Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My Mother-in-Law Controls My Life

Controlling mother in law

Controlling mother in law


I am 25 years old, I was born and raised in United States.

However, I am connected to my heritage and religion. I was married at 22, it was somewhat arranged and love because my family introduced us but my mother in law didn't like me. However, my husband and I spoke as friends, it was just weird not talking after that. So, we had our occasional hi's and bye's, nothing more. After talking for a year and when he found out my mother was ill he would check up on me. So, that's when we started talking more, it was a simple friendship with no bad intentions.

Well, he said that he really liked me and I told him to talk to my family if they agreed then we would get married.
Though my parents didn't agree, they asked me of my opinion and I said yes. Well we had a drive through wedding because my mother in law wanted it "simple". Granted her own was lavish, that she throws in once in a while.
When we got married and I came to his house, my husband who works with his mother went to work the next day leaving me alone in their house. A house I'd never seen before or walked around in. No one really cared. I had old left over food to eat, and it was like they had just attended someone else's wedding.

We never went on a honeymoon, but went on a family vacation that my mother in law called our honeymoon without discussing with me. Because she is an "educated" woman. She has her MBA from a prominent university in The US. We don't go anywhere because she gets lonely and cries because her husband passed away. So my husband and I spend every weekend with her, or he is ALWAYS WORRIED about her, because he doesn't think his brother will care for her. He doesn't care for my happiness. On my first birthday he took me to someone else's bday, and our one year anniversary got a special cake for his mothers anniversary because it's two days after us but not ours.

This has happened twice already, if he gets me something he has to get his mom something more expensive. Mind you the woman works and makes more than him and can afford all of it. But, I can't work....

Anyways, prior to our wedding my husband knew I was ambitious and I wanted to study, however we agreed if we had kids I would stay home with THEM. And we decided we would start trying after two years of marriage. However because of his business problems, he said we should wait well his idea of waiting is 4 more years, so total of 6. I never had a problem with that, till I was told by my mother in law my husband never wanted a professional working lady so I have to stay home.

By the way my mother in law works and has been working since she was young. Between her and my husband I am in a constant battle of pleasing. She says I can only work in a professional job and that I have no experience or education so I can't get those jobs (I got married at 22). My husband says the job has to be closer to home. So pretty much I am home and I travel for work with my husband.

My mother in law always keeps him busy or stressed, he is constantly tired when he comes home, since he works for her and we live with her. I always wanted to live in a joint family I really thought families can talk and work things out, I've never met families where what the mom says goes.

My mother in law has said really cruel things to me, such as: I am poor, I don't deserve anything but I should thank Allah, and that she has provided me with a mansion, (we live in the basement). She also said things like I was ugly or I looked like Daisy Duck. She still uses the cartoon reference. She has called me a liar because I refuse to pray in front of her, I like praying by myself.

I let her say whatever she wanted to say, because I just think that she is stressed and she is my husbands mom. For two years I've bent over backwards for their happiness and the sanctity of our marriage, till recently. My mother in law usually has a prayer for her parents every year, and her entire family was there. Her brothers even told her to invite my family, but she didn't. They asked me and I lied for her, because it's a matter of our house.

I questioned her after they left and she said my parents and her personalities don't match in other words they are beneath her. That really hurt me, and I confronted my husband, he said that whatever his mom says goes. And that my siblings aren't allowed in this house because his mom will be uncomfortable, but my parents can come. (He will buy their tickets). My parents never come they are okay with it but I am not. I want my family to come share our joys and happiness. I can't live like thins where no one is allowed I hate going out and meeting people ( family or friends) I rather they come over.

He also said he wasn't going to get involved between us so I can say whatever I want and he won't care. Well I knew that wasn't going to be the case, so ignored her, instead he got mad and thought I was being rude. When I tried to explain to him how she is hurting me, he said she can because she is older. I told him she has no right to belittle me or degrade me. ( she has told me to get out of the house plenty of times) We had a huge fight, and told me to leave his house he cut my credit cards and took my money. After I started packing and called my family he said he was sorry, and that he didn't mean to say any of this.

So, I thought I'd give him another chance and see if he changes. We went on vacation he was a different man but when we came back he went right back to those ways. I really am scared of showing my face to Allah swt if I make a decision in haste, but I don't know what to do. I can't live like this where my every judgement, action, thought is controlled. I feel like I am a third wheel to my mother in law and my husbands relationship.

I would never tell him to move, Allah knows I have parents and brothers too. But, I can't deal with this if he can't be supportive of me, then why should we be together? I am willing to give my my entire life style up for them and their happiness, but they don't even give me the courtesy to invite my parents In a house that's suppose to be mine too.
I am really hurting right now I've been asking Allah swt for sabr since I got married, and it keeps on getting worse.

