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YaAbbas9405

Parents Mistreat Wife and I - HELP

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Salaam - I have been married for 6 years and God has given me a wonderful wife, Alhamdulillah.  This was a semi-arranged marriage.  My wife and I have a great relationship and a lovely daughter.  The problem I have been struggling with since we got married is that my parents mistreat my wife.  We dealt with it for a while ourselves, but after a couple of years of dealing with it, we told my wife's parents.  My wife's parents confronted my parents and since then my parents have basically turned on my wife and I.  My parents practically hate my wife and her family now and get upset with me for supporting my wife.  My parents are wrong all the way around and refuse to admit they're ever wrong!  

My wife and I have tried everything we can to please my parents, but they are constantly upset with us.  I am sick and tired of the situation!  It's a constant source of stress and worry in my life and is having a negative impact on me and my wife's health.  I'll also add that my parents don't get along with anyone in their own family.  They find negativity in EVERYONE and cut them off over the smallest disagreement.  Now they have done the same with my inlaws and wife.

I say all this to ask...how much am I expected to bare?  I know I should respect my parents, but shouldn't they respect us also?  They keep mentally and emotionally abusing my wife and I.  It's not fair that they can keep treating us like garbage and we're expected to behave and respect them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Jazakallah.

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6 minutes ago, YaAbbas9405 said:

I know I should respect my parents, but shouldn't they respect us also?  They keep mentally and emotionally abusing my wife and I.  It's not fair that they can keep treating us like garbage and we're expected to behave and respect them.

Salam. Do you and your wife and daughter live with your parents?

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6 minutes ago, YaAbbas9405 said:

WS - We do not live with my parents.  We did, initially after marriage, but I moved out with my parent's permission.  Truly, I needed to get out of there for our well-being.  

Excellent. If you do not live with your parents, how do they "mentally and emotionally abuse" you and your wife? Over the phone?

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Any way possible, sadly.  On the phone, when we visit them, when we run into them at gatherings.  It's like any chance they get to hurt us, they do it.  

We even had an incident when my wife's cousin was visiting our home from out of town.  My parents were upset that her cousin did not visit their home.  They drove to our home, and barged in unannounced (they have keys to my house).  They proceeded to speak disrespectfully about us to her cousin.

The situation is a HUGE mess.  I can write a book about incidents I have had.  I'm really at the end of my rope with all of this after the most recent episode.  This is why I posted here.  I'm desperate for some direction on this.  I have spoken to a couple of moulanas, but they give very politically correct answers always supporting my parents.  I just find it hard to believe that I have no rights in the matter and my parents abuse their "power."  They believe it is their haq, and have literally told me this.

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1 hour ago, YaAbbas9405 said:

They proceeded to speak disrespectfully about us to her cousin.

You can limit your phone conversations by letting their phone calls go to voice mail. Listen to see if it is an emergency and if it's not, then you can text your reply later. Of course they won't like this arrangement because they enjoy ranting toward you. Stay firm about not answering the call.

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1 hour ago, YaAbbas9405 said:

I just find it hard to believe that I have no rights in the matter and my parents abuse their "power."  They believe it is their haq, and have literally told me this.

The moulanas and @starlight understand that your parents have their power. It's hard to go against that!

As long as your parents are mistreating you, don't invite them to your home. Do they own your home? If they do, then you have no legal right to not let them in. If they don't own your home, then you have a legal right to ask for the keys to be returned to you. If they don't want to give you the keys, then you have a legal right to change the locks on the doors. 

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1 minute ago, YaAbbas9405 said:

Thanks to those who responded.   Some friends have also told me to limit my interaction with them.  This is what I'll be doing for now...we'll see how it works.  Perhaps my silence will show them that I do not appreciate their actions.  

Can I say something else?

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@Hameedeh - I actually changed my door locks last week.  This was very difficult for me, but I do not feel safe knowing they can just come in any time.  I own my home...bought it by myself.  

I even sent my parents to Hajj a couple of years ago.  I paid for 80% or so of the costs.  My hope was that they would see the wrong in their ways and come back improved.  They did not change A BIT!  Its so sad.  If Hajj doesn't change a man, are they beyond hope?

