I Live With an Abusive and Depressed Mother-In-Law – Should I Leave My Husband?

Answered by Ustadha Raidah Shah Idil

Question: My husband is a good man. I have lived with my in laws, and not a day goes by where my mother-in-law does not fight with my husband over me. If I sit downstairs, she makes horrible remarks about me.

I have now come back to my parents’ home; I feel so much happier. Am I being impatient in my marriage? I want to leave my husband.

Answer: Assalamualaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray this finds you well. Please forgive me for the delay.

Dear sister, may Allah lift this tribulation from you, and grant you tranquility and ease. What you are going through is all too common, and very heartbreaking.

Living conditions

Islamically, you have rights to your own separate quarters. Please read A Wife’s Right to Housing Separate From Her In-Laws by Mufti Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari and share this with your husband.

One of the keys to success in a happy marriage is balance. It sounds like your husband has a faulty cultural understanding of the duty of a daughter-in-law. The solution to ignorance is sound knowledge.

When registration re-opens, please complete Islamic Marriage: Guidance for Successful Marriage and Married Life, and encourage your husband to do the same. Understanding the spirit and law of a successful Islamic marriage will help you both be on the same page.

Consultation

The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “The most hated of permissible things to Allah is divorce. “ [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Although divorce might seem like your only way out of this hardship, please exhaust all avenues before you decide on ending your marriage.

Is there a trustworthy local scholar who can help mediate matters between you and your husband? Is there a marriage counsellor who can help you both reach an agreement?

You have described your husband as a good man, so please give him a chance before you decide. I pray that he understands how difficult your living situation is for you, and that Allah inspires him to work together with you to find a solution. If your mother-in-law is unable to see the error of her ways, then for the sake of your sanity and your marriage, I hope that you are both able to move out.

Solutions

Please perform the Prayer of Guidance up til seven times to help you decide what to do. If Allah makes the way easy for you to reconcile, then this is your answer. If Allah makes easy for you to leave your husband, then that is your answer.

Please perform the Prayer of Need in the last third of the night (before Fajr enters) and beg Allah for help.

Repentance

The Messenger of Allah (upon him be blessings and peace) said: “Whoever persists in asking for forgiveness, Allah will grant him relief from every worry, and a way out from every hardship, and will grant him provision from (sources) he could never imagine.” [Ibn Majah]

Make constant istighfar every day and trust Allah will make a way out for you.

Perspective

As immersed as you are right now with the trial of your mother-in-law, don’t lose sight of the One who is sending you these trials. Allah is the Turner of hearts, even hers.

Even if you were to live in your own home, the first year of marriage is often a stressful adjustment. I cannot imagine how much more difficult it is for you, while living under the constant stress of your depressed mother-in-law. Please look after yourself in this time, and reach out to loved ones who support your final decision.

Please refer to the following links:

What Are Some Prophetic Supplications That Can Help Me Deal With Trials in My Life?
A Reader on Patience and Reliance on Allah
Dealing With an Ill-Tempered Mother in Law
How to Handle Mean In-Laws?

Wassalam,
Raidah

Checked & Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.