Maha Monday column: Daughters-in-law

mumma in lawA Momma-in-law had hoped that she and her new daughter-in-law might become fast and intimate BFFs, but the daughter-in-law has very different ideas about family-in-law entanglements…

…the duties and obligations of a daughter-in-law are clear and none of them force upon a daughter-in-law the obligation to engage any member of her in-laws. In fact, the guidelines are very clear that a daughter-in-law can have very very little to do with her in-laws and can not be forced otherwise.

Again, there is nothing that you can do about this. And if your son isn’t noticing that there is a problem, then I would counsel you to in fact take a pause and leave this be. [I am happy to read that you have chosen to not make YOUR personal disappointments something that affects his relationship with his family unit. Well done because many others have not been this selfless. While you will always be his mother, his family unit has now shifted (as it should) to his wife.

Please keep your peace and continue to hold your tongue. Absolutely nothing good can come from you disclosing anything to your son, because it will only work against you by further isolating your daughter-in-law. There is no doubt that were you to approach your son, she would see it as a means to cause division among them. And honestly, at the end of the day, it is him and her behind closed doors. Not you and them, Mumma.]


Finally, and to ensure that no mommas-in-law yell at me for any of the above, let me close by saying what I have written repeatedly – while it is clear that no in-laws can force ANYTHING on a daughter-in-law, it is critical to note that ‘Addab’ (the Arabic word for ‘manners’) is the One Ring To Rule Them All. Honouring and respecting our immediate and extended families (blood-tied or not), should be our guiding principle.

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