I get a limited allowance, I can't go visit my friends if they are in town, or I can't go see my sister, or family. My husband wants to control my actions he says the car will have too many miles on it. Or that the gas is too expensive or he always has excuses, but doesn't realize I am human after all I deserve my freedom if I am doing the right thing.

I've lost my self esteem I am no longer happy or have that glow in my eyes. I feel depressed and I cry easily. I feel like a wild bird in a cage who is being taught how to be domesticated. I don't want to do anything crazy, I just want simple dinner parties with other couples at our home, or simple stuff like that. Or even just girls lunch, and even if that can't happen then just be able to say I'm having a dinner party please come over mom, or my sister. But no one is allowed in the house, I can't go anywhere without "permission", and even then there is drama.

In the beginning my heart use to feel free but then it feels heavy and full of resentment and I've prayed for 2 1/2 years of my marriage. Can someone tell me what to do?

~ trulylost

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8 Responses »

  1. OP: Because she is an "educated" woman. She has her MBA from a prominent university in The US.

    Your mother in law may have an MBA degree but she is behaving like a high school drop out. Since you are US citizen you could have easily found a nice professional guy for a husband.

    Your husband knows he can CONTROL you, but he has to accept his mother as she is.

    What country do you live in?

  2. Subhanallah subhanallah......your story is so similar to mine i swear to you sister hand on heart ive been through the same thing as you have. Esp the bit where you arent allowed out you have to ask permission to go out. Subhanallah.... i know how you feel i went through this since i got married. I hated that my freedom was snatched away from me i hated that i couldnt be trusted or have a mind of my own. It crushed me knowing that the one thing i wanted after i got married wasnt in my kismet. I cried tears of blood i begged him to let me have a life of my own but all he said was i am 'protecting' you. But i knew he couldnt stand other men looking at me he hated the fact he would lose control over me. He didnt want me to be a women with a mind of her own. I did what ever he said to do i let go of everything that i dreamed of and was within shariah rights. Subhanallah. Wow sis you dont realise your not alone.
    I have hoped that things would be easier maybe when kids came but nope i wasnt allowed again....i am a decent girl i loved my husband with all my heart yet he was heartless. For his happiness i kept my pain hidden and tried to be happy but i wasnt. Slowly it got to me i was hopeless but had a very tiny bit of hope left just enough to ease my heart for a few mins or days. I swear to you sister i was miserable much like yourself i was housebound i had kids driving me mad no one came to see me i wasnt allowed out.

    Then you know what.....i started reading durood e tunajina with all my heart with yaqeen Allah would never abandon me through this prayer ( and other prayers) i cried to Allah with every dua saying His beautiful names and attributes. My love for Allah was strong that i felt i had a deep connection with Him. That He was there right besides me giving me strength. My spirituality is all i had.
    I got to a point where i said enough i walked out but i didnt have the pain of seperation i didnt have fear of the future i was content and at ease, no feeling of frustration no anger nothing. Calm as the sea after a storm.

    All i could do is thank Allah constantly thank Him with all my heart that He made it so easy for me to move on. What i went through and what you are going through is domestic abuse its abuse because its mental. My husband never layed a finger on me but gave me mental torture it added up to the point i was losing my sanity. Subhanallah
    Sister if you believe he will change then if you can bare it because Allah never lets His peoples efforts go to waste but if you feel he wont change or his mothers behaviour then think about it. Its not the end of the world your still young and have so much to live for.
    Wallahi sister inshaAllah everything will work out for you. Might take some time or maybe not but remember one day things will change for the better. I will make loads of duas for you just dont lose hope even if its as thin as the hair strand on your head xx

  3. Asalamu alaikum,

    All i can say is, his mother is arrogant and full of herself. Your husband is a mommies boy. He said, he wont come in between his mother and you. Just imagine if he is doing all this now, wbat would happen if you had kids? Your mother in-law will takeover, you would be just like a nanny. You will have no say in your kids upbringing. What do you think your husband will say? Mom is older, experience and she knows whats best?

    You are treated like a maid. I would leave, the things you wrote i cant understand how a husband can do such a thing, specially that early on. And his mother seems she has a son complex.

    The more demands they make and you tolerate, the more they will take advantage of. You can keep pleaseimg them all your life and still get mistreated. You have to take a stand, a change is not gonna come by sitting around doing nothing.

    you also said your siblings not allowed to come over? Sister dont sit quietly and get treated like this. If they ever tell you to leave thw house and such, then dont return. Makes me wonder people in west, who has has education still get mistreated, what would happen if they lived in the east..

