How to deal with in-laws living with you and making your life difficult?
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu
Marriage is life-changing, and it requires a lot of adjustment and change in behavior in both spouses. To have a successful marriage, it is very important to have a strong bond with the spouse. This means understanding each other’s needs, likes/dislikes, and maintaining clear lines of communication. This can become tricky if in-laws are involved and they live in the same house with the couple.
In many cultures, people believe that it is the daughter-in-law’s responsibility to serve the parents and family of the husband. Unfortunately, even cultures that are mostly Muslim-oriented believe the same. In fact, people think that the husband’s family replaces the woman’s original family. Women are discouraged from visiting their own parents for many months after marriage. In many cultures, people go as far as to say that a woman should have nothing to do with her family after marriage. However, that’s not true in Islam.
Tips for a Healthier Relation With In-Laws
- Team Up With Your Spouse
This is the key rule. Team up with your husband, and do not make him choose between you and his relatives because that’s very difficult. Instead, understand the bond between your husband and his mother, father, siblings, or grandparents. If possible, try to support their relationship. This will make your relationship with your husband better and stronger.
- Set Firm Boundaries
This is very important in all relationships. This should be done from the very beginning of the marriage. Set your limits; without any boundary, you are giving unlimited access to yourself. Boundaries will help in keeping a healthy distance from everyone in the house.
- Be Assertive
Assertiveness is very important for one’s personality. It indicates that you are confident as a person. It doesn’t mean that you argue or disagree with everyone; it simply means that you value your own beliefs and system.
- Don’t Sacrifice
Do not give up on your desires and goals. Sacrifice is permanent and irreversible, while an adjustment is temporary and can help you in adapting to a new situation. You might need to modify some of your tasks, time, and schedule. This adjustment is better than giving up your own ‘self’ as a person. If anyone expects you to sacrifice something important to you, talk to them and explain to them why it matters to you.
- Don’t Start a Fight, and Learn to Let Go
There can be times when you are triggered to a point that you feel like starting an argument, but for your own peace of mind and for the sake of your relationships, it is better to keep calm and try to resolve the issues with a cool mind. Fighting can not only ruin your relationship with your in-laws, but it can also damage your relationship with your husband. When things go bad, instead of acting impulsively, try to calm down and then talk it out.
- Divide the Work
A very big misconception, which many cultures have, about a daughter-in-law is that she is supposed to take care of cooking, cleaning, and all the other work in the house. Additionally, women also take it as their responsibility that they must do it all by themselves, and if they fail to do so, they feel like they are failing to be a good daughter-in-law or wife.
Hence, it is a good idea that, from the beginning, you should start making it clear that it is not all your responsibility alone to take care of all the work. Don’t hesitate to ask for help, and learn to say a polite ‘no’. You don’t have to be rude, but when you don’t want to do something, just refuse it with a sweet but firm ‘no’.
This is general advice. Remember, every situation is different, and every person knows better how to better manage their lives and problems within.
Written by: Aisha
Edited by: The Editorial Team
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