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Amaliah Agony Aunt: I Don’t Think I Want to Live With My In-Laws

by in Relationships on 3rd June, 2023

We know that Amaliah is like a Big Sis and sometimes our DMs have been filled with requests for advice on a range of life issues including relationships, friendships or work troubles.

We have started a new segment where we field dilemmas from the community and answer them as frankly as we can with love, truth and honesty.

Need some advice on a dilemma? Send them all here!

Dear Aunt Maya,

I have recently started to date a great guy for marriage purposes, we get on well and I can possibly see a future. However, his mum is alone and he wants to live with her in the future with his wife. Within my community it is common to live with in laws after marriage but it is something I never saw myself doing. I don’t know if I should stop getting to know this person or whether this is something that I can come to terms with. How do I figure this out?

Maya Areem Responds:

Salaam alaykum,

I hope you are well inshaAllah.

Thank you for writing to us. We pray your marriage journey is filled with blessings and goodness.

The choice to live with in-laws is a deeply personal decision and there are a number of factors which may contribute to doing so. While Muslim women have a right in their marriage to have their own living space, circumstances mean this is not always upheld.

First, I would encourage you to consider why you don’t want to perhaps live with his mother and pay attention to reasons which come up for you, so that you are able to reflect on and address them. What is it specifically that you would be “coming to terms with?” The better you can address and articulate these, the more you can be sure about your next steps. 

Secondly I would raise these with him and try to come to an understanding. Given that  this is not a temporary situation or stop gap to move into your own place, you will want to make an informed decision on what living with him and his mother will mean. Some questions which you may find helpful to discuss with him:

  • What will the living arrangement be and how much privacy will you have?
  • What will the expectations be of you in caring for his mother?
  • What does he currently do for his mother?
  • How would he describe the culture of his household?
  • How does he view the arrangement in terms of the impact it can have on a marriage?

In finding the answers to this, if you feel that this setup would impact your quality of life, mental wellbeing, intimacy, growth and so on, then it may be that you do choose to stop getting to know this person. The way he handles this conversation will also be telling of his character so do take note of that.

I wish you all the best with your next steps. 

Aunt Maya

If you would like some wisdom from Aunt Maya, send in your problems here! Please note Aunt Maya may consult the opinion of others from time to time and ask the Amaliah community for their advice too. Aunt Maya is not a licensed therapist or mental health professional. 

Maya Areem

Maya Areem

Maya is a teacher by day and student by night. She hopes to pass on what she learns.