My family is having in-laws issues - how can I help them?

I appreciate the fact that you are trying to resolve this dilemma in your family, even though you are not living there. It's people like you who make a difference to extended families... the norm is to leave the family in distress and to thank Allah for not giving YOU the test! May Allah reward you for your endeavours, Ameen.

From an outsider’s point of view, I can see how hard this is for everyone. Of course you all want your mother to be happy and looked after in her old age, yet it is important for the young family to also have a life of their own, esp. since they are doing the tough task of living with their mother/mother in law.

They key is to find a compromise where all parties are happy, and out of the ‘danger zone’ this means they are not so depressed, suicidal, angry, bitter, etc. A working compromise. It may not be the ideal circumstance, but it’s ‘liveable’. This is step one. The ultimate goal is everyone being content and happy. God willing, this is achievable with a bit of hard work.

Now, I don't know what kind of situation you have in your relative's home, so I will need some answers from you, for example, who is doing what, how long they have been married, etc. But the fact that the DIL is 'disobedient' or rebellious towards her husband may mean she doesn’t know how to communicate. And unfortunately we lack these role models in our lives and it becomes harder for us to behave in the most effective way, esp. when under stress. Unfortunately, until she learns to speak her husband’s language, she won't be able to get through to him, and won't get his support.... but that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t support her... he needs to do this for the sake of Allah, knowing that he is being loving and considerate to his wife, and this is good for his marriage and half of his deen, and is also a waslia for his mother to be looked after in her old age. Double rewards. And if either party changes... the other party will change automatically. Alhamdolillah.

I do think the wife will benefit from her separate housing/living space. This is their God given right, and it should be taken lightly. She needs her own kitchen, her own living room, her own bathroom and bedroom (obviously). Here is a critical point: You will only be able to get the wife to meet her MILs needs once you meet the wife’s needs. Once her needs are met she will be able to do things happily.

I hope this helped,


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