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Wife and Family issues - everyone means the best, it's just not working, please help!

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  • Wife and Family issues - everyone means the best, it's just not working, please help!

    Assalaamu 'Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

    So before I go into full details, it's worth giving an overview of my current situation. Alhumdullilah I got married near the beginning of this year, my wife is currently a full-time student (Pharmacy - so it's a very demanding and hectic schedule) whilst I recently graduated and am now working full-time. Our families are from a Pakistani background, but we were born in the West.

    We have an amazing relationship and are very happy with each other, however, one of the things I mentioned to my wife before we were married is that I am the only son of my parents (also have sisters who are now married and live elsewhere apart from 1 of them who is single and lives with us). Because of this I would prefer to be living with my parents (they're around 60 now) so that I can look after them.

    The first few months went okay, but one of the issues my parents are constantly believing is that my wife is not contributing in the house - they don't expect for her to work full-time and become a typical daughter-in-law (as per Pakistani culture), but just want to feel like she actually cares for the house. When she gets to hear this, she says that she is trying her best, (she'll cook once in a while, help when people are over etc.). But one of the key things which makes it seem like she doesn't care is that she wakes up late, easily 1-2pm every other day, and revises in her room, so she almost looks locked up upstairs throughout the day. Some weeks will go okay but others (closer to deadlines) are very hectic, she'll work all night and then manage like this in the day, which creates a strange environment around the house as sometimes she won't even manage to come downstairs till late, grabbing some food and then carrying on.

    In the first few months, we argued fairly often, but this was part of the adjusting phase and we were finding it difficult, my family could also overhear these issues because of the small space we're living in (UK houses, 3 bedrooms, it's just not spacious despite all attempts to give space). This started making everyone feel uncomfortable and I think contributed to where we are now.

    My mother is not in the most healthy condition, she suffers from arthritis, thyroid and other health issues which mean she can be unwell fairly often, so a lot of times she'll be alone with my wife, who wakes up late due to revision and as a general routine, whilst my mother will be waking up early around 8am.

    This has led to my father having words with me, asking me what's going on and how to resolve this kind of issue - but when my wife is confronted, she can sound extremely argumentative (despite her best intentions) - hence my parents think she can be very rude when it's not meant in such a way. Her family is very open and even the children will respond to elders in a casual way, whilst in mine, we will be very careful how to speak in a respectful way to elders so it doesn't come across in any specific way.

    Anyway, it's now been 9 months and the stress is starting to show in my parents, they can very easily start to get annoyed (I must point out that they have gone through a great deal to get us married - as this was a love marriage and they were not extremely happy with my choice due to several reasons). Even when they are trying, my mother can come across as very negative, she might not have a proper conversation, if she has an issue, she won't say and will just overlook it until enough gathers and then it comes out (I've tried to get her to speak early on but it just doesn't work). Even though it's noticable, she doesn't admit to it and genuinely believes that she's done every the best way.

    Along with all of this - my wife and sister (the one living in the same house) are just two completely different personalities. They both had issues prior to us getting married however both have tried to reconcile from the past and move on, but both easily find the other rude or are offended by small things which has over time built up - they now don't speak and it's minimal, but this has also increased the tension in the house, despite no-one having said anything.

    So that's a good summary of the overall situation I'm dealing with, had a rough start before moving in, patched things up, moved in, wife took some time to adjust to me and the environment as it was different, family isn't extremely happy with her and feel she doesn't try.

    Yesterday, things really blew out of hand and it's gotten extremely difficult to manage. My dad called me over to speak about how my wife is still not trying since our last conversation (I have seen and experienced her trying, but my family hasn't). If at any point I defend her, they oversee it and think I can't see anything. My wife could overhear the conversation and then came downstairs to talk, as she also wasn't liking the current negative environment in the house.

    Firstly, she defended herself that she has been trying, some clarification was needed between her and my mum that she's working on her final year dissertation, she needs the time at night to work and it's been stressful. Although the conversation was going okay, voices were being raised which can come across as rude especially to elders - to which I attempted to intervene and just calm both of them down, this led me to shouting to just say "stop", to which my dad then thought I was being rude.. *sighs*. He was extremely angry and frustrated, saying that my wife hasn't contributed, it's gotten worse since last time, she doesn't know how to speak to elders (like I said, she isn't the best with words and comes across as being rude despite not meaning to). Eventually he ended up saying that it's not her house and that she needs to learn some manners - during this time I was trying to stop him that it's not his place to say these things. In return, my wife had enough of the same drama and responded by saying 'you need to look at your own daughter first' (as they don't get along and she's made mistakes which she doesn't see). The situation calmed down, my wife and mother carried on having a civilized conversation, but she once again started getting frustrated when my mother constantly started saying that she doesn't understand her angle and that she can come across argumentative, to which my wife then responded with 'like daughter, like mother'. This seriously blew things out of proportion, my mother was hurt by these comments, by dad was also frustrated, both women crying in the other room (seriously, I had no idea what to do and tried consoling both).

    Eventually, my wife understood that she shouldn't have said those things and that she's overwhelmed, she's heard this before and my dad has come across very harshly. She's been quiet for a while but finally ended up responding. She apologized for her actions, my parents also took their words back.

    Now here's the situation, woke up this morning and my father is still not over what happened. My parents feel like they've tried their best for 9 months, but things aren't working and my wife is rude because of how she reacted, they see no improvement or effort despite her best intentions. So now, it's extremely weird at home, with them not talking to either of us properly (I had to slap my hands together and ask my dad to be quiet as he was getting out of hand - yesterday) - to which he took severe offense and is very upset.

    So, my question really... I don't know what to do. Nothing seems to be working, my wife tries, my parents try, it's just not working. How can I resolve this? Should we move out? But then I feel guilty that things could have worked but my wife didn't manage things in the best way (albeit, my parents haven't either).

    Seriously brothers and sisters, please do advise. What's the religious standpoint, shall I move out or make things better. I just don't know what to do anymore.

    If you took the time to read all of this, thank you, you're the real MVP - now help a brother out.

    JazakAllah Khair.
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