You are here

Mistreated by mother in law

Q:

Salemualeikum.
I wanna ask what's the role of  my mother in law in  my family .What's her right's on my children.I want to find an answer what is the best way to react to it.
We don't live with husband parents,but mother in law is visiting us from time to time.When she's staying at our house,she's making up her rules,commenting on our life style,telling us what to do,what not to do,very often shouting if we disagree with her,specially if we buy toys for kids she's shouting that it is a sin because my kids already have many toys.In 8.5 years of marriages I didn't start arguing first,I never comment on her even once,it's always she's starting,sometimes I stand for myself,but still trying to do it in calm way.Last time I asked her not to shout on my kids and not give them command to do something,I've been told that I am not allowed to talk and to keep my mouth shut,all this different words was not saying by normal way,she shouted on me like all neighbors could hear it.
My husband always stands for what's right,many time's he argued with his mother asking for her to stop be bossy at home.My point is,even if my husband stands by my side,what is the best way for me to react as a muslimah who fears Allah.
My husband always tells me not put things deep in my mind,forgive her,as he say that she love me so much (for me love is respect at first apology which she didn't gave me after last fight and so on...) after last time we argued she apologized my husband,by telling him she's sorry and asking my husband to tell me that she's sorry,for me it feels like all she wants that her son would love her the most (which I am fine with it she's his mother) and that her son wouldn't be mad at her thats very important to her,otherwise she would apologized me for hurting my feelings.By the way i argued  with my  husband  many times because of her interference 
Is it okay for mother in law shout on my kids at my home,to command them to clean their room etc .when she's visiting us?
She done good things for us too ,but negative screams louder that positive at this point.Is it okay to tell me in front of other family member that I need to lose weight,because I am fat,it was insulting for me that time because I was just gave birth to my baby,and when I called her rude she played a victim to my husband in the evening that his,wife called his mother rude (she's ignoring the fact that she was insulting me) and how I dare to ask her not to shout on my kids,because she's a grandmother,and she us bigger and I was talking like a dog.is all of this okay?Should I still be kind to her?This is driving me crazy to the point that for a split second I am even questioning my own marriage!
Thank you in advance.

A:

Waalykum salam 
 
Thank you for your Question.
 
Sorry to hear about your situation. And yes it can be very hard at times. 
But kindly don’t blame it on your marriage!  Your husband, as you put down your self, sounds like genuine man and is ready to listen. 
So as it is said,silence speak louder than words. Your silence in provoking situation will really cause things to end up in your favor
 
I would suggest you do the following: 
1- Make an announcement in the house before she arrives. Say, Grandma is coming home, we know she shouts and has her rules, but she won’t stay long. Please let’s just listen to her and make her happy. (Let your husband know about the announcement and tell him you’re trying to help the kids, yourselves and the grandma to have a better stay) this will mentally prepare everyone and you will be at peace when the shoutings really comes.
 
2- Don’t react to her rude behavior. Please take a moment and think about this, she really tried her best to bring you to a state of reacting. What if you stopped reacting!? Her actions will have no meaning and eventually she will be forced to stop it. ( try and be pro active instead of reactive) once she starts acting up. All of you, collectively, go in a quiet mode and look at her for a brief moment, and then quickly disperse to give her  space and time. This polite gestures will really coax her into thinking InshaAllah. 
 
3- Your dignity and respect is very vital. Her shoutings and disrespecting you isn’t very polite. You should welcome feedback (even if negative) but ask her, in front of your husband, to tell you what she finds wrong in you. Say I want to learn, but in a polite way. This act will prove to your husband that you want to be constructive and also stop your Mother in law from shouting at you in front of strangers. 
 
4- Explain your children that they need to love and comply with her demands when she comes. As explained in no.1, but make your sure your love for grandma shows more than your worry and concern. This way you will help your children grow as balanced people who will love their Grandma and uphold their mother kind behavior and teachings. 
 
5- Make sure that through the thick and the thin, you must maintain your relation and good communication with your husband. Once that gets spoilt or disrupted, your marriage can suffer. And that’s not in anyone’s favor! 
 
6- Make loads of dua for your Mother in law. She needs duas to balance out. The duas will kindle love and care for her and InshaAllah Allah will collectively bless all of you. 
 
Good luck, 
Kind regards 
 
Naajiya Jaffery