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Even though you want to limit their interaction with you, because of your daughter and her need to have some contact with her grandparents, you should continue to take her and your wife to visit your parents. Before you get to their home, tell your wife and daughter that as soon as the conversation sounds angry, then the three of you have to leave. In fact, as soon as the abuse starts, even if it is only one minute after you sit down, you can stand up and tell your wife and daughter that it's time to go. This will shock your parents because they expect to rant and rave as much as they like. They might protest for you to stay, and you can say okay you will stay, but the abuse has to stop. If the mistreatment starts again, then lead your wife and daughter toward the door and politely but firmly tell your parents that you have to leave. If you do this once, I think your parents will become more civilized. 

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@Hameedeh - Thanks for your advice.  Going to their home is out of the question at this time.  Perhaps if things improve, I will attempt this.  Unfortunately, ever time things improve, we go right back to having issues again.  It's a vicious cycle and my parents just will not admit their faults or let go of the past.  Please pray for me!

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Praying for you brother.  It certainly is a tough situation to be in. I am glad you are the kind of husband who stands up for his wife and kids and doesn't allow them to be mistreated just because they are your parents.  

You seem like a good son. Please don't cut off ties with them and whatever interaction you have with them speak to them kindly and always see that they are taken care of in case of any financial or health issues. 

I hope you get some consolation from the fact that you are earning sawab everytime you speak to them kindly or even remain quiet in response to their harsh words.

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Salaam brother, very sad situation. I've gone through it myself. First of the GOOD news is that you have your own place as that is a huge help (me and my wife had to endure for 7 years before we were able to afford our own place). While it is true that EVERYTHING you have in your life and everything that you are you owe to your parents, but what you don't owe is the willingness to take abuse. You have to be completely obedient to your parents EXCEPT when they are acting wrongly and want to commit wrong on you, in which case you are allowed to disobey them.

If you really endure that kind of abuse, in a GENTLE and CALM voice tell them what exactly they say that hurts you and your wife and unless they promise to stop you (for the sake of your family and marriage) cannot be together at any event unless they change (and then stop meeting them until they comply, even if that takes ages, it's tough but necessary as they have no right to destroy your marriage). The reason for this is in the Quran, Allah SWT tells Musa to preach to Pharoah in a GENTLE voice (that although he was one of the worst human beings to have ever lived in history and not even Musa's A.S biological father, since he raised Musa A.S in his household that's why Musa A.S must show him that respect), in similar way you must show that respect as well, but take a hard stand when you must.

A lot of parents didn't accomplish certain things in their lives, so they choose to live through their children, or take their frustrations out on their children and in-laws, and try to implement their family culture from back home and the old times into today's youths. This is a trait I find with many people from the Middle East and especially within Indo-pak community. It is sad but remember as with every tough thing in life it is a test, know what your obligations are and at the same time what your rights are and act accordingly. Best of luck brother. Salaam.

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12 hours ago, YaAbbas9405 said:

Salaam - I have been married for 6 years and God has given me a wonderful wife, Alhamdulillah.  This was a semi-arranged marriage.  My wife and I have a great relationship and a lovely daughter.  The problem I have been struggling with since we got married is that my parents mistreat my wife.  We dealt with it for a while ourselves, but after a couple of years of dealing with it, we told my wife's parents.  My wife's parents confronted my parents and since then my parents have basically turned on my wife and I.  My parents practically hate my wife and her family now and get upset with me for supporting my wife.  My parents are wrong all the way around and refuse to admit they're ever wrong!  

My wife and I have tried everything we can to please my parents, but they are constantly upset with us.  I am sick and tired of the situation!  It's a constant source of stress and worry in my life and is having a negative impact on me and my wife's health.  I'll also add that my parents don't get along with anyone in their own family.  They find negativity in EVERYONE and cut them off over the smallest disagreement.  Now they have done the same with my inlaws and wife.

I say all this to ask...how much am I expected to bare?  I know I should respect my parents, but shouldn't they respect us also?  They keep mentally and emotionally abusing my wife and I.  It's not fair that they can keep treating us like garbage and we're expected to behave and respect them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Jazakallah.

