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When You Marry You Marry a Family

By Abdul Latif Hourani


Accepting your spouse’s family as your own and not creating a barrier is a must.  Some tend to try and eliminate their partner from their family and friends, isolating their spouse, restricting their interaction with their own relatives; this is totally wrong, unfair and downright stupid.

Some old schools of thought tend to have this belief of avoiding the mother in law and siblings, so they encourage their daughter to create any clash or friction, that results in a break in relations, and subsequently cutting the social connection with their parents in law and brothers/sisters in laws; thinking that this will give them a relief of the well-known parents in law interference and family obligations. If anything, such behaviors generate hate and frustration, and bigger problems. Come on, these are the grandparents and uncle/aunties of your kids, they are your support, blood relations and the backbone of the family, to try to break or restrict ties is  pure selfishness.

You need to remember, that your partner is a part of  your mother in law, she brought your spouse  to the world, raised him, stayed up nights observing every hair growing; like it or not your partner belongs to her first. In Islam prophet Mohammed PBUH said, “The heavens are below the feet of the mothers”.   So don’t expect or encourage your partner to be unlawful and non-supporting to his parents, this is not acceptable. As their child they are responsible for them as they grow old.

A divorced colleague of mine who was happily married and was so compatible with his x-wife, even now they are so close and work jointly on raising their daughter with good communication and transparency, told me that the main reason for his divorce is that his x- refused to live with his handicapped widowed mother in the same house, and he was dedicating himself to take care of his mother… shame really.

You need to remember  that you too will be a mother one day,  your own son will be with his wife, she is not your enemy, nor are you hers and surely you would want her to treat you as her own mother, with respect and appreciation.

You need to be flexible and let go of some unintentional behavior by your mother in law that might upset you, if anything she is looking for the best interest of her son or daughter and hence you need to work a little bit in the beginning of the relationship to gain her trust and love after all she doesn’t know you well enough and you have got her jewel, the person she was taking care of for many years. It is totally normal that she would try to show support and give advice and try to protect her child’s interest, not from you so don’t take it personally it is just something she has been doing all of her life. So don’t expect to come and isolate your partner from his parents and expect happiness … be fair and be smart.


Photo credit: State Farm / Foter / CC BY

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