The “helicoptor” mother-in-law and the race-conscious marriage suitor

In today’s AskM column, M responds to one woman about how to deal with her mother-in-law, and another about her racially-conscious suitor.

Question #6:

Dear M,

My mother-in-law (MIL) is of the old school variety. She wants me to take care of her son (my husband) like he’s a prince. I love my husband, but will not bend over backwards to do everything for him; he needs to pitch in with the chores which, thankfully, he does. I feel she loves and adores him more than her own husband so how do I tell her to back off without completely offending her? I’m afraid it could cause a lot of tension if I tell her my feelings and I hate confrontation.


Photo Source;

Dear Frustrated,

As long as you and your spouse are on the same page, that’s what really matters.

It doesn’t sound like your husband shares your MIL’s expectations, so her ideas shouldn’t have any real impact in your home, at least not with regard to the chores. Sure, it might be annoying to hear her wish you’d cater to her son, but as long as you and your husband are in agreement about not wanting that type of relationship for yourselves, you should try brushing off her comments with a smile. Sometimes ‘grinning and bearing it’ goes a long way! Doing the opposite – telling your MIL to “back off” – is not likely to foster good relations between the two of you, and could possibly affect your relationship with your husband. Is it worth it? It might be gratifying in the moment, but it’s not likely to make things easier in the long run as she may not take too kindly to the criticism or, even worse, could hold a grudge. It’s better to work with your husband on making sure the two of you remain on the same page about what each of you expects from the other.

If, however, you feel your MIL’s expectations are more than just annoying and that she’s actually interfering in your day-to-day home life, that’s something you should bring up with your husband – tactfully – to see how you can handle it together.

Good Luck,


Question #7:

Dear M,

I met a young man and after talking for some time, I grew to care for him and he for me. But when the conversation of marriage came up, he said that his countrymen would not look with favor upon him marrying a black woman. Although we’re both Muslims, race was a huge factor in his choosing not to pursue a relationship with me. Now he is preparing to marry a non-Muslim white woman and I am broken hearted–what should I do?



Photo Source:

Dear Khadijah,

I am so sorry you had to go through this experience. Despite all that is taught in Islam about accepting different races, such intolerance continues to take place in this day and age. It is disappointing, but remember, you are not any less of a person nor are you any less deserving of marriage because you happen to be a different race or color. It saddens me to hear this individual harbored such racial prejudice and then blamed it on his fears about what others might think. Trust that you will find someone who respects and loves you for all that you are and don’t think for a minute about what this man is doing now. You are much better off without him and inshallah will find someone who is more deserving of you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *