Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Problematic in-laws and husband

Family shattered by husband's addiction

Asalamu Alikum,

I have been very depressed after my marriage and have no one to ask for advice or for help. I am hoping that I can get some advice as to what to do ahead or how to approach my life as I am really tired of managing everything on my own. My story is very long but I just wanted to give a broad idea of everything.

I was married four years ago and have two lovely kids (MA). I was born in india but have been brought up outside of the country for basically all my life. As I was completing my studies, my parents took me to india and there they decided to get me married to someone whom they had never seen just because an uncle of mine knew the boy's grandfather and said that they were very well known and respectable people. These people lived outside of india  for 15 years and had foreign nationalities. Almost everything was arranged on the phone, whilst I was in india. I had an engagement ceremony alone (the guy was not there) and after that I returned back to UK to complete my education.

After three months they scheduled the wedding and we were off to india. We had arranged for my mother-in-law (ML) and me to go and look for a wedding dress etc as it is done. My ML had other plans however, she bought a cheap dress on her own without even asking me or showing me in advance, even after the numerous phone calls she made regarding the colour and design of the dress etc. She sent the unstitched dress to our house a few days before the wedding. My mom and I tried to get it sewn in time, but there were so many problems involved- i.e really short sleeves, and it was overall an exposing dress, since there was so little cloth. We told her these problems and she did nothing about it instead said to me that, 'this is going to be our first big fight'. Well my parents had to then run around and get me a ready-made dress which I wore,  but she was not even ready to compensate us for the dress as it was supposed to be from the groom's side. My parents did not mind all this and did not even mention it to anyone, they practically paid for two of my dresses i.e. - wedding day and walima.

Putting all that aside, I realised that my ML is very controlling. She would tell my husband what to wear, eat,  and drink. I tried just to ignore all these things and move on. I left to go and stay with my husband and his family in USA. After I got there, I was faced with many challenges. My ML would not let my sister-in-law talk much to me as it would be a waste of time.  I was doing my laundry by hand as my ML never told me that there was a washing machine and how to use it. I did all the household chores and would eagerly await my husband's return from work so that I could go out for a bit. Whenever we made a plan to eat out, my ML would bring something up. There was this time when we were going out and my father-in-law spoke in an angry tone and said, 'where the hell are you going, you must tell us before you leave the damn house!'

I was very scared ever since; I just felt depressed and lonely as my husband never said a word to his parents. Then after 5 months my husband got a job in New zealand and we made a plan to leave as he was on a better package. His parents were furious and there were many arguments and fights in the house. I was feeling sick as the days went on and our work permit was to be issued. I was pregnant and really sick and laid in my room all day but no one ever came to see how I was doing, only my husband used to call me on my cell. Sometimes I could not even move and then my husband would call my ML and then she would come to see me. It was terrible, I was not eating and I was depressed all the time. My mom saw me on Skype and she knew immediately something was wrong. She said that I should come back home for a while until I feel better. My in laws and my husband refused as we were about to leave for New zealand in two months time, but since I was unwell I had to go home. My ML kept telling my husband that he should not waste money on my ticket,etc. My father then called up and sent me a ticket and I left for a month. When I got home, I was in a very bad condition. I stayed for a month and when I was better my parents sent me back, as we were to leave for NZ. After a week of my arrival we left for NZ. My husbands parents were not happy at all, but they let us go. My parents gave me money to buy some furniture for our new house, just to help us out as we were starting from scratch.

We arrived and were living happily until my ML started calling my husband all the time asking about everything, i.e where we were, what we were doing at the time, etc. I gave birth to my first child and my mom came to help me as we were alone there, but my ML did not even offer to come and help. She kept calling and creating issues on how I am rearing my child. Then she decided to visit us after 9 months. She came and I had prepared everything she liked, and I promised not to feel bad about anything she said. She came and started complaining about my food, the kind of bedsheets I have, the furniture and even so the country NZ itself was below average for her. My life was hell as she was arguing over everything I said and did. I was pregnant again with my second son, and it was unplanned. My  husband was not ready for another child and he wanted me to abort my baby. I was sad and depressed, and I tried to explain to him but he would not listen. My parents tried to explain to him and then eventually our doctor had a word with him and told him of the risks involved and then he agreed.

