Published Muslim Views December,2008
The ‘mother-in-law joke is an old chestnut that resonates throughout the world, irrespective of class, culture or faith. At its most basic it is woman against woman, a struggle for power, control and establishing boundaries.
It is extremely prevalent in our community that women are raised and programmed to nurture others, especially our children. We reach the point that when we are no longer needed, we feel as if we have been deprived of oxygen. When we have raised our child, be it son or daughter, to the best of our ability, we need to trust their choices, and we have to respect the partner they have taken, however we may disagree. According to Clinical Psychologist, Ferial Johnstone, when two people marry, each one comes with a covert contract of what a marriage should be. This contract is influenced by what they observed in the marriage of their parents, what they have heard from others, as well as the influence of the media. For instance, the young woman may have a mother who had a career, and so she expects that she will be working as well. Her mother in law may