The person stuck in the middle in a subcontinental marriage is the poor husband. On one side, his mother and on the other, the wife. But, know and know well, that the husband is the main player in this tripartite saga. If he is strong and wise, disastrous scenarios can be dissipated or not arise at all. He must fully accept that both his mother and his wife have a right over him and he must balance them both. If he sways to either side, it will cause issues. 1. You must choose your wife carefully. There is a reason why RasulAllah ﷺ advised to choose the religious wife. She will know her responsibilities and will fear Allah ta'ala when undertaking any move. If her mother is pious, this invariably means the daughter will be religious too and vice versa. So your future wife's mother is a good indicator. 2. Reassure mum. When your wife first comes home, make extra effort to ensure your mother doesn't feel deprived or that she's lost her son. You have private time with your wife so when with the family, then make time for your mum. Mothers can feel very insecure about their sons and their wives so you should bear it in mind. One day, you and your wife will be elderly too. Treat your parents how you want your children to treat you. 3. Keep your mother as the first lady. Again, mothers will feel insecure if they were the one you turned to all your life but then suddenly have given that position to your wife. If your mother sees that you still give her importance, she won't have antipathy towards your wife. 4. This doesn't mean you sideline your wife either. In matters that do concern her, involve her. Like we said above, balance is key. 5. If your wife does have any concerns, hear her out. Don't ever think that your mother can do no wrong. We're all human. There's nothing worse for a wife than to know that her husband isn't hers. 6. If issues do arise, be fair. Hear them out and do justice. If one or both are at fault, say so. When both the mother and wife realise that the son/husband is unbiased, that will go a long way in their future relations. They now KNOW that they can't deceive you or use your bias because you're totally fair so will think twice before making a wrong move. 7. If you do show bias, then know that it will be exploited. The minute a mother or wife realise you're partial towards them, that's a licence for them to be exploitative. But if an ill intentioned wife or mother see that the husband/son will spare no punches and will openly take the side of truth, they will forego their schemes. So being a strong man is key. Mother or not, don't let her get away with wrongdoing and the same goes for the wife. 8. Your wife is someone's daughter. Their pride and joy. A piece of their heart who they raised and nurtured and then when she was finally on her own feet, they gave her to you. Do you realise how big a favour that is? So don't treat her like dirt. Cherish and protect her. Be so close to her that no family member dares to do injustice to her. The best of us are those who are best to their wives. 9. You will have daughters one day, Allah Willing. How do you want your daughter treated at her in laws? Treat your wife the same. So the key to all three positions: mother in law, son, wife; is empathy. Put yourself in that person's shoes and have mercy on them. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. And that's why the hadith of RasulAllah ﷺ is so encompassing: none of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. Herein lies the answer to our every dilemma.