My ML kept saying we made a grave mistake to have another child as the first one will suffer. She was never really happy about the news of my new baby. As the days went on, I had a lot going inside me,  and I was fed up with her, so I decided to tell everything to my sister. I sent her messages discussing how my ML was behaving etc, and I did not use very pleasant words for her in my messages. My husband got hold of my phone and read all the messages and he was furious, in fact he started belittling my parents and my whole family in front of my ML. The conversation got really heated as I was angry too and then something I did not expect happened- my husband hit me across my face.

ML then left after 8 weeks of mental torture. She went back and called my mom to tell her that we had nothing in NZ, and that she came back with great depression and if we had stayed with them we would have been much better. Shortly after her departure, my husband left me to go for some private work to US for one whole month,  and I was pregnant then with my second child and having complications. I tried to stop him but he refused, he did not care for me or for his unborn child. He left me alone with one kid and pregnant with complications. I fell very ill and we did not even know many people there who could help me, I then turned to my family for help and they came to stay with me in his absence. I spent two nights in hospital and almost lost my baby.

My mom was angry and spoke to my ML, since my husband was by her in the US, but she said she did not have a clue that I was unwell because I had not told her. I am now just living each day as it comes. I talk to my husband but he never supports me, he always says that elders are always right, and even if they are wrong we can't tell them anything. He forces me to talk to my ML but my heart just does not accept her, she  always tries to manipulate me and make me feel weak. I wanted to study and work as I was so tired of being at home just thinking about her all the time, but she told my husband that all women must sit at home and look after their children they have no right to work.

I am at my parents home now, and I have told them everything, they are really upset and angry but no one knows what to do or where to go from here. I am so confused as I have two children and I want them to have everything of the best and not to be brought up seeing their parents fighting and screaming. Is there any solution to my problem? I really need advice, please help. Should I forgive and forget after all that has happened?  Or expect the worst still to come as now my husband is forcing me to move back with his family in the US as he has made a 'grave mistake' of leaving them in the first place.


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12 Responses »

    One of the wife’s rights is that her husband should provide her with safe accommodation. This may vary according to what the husband can afford. A rich man should provide something that is appropriate for him, and a poor man is not obliged to do any more than that which is in accordance with what Allaah has given him.

    It is not permissible for a husband to make anyone live with his wife whose presence will cause her harm
    But if the husband can provide one house for his parents and another for his wife close by, this is a good action, and by doing so he will be giving each of them their rights, without causing any separation or arguments.

    You have the right to insist on a separate accommodation from his parents house. Your husband cannot force you to stay with his parents. He must arrange your separate accommodation.

  2. I definitely do not think you should just forgive and forget everything, because this will not ever stop until you decide not to tolerate this abuse anymore - not only for your sake, but for your children's, too.

    If it was me, I'd force my husband to have a very serious chat with me where I'd basically tell him, again, what his parents are doing and how it affects me and my children. Then I'd tell him that if he does not pull himself together and start supporting me some more and tell his mother to back off, how hard it may be, then he should divorce me, because I have the right to be treated as a humanbeing. If he still says he can't confront his parents/mother, then I'd really just pack my things and leave him. There's no reason that your children and yourself should live like this...

  3. Assalamualaikum sister,

    I feel really bad for what your husband is doing. Mother in laws of this kind are quite common, but your husband should be supportive and should console you, while respecting his own parents and patiently, politely asking them not to do what they are doing.

    So the problem is that your husband does not know what you are going through. Perhaps his mother lies to him about your behavior. Sister, call him up and tell him that you need to discuss.

    Let not your parents be angry, this will add to the complications. Be polite and cry if required. Tell him what you have been seeing. Remind him of the pain during your second pregnancy, bearing it all alone with no one to share.

