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What can I do about my difficult relationship with my mother?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Stoic Believer View Post
    I'm the eldest son in a Bengali family so I can sympathize a bit.

    I don't think there's anything you can do to make her understand. She is a product of an awful culture which allows parents to be extremely selfish at the expense of their children, and a culture which prioritizes status, appearances, and what other people think above all else. Children become little more than a tool to achieve that end. This is the culture she was brought up in; you're not going to undo decades of indoctrination. All you can do is continue to speak kindly to her and treat her well, while at the same time firmly standing up for yourself and what you want.

    With that being said, you shouldn't forgo marriage altogether. You don't have to marry someone Bengali or from Bangladesh.
    How do you balance making your parents happy and meeting their cultural expectations? If you allow them to micromanage the major decisions in your life they'll be satisfied with you, but this comes at the risk of them mismanaging and ruining things unnecessarily.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by Indefinable View Post
      You've done well by your family and have tried hard to meet the obligations set by them.

      If you want to travel, then travel.

      Only marry when you feel like you want to. Not because your mother feels like you should.

      Life's too short to be pleasing other people.


      I agree with you in general but it's not that simple when it comes to family, especially mothers. You can't just say "I've fulfilled my obligations towards you and life's too short to live it for others". Even if that's true, you can't speak so bluntly to your mother as you would to a stranger. The problem with the cultural parents seems to be that they're extremely difficult to communicate with. So if you're going to choose a path different from what they desire, you have to go about it in a way which won't destroy your relationship with them.

      Your relationship with your parents--and especially your mother--is the closest thing which resembles your relationship with Allah. If your parents are not happy with you, then you're living in a state of imbalance. The emphasis Islam puts on the good treatment of parents should ideally have them boasting about you in public and private. Falling short on this duty basically means you've failed the test of life.

      Wa Allahu A'lam
      Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 09-09-19, 04:14 AM.

      Comment


      • #18
        Originally posted by SoulMuslim View Post
        Assalamualykum.

        After a long time, I'm posting here in this forum. I'm not a parent but I thought this would be the best place for me to ask this question because it's relating my relationship with my mother.

        I'm originally from Bangladesh, now living nearly 10 years in Northern/Central Western Europe. However, my mother lives back home, my dad is no more alive since 2015.

        There was a time in my life, I really wanted to get married. It was about 2013 when I really felt the urge to get married. I was a student back then. I couldn't find anyone to marry here in Europe and my parents didn't feel I was financially ready to marry. Several times, My parents rejected my efforts to marry a girl from Bangladesh then, who agreed to marry me despite me not working full-time yet. Then, even after finishing my studies and getting a decently paid job, in 2017 I tried to marry another woman from Bangladesh, but my mother rejected her because her family wasn't financially great. The problem with Bangladeshi culture is that if the both sides of parents don't agree, the marriage doesn't happen. So, I couldn't marry the girl because my mother didn't agree.

        All these years, I have suffered greatly from loneliness and the weight of expectation that comes from being the eldest son of a Bangladeshi family, which led me to suffer from long term depression, for which I even had plenty of psychotherapy sessions. I had to learn how to be happy despite being alone. Now, I feel much better overall about my life.

        As the eldest son, I also had to support my family financially back home since 2012. It's almost a never ending expectations financially on me from Bangladesh. After sending money for family every month, supporting my sister to finish her medicine studies and brother's computer science studies and helping him to go to Canada for further studies and also helping my mother to do her hajj, I feel that I can relax a bit now. I don't have be stressed financially all the time. I don't have to worry about losing my job. I can try to enjoy my life and take more risks and try to start my own business (besides my current job), something which I have always wanted to do. I also want to learn several other languages and travel other continents like South America, Africa, Oceania, as traveling and exploring beautiful natural landscapes is one of my hobbies.

        However, my mother now wants me to marry, to which I totally can't agree because I don't want to bring another person with never ending expectations. The girl is from Bangladesh, so obviously she can't be expected to work and she will totally expect to meet all her demands by me, as that's what Bangladeshi women generally do. I really don't want a newly added stress of not being able to meet the expectations of another person. I'm really a self-sufficient person now-a-days. At best, I can get from a marriage is friendship/companionship, something for which I'm not willing to pay the high-price of never ending expectations to meet and the stress that comes along with it.

