Islamic marriage advice and family advice

How to be a good son, husband and Muslim?


Dear Sir,

I have a 72 year old borderline mother. I'm a lonely child, age 29, married and working in a different country. My mother hates my wife and is always complaining that I'm a bad son. First my mother complained that I only call once a week, so I increased it. Then she complained again until it reached that I have to call her several times per day, which I can't manage all the time. Then she asked me to travel to see her once every 2 months.

My wife and I are struggling with infertility, and I'm working day and night to provide for our life and treatment. Plus it's not easy to take a leave from all of my work. I made a visa for her to come and visit, but she refused to come and said that my wife hates her. I assured we have never done anything bad to her, and I always try not to argue with her.

I tried everything, and I'm left with setting boundaries between my mom and me. But I hate to do this to her, and I don't want to ruin my marriage for nothing. Kindly advise me how to be a good Muslim, son and husband in my case.

Thank you very much,


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2 Responses »

  1. Assalam alaikum Brother,

    Even if your mother did not have a borderline personality disorder, our parents can be needy and child-like as they grow older. Your mom is 72 years old and you live very far away (from what I understand). I don't know what her living circumstances are, like is she living alone, or with your father or another relative? If she is 72 years old and living alone, you may want to come up with better living arrangements for her.

    Back to your routine: I can see in what you wrote that you are very sincere and concerned about your mother and don't want to hurt her feelings. I would suggest that after you do your utmost best for her, that you do not worry about how she feels as you are not in control of her feelings. You neither own her feelings nor are responsible for them---BUT you are able to control your behaviour and fulfill your duty to her. If you are financially taking care of her, call her regularly, do not use hurtful words or a mean tone but rather talk to her with kindness and love, then you are doing your best. If she truly has borderline personality, you can't just "cure" it--but you can do your best and stop burdening yourself with worrying how you can change her feelings, which are hers, not yours. It is a fine line to understand that you fulfill your duty to her, but do not feel guilty for things that are not in your control.

    When she complains about your wife or whatever it is she says, just let her vent, but take it with a grain of salt--you will probably have to ignore the comments, then to react to them. I would suggest that it is ok to have boundaries set up so that you do not ruin your marriage and you are wise to do that. The bottom line is love your mother, listen to her (but don't react to the negativity), be kind to her, and take care of her.

    Good luck to you and your wife with having a child, inn shaa Allah. May Allah ease your difficulties, Ameen.

  2. Salam brother,

    I can understand from a mums perspective because im a mum. My kids are small but even now I worry that when they grow up and get married they will forget about me and I will die a lonely women! I shiver when I think about it. My kids say " I love you mum" a million times. They keep calling me about 10 times when I go out saying " mum when are you going to come home? We miss we". So much love and attachment kids have for their parents when they are small. These are precoius times i will cherish forever. But slowly things will change as they grow up. The " I love yous" will become less frequent, the calls will stop. They will no longer wait for me. Then 20 years later the tables will turn. It will be me the old mum now who will call my big kids chanting "I love you, i miss you son" when will you come home?".

    You see how things might be from your mothers persepective. Mothers remember their childs first word, first step. She will cling onto the happy moments. Then suddenly one day when your far from her it will be very painful to bear. This may be why your mum is upset when you don't call her because she feels you are slipping away from her. She probably hates your wife thinking that she has stolen you away from her. I uderstand you are busy with your life but still try to make give some time to the women who bought you up. There is a hadeeth where the prophet says that a man's mother deserves the outmost respect and thrn his father.

    Your mother is elderly she may not be around too long so try to keep her happy. Try to call her and assure her that you love her and care for her. Maybe go and visit when you can with your wife and the both of you can show her love and kindness.

    If she lives alone she maybe lonely so ask her to move in with some relatives. Loneliness is horrible. Oh Allah help me when my kids grow up and get married. I will be all alone. ; (

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