    Erase his anger first with all such speech. When he has calmed down and is in a solution mode, tell him that you respect his mother, but she does not like you, which is resulting in an adverse effect on you, phychologically. Suggest that you both live separately with minimal interference of his mother. Tell him that when you are in distress, instead of hitting you; he should be consoling.

    I do not say that you are free from error, I am not aware of the situation from both angles. But this should work in either case, in sha Allah.

    I strongly oppose your husband for hitting your face. He is not allowed to do so. The proof for my claim is the following Hadith from Ibn Majah:

    It was narrated from Hakim bin Mu`âwiyah, from his father, that a man asked the Prophet : ``What are the rights of the woman over her husband?'' He said: ``That he should feed her as he feeds himself and clothe her as he clothes himself; he should not strike her on the face nor disfigure her, and he should not abandon her except in the house (as a form of discipline).'' ( Hasan )

    So, my sister, do not go to him wihout discussing. And when you have discussed and if you both come to an agreement, forgive him for what he has done. Because Allah's Rasool Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam said:

    Those who have mercy will receive the mercy of the Most Merciful. Have mercy on those who are on earth, the One in heavens will have mercy on you." (Tirmidhi ).

    But remember that if you do not clear the issues, staying with him may give rise to further wrong. Discuss and look for a solution together.

    Abu Abdul Bari Editor

  4. Salam,

    Sorry to say ur husband is not man enough to protect his wife and kids. Looks like he likes to be told how to live his life by his mom. Have a serious chat with him. How dare he hits u? From now on u've to communicate with him clearly. U tell him what to do if he really wants to spend his life with u. Otherwise, tell him to go n live with his mum. If u r in new zealand, warn him - one more hit on ur face would cause him jail time. Just call 911 and let him deal the rest. Sister, fight for ur rights. Tell ur ML to shut up her low class mouth. Enough is enough.

  5. Thank you all for the responses, but I don't understand how I can talk to someone who does not believe that his mother can ever be wrong. Is it a sin to say that an adult has done or said something wrong? He can hit me in front of her but he can not say that she is wrong. He keeps sending me hadith saying that one can not say that one's mother is wrong ever.

    I don't know what I have done to deserve such a partner, I did not date or anything before marriage. I hardly even spoke to any men before, had reserved everything for my husband and intact I have sacrificed a lot for him too. I do want to fight for my rights but then I see my young kids and their innocent eyes looking down at me. I have been manipulated by them as they keep saying that my parents are making me 'change',i.e. if I just keep quiet Im a good daughter in law but if I speak then Im under influence of my parents.

    I can try and speak to my husband but I am sure that he will never believe that his mother has done anything to hurt me, and she knows it. Also if he hit me once can he do it again?

    • You have to be a bit firm and tell your husband that he HAS to sit down with you as you have something important to talk to him about. If he refuses then there's no need for you to even give him any more chances, he obviously doesn't respect you.

      I would leave if he wouldn't talk to me, tell his mother to back off (which is not haram, despite what he's told you) and start to respect you more as his wife. And definitely I would leave if he hits me again.

    • Without doubt, if what you have said is exactly true, then his mother is a threat to your relation. So I think you should have a condition that she does not interfere. His rights towards his mother are true, but you are obliged to obedience, only to him. A separate home without interence is something you deserve.

      Abu Abdul Bari Editor

  6. I agree with everybody else you really need to have a serious talk with your husband about this, and till him enough is enough your his wife you and the kids should come 1st. Honestly I hate must mother inlaws they can be so evil and mean, they need to mine there own business instead of opening there big mouths and talk to much. They brain wash there sons to be mean to there wife's, so I really think you need to have a serious talk with your husband, if he still doesn't change then you need to leave him.And Remeber always be there for your kids no men's are worth your tears. Insallah Allah open a better door for you.

  7. I will definitely talk to him soon, but I am not very hopeful. I feel like I have wasted the best part of my life for someone who never really cared. These decisions are so tough and I believe that marriage is a gamble. But I have never really seen a husband that does not knw his priorities. I am not going to shed another tear for him now and if he does not listen to me and tries to manipulate me and degrade me, I am going to leave as I do not want my children to grow up in such a hostile environment.

