Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My husband does everything for his brother’s wife

Controlling Mother

My husband and I live in the USA - he is from Pakistan and I am from the Caribbean. His elder brother and his wife live in USA as well with their kids, but they live separately from us. However, before our marriage my husband would do all the errands for his brother's wife though he never lived with them in the same house. He would take her grocery shopping, pick up the kids from school, take her to do laundry, take the kids to the park, movies and mall etc. Now that we are married I feel like his brother should take care of his own responsibilities and be a father to his kids. I love the kids but I feel like he should ask me to go along with them to the movies etc or at least ask me to join them and if I decline or go it's up to me.

Am I wrong for feeling that the sister-in-law should know that her husband's younger brother is married now and has his own responsibilities? She and the kids constantly call him if they need anything for school, or need to go to doctor appointment, or any errands. I don't understand why the dad doesn't do his part. Also the brother and his mom, who is visiting from Pakistan, get into arguments a lot and I have been telling my husband that I have a good feeling it's the sister-in-law fueling the feud. My gut instincts tell me so because even if my husband raises his voice over the phone with his relatives, I tell him that is not to way to talk with your sister, mom or whoever it is on the phone. So I feel like if the sister-in-law  is present when they are arguing, why doesn't the sister-in-law stop her husband?

Am I wrong for demanding that my husband let his brother take responsibility for his own family while we focus on having our own? His mom suggested that since we are settled into our home, we should move closer to her elder son because she thinks we live too far apart (30 mins away). She stays at the brother's place so my husband goes there most of the time, and I feel so left out.  I mentioned to him that instead of going for hours to his brother's house, that we have our own home and he should bring her to our home. Am I wrong for feeling this way or is it ok for my husband to beckon to every call and need of his brother's family? I am starting to feel like his sister-in-law doesn't respect our marriage and she feels it's ok to have my husband out at 1 am with her kids and her doing grocery shopping while I am alone at home and her husband is at his business which is open 24 hours. I don't understand why she would not tell my husband it's ok that she can do groceries with her husband the following day? It's already late and he had a long day so he can go home to his wife who also works (by choice). I just need to know if I am wrong for feeling jealous that my husband spends more time doing family stuff with his brother's wife and kids than me, and I am never included????


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11 Responses »

  1. As-salaam alaikum,

    Wow I don't know how you're putting up with this!

    I'd say it is rather inappropriate of both your sister-in-law and husband to behave in this way, as if they are they one's actually married to each other, I'm sorry to say.

    It could be that her husband is too absorbed in his work and she has relied on your husband for so long that it seems a natural thing for him. However, the brother-in-law is death and so they should never have been that close even when he was single.

    Since he is now married to you, he should be focussing on your time together and there's nothing wrong with uncle spending time with the kids but he can't be playing the role of daddy.

    The sister-in-law appears to be extremely selfish and self-absorbed so I don't know whether it's worth speaking to her. No woman would not realise that this is inappropriate and hurtful to you unless she is not a good person or otherwise has some form of depression and is over-reliant on others. What does she do exactly by the way? Since your husband seems to take care of mostly what would be any mothers daily routine with 'grocery shopping, pick up the kids from school, take her to do laundry, take the kids to the park, movies and mall '?

    You are not clear in your passage whether you have actually expressed your feelings on the matter with your husband and you did not say of his reply to you suggesting that the sister-in-law is causing tension between her husband and mother in law.

    It is not wrong of you to be upset by this at all. Talk to your husband and explain that it is not correct for him to be doing this. Have you spoken with her husband? Though his behaviour is not normal either as he shouldn't be ok with the situation unless he doesn't care and it saves him from the duties.

    You should talk to your family too. You can't endure this alone. Your husband is not showing any respect to you nor does he have any himself to do this.

  2. AsSalaamu Alaikum Sister,

    Concerning your husband going out alone with his brother's wife is unacceptable in Islam. As for him spending time with his brother's children, that could be acceptable or unacceptable base on reasonable justifications (since your husband has his own family responsibilities to take care of. Therefore for him to leave his family for another should be something that has been discussed and understood between you), and I believe someone may talk further about that, Insha'Allah.

