As we all know In-laws are commonly the focus of blame in many marital disputes, but this can be put to a minimum when taking into consideration and implementing the following tips for the sake of Allah swt and to maintain a healthy, pleasurable relationship with them:
1. Remember your spouse’s parents have known them longer, loved them longer and sacrificed for them for longer. So never make anything an issue about them or give your partner the “me or them” ultimatum, try to imagine how this would feel like if done to you.
2. Let respective parties settle their own disputes. For example, if your mother-in-law has a problem with her husband, let them deal with it between each other, don’t interfere or allow your spouse to complain to you about them, this may cause your heart to harden against them without even realizing it.
3. Don’t tell your spouse how to improve their relationship with their parents, just remember to give them the option in joining you in a thoughtful act when you are doing it for your own parents.
4. Expect and give some adjustment time for parents after marriage to adjust to this new relationship too, they have always had their child with them until now and not used to them having other priorities and commitments.
5. Remember that mothers are naturally skeptical about daughter-in-laws and fathers about son-in-laws, kind gestures or gifts fisabillah towards them from your behalf will soften the hearts, Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Give each other gifts and you will love each other.”
6. Always treat your in-laws with compassion, respect and mercy, if you pick up something like a scarf for your own mother for example, why not pick the same up for your mother in law also.
7. Maintain a balance between your needs and that of your in-laws.
8. Never compare your wife to your mother or your husband to your dad, this can feel degrading in some ways as we are all different, we are all brought up different and think differently, it doesn’t mean that just because they don’t show their love in the same way that they don’t love or care for you as much.
9. Do not go to your parents with your quarrels. This really is a no no, your parents are not with you when you are being spoilt and shown affection by your spouse because this is done in private, so they will only see and hear what you show and tell them, if this is all negative it will give them a bad impression on your partner and give you a headache when you go back to them. Not to mention remind you of it long after you have forgotten.
10. If you are supporting your parents financially inform your spouse as a matter of courtesy and clarity. This is very important especially if you are the only child.
11. Do not forbid your spouse from seeing family unless you fear for their religion and safety.
12.Do not divulge family secrets of any sort that you have been trusted with or have found out unintentionally or unknowingly.
13. Make time to get to know your in-laws but stay out of their disputes.
14. Maintain the Adab (etiquettes) of Islam with your sister- and brother-in-laws (i.e.no hugging or kissing, using foul or disrespectful language).
15. You are not obliged to spend every weekend with your in-laws but if for some reason you have been spending more time than usual with them find a sweet and caring way to express wanting more time with your spouse or to do other things, rather than making a very clear impression of your entrapment while in your in laws presence.
16. Give grandparents easy and reasonable access to their grandchildren, remember that all our time here in this world is limited.
17. Be forgiving, patient and keep your sense of humor. Allah Almighty says, “those who control their rage and pardon other people. Allah loves the do good-doers,” (3:134) And The Almighty says, “But if someone is steadfast and forgives, that is the most resolute course to follow.” (W42:40; H42:43)
18. Remember that nobody can interfere or influence your marriage unless you allow them to.
19. Keep regular contact, invite the in-laws at least once a month for a meal,visiting and checking on them when you can personally and by phone and encouraging your spouse to visit his/her parents also. This shows genuine concern and care and is always much appreciated by them and your spouse even if it is not always said out aloud.
20. When parents become elderly, sick or dependent on their children, a serious discussion with all parties present or involved should take place. Expectations and requirements for care, duties and living arrangement must be worked out and put on an agreed and approved timetable. This prevents feuds between siblings, arguments and misconduct in marriages and distress and hurtful feelings to the parent when seeing, feeling and hearing such things.
So there you have it, it’s very difficult to conclude everything into one blog post so we appreciate any additional points that we may have missed and any feed back and comments that will assist. This is just a quick over view of some things we can bare in mind Insha Allah. It’s always important for one to realise and be well informed of such things even before being married to a future spouse in order to gain the required good antiquate that would be expected of them. And Allah swt knows best!