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Am I allowed to leave my parents?

Q:

Asalamalaikum, I am married now and have children. I currently live with my parents; however, my wife would like us to separate. I do agree with her as it would be nice to have our own privacy and independence. But my parents although not elderly, have their ailments. My mother for example has chronic back pain so has an expectation of my wife to take over all duties such as cooking and cleaning while doing little herself. I don’t think this is fair on my wife especially when she also has to take care of our children when I am at work. I have tried speaking to my mother telling her she needs to remain active and embrace her independence otherwise her back pain will be worse. Also that living in a joint family system, we can’t just rely on a single person (my wife) to do everything, we all have to contribute equally. However, this has fallen on deaf ears. My mother’s relationship with my wife has also severely deteriorated. Essentially, my parents have expectation of my wife to look after them into their elderly age. But my wife doesn’t want to take this responsibility and I agree with her. When I try to talk to my mother about these issues in a civilised way, she always makes out that she is the victim. This would be followed by sending me indirect Islamic picture/video messages through whatsapp which are along the lines of: 1. Hadith about how children shouldn’t disobey their parents 2. Hadith about how you should never raise your voice in front of parents 3. Videos of alims talking about the importance of parents and taking care of them etc. As I agree with all these points and do love my parents, this does make me feel guilty about wanting to leave. If we do move out, I know my mother will make herself more ill to make me feel guilty about leaving her. Regardless, I would still visit my parents to ensure they have everything they need to go about their daily lives, as well as take them to doctors when needed. But I don’t think I could handle my mother guilt tripping me every time. On one hand Islam tells us to take care of our parents like they took care of us when we most needed them and on the other hand it tells us to provide a safe and secure place for our wives to be happy. My question is what does someone like myself do in order to keep everyone happy? I would be most grateful for your reply and advice. Walaikumasalam.

A:

Bismillah Thank you for your question. The situation is certainly complex and sensitive and it is not something that has a straight forward answer and it will take time to reach a compromise. If your wife feels overburdened then try and find ways to reduce her burdens. When she feels less burdened perhaps she will look at the situation differently. May you always be successful Regards Zohair Ali.