Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
I have been married for eight months. Before marriage, my husband asked me if I was OK with living with his parents, and I said yes because I was truly willing. He then said that he preferred to have our own space, so we would move out of his parent’s house shortly after getting married. After marriage, I began having issues because my mother-in-law is very controlling. She tells me when I should call my mom, visit my parents, sleep, wake up, etc. How can I convince him to move out?
Thank you for your question. A woman has a right to her own living quarters. in Islam. Although most people know this, it usually takes some time to reach the point of moving out, so you will need to be patient.
Living together for now
Although a woman has the right to ask to live separately, she should still try to get along with her in-laws, living with them or not. Make a point of having your husband defend you, and stand up for you. He should tell his mother that he wants you to sleep or eat at whatever time, and she will certainly not argue with him. When any major issue arises, you should discuss it with your husband, and he should talk to his mother with the honor and respect that is due to her. Please try the tips in the links below:
Establish habits and boundaries
You should try to go out once a week for date night with your husband, without fail, and establish habits in the home that she knows she can’t interrupt. Otherwise, in the light of good character, try to be kind, and devote yourself to sitting with her every day, whether it be a half-hour or one hour, and show her that you care about her by doing little things for her. Usually, this good character is enough for a mother-in-law to leave her daughter-in-law alone.
Tell your husband that you feel ready to move out, especially after having lived with them for a year. Don’t be pushy or nagging, but tell him that you prefer to bond with him more, learn how to run a home yourself, and take on more responsibility, and have more freedom. Don’t blame your mother-in-law at all. Tell him that you still want to spend time with your in-laws and give them their due respect and time. Explain your feelings to him with love, support, and confidence, and by the grace of Allah, he will respond the same way.
The best of wives
Keep in mind what the Prophetic hadith about the pious wife: 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. ‘”[Musnad of Ahmad]
In short, remember that a new bride may feel overwhelmed at the beginning of her new life with learning to cope with a whole new slew of foreign personalities. Still, the truth is that both sides will eventually get accustomed to one another, and over the years, become friends by the grace of Allah. 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 aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.