Jealousy consumes all types of people, perhaps most dangerously mothers and mothers-in-law.
Most married couples suffer from the jealousy of their mothers-in-law. This could lead to breakdown of marriages, no matter how compatible the couples are.
There are many stories of mothers causing divorces between couples because of jealousy, even if it was unintentional. Some of these stories are serious and others are funny.
Riham, a Saudi mother of three daughters, said, "I was dreaming of a happily married life as all girls do. I wanted my home to be my own kingdom. Suddenly I was shocked by the fact I married both my husband and his mother. She asked my husband to share the room with her during our honeymoon. All my husband's efforts to convince his mother to change her mind failed. She had a strong influence on him. I couldn't bear it and I was forced to cancel my honeymoon and go home to my parents' house on the third day of my wedding."
Rules applied to the other sons and daughters in the household were imposed on her when she returned to her husband. All her sons were to have lunch with the mother-in-law without their wives accompanying them. She added, "She watches every step we take, and we could not leave the house without her company. I started to lose my patience, but I don't want to lose my kind husband. After all, she is his mother and he doesn't want to upset her."
In Manal's case it is a slightly different scenario because her husband is the only son in the family. She said, "He convinced me to stay in his parents' house. I listened to him, moved in and lived with his mother who started interfering in every single thing in our life. She even spies on us. I was totally upset. Whenever I complained about the situation to my mother, she advised me just to be patient. But I couldn't stand it. I asked for a divorce after two months of my marriage."
On the other hand, Khaled, a Saudi who recently married, said that he is getting along with his wife and living happily with her. The only problem facing him is related to both his mother and his mother-in-law as they all live together in the same big house. "Both of them are always crossing swords and cannot live peacefully. They find ways to wind each other up, which sometimes becomes rude. Although I rented an apartment for me and my wife we couldn't leave them alone and we got used to this situation of living together. At last, I requested my employer to transfer me to another city, and that was the best decision I took to end my family's suffering," Khaled added.
Waleed, a 35-year-old Saudi who recently got married, is the youngest in the house. "I love my mother so much because she loved me the most when I was young. My decision to marry shocked her because she never imagined one day I would leave her and go away with another woman. At the beginning I wasn't aware of the seriousness of the issue, but after I got married she started to blame me for leaving her. She said I didn't love her like before and only cared for and loved my wife. She became very jealous of her. I don't know how to deal with this critical situation," he said.
Psychiatrist Nadia Al-Tamimi said that jealousy is sometimes due to the position of the son in the family.
"The jealousy of mothers-in-law is linked to the sons' position in the family, particularly if they are the eldest or the youngest because they have a strong emotional connection with their mothers. This close emotional connection will create problems with wives later on," said Al-Tamimi.
"The marriage of a son can make mothers feel like a carpet has been removed from under their feet. She cannot accept the idea of him leaving the house to live with another woman. My advice in this case for wives is to be friendly with their mothers-in-law and develop a kind of friendship to eliminate jealousy gradually. Treat her like your own mother and give her all needed respect," she added.