        I told my mother that I have learned how to be happy being alone and that I have lots of projects on my hand, which I don't want to jeopardize through marriage. But she doesn't understand. I have been trying to keep a happy relationship with. I asked her if she wants to visit the country I live in or visit the places like India with me and doing video chats with her while I cook delicious dishes (I love cooking). But she wants me to get married because at this stage of her life, that's what supposed to happen her life. She keeps telling me, "My children are supposed to get married now". She keeps on saying how the children of other relatives are getting married and hers aren't. She's making my relationship with her so toxic despite all my efforts.

        While I feel she's being really selfish, she has accused me of being selfish. What can I do to make her understand that she keeps on having never ending expectations on me? I feel she's doing all this to compete with others in her society. How do I make her realize what she is doing is only going to bring more unhappiness to her children?

        Please help!
        وعليكم السلام والرحمة الله وبركاته

        first you whine about your mother making it difficult to get married, then you tell us when your mother wants you to get married, you don't want to get married?

        You think you know better than the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ?

        Otherwise get married and stop compounding your problems.

        جزاك الله خيرا
        Last edited by Saif-Uddin; 09-09-19, 03:51 AM.
        http://www.ilovepalestine.com/campai...imesinGaza.gif

        "It does not befit the lion to answer the dogs."

        – Imam al-Shafi’i (Rahimahullah)

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post

          How do you balance making your parents happy and meeting their cultural expectations? If you allow them to micromanage the major decisions in your life they'll be satisfied with you, but this comes at the risk of them mismanaging and ruining things unnecessarily.
          I don't put any effort in making my parents happy by way of meeting cultural expectations. Fortunately my parents are more flexible and understanding these days, so most of the time I get my way. That's not to say that I'm willfully displeasing them. I think in general they are happy with me, but disappointed in a few areas where I simply will not budge, such as education and my practice of the deen. I think the biggest challenge for me will be when I find someone to marry. That will probably be the hardest fight I ever wage against this culture. But I am happy to wage it.

          Other Bengali kids of my generation undoubtedly have worse parents than mine. I don't know how they deal with it or what I would do in their shoes.

          Comment


          • #20
            May Allah make things easy for you.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by AmantuBillahi View Post



              I agree with you in general but it's not that simple when it comes to family, especially mothers. You can't just say "I've fulfilled my obligations towards you and life's too short to live it for others". Even if that's true, you can't speak so bluntly to your mother as you would to a stranger. The problem with the cultural parents seems to be that they're extremely difficult to communicate with. So if you're going to choose a path different from what they desire, you have to go about it in a way which won't destroy your relationship with them.

              Your relationship with your parents--and especially your mother--is the closest thing which resembles your relationship with Allah. If your parents are not happy with you, then you're living in a state of imbalance. The emphasis Islam puts on the good treatment of parents should ideally have them boasting about you in public and private. Falling short on this duty basically means you've failed the test of life.

              Wa Allahu A'lam
              My post didn't indicate that the brother should mistreat his mother, or fall short in his duties.

              Neither did I say he should destroy his relationship with her.





              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Indefinable View Post

                My post didn't indicate that the brother should mistreat his mother, or fall short in his duties.

                Neither did I say he should destroy his relationship with her.




                Sorry if it came off like I was accusing you. I actually agree with your post and was just using it to point out what I thought was truly concerning the brother.

                He knows his personal needs/wants better than us and he understands that he's not obligated to comply with his mother's demands, what he's looking for is advice on how deal with his mother's cultural mentality. Obviously she can't force him to do anything and he'll do whatever he decides. The question is how does he say no to her without it severing their relationship?

                Comment


                • #23


                  Originally posted by SoulMuslim View Post
                  Assalamualykum.

                  After a long time, I'm posting here in this forum. I'm not a parent but I thought this would be the best place for me to ask this question because it's relating my relationship with my mother.

                  I'm originally from Bangladesh, now living nearly 10 years in Northern/Central Western Europe. However, my mother lives back home, my dad is no more alive since 2015.

                  There was a time in my life, I really wanted to get married. It was about 2013 when I really felt the urge to get married. I was a student back then. I couldn't find anyone to marry here in Europe and my parents didn't feel I was financially ready to marry. Several times, My parents rejected my efforts to marry a girl from Bangladesh then, who agreed to marry me despite me not working full-time yet. Then, even after finishing my studies and getting a decently paid job, in 2017 I tried to marry another woman from Bangladesh, but my mother rejected her because her family wasn't financially great. The problem with Bangladeshi culture is that if the both sides of parents don't agree, the marriage doesn't happen. So, I couldn't marry the girl because my mother didn't agree.

