I have been skyping with my mother in law. She is such a fantastic woman!
She has been living in Oman now for the better part of 30 years, keeping her integrity, living her life as a free independent equal woman, supported by her husband and gradually she has been able to get the rest of his family to accept her point of view too.
Now though, she was worried.
My husband’s #2 is going to live with the eldest sister of my father in law. She is sickly and in need of help. Her best friend is living with her since she became a widow, but that lady is very old too and not of much help. #2 is staying there already since my parents in law won’t allow her in their home. My husband however has to live at home out of respect for his parents, but also because he can’t inconvenience the friend of his aunt.
So – they are already forced to live apart!
Now, my mother in law told me my husband had been over to see #2, and he had brought an imam. His aunt had called my mother in law and told her all about it. Obviously, my husband had brought the imam so they could lay down the law to #2, and tell her the rules for the future. She is not to accept any visitors that are not approved by my husband. She may skype with her mother and father on occasion, but nobody else. She may not leave the house without my husband’s explicit approval. She will not be allowed to go back to her studies, but is only allowed to do islamic studies via recorded lectures.
My mother in law didn’t know what to do. She said, basically in Oman my husband has a right to do this to #2. But my mother in law would never have accepted it normally, and my father in law would not have allowed it to happen in his family. But with things as they are, they don’t really know what to do.
My mother in law asked me what I thought. Did I want them to try and get #2 “a better deal” or did I want them to turn a blind eye?