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Family Matter
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Quote seeking_garden Replybullet Topic: Living with my parents – wife not happy
    Posted: 02 September 2012 at 6:35am
Assalmu 'alaikum,

I pray you are all well and in the shade of Allah's mercy. I recently joined after searching the net for Muslim marriage counseling forums.   I came here to get advice for my specific situation...
Here goes...bismillah.

My father is a senior citizen and mother is recovering from cancer.   They can barely afford to live on their own so they are living with me and help pay the bills.

My wife does not have a job and I continue to insist that she does not work as long as I am able to provide for the entire family, Insha Allah. She is not required to cook or clean for my parents either.   Our home is big enough that we do not get in each other's way.

The only thing I ask of my wife is to serve my parents when they are in sick or tired, to allow me to spend time with them (not more than 15 mins per day) and to allow me to take them to the doctor, shopping etc. since my parents are unable to drive.

After our son was born, we've had lots of disagreements. The biggest issue right now is my wife feels that my parents are getting in the way of our marriage. Instead of repeating all the incidents that have occurred in the past I would just like to mention an example of what happened recently that has caused a lot of disharmony.

I had agreed to take my wife shopping and then to the park with our son.   When my father learned of this, he tried to make arrangements so that we would be able to give him a ride for his own shopping. My wife got upset immediately, insisted that we cannot change our plans to suit my parents and basically my father stopped talking. I would have liked to at least let my father finish his request and try to negotiate something that would work for all of us.

I believe that my wife should be able to make minor compromises to allow me to serve my elderly/sick parents. Instead she puts them down rudely and accuses them of disrupting our marriage. I think that changing our plans by a half hour to drive my parents for 5 minutes is not going out of our way to accommodate my parents.

Any advice? I hope you don't deem this to be too minor to respond to...this is HUGE for us because stuff like this keeps happening.

My wife will be coming here to read your responses and I really hope and you can help us understand how to deal with this situation in a way that will restore harmony in our family.

May Allah reward you for your time.

Edited by seeking_garden - 02 September 2012 at 6:36am
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Quote lady Replybullet Posted: 06 September 2012 at 7:40am
Smile This post made me smile.
It is extremely important for you to respect your parents.  Doing so, can bring you so much blessings, peace of mind.... in you life.Smile
And  by not doing so, can bring you destruction, punishments, etc.  There is no excuse to speak rudely to your parents at all.
Your wife may sometimes feel neglected or feel like she does not have any alone time with you. But this does not excuse her behavior of how she reacts to your parents.    We all can learn each minute and each day, etc on how to be better muslims.  Talk to your wife gently and tell her that her disrespecting your parents is not acceptible.  There are many kind ways to do this.  Use your creativity.  Smile
She may feel like you do not spend personal private time with her alone that is outside of the house, or even inside of the house.  Maybe if you plan do spend time with her alone, then ask your parents if they need anything from you before you go out with your wife, etc.  If so then try to do this the night before your date with your wife, or many hours before you spend time with your wife.  Explain this to your parents as well that you would like some alone time with your wife, and that if they need anything then you can take care of it in advance time or after you come back home with your wife, etc.
I wish understanding between you, your wife, and the relationship you have with your parents and the relationship your wife haas with them as well.
May Allah be with you.

Edited by lady - 06 September 2012 at 7:43am
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Quote abuayisha Replybullet Posted: 06 September 2012 at 10:05am

 If I may add to the sound advice Lady has already offered,  please do not be overly harsh with your wife as it is indeed difficult living with parents.  You may also want to ensure that your wife isn't being mistreated by your parents in any manner.  Know that jealousy and competition may be factors on both sides, so a lot of patience and understanding on your part is in order.  Sadly, Muslims often do not temper their behavior against shariah, so reminders are good for the believers:

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-salaam) said: "May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced! May he be disgraced." It was said, "Who, O Messenger of Allah?" He said, "The person whose parents, one or both of them, reach old age during his lifetime but he does not enter Paradise (by rendering due services to them)." [Saheeh Muslim (4627)] Service of parents is essential at every stage of their life; whether they are young or old. But this Hadeeth mentions their old age for the reason that in that period of their life they stand in greater need of care and service.

Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu) saw a man carrying his mother going around the Kabah in Tawaf (circumambulation) and he asked Ibn Umar (radhi allahu anhu): "Have I fulfilled my duty towards her?" Ibn Umar replied: "Not even for one contraction! However, you have done good and Allah will reward you tremendously for the little that you could do." [Al-Kabair, p.42]

I also suggest, that if her parents are still alive, you make an effort to send them gifts and encourage your wife to visit them (at your expense).  Allah bless you and reward you for your efforts to please both your wife and parents.  " And We have enjoined upon man [care] for his parents. His mother carried him, [increasing her] in weakness upon weakness, and his weaning is in two years. Be grateful to Me and to your parents; to Me is the [final] destination."  Also, you must treat your wife kindly, and this may call for separate living accommodations if you are unable to manage between wife and family;  “…And live with them in kindness…” [Quran 4: 19]  Wallahu Mustaan!  Allah help you,  and bless you with a wife who will help you to make it to Paradise through service to your parents - and her parents, as well, when , and if needed.



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Quote Ron Webb Replybullet Posted: 06 September 2012 at 5:25pm
Perhaps if your wife is coming here to read the responses, she might want to tell her side of the story.  No offense intended, but it would be helpful to know why she doesn't get along with your parents, for instance, or what she thinks is the root cause of your disagreements.  Also, what is her cultural background?  I have a feeling it might be quite a bit different from yours.
Addeenul ‘Aql – Religion is intellect.
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Quote Chrysalis Replybullet Posted: 25 October 2012 at 9:01am
May Allah reward you for trying to please both your parents and wife.

You need to make sure you are giving your wife individual attention and love. She should also be able to confide in you regarding her frustrations and problems with having to live with your in-laws. It is indeed a sacrifice on her part.

To the wife I would say:
Communicate to your husband what it is exactly that bothers you about your in-laws. Do you feel like you are left out? Are they over-bearing, intrusive or rude? Do you wish you didn't have to take care of them? Whatever it is, identify it, and ask your husband to find a solution without having to hurt his parents. You need to find a solution to make life better for both parties. Do not lash out, be rude or difficult. That will not help anyone. Communicate and find solutions maturely. Think about how you would want your son to behave with you when you reach old-age, and then want for your in-laws what you would want for yourself.

For example, if the issue is her having to serve the in-laws, If you can afford it, hire house-help (like a maid) that can serve your elderly parents so your wife doesn't have to cook or clean after them.

If she feels like she does not get along with them, don't force her to spend time with them.

Basically, find a solution to make the current living arrangement more pleasing to both.

You may also need to talk to your parents very nicely and lovingly about how you can serve them better. For eg, you could say that if the shopping trip is not urgent, maybe you could take him later that day etc.

If your wife is feeling frustrated then she will react to things that aren't even an issue (for eg the shopping trip). Hear her out.

To the wife: Be reasonable, don't ask things that he cannot provide, or can't do. Don't expect him to abandon his parents, so be reasonable in your requests.

Touchy subject, I understand!
"O Lord, forgive me, my parents and Muslims in the Hereafter. O Lord, show mercy on them as they showed mercy to me when I was young."
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Quote janeausten Replybullet Posted: 25 October 2012 at 9:33am
wow that was a really good reply, Chrysalis.
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