                  All these years, I have suffered greatly from loneliness and the weight of expectation that comes from being the eldest son of a Bangladeshi family, which led me to suffer from long term depression, for which I even had plenty of psychotherapy sessions. I had to learn how to be happy despite being alone. Now, I feel much better overall about my life.

                  As the eldest son, I also had to support my family financially back home since 2012. It's almost a never ending expectations financially on me from Bangladesh. After sending money for family every month, supporting my sister to finish her medicine studies and brother's computer science studies and helping him to go to Canada for further studies and also helping my mother to do her hajj, I feel that I can relax a bit now. I don't have be stressed financially all the time. I don't have to worry about losing my job. I can try to enjoy my life and take more risks and try to start my own business (besides my current job), something which I have always wanted to do. I also want to learn several other languages and travel other continents like South America, Africa, Oceania, as traveling and exploring beautiful natural landscapes is one of my hobbies.

                  However, my mother now wants me to marry, to which I totally can't agree because I don't want to bring another person with never ending expectations. The girl is from Bangladesh, so obviously she can't be expected to work and she will totally expect to meet all her demands by me, as that's what Bangladeshi women generally do. I really don't want a newly added stress of not being able to meet the expectations of another person. I'm really a self-sufficient person now-a-days. At best, I can get from a marriage is friendship/companionship, something for which I'm not willing to pay the high-price of never ending expectations to meet and the stress that comes along with it.

                  I told my mother that I have learned how to be happy being alone and that I have lots of projects on my hand, which I don't want to jeopardize through marriage. But she doesn't understand. I have been trying to keep a happy relationship with. I asked her if she wants to visit the country I live in or visit the places like India with me and doing video chats with her while I cook delicious dishes (I love cooking). But she wants me to get married because at this stage of her life, that's what supposed to happen her life. She keeps telling me, "My children are supposed to get married now". She keeps on saying how the children of other relatives are getting married and hers aren't. She's making my relationship with her so toxic despite all my efforts.

                  While I feel she's being really selfish, she has accused me of being selfish. What can I do to make her understand that she keeps on having never ending expectations on me? I feel she's doing all this to compete with others in her society. How do I make her realize what she is doing is only going to bring more unhappiness to her children?

                  Please help!
                  ​​​​​​Wa alaykum salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatu

                  I think your best bet is to just keep giving her Da'wah. South Asians from the previous generation were unaware of the distinction between culture and religion. You should make sure she fully understands the difference between the two, and how one of them is from Allah and the other is a custom. Tell her that we are obliged to follow the religion and when the culture conflicts with the religion, then it is the culture which is rejected. Demonstrate how your understanding is consistent with the 4 scholarly Madhahib and how her views originally emanated from the practice of previous village people.

                  It is a tragedy and failure on your part if she literally believes her views are Islamic and what you're saying is Bid'ah. Pure Da'wah shouldn't first reach a person in their old-age; it's harder to change as you get older. However just make sure you show patience and excellent manners to her regardless of how she responds to your call. Correct her blunders in a sincere and submissive way, but never validate her false interpretations despite her emotional blacking. Ultimately her affair is with Allah. You just have to play your part in calling her to guidance and remaining in character.

                  Wa Allahu A'lam
                  Last edited by AmantuBillahi; 09-09-19, 05:13 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Ya'sin View Post

                    i understand what you mean but I think
                    it's unnecessary pressure for someone who is not interested

                    If he finally agrees to it, this marriage will be seen as a burden instead of a blessing and things will quickly get worse

                    Both men and women should marry without anyone pressurising them

                    It should be for the right intentions

                    No one should get married to make their parents happy

                    It's unfair on the other party and the marriage will falter

                    Op is a grown man who knows what he wants

                    Sorry about your situation brother, your mum is a typical Bengali mother who doesn't understand the way our generation thinks

                    Back in their day it was black and white

                    Yes, it is natural for a mother to see and want her children married off happily with kids

                    But it is a recipe for disaster

                    These types of marriages for parents are very common and as far as i know, all of them are a failure

                    I don't know how to advise you, may Allah make it easy for you. Ameen



                    I agree with you and Stoic Believer.
                    I probably should have elaborated my reply a bit more.
                    Every parent will push their children towards marriage. Even if her motives & intentions are questionable she still should not be chastised, she still has the right to tell her son to get married.
                    Actually pursuing her wish could be problematic, I agree.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Saif-Uddin View Post

                      وعليكم السلام والرحمة الله وبركاته

                      first you whine about your mother making it difficult to get married, then you tell us when your mother wants you to get married, you don't want to get married?

