SunniPath: Dealing with in-laws and a difficult marriage situation
Answered by Wajihah Gregor


I have a brother in law who is disabled. Because of this he has a very hot temper and is very hard to get in with. He gets very sensitive about issues and hard to have a conversation with or a debate in a calm manner esapecially if one does not agree with his point of view. I had patience with him before he got married, however now that he is married his wife tends to make a lot of complaints about me to him and he in return loses his temper with me with no regard to wether I am right or wrong. My father in law won''t say much to her as they say she looks after their disable4d son and has taken the pressure off them. His wife will not come to me directly if she has a problem she just keeps complaining to my brother in law or my father in law. I do not know what her complaints even are about and I do apologise to them but it just keeps carrying on.

I have two children and since that things between my inlaws have deteriorated because of my brother in law losing his temper with me and I find it very difficult now after having so much patience to stay calm they have told me not to come over again or accept his temper and his wife as she looks after their son and to apologise to them even if they are wrong and keep having patince with them. I find it very difficult to allow my husband to take our children over to their grandparents house as they now ask me why I do not go over and do I hate my in-laws. My husband will not say anything to his brother that he cannot speak to me like this he just says it is because he is disabled he cannot walk is why he is very aggressive.

What should I do in this situation. My husband has given me two divoreces because his brother gets angry with me and he expects me to stay calm and I do not. I find it very hard as my husband won''t say anything to him. Can he speak to me like that and is it acceptable. I have to protect myself with him all the time. I feel I am getting no protection from my husband in this regard. Islamically is m brother in laws attitude acceptable. Is it an exception him talking to me very agressively and his wife causing trouble. Do I have to have patience with this?

From the Answer ~ Points to Ponder:
  • Our intention should be to keep your family together while protecting the rights of everyone involved.
  • You absolutely do not have to tolerate verbal abuse from anyone
    If your attempts to repair and apologize have been met with increased animosity and harm, it is probably best to remain distant, without cutting them off completely, as this could potentially make things worse.
  • Though they may ask about your whereabouts, maintain a polite and fair but distant relationship with them.
  • It is a rule of wisdom in dealing with in-laws is that the husband should deal with his family and the wife with hers. This is because the family can easily forgive their own family member but not so easily an outsider.
  • Instead of dealing with your husband''s family directly, discuss the issues with your husband and do your best to win his support and understanding. I suggest that you sincerely focus on your relationship with your husband and do your best to strengthen your relationship and bond with him. With his support, your situation would improve.

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