Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil
Question: I am the only son, and am stuck between my mother and my wife. I have been trying to solve this issue over the last few years by using proofs from the Qur’an and Hadith, but it hasn’t worked. My wife has left to live in her own home with my 2 year old daughter, and she is not coming back.
What do I do?
Answer: Assalam alaykum wa rahmat Allah wa barakatuh,
I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.
This is a delicate situation, and I am sorry that things have escalated to this point.
Islam calls to balance in all things, especially when it comes to the rights of others. May Allah reward you for trying your best.
I strongly recommend that you and your wife sit down for marital counseling. You have a toddler—she needs both her parents to be emotionally available for her. Children can sense when something is wrong, especially with their parents. Your daughter needs to feel safe, and because of that, healing your marriage is a top priority. In reality, you have three women to think about, and not two.
I recommend that you apologize to your mother, and explain that you need to stay with your wife. Focus on healing your marriage, and while you do so, continue to spend time with your mother. She will be very unhappy that you are no longer living with her, so bear her complaints with patience and good character. If possible, spend at least every weekend in your mother’s home.
Your wife has the right to separate living quarters. Please read that carefully, and reflect on why your wife no longer wants to live with your mother. Hear her out. Living with in-laws can be stressful, even for the best of marriages.
I strongly encourage that you enroll in the course The Successful Islamic Marriage when registration reopens. Please prioritize this. It is obligatory upon you to know what Allah expects from you in both your relationship with your parents, as well as your wife.
Many elderly parents expect their adult children and grandchildren to live with them. With mutual respect, a lot of compromises, and a focus on good character, this living arrangement can be a source of great blessing and mutual benefit. However, this doesn’t always happen.
Do whatever you can to be of service to your mother. Spend time with her, help her with errands, go to family functions with her, and so on. Is your mother a widow? If your father has passed away, then it is even more important for you to be there for her. Even so, you must balance her needs with that of your wife’s. This truly is a difficult scenario, and I pray that Allah makes it easier for you, and rewards you for trying your best.
[Ustadha] Raidah Shah Idil
Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil has spent almost two years in Amman, Jordan, where she learned Shafi’i’ fiqh, Arabic, Seerah, Aqeedah, Tasawwuf, Tafsir and Tajweed. She continues to study with her Teachers through Qibla Academy and SeekersHub Global. She also graduated with a Psychology and English degree from University of New South Wales.