Thoughts Lead To Appreciation
Summayyah and Khalid have been happily married for almost three decades. In the early years of their nuptial life, they faced the ordeal of having to reside in Khalid’s family home. This is the typical scenario faced by some young couples dependent on their family for initial backbone support.
Summayyah’s in-laws were hostile to her. She was the family’s errand girl and had to shoulder all the domestic responsibilities. This is a constant complaint of many women; marriage subjects them to abuse from in-laws. In-laws who do not directly render their latest daughter-in-law a housemaid, expect the same level of service from her.
In return, she exhibited extraordinary patience and calmness. She cared for the needs of her unmarried brothers-in-law. Despite her services to her in-laws, she received no gratitude from her mother-in-law who constantly criticised Summayyah’s actions.
For instance, she was always present when Summayyah prepared the meals and inundated her daughter-in-law with reproach for supposedly being wasteful of foodstuffs. Summayyah was the unpaid employee with no rights and without the facility to grow and have peace of mind in a warehouse that lacked employee welfare.
Summayyah’s mother-in-law prevented her from visiting her parents, as she did not want to be deprived of Summayyah’s service. Summayyah’s in-laws benefitted from her service. Her parents lost her service. A terrible price to pay for a woman to fulfil her marital dreams. Summayyah’s mother-in-law was more concerned about the cost of Summayyah’s dishes than the heavy price tag Summayyah paid for having her as a mother-in-law.
Summayyah could not have access to nuptial financial maintenance, as her spouse had to surrender his earnings to his mother. During her pregnancy, she was poorly fed and had to survive on the stems of spinach.
Eventually, she could not take any more of the abuse. Khalid had to intervene to protect his spouse. When it became obvious that nothing was going to change in that house, Khalid and his young family moved into the home of Summayyah’s sister. We all have our “Enough is enough” moment, when we are prompted to explore alternative solutions to our problems.
Another issue erupted. Summayyah’s spouse developed optical difficulties during his master’s program and his eyesight began to fail. Summayyah demonstrated the same level of spousal affection as did Khaulah. With no support from her in-laws and along with her two children and spouse, Summayyah embarked on a trip to the neighbouring country to obtain medical help for her husband. Khalid’s sight is now fully recovered and his beautiful hazel-green eyes have regained their shine.
To aid in the construction of her matrimonial home, Summayyah sold her gold jewellery. With that financial assistance, Khalid augmented his savings and purchased some land on which the couple built their home. Their marriage is one of mutual love and their home is blissful.
As a woman who believes in sustaining the ties of kinship, Summayyah advised her spouse, who works as a principal, against severing ties with his family. Summayyah, a head clerk at a medical college and her children, Muhammad, an engineer and Ameenah, a student, still maintain good relations with her husband’s family, some of whom, particularly her brothers-in-laws are warm-hearted towards her, a recognition and gratitude for her services and relationship with them.
Summayyah continues to extend the hand of relations to her mother-in-law through gifts.