I am having marriage issues because of the interference of my in-laws and I wonder how to deal with this. I am from the UK, my husband is from abroad and feels obligated to keep sending money to his family who are extremely wealthy already. The grandfather, who owns many properties in the UK, also sends them money for the maintenance of their vast lands and home. My husband and I owe money to his grandfather and my parents, who helped towards a deposit for our house in the UK; due to the financial struggle, we have not given one penny back in four years. The in-laws keep asking for more money as well as for items which can easily be found in their country for a fraction of the price that they cost here. We even had our mother-in-law over as a visitor because she wanted to meet her grandson and could not wait for us to bring him to them. Despite our financial situation, she demanded it.
Many things have happened since she came to UK, she badmouths people, invited non-mahrams (permanently unmarriageable people) to my house to chat with them, and sometimes even made me leave my own house when they would come. She lies and does not treat people kindly. I never told any of this to my husband or to his grandfather. I kept silent out of love and respect.
It has now come to my attention that my mother-in-law has been telling my husband's grandfather (her father-in-law) that I did not treat her right or disobeyed her. He told my parents about that, and now I feel trapped. I cannot speak up, fearing the consequences, for my husband can be a violent man.
It feels like my in-laws have a right to control every aspect of my and my husband's life; my husband does not treat me with kindness. If I ask him to help me with something, he has to question why. I am expecting his second child now and eight months pregnant; I should not extert myself in preparing our son's bedroom. He would rather spend his day off sleeping or going to see his friends. His sister has announced that she wants to name the new baby without my consent. I feel so trapped and alone.
May Allah make it easy for you; life is challenging and full of tests, and people are tested differently. Allah is the Most Wise; therefore, He would test His slaves with matters of ease and matters of difficulty to see who is grateful and who is patient. Humans are a test to one another. To overcome these types of tests, we need a mixture of knowledge and action.
Here is some of the advice that I would like to offer:
1- Make sure that you are not looking at your situation with an extreme view; sometimes we might exaggerate our feelings, which leads us to not being able to see things from a just point of view. Give the benefit of the doubt and try to find excuses for others. I know that this might sound a bit harsh, I am not accusing you but am rather trying to help you purify your heart from any ill feelings towards those who harm you and disturb you.
2- Wish good for your in-laws and supplicate that Allah guide them and help them.
3- If you have been wrongly accused by your mother in-law, then be patient and Allah will make things better for you. Treat her well and try to speak to your husband in a kind way about the situation.
4- Seek rewards from Allah by waiting for the rewards in this life and the Hereafter. Life is a test, and everyone is tested accordingly; Allah is the Most Wise. Some people are tested with a lack of wealth, a lack of health, etc., and some people are tested by other human beings in their lives, so your in laws are a test for you.
5- Never approve of haram; if your in-laws indulge in it, then you should be away and distance yourself.
6- Increase your worship and prayers at night, it gives strength in every-day issues like that.
7- If your in-laws’ visit is temporary, then it will be easy. If they stay for good, then you have the right to be independent, but without disputes that can lead to problems in the family.
May Allah make it easy for you and bless your family and give you patience.