    I still respect my in laws as they are elders, but that does not give them the right to criticise me, if even for once, they had appreciated something that I had done I would've have forgotten everything else. Sometimes I get a feeling that my ML has a mental disorder as she can not see her son happy with me at all.

    I think that I will give it one more chance before I make a final decision, please pray for me, and thank you all once again for the advice, I was so confused as the mindset that I come from, we tend to depend on our husbands a lot. I am happy that my parents have educated me both of deen and dunya, so if things don't work out i will support my children on my own.

    I just hope that when parents do find a partner for their daughter they should meet the man's family and get to know them and then only make a decision, not only look at education and job. I wish sometimes that I could turn back time, maybe if I said 'no' things might have been different today...

    • Nothing could have been different. Allah Destined that you marry him, and you did. And sister, if you speak to him with a negative attitude, it will never work. You are meeting him, in order to sort things and not make the matters worse. Never say "if I had not done this, things would have been different". This is because of the following Hadith:

      It was narrated that Abû Hurairah said: ``The Messenger of Allâh ﺻﻠﻰ اﻟﻠﻪ ﻋﻠﻴﻪ ﻭﺳﻠﻢ said: `The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allâh than the weak believer, although both are good. Strive to do that which will benefit you and seek the help of Allâh, and do not feel helpless. If anything befalls you, do not say: ``If only I had done (such and such), then such and such would have happened,'' rather say: ``Allâh has decreed and what He wills He does.'' For; ``if only'' opens the door to the work of the Sh aitân. ’’’

      So begin by doing Istikhaarah and then speak to him in "soluion mode". I pray that Allah makes love in both your hearts intense for each other. Aameen.

      Abu Abdul Bari Editor

  8. I will definitely talk to my husband. Can you please guide me how to do istikhaara in the right way? Also I have another problem at hand, I feel that even if I do manage to work things out with my husband my parents will still hate him. Their perceptions about him will not get cleared. Is there anything I can do to get them to have at least some hope for us.

    Still confused as my parents are not at all convinced that he will change and be good to me.

    • If things work out, your parents will automatically be convinced, in sha Allah, when they will see their daughter happy. You should try first, right?

      This is how you do Istikhaarah:

      Pray 2 rakaa'aat of naafilah (extra prayers - other than the obligatory ones), then recite the following du'a, while understanding wach and every word you utter (read and understand the meanings first, so that you understand what you are saying.

      "Allahumma inni astakhiru-ka bi-'ilmi-ka wa astaqdiru-ka bi-qudrati-ka wa as'alu-ka min fadli-ka 'l-'azim fa-inna-ka taqdiru wa la aqdiru wa ta'lamu wa la a'lamu wa Anta 'Allamu 'l-ghuyub, Allahumma in kunta ta'lamu anna hadha'l-amra (mention the matter here) khairun li fi dini wa ma'ashi wa 'Aqibati amri fa'qdir-hu li wa yassir-hu li thumma barik li fih, wa in kunta ta'lamu anna hadhal amra (mention the matter here) sharrun li fi deeni wa ma'aashi wa aqibati amri fasrifhu anni wasrifni anhu, waqdir liyal khairu haithu kaana, thummardhini bihi"

      "O Allah! I seek goodness from Your Knowledge and with Your Power (and Might) I seek strength, and I ask from You Your Great Blessings, because You have the Power and I do not have the power. You Know everything and I do not know, and You have knowledge of the unseen. Oh Allah! If in Your Knowledge this action (mention the matter) is better for my religion, for my life and end [death], then make it destined for me and make it easy for me and then add blessings [baraka'] in it, for me. O Allah! In Your Knowledge if this action (mention the matter) is bad for me, bad for my religion, for my life and end [death], then turn it away from me and turn me away from it and whatever is better for me, ordain [destine] that for me and then make me satisfied with it."

      May Allah make it easy for you and I pray that your husband understands.

      Abu Abdul Bari Editor

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