                      You think you know better than the Sunnah of Rasulullah ﷺ?

                      Otherwise get married and stop compounding your problems.

                      جزاك الله خيرا
                      The girl I wanted to marry was the type I felt would suit me and my way of living. That girl is now no more single. Now, the girl my mother is asking me to marry isn't someone I feel suited to me. Along with this fact, yes at the time I wanted to get married as I felt mentally ready, now I had to readjust myself over these years and I'm no more ready mentally to marry. Mother is not Allah that I have to follow her decision in a very personal and intimate matter to me as marriage.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        I think you have already gone above and beyond the call of duty in the help you have provided to your family..I hope they appreciate it! I agree the last thing you want is to marry a demanding waste of space, of which your home country has an abundance of lol.
                        Spears shall be shaken! Shields shall be splintered! a sword day..a red day..ere the sun rises! Ride now! Ride now! Ride! Ride to ruin, and the world’s ending!

                        None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Eorlingas View Post
                          I think you have already gone above and beyond the call of duty in the help you have provided to your family..I hope they appreciate it! I agree the last thing you want is to marry a demanding waste of space, of which your home country has an abundance of lol.
                          Yes. For some reason our culture is full of people who have unbelievable sense of entitlement without actually putting in much effort at all. I wish I could love the society and culture of my country more, but I can't help but despise it in every sense. The only good things in that country are the Allah-blessed gorgeous nature, naturally fertile soil, great weather, fish, fruits and the food from the crops grown there, the human society itself is probably the most embarrassing one in the entire world. Inshallah, one day when I'm rich enough, I will buy some land there far away from the cities and localities and just spend the rest of my life in its beautiful green nature.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by SoulMuslim View Post

                            The girl I wanted to marry was the type I felt would suit me and my way of living. That girl is now no more single. Now, the girl my mother is asking me to marry isn't someone I feel suited to me. Along with this fact, yes at the time I wanted to get married as I felt mentally ready, now I had to readjust myself over these years and I'm no more ready mentally to marry. Mother is not Allah that I have to follow her decision in a very personal and intimate matter to me as marriage.
                            I understand you were fancied a girl and now can't have her. Nobody said to worship your mother, deal with reality like a man.

                            You need to stop compounding your problems, if the girl you fancied didn't marry you, then she was Never meant for you, be satisfied with the Qadr of Allah عز و جل and move on, if you are a grown man, seek a righteous spouse if you wish to follow the Sunnah of Rasul ﷺ

                            If you think you know better and want to play with fire, don't come complaining when you get burnt.

                            جزاك الله خيرا
                            http://www.ilovepalestine.com/campai...imesinGaza.gif

                            "It does not befit the lion to answer the dogs."

                            – Imam al-Shafi’i (Rahimahullah)

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Saif-Uddin View Post

                              I understand you were fancied a girl and now can't have her. Nobody said to worship your mother, deal with reality like a man.

                              You need to stop compounding your problems, if the girl you fancied didn't marry you, then she was Never meant for you, be satisfied with the Qadr of Allah عز و جل and move on, if you are a grown man, seek a righteous spouse if you wish to follow the Sunnah of Rasul ﷺ

                              If you think you know better and want to play with fire, don't come complaining when you get burnt.

                              جزاك الله خيرا
                              I have no idea why you are being unnecessarily aggressive here. I also have no idea what gives you the indication that the fact that I couldn't marry a girl due to my mother's approval is holding me back, because it isn't, but that doesn't mean I'd find the girl that my mother think I could marry now suitable for me. Right now, I'm just not looking for marriage, which I was 3 years ago, that's the fact, full-stop.

                              Nobody is getting burnt here, I don't let emotion dictate my decisions. I have stayed nearly 10 years in Europe alone now, it wouldn't be possible if I let emotion make me weak.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by SoulMuslim View Post

                                I have no idea why you are being unnecessarily aggressive here. I also have no idea what gives you the indication that the fact that I couldn't marry a girl due to my mother's approval is holding me back, because it isn't, but that doesn't mean I'd find the girl that my mother think I could marry now suitable for me. Right now, I'm just not looking for marriage, which I was 3 years ago, that's the fact, full-stop.

                                Nobody is getting burnt here, I don't let emotion dictate my decisions. I have stayed nearly 10 years in Europe alone now, it wouldn't be possible if I let emotion make me weak.
                                Don't bother arguing with this individual. It's a waste of your time.

                                Comment

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