According to the Right of Obedience

Love and obedience are two inseparable things. Love is like the flame of a lamp and obedience is like its light. Thus, after exhorting the children to love their parents it is but natural to expect them to obey them. And in this respect also obedience of parents is a mirror of obedience of Allah. The ayat (verses) mentioned in the beginning are enough to show this aspect. Furthermore, the following similarity is worthy of attention:

First Similarity

Second Similarity

Now comes a very interesting aspect of this discourse: Allah is Ever-living and Self-existent; He is Eternal; He can never die, nor can His `Lordship' and `Rule' ever come to end.
 
But the life of a man is flanked by `non-existence' on both sides. First he was non-existent, then became existent, then again he dies.
 
Ordinarily, it would have been quite enough to order the child to obey his parents so long as they are alive, and make him free of all obligations as soon as they depart from this world. But it would not have been in keeping with the 'metaphorical lordship' of parents. Islam ordained that as the Lordship of Allah does not come to end; like-wise, the lordship of the parents is not effected by their death. It continues so long as the child is alive.
 
Al-Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (a. s.) said:
 
Verily, a servant of Allah remains good to his parents when they are alive; then they die and he neither repays their loan nor asks pardon (of Allah) for them. At that, Allah writes him as a disobedient child. And, verily, he remains disobedient to them during their life-time, not being good to them, but when they die, he repays their loan and asks pardon (of Allah) for them. Then Allah writes him as an `obedient and good' child.
 
A man from Banu Salamah asked the Holy Prophet, “After the death of my parents, is there any right of theirs, still remaining which I should perform (by which I should do good to them)?” The Holy Prophet said: “Yes, praying for them, asking pardon of Allah for them, fulfiling their promise and respecting their friends.”

Third Similarity

The above hadith shows one more similarity. To respect the chosen servants of Allah (like Prophet and Imams) is an important part of the rights of Allah. Likewise, to respect the friends of one's parents is among the compulsory rights of the parents.

Superiority of Mother's Rights

Uptil now, I have explained the joint rights of both parents on the children. But we know that during pregnancy and rearing children, the mother gladly suffers such turmoils which paternal love can never endure. Islam is the natural religion; it has nowhere ignored the natural urges. It is for this reason that many ayat specially refer to the troubles endured by mothers.
 
. . . in travail upon travail did his mother bear him, and in two years was his weaning . . .(Qur'an, 31 :14)
 
We have enjoined on man kindness to his parents. In pain did his mother bear him, and in pain did she give him birth. The carry-ing of the child to his weaning is thirty month (Qur'an, 46:15)
 
Hakim ibn Hizam asked the Holy Prophet “O' Messenger of Allah, whom should I do good to?” The Holy Prophet said, “Your mother.” He asked, “Then who?” The Holy Prophet again said: “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” The Holy Prophet again said, “Your moth-er.” He asked fourth time, “Then who?” Then the Holy Prophet said, “Your father.”
 
It is because of this hadith that Muslim scholars say that the right of the mother is three times greater than the right of father. Also, the Holy Prophet has said: “Paradise is under the feet of mothers.”

A Warning

Islam has given parents so much right on their children. But it does not mean that the parents have been given licence to ill-treat their children. Tyrant parents are a danger to Muslim society and family.
 
As a check against such high-handedness, the Holy Prophet has said: “Allah has cursed those parents who (by their behaviour) compel their children to disobey them.”
 
How can this happen?
 
If the parents themselves do not care about the rights of their children; if they do not give proper religious education; if they neglect their character-building; if they put so much burden upon them that is beyond their strength; if they behave towards the children tyrannically - then it is they who are compelling the children to revolt against them; and they will become candidates of the above-mentioned curse of Allah.

The Qur'an and the Gospels

The Rev. G. Margoliouth has written in the introduction of the translation of The Koran by Rev. J. M. Rodwell:
The shortcomings of the moral teaching contained in the Koran are striking enough if judged from the highest ethical stand-point with which we are acquainted.
 
Well, we have seen what the Qur'an and the Prophet of the Qur'an teach about the moral and ethical obligations of parents and children. Let us see what light is thrown on this subject in the Gospels
 
While he (Jesus) yet talked to the people, behold, his mother and his brethren stood without, desiring to speak with him. Then one (man) said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, who is my mother? and who are my brethren? (Mathew, 12: 46-48).
 
