Islamic marriage advice and family advice

My alcoholic father-in-law causes problems in our marriage

alcoholic - chained to an alcoholic


I've been married for 9 years and always had problems with my marriage. My husband, 8 years old daughter and I moved to Australia from USA about two years ago. My father in law and brother in law have lived in Australia and that's where we were staying. After a little while I discovered that my father in law had a drinking problem which was causing a lot of problems between my husband and I because he didn't agree to this marriage from the beginning. But when I used to talk to him from the US he use to say that we should visit him and that he was very sick.

To make this long story short, my father-in-law does not like me and wants my husband to leave me and has accused me of having a wrong relationship with my brother-in-law, which resulted in my husband beating me up and he has done that in the past too. My father-in-law has lied over and over again and while he is drunk, he talks about Islam. There was once when I had said some harsh words to him when he had accused me of things that I did not do, and the conclusion of that was that he wanted us out of his house. So we had to move when my husband and I had no source of income. But with Allahs will and help we found a place and now have good jobs.

My issue is that my father-in-law calls my husband when he is drunk and my husband leaves to go see him and comes back in a realy bad mood . When my father-in-law is drunk, does my husband have to listen to him and go to see if he is ok? I don't want my daughter to grow up in an environment like this and sometimes think that I should just leave my husband.  My father-in-law has approached me the wrong way once when my husband was not home and my daughter and I were alone at home with him. My father-in-law went back to Pakistan and has told other members of the family wrong and horrible things about me.

I have done nothing but good to him and still cook food for him and send it over to his house when I get the chance. Please let me know what should I do. I can't cut him out of my life while I am married to my husband because according to Islam he is my father too.

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2 Responses »

  1. Umber, As-salamu alaykum,

    You wrote, "I can't cut him out of my life while I am married to my husband because according to Islam he is my father too."

    I don't know where you got that from. There is no such concept in Islam. Your father-in-law is not your father and you have no obligation to care for him, especially when he is abusive toward you and has behaved improperly with you.

    But to me, everything you have written about your father-in-law is a red herring. You're not living with him anymore. You certainly cannot ask your husband not to see his own father, that would be prohibited in Islam.

    To me, the real issue is that your husband beats you. I think it's interesting that you mentioned that only in passing, as if it is inconsequential. No one deserves to be abused, and no one should stay in an abusive relationship.

    Is your daughter his daughter as well? You kept saying, "my daughter", not "our daughter". If she is not his daughter, then I recommend divorcing this man and his dysfunctional family.

    If she is his daughter, then you should ask your husband to attend counseling with you so that he can learn to relate to you in a non-abusive way. Give him a chance to take some action to change. But if he is not willing to address his problem and he continues to beat you, then get out. You don't want your child to be raised in such an environment.

    Wael Editor

  2. As-salamualaikum,
    please never ever ever let your daughter be alone around that man. you keep yourself from being alone around him as well.
    i can understand what kind of a marital relationship you have when your husband blindly believes every lie about you from his father. all i can say is pray to move away somewhere, find a better job or school or something, any excuse, to distance yourself. i have a similar problem, but since my in-laws have been away for a while and my husband actually got a chance to be around me and his kids without any brainwashing from his family, things have been positive. sometimes we need a longer break for like a year or two away from such people, and then go and visit them for a really really short time because we have to i guess.
    the problem is not your father in law only but your husband's behavior as well. he never got to grow up outside of what he learned from his family i guess. some of our men never grow up and i am surprised at their blindness and loyalty to parents who abuse their wives, kids, and even them. they believe everything coming from the parents and the wife is like a garbage thing. her opinions or even her as a person is not realized.
    i hope some distance and some counseling might help him. sometimes our men need a chance to grow, sometimes there is someone beautiful hiding underneath all that violent/cruel husband. sometimes it's because of the violent past of their own childhood. counseling would be your best bet, i know of a muslim counselor in canada who has 25+ years experience. he does web and phone counseling as well.

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