  3. I agree, honestly you and your
    Should come first to your husband your sister inlaw and her
    Kids come 2nd that would be a no no in my
    Case. I mean is nice sometimes If
    He help out
    But she is married with a husband is not like she
    Doesn't have a husband to help her out. And I
    Honestly think he shouldn't be alone with her
    At all
    Helping or no

    Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade non-mahrams (unrelated men) to enter upon women. He said: "Beware of entering upon women." One of the Sahaabah said to him, "O Messenger of Allaah, what about the brother-in-law?" He said: "THE BROTHER IN LAW IS DEATH!" (Reported by al-Bukhaari, Fath al-Baari, 9/330).
    Sahih Al-Bukhari, vol. 7, Book of Nikah (Marriage), Hadith no. 159. It reads as follows:
    `Uqbah Ibn `Aamir, may Allah be pleased with him, quotes Allah's Messenger as saying, "Beware of entering upon women." A man from the Ansar said, "O Messenger of Allah! What about Al-Hamu, or the wife’s in-law (the brother of her husband or his nephew, etc.)?" The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied: “The in-law of the wife is death itself.”
    hadeeth is all the husband’s (male) relatives apart from his father and sons. People customarily take the matter of a man being alone with his brother’s wife as being of little consequence; to indicate the seriousness of the matter, it was likened to death. Indeed, one should be more cautious about the brother-in-law than about a stranger. The phrase "the brother-in-law is death" may have a number of meanings:

    That being alone with a brother-in-law may lead to disaster if a sin is committed, or may spell divorce for the woman if her husband cannot contain his jealousy;
    Or: Beware of being alone with a non-mahram woman – fear this as you fear death.
    All this stems from Islam’s keenness to protect households, to avoid evil and to preserve marriages in the best possible way.
    like, "I trust my wife and I trust my brother or my cousin," we say: do not trust too much and do not doubt too much, but know that the hadeeth "No man sits alone with a (non-mahram) woman, but the Shaytaan is the third among them" (reported by al-Tirmidhi, 1171) includes both the most righteous of people as well as the most immoral of people, and that Islam makes no exceptions whatsoever in such report.....

    This is the problem: a man marries a woman and brings her to his family's home, where she lives happily with him, then his younger brother starts to enter upon her when her husband is absent, and they begin to talk in an affectionate or even passionate manner. This leads to two things: she begins to detest her husband, and grows attached to his brother, but she cannot divorce her husband, or do what she wants to with the other. This is the grievous torment. This story represents one aspect of corruption, besides which are other kinds which reach the level of immoral sexual conduct and illegitimate children.

  5. Sister Asia, As-salamu alaykum,

    It's your brother-in-law's responsibility to take care of his own wife. It's not your husband's job. In fact, it's morally dangerous and inappropriate for your husband to be around his sister-in-law like this.

    To be honest, my first thought when reading this is that your husband is in love with his sister-in-law, or at least has a crush on her. Why else would he be at her beck and call, attending to all her needs, while ignoring his own wife?

    Your mother-in-law thinks you should move closer to the eldest son? Just the opposite. You should move far away from this fitnah before something truly bad happens.

    Wael Editor

  6. salaam,

    I also get the feeling he is love with his sis-inlaw. spending hours in his brothers crib? 1am in his sis-in law crib? something is definately up. a man should not be in a same room alone with a non mahram. so best solution, move away at least 100 miles away..

    ma salama..

  7. feeling very sad to know your story. may Allah ease your situation. May Allah increase love and affection between you & your husband.

    There is severe need of family therapist in the society. InshaAllah, I will establish one. We should be more sincere about our spouse and family.

  8. Assalamoallaikum,

    I feel sorry on the part of your husband to be so concerned about the family of his brother where his own brother is accountable more than him. Your husband has comparably more duty towards your own family and in raising your children. He should realize this. Your concern is totally justified. I pray that he should start thinking about the same as well. Inshallah.

  9. I'm also in the same situation
    My Allah ease your and my pain In sha allah

  10. I am the second wife , his family has always hated me, he stood up for me at first then, he slowly started saying the same things to me, his brothers wife is the princess and she is number one .
    She lies, makes up stories, woudl get us fighting, she constantly told me he woudl never leave her,
    She was right he started hiding thiknngs after i had a huge fight with her and banned her, and now he has filed for divorce , cant give me a true reason , its his family, they told himthey never want to be aroud me ever Again and he said next morning we will never be toghther again .
    He is so caught up in their lies about me , yet they dont even know me . I cant believe he would rather be alone to please them instead of being with his wife and 5 kids .

  11. Chrissy: I am the second wife , his family has always hated me, he stood up for me at first then, he slowly started saying the same things to me.......... he would rather be alone to please them instead of being with his wife and 5 kids .

    Are you helping him with his immigration?

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