    Ma salama

    • This is the best answer that anyone can give but tbh this required lots of courage.. I tried to stand in front of my I laws but there were flood of thoughts coming in my mind , where ll I go , what will o tell my parents, its very complicated for a woman,

  4. Asalam sis,
    Am so sorry for what you are going through, problems of mother in law is everywhere, I am in the UK and have a problem with my mother in law,its like its not meant to be for a daughter in law and a mother in law to leave under the same roof,its always a problem. But in my case my husband understand and supports me because he knows am a level headed person, I don't easily pay attention to petty stuff.
    But anyway,your husband is the problem in this case,even if he cannot do anything about his mom,he should support you and confort you it will make it easy on you.
    Try your best in making your husband understand what you are going through but if you can't bear it anymore tell your mom and seek her advice...Don't take any heasty action, may Allah make our trials easy to shoulder Ameen

  5. Assalam alaikum Sister Trulylost,

    The tone was set the day that you got married. When you walked into that house, as you said, no one cared and gave importance to you. It really sounds like getting a free maid via son's wife which often happens, even in Western countries because people might depart from their country, but not from their culture.

    I suggest that from this moment forward start to read the Quran with meaning regularly and educate yourself on your Islamic rights and your husband's rights. It is important that you obey him, but he has to provide a separate house for you to live in if you wish and he is imposing matters on you with no basis, I would argue this is more abuse than anything else.

    I won't say much about your mother-in-law, because even if she is that way, your husband has no clue how to handle a mother's relationship and a wife's relationship simultaneously. Furthermore, the sickening part is that he seems to think that his mother's respect lies in devaluing you. He can respect and love his mother while still caring for you, but it seems he is completely engulfed in culture.

    I doubt he will change--your mother-in-law won't either, but again, the hope lies in your husband's behaviour, not hers.

    I think that you have two choices.

    1. Tell him that you feel suffocated and have serious concerns and want to see a Muslim Family Counsellor. In the West, your issue isn't that uncommon and I have seen many seminars on dealing with the dynamics of a joint family system. Investigate it and pursue getting help in this regard.

    2. I respect that you haven't told your family all of the problems yet, but it has been 2.5 years. I think that it would be wise to take your father in confidence and tell him the issues that you have mentioned here. Ask him for advice. You mentioned that your parents didn't agree to this marriage at first--what were the reasons?

    If these two avenues lead no where, you may have to consider some time away from him so that he can think more about the pain he is causing in this marriage. It is very sad that he is not allowing you to study because it is never a bad thing to have an education. You don't have to work if you get an education--and an educated mother would have clear advantages in raising children--so education need not necessarily be tied to a career. Having said that, sometimes a woman may have to work in her life--I have seen widowed women, or husbands lose their job and need the support of their wife and so forth. Even your own mother-in-law is widowed--would she not have had to work out of sheer necessity alone? There seems to be a clear double-standard in your in-laws and it will only get worse the more you cater to them.

    I urge you to seek professional help and not continue to live such a suffocated life.

    May Allah ease your pain, Ameen!

  6. Salam, all I can say is do not lose hope. Keep praying to Allah in a positive way. Do not keep asking for patience because Allah will give you only patience. Try a different prayer. There are Duas and wazifas for controlling Inlaws. It is no use talking to your husband at this moment as will not listen. I am also doing a wazifa to shut my Inlaws up. It is done for three consecutive days after Isha prayers. You will find it under the title of"how to get rid of mother in law" perform wazifa on your husband separately too. There are many ways to control the husband too on the Internet. Keep reciting "ya Wudoodo" and blow on him whenever you can. Try giving him things to eat with Duas blown on food such as sweets. It is not a sin as long as the verses are from the Quran. He is your husband and you need to keep him. Allah knows all. When Allah sees how sincere you are with your husband he will bless you without a doubt as the relationship of wife and husband is the most sacred in the eyes of Allah. Pray to tell Allah that you completely trust Him and that you are patient and have left the situation to turn in your favor in every prayer. Tell Allah that you respect the marriage that He has bound you in and that you need your husband. Believe me Allah NEVER ignores a trusting heart. It is the most powerful thing and the most difficult too. I was once caught up in a bad marriage. I prayed to Allah that I completely trusted him whatever happened. No one was ready to believe me, not even my own family. The guy was bad news. Then things started getting worse right after I prayed to Allah to do His will. But the fact was that everything was falling right into place! After my divorce, six months later I was married to a person who Alhamdulilah loves me and respects me a lot. Even my relatives and friends couldn't believe their eyes and looked confused on my marriage. Just tell Allah that you leave everything to Him to save your marriage with real and complete trust. Every time your husband or mother in law says something rude just remember that you do not need to respond because you have entrusted your case to the most supreme power and all the Duas and wazifa so will InshAllah work. Good luck

    • Munazza, some of your advice is good, but the stuff about wazifas is nonsense. There are no magic formulas to "shut in-laws up" or "control husbands." What helped you was your attitude, your dua' and your trust in Allah, not any magic formulas or blowing on sweets.

      Wael Editor

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