How Can I Continue to Live with In-Laws While My Husband Travels?
Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
My husband travels for work many times a year, each time for a month or two. We live in his parents’ house, and he often leaves me with his parents and brother. He lets me visit my parents when he’s away but expects me to spend most of the time at his parents’ house. His mother’s behavior towards me & her interference in our relationship is ruining my mental health. I’m now constantly worried and feeling resentful. He wants to have kids soon, but I’m scared because his traveling causes me stress which could be highly damaging to my pregnancy. Also, he doesn’t want to live separately. He says we can see in two years, but I don’t trust him.
Thank you for your question. I empathize with your frustration and pray that the situation improves with your in-laws over time.
The most important thing you can do is bond with your husband while in town. It doesn’t matter what your in-laws say or do; always be your husband’s best friend. Be loving, listen to, and give him attention, positivity, and tender care. It was said, “O Messenger of Allah, what type of wife is best? He said, ‘The one who makes (her husband) happy when he looks at her, and she obeys him if he instructs her to do something, and she does not do anything with regard to herself or his wealth in a manner of which he does not approve.’” [Ahmad]
Although you have the right to separate living quarters, insisting on it and giving an ultimatum may not go over very well. I recommend you be patient, employ coping mechanisms, and have children. In-laws tend to soften up when children are around; soon enough, their home may not have enough space for your family to grow into, so everyone will see the need for you to move out.
Please see these links:
A Wife’s Right to Housing Separate From Her In-Laws
Having to Live With My In-Laws Is Difficult. What Do I Do?
Living with My Mother-In-Law Is Challenging. What Do I Do?
Turn to Allah
During this time, Allah must be your refuge. Turn to Him, pray on time, supplicate to Him, read the Quran every day, and seek to learn about your religion because it will give you peace. If you respond to your trials with patience and good character, tremendous good will come out of it, and you will find everything in your favor by the grace of Allah.
Please use the following resources to strengthen your marriage:
Marriage in Islam: Practical Guidance for Successful Marriage
Making Love Last: Prophetic Principles for a Successful Marriage
Prayer of Need (Salat al-Haja)
Etiquette of Marriage: A Comprehensive SeekersGuidance Reader
Some Prophetic Supplications for Difficulty and Distress
Love, Marriage, and Relationships in Islam: All Your Questions Answered
What Makes A Marriage Work – Shaykh Hamza Yusuf
Chapman, G: Five Love Languages Revised Edition
The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work
Handbook of a Healthy Muslim Marriage
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqida, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.