Question: Hello Fiona! I have been reading your blog for quite some time. And I can understand your frustration but I wish you could find peace. I write to ask your advice. You seem very knowledgable and I trust you to give an islamic correct answer without male chauvinist bias (ok? lol)
I have a husband who always compares me to his mother, and not in my favor. He tells me she is a better cook, keeps a tidier house, always obeys his father and so on and I don’t measure up. When I ask him something, if I can buy somethin or if I am allowed to do something he always calls his mother to hear what she says and she always tells him to be the man in the house and say no to me and not become ruled by me. Even a small thing like a new scarf or something, he calls his mother and she says no, it is not appropriate to allow the wife to wish for things and have them. Now she is trying to arrange a second wife for him. I could never survive that! This has been going on for some time and I hate it and I am losing it with my husband over it. But I have become close to my father in law since we like the same books and like poetry and talk about it. Now I am pregnant with my first child and my father in law is very happy. He now told me if there is anything I want he would like to give me a wish and make me happy.
Is it halal to wish he tells my mother in law never to interfere in my marriage again? or is that disrespectful so I will be punished? My mother in law must obey her husband so if he says this to her it will save me. Am I ok in asking this of my father in law? Thank you for advice.
Answer: If you want to get your mother in law out of your marriage, I believe it might be the only way. You don’t say where your husband’s from, but in many cultures where women are oppressed by isamic rules saying they must stay in their homes, marry when they are children, live their lives being constantly pregnant, obey their husbands, taking beatings from their husbands, the women become oppressors too. And when they get a chance to take some of their suffering out on somebody else, usually daughters in law, they do. Haven’t you heard about mothers in law who e.g. pour acid over their sons’ wives? So she is using her power over you, because it’s the only power she has ever had. It is very sad.
So yes, my advice would be to have your father in law command her never to interfere in matters concerning you again. It is harsh. But I would say it’s your only chance. Good luck!