Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My fiancee and her family is not respectful to my family

decision making, two directionsSalam,

Nine month back my family engage me with one girl. I talk with her on phone after getting permission from both sides to know her better. In 9 month of relationship I feel that my fiancee and her family are giving respect to me but not giving much respect to my family.

I talk with her to tell my point of view but still nothing change. Can any one please tell me what I have to do in this situation as per shar’iah ruling?

- zee.elahi


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1 Responses »

  1. Salaam Brother,

    I am sorry that you feel this way.

    I cannot identify a problem as you have not given any example of what you mean but what I would say is that being upset about someone not doing something sounds very nit-picky to me, as you are still getting to know each other and you are communicating via telephone (and under such circumstances it would be difficult to please a whole family over a telephone conversation).

    It could be that what you expect is blinding you to what is. Sometimes, when our expectations are very high, we are disappointed with good things because we can't see them. An example of this is, thinking something like "respecting my means they must call and ask how they are every day" - and then becoming disappointed with a weekly phone call, when most people would be overjoyed with a weekly phone call, and some other people would consider a weekly phone call too much.

    As you are not married yet, I feel that it is expecting a little too much from a family to satisfy everyone's needs for respect. No one owes us anything, and if someone is making an effort and being kind and nice and caring towards us, then we should be grateful for that.

    If there was a clear case of total disrespect: that would be a different story.

    I would recommend that you clarify within yourself what your expectations or your families expectations are, ask yourself "is this a fair expectation, is this a just expectation" and then give this family the time and space to get to know you and your ways.

    There is not just one way of showing love and respect: in my family & culture, for example, the younger ones in the family do all of the work around the home, washing, cleaning up after a meal: everyone - cousins, aunts, uncles - it is unacceptable to let someone who is older than you in age serve you or clean up after you. However, when I visited my husbands home in his home country and picked up a mop and a cloth and joined in with the cleaning - she was offended, and said that it was a shame for her to let me clean in her house. In the meantime, I felt absolutely ashamed to sit down and let someone who is older than me do work, serve me food and clean - that would be totally unacceptable in my family and goes against everything I have been raised to know. So - you see? People are different, and have different signs and signals of showing respect and love and appreciation.

    To give another example, I think being late to visit family t is the highest level of disrespect a person can show and I get in a huff about it when it happens. My husband is very very relaxed about time keeping, and thinks times are just guidelines. We have different understanding and different attitudes about what is respect and what is disrespect - and its about learning and understanding the differences and about recognising when someone is being good to you and not just using your own ruler to measure everyone - we have different rulers, different measurements and definitions.

    It could be that this family is showing you all of their respect, but because your family have different rules - you can't see it.

    So I would advise that you first of all make sure you are understanding the communication properly - talk about it, think about it and then try and ask yourself if your expectations are realistic and fair and then have a chat with the girl based on that so you can reach a happy outcome to your concerns.


    Editor, Islamic Answers

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