Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Mother in-law wants to move in

I have been married three years, and live in US with my husband. I have lived in America my entire life, my husband however only moved here 1 year and half ago. He works full time at an average paying job and I go to school full time and used to work part time but now that I am 6 months pregnant my husband suggested that I stay home and take care of myself. This is has impacted our financial condition and we are living paycheck to paycheck, but Alhumdulillah we have no complains.

However, my mother in law has been on our nerves to sponsor her and bring her to America from Pakistan. I really dont think its a good idea. We already have a baby on the way, and have so much to take care of, and we live in a small one bedroom apartment, I really dont understand where we would accommodate her.

There is more too, she is very controlling and manipulative and has caused many problems between my husband and I in the first year of our marriage. Since my husband moved to America, away from her, we have been living very happily. Now with a child on the way, I really need my privacy, and do not want to be told how to raise my child.

I love my husband and and I respect his mother, but there is just no way that I want to cram her into my life and one bedroom apartment. How do I talk to my husband about how I feel without coming across as selfish or disrespectful?

She lives a comfortable life style in Pakistan with her husband and another son, so I'm not sure why she thinks its a good idea to leave her husband there alone.

She also knows our financial conditions yet she expects me to ask my parents for financial help, to support her. I just cant even...

Any advice will help. Jazak Allah


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5 Responses »

  1. Assalam alaikum,

    Dear Sister,

    I think it is odd that your MIL wants the both of you to sponsor her while she is still married and has children living close by. Although odd, this isn't that much of uncommon story either. I am not sure of the particulars of sponsoring in the USA, but I would imagine that your husbands income would have to meet a minimum requirement and your accommodations would have to be sufficient--which doesn't seem to be the case. I would find out for yourself and talk to your husband about this.

    I suggest that when you talk to your husband you speak about why your mother is leaving her husband. Chances are, she wouldn't have a successful application if she is applying for herself and not for her husband. Perhaps you can mention to your husband that why waste money on an application that will most likely not go through--if he really wants to sponsor his mother, he should consider sponsoring his parents when he is a bit more settled. One year is not really enough time to settle down.

    As for expecting your parents to financially support you, that makes no sense. When you talk to your husband, perhaps mention that if you both have a daughter, you would want her husband to be financially responsible for her and if you have a son, would it make sense in the future to go and live with him and his wife and leave him? It doesn't make sense at all. All the best talking to your husband...unfortunately, you are having to deal with a lot of cultural traditions that should join the dinosaurs.

    May Allah swt ease your pain and I pray that you have a safe and happy delivery inn shaa Allah. Ameen.

  2. Asalaamu alaikum. Oh no, sounds like she just doesnt like distance from her son and the fact she isnt controlling your situation. Just mention nicely and respectfully that there simply isnt the space. When and if you ever move out to somewhere bigger she can always come and visit you. And even make it sound reasonable saying it's not like you will never go and visit her 😉 say you dont want her to go through the 'trouble', and to leave your poor father in law behind. Say you two will plan to visit her and you can always sponsor her later (then youll just have to hope this case gets dropped). The more respectful and kind manner you can say it to him the better, otherwise he'll get defensive and think youre just being cruel. Allah make it easy for you.

  3. Dear Serebery,

    I am not sure if my advice will help but I say that if mother In laws and father in laws are fragile (old age+weak,+sever illness= unable to do their own things) then kids should take responsibility to take care of them. However, by the sound of it, this not the case with you. Your mother in law Alhmadulillah seems healthy and have family of her own. Therefore she should not move in with you if you don't want to.

    And religiously speaking, Islam does not encourage in laws being under the same roof of husband and wife unless married couples voluntarily out of mutual agreement chooses/wishes their in laws to live with them. Again this is not the case with you.

    This extended family living under the same roof is rooted from Hindu religion.

    I hope you get to talk about this matter with your husband. Tell him nicely and firmly that you do not want his respected mother to move in with you guys. Also, your family shouldn't feel obliged to financially assist your in laws unless if they wish to help out of goodness of their heart.

    Best wishes,


  4. Sister,

    Certain cities and states have their own occupancy rules. Chances are, the apartment complex where you are living would not allow another adult to reside in your current accommodation. Additionally, chances are, your lease would not allow for another adult to reside in your unit with you. The best thing would be to speak with your husband in an honest and open conversation about your feelings and what is going on in your head. May Allah bless you with a healthy child and may you have a happy and loving relationship for many years to come.


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