help her with her feelings which are causing her abusive behaviors or having her get her own small place. You may wish to reinforce the fact that you will still look out for her and take care of her.
Resolving Toxic Situations
Insha’Allah, discuss the toxic nature of the home environment in an Islamic context. It is not healthy nor is it illustrative of Islamic behavior. Due to this, the living situation has to be resolved so that everybody can live happily and without drama. I would kindly suggest insha’Allah dear brother, that you do have a discussion with your siblings regarding this. While you are the oldest son, that does not mean that all the financial responsibility has to be on you. It would be an optimal situation if your siblings took part in the care and support of your mother, as they should.
You sound like a very wonderful son, one that any mother would be proud to have. I pray that one day insha’Allah, your mother does see the blessing and the gift that she has in you. I understand this is a hurtful and difficult situation. However, you do have the right to live abuse free, as does your wife and any children you may have or will have in the future. Please do take steps to resolve the situation, make duaa to Allah for guidance and ease. We wish you the best you are in our prayers