Islamic marriage advice and family advice

Trapped between family relationships

prayer dua marriage

I got married 9 years ago. My wife was my choice for marriage and it took me a lot of effort and time to convince my parents to agree on this proposal despite the fact that we had family terms. Ever since my parents agreed to the proposal, relationships between my parents and me and my parents and my wife including her family is on the downfall.

In our traditional Indian society the male members family is considered to be on an upper hand and the females family always has to bear with things (which in my opinion is absurd).

My wife is very loyal to me and is raising my kids up to my expectations and is very pious and offers prayers, tries to manage the house in my less salary and keeps me happy.

Just after my marriage I had to move to my work city and since no arrangement for living with my wife was available there so I had to leave her behind at my parents place. That is when things got bad between my wife and parents as my father took things in his hands in my absence. My father knocked on my wife's room and woke her up and told her to make breakfast for the family. He forced my wife to wear scarf if she had go out with them anywhere. Otherwise my father tone is a little harsh and he is a little short tempered so these traits added fuel to the fire. One day my wife got very sick and instead of taking her to the hospital my father left her at her parents place to get treatment from there.

I came on leave and took her with me to my work city after arranging accomodation. My wife got pregnant in the meanwhile and I left her at her parents place. Once I came back next time I took my pregnant wife to live at my parents place. Then I wanted my wife to have our baby in some good hospital whereas my company offered free medical treatment and my father wanted to avail that. Like all free goverment treatment facilities that place was also crowded and ill managed. Good care wasnt available.

My father scolded us and forbade us not to go there and even abused my wife and her parents in front of us but it was my choice. I took my wife to the private hospital and then left her at her parents and came back home alone.

Ever since then I come on leave I take my wife to my parents house for a few days and then for the bulk of the time I live with my wife at her parents house and she is comfortable there. My father has told me many times not to do so and told the complete family (my paternal and maternal side) that I have become dis-obedient and no one should even talk to me. He has done many things to further ruin his impression on my wife and her parents by trying to handle things with threats, force and anger.

Now I have 3 children. I live with my wife separately in a seperate city where I work but whenever we come on leave there is an issue. My father wants me to stay at his house for the complete time. Recently after my mother scolded my wife for the first time my wife has disagreed to come to my parents house.

Now I have limited options. Either I can stop coming on leave but then my father says he will come to my home and live there (he does not have any financial or health problems alhamdolliah) just to show my wife that she can't run anywhere and tease her. Now I cannot stop my parents from visiting me either. Secondly my father said to me that from now if I go and live with her at her parenrs house then my relation with my parents is finished.

Firstly, I want to know how can I fulfill my wife's rights while avoiding dis-obedience of my parents? Should I stop going to my wife's parents house to live with her during my stay at my native city which often becomes more than a month?

Secondly, what should I do if my parents come and start living at my house in my work city? My relationship with my wife is suffering because of this and this is having a negative impact on my children too. I share good relations with my parents in law but my parents and her parents have no relation left and never meet. Please guide.


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2 Responses »

  1. Assalam alaikum,

    Living in a particularly desi family can be a huge challenge. Considering you married the woman of your choice and it was difficult to convince your parents, more than likely, this will always be held against you, but moreso against your wife to remind her of "her place." Often desi parents compete with their daughter-in-law when really their status of parents should never be compared to another relationship in the first place. Parents have their rights and your wife and children have theirs--rights need not be taken away to give to another in order to fulfill your obligatory responsibilities towards them.

    I am going to suggest something and I hope you give it some thought. Obedience to parents doesn't necessarily equal making them happy. Take a moment to really think about that. You could be the most obedient son, fulfilling every obligation towards your parents, however, they may still be unhappy with you. It could even be that their happiness depends on your wife's unhappiness--which, if true, is very unfortunate. The point is, instead of focusing on making everyone happy, focus instead on fulfilling your duties while understanding how people feel is their responsibility, not yours.

    Also, talk to your wife (which you have probably done) about the situation and ask her for her understanding. If you are there with her and support her and she does the same for you, inn shaa Allah, no one can break that tie. So long as you both understand one another, outside factors should not influence negatively your relationship or diminish the love you both have for one another.

    I don't think you should stop going to your wife's parents' house as this would send the wrong message to your children. You may want to reduce the time you spend there, but not going altogether isn't wise. Is it possible to go their discreetly? Simply give more time to your parents, listen to their concerns, and do what is duty and within your capacity to do--and never answer back to them. The power struggle perceived by your parents that is occurring between them and your wife may be discouraged by reassuring your parents by 1) listening to them, 2) spending more time with them when you get a chance, 3) not arguing back.

    As for your parents coming to live with you there are a few options:
    1) find two small places close to eachother in your work city that you can afford (probably not that feasible)
    2) find a relatively large place in which there would be privacy for your wife and parents--especially where there could be a separate kitchen area for your wife--to at least give your wife some privacy

    Finally, you mentioned that your father has threatened to come and live with you if you no longer visit your parents and to let your wife know that she doesn't run the show--so simply keep visiting and give your father more importance than you normally do. Since you are supportive to your wife, I would imagine she should understand this difficult task and support you--if she knows you emotionally support her and both of you have a good relationship then helping one another through these challenges only makes sense.

    The bottom line, both you and your wife should not let anything destroy your successful relationship and support each other in actions and emotionally.

    May Allah swt ease the challenges in your family dynamics, Ameen.

  2. Sit ur parents down and ask them what are there needs and think why they have these needs....
    Make an agreement between wife n parents...and how things will work n be fair fr everyone take steady safe healthy steps...they may have concerns that ur wife has taken u away from them .try being patient ut dad must have blood pressure.. To get angry quickly. Try n make extra effort with ur parents n wife try n speak nicely n do dua Allah blesses u to ur goal.

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