What a gentle way of talking about one's mother and brethren
 
of course, we Muslims know that Prophet `Isa (a.s.) could never talk like this about his mother. But this knowledge comes not from the Gospel, but from the Qur'an itself, where he is quoted as saying:
 
(Allah) has made me kind to my mother, and did not make me over-bearing or miserable. (Qur'an, 19:32)
 
Now, we may easily judge which book presents the “highest ethical stand-point.”
 
Rev. J. M. Rodwell has translated the 40th ayah of 4th surah like this:
 
“Worship God, and join not aught with Him in worship. Be good to parents . . .
 
And under this ayah, he has written the following foot-note.
 
An undutiful child is very seldom heard of among the Egyptians, or the Arabs in general. Sons scarcely ever sit, or eat, or smoke, in the presence of the father unless bidden to do so; and they often wait upon him and upon his guests at meals and on other occasions; they do not cease to act thus when they have become men.
 
This foot-note under this ayah is an acknowledgement that this respect and honor of the parent in the Muslim societies is the direct result of the teaching of the Qur'an.

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12 hours ago, YaAbbas9405 said:

Salaam - I have been married for 6 years and God has given me a wonderful wife, Alhamdulillah.  This was a semi-arranged marriage.  My wife and I have a great relationship and a lovely daughter.  The problem I have been struggling with since we got married is that my parents mistreat my wife.  We dealt with it for a while ourselves, but after a couple of years of dealing with it, we told my wife's parents.  My wife's parents confronted my parents and since then my parents have basically turned on my wife and I.  My parents practically hate my wife and her family now and get upset with me for supporting my wife.  My parents are wrong all the way around and refuse to admit they're ever wrong!  

My wife and I have tried everything we can to please my parents, but they are constantly upset with us.  I am sick and tired of the situation!  It's a constant source of stress and worry in my life and is having a negative impact on me and my wife's health.  I'll also add that my parents don't get along with anyone in their own family.  They find negativity in EVERYONE and cut them off over the smallest disagreement.  Now they have done the same with my inlaws and wife.

I say all this to ask...how much am I expected to bare?  I know I should respect my parents, but shouldn't they respect us also?  They keep mentally and emotionally abusing my wife and I.  It's not fair that they can keep treating us like garbage and we're expected to behave and respect them.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!  Jazakallah.

Move out. 

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Thank you all for taking time to respond.  I feel better knowing that people understand my situation and agree that distancing myself is probably the best thing to do.  Prayers and love to you all!

@Ron_Burgundy - this is great:  

A Warning

Islam has given parents so much right on their children. But it does not mean that the parents have been given licence to ill-treat their children. Tyrant parents are a danger to Muslim society and family.
 
As a check against such high-handedness, the Holy Prophet has said: “Allah has cursed those parents who (by their behaviour) compel their children to disobey them.”
 
How can this happen?
 
If the parents themselves do not care about the rights of their children; if they do not give proper religious education; if they neglect their character-building; if they put so much burden upon them that is beyond their strength; if they behave towards the children tyrannically - then it is they who are compelling the children to revolt against them; and they will become candidates of the above-mentioned curse of Allah.

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OP: this may sound like emotional blackmail but it is worth a shot. The next time you're parents do something like this, just bring your daughter into the picture. I'm sure they must love their granddaughter, right? Just guilt trip them into making them feel that whenever there is friction in the family, this severely affects their granddaughter and that they would be indirectly to blame.

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6 hours ago, Pearl178 said:

OP: this may sound like emotional blackmail but it is worth a shot. The next time you're parents do something like this, just bring your daughter into the picture. I'm sure they must love their granddaughter, right? Just guilt trip them into making them feel that whenever there is friction in the family, this severely affects their granddaughter and that they would be indirectly to blame.

The daughter doesn't belong in the picture until things are safe for her and she isn't surrounded by abuse, whether towards her or her parents or grandparents. 

I would say it is probably best to limit interaction.  The son should be confronting or discussing with his parents without wife and child present.  He would find it less stressful than witnessing his family be abused infront of him.

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