Friday, November 24, 2017 - 6 Rabi' al-Awwal 1439

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I am tired of living with my mother in law. I want my own privacy. Should I seek divorce?

I am tired of living with my mother in law. I want my own privacy. Should I seek divorce?

Answer

Dear sister,

We understand how difficult it is for you to live in a family home where you don’t have much privacy or the opportunity to spend some quality time with your husband away from his family. From an Islamic perspective, the husband is obliged to provide for his wife an independent home away from his and her families where she can find serenity, peace and a sense of privacy. Thus we understand the sense of discomfort that you are feeling. On the other hand, it is incumbent to say that if you and your husband agreed to live with his parents for some time until you get an opportunity to get an independent flat when your financial situation improves, then you need to show more patience and wisdom in dealing with the feeling of discomfort that you feel.

The annoyance of unannounced guests coming over to visit his mother could be disturbing to your comfort and confining your personal space but at the same time you need to remember that this is your mother in law’s home and she should be able to receive her guests whenever she wishes. Making a balance between understanding the delicate situation of being a staying guest in your mother in law’s house and between finding a sense of privacy is a fine line which needs patience, understanding and compassion.

You and your husband could kindly talk to his mother regarding the flow of guests and if she can receive them in days when you and your husband is not around among many other arrangements which could be applied to assure the satisfaction is attained from both sides. Also you and your husband could find peace and comfort through finding a gateway vacation or going out together to refresh your mind and alleviate the burden of the crowdedness you feel in the family home in which you stay.

Also it is vital to realize that this situation is temporary and should not last forever and thus should not let it ruin your relationship with your husband. Passing through such difficult marital problems need the cooperation of the couple as they should work hand in hand to let this phase go as smooth as possible. Sometimes, difficulty shows the best of our colors and helps us develop a much deeper and fulfilling relationships. So we advise you not to give up on your family which you established with love. Keep praying and supplicate to God to help you find peace and serenity in your heart to bear this difficult living arrangement until the day comes when you enjoy the privacy of an independent home inshAllah.

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