Q: How do you balance your responsibilities towards your parents, post marriage, where indo-pak mentalities within in-laws dictate a girl forgets her old home after marriage?
I understand that there is a strong tradition followed by some within your culture which emphasizes not only obedience and conformity to your husband’s family, but also an expectation that you practically cut off your relationship with your own parents.
Because I’m not from the same culture, I am not likely the best person to advise you on the matter. However, I do want to emphasize that within Islam, one is never supposed to cut ties with their family, nor ignore them or neglect them.
What I would recommend is working on this matter with your husband directly, and finding his position on the matter, while expressing your desire to remain close with your parents. If you can positively influence him to accept your love for your family, he can help stand up for your position within the rest of the family.
In a world where there is so much technology to keep us connected, there should be no excuse for not having regular conversation and even video chats with your parents. This is the least you can do in private, and the frequency of conversation doesn’t need to be known within your extended family. You have every right to continue to speak with your family.
Your family also has a right to visit you and you to visit them so long as there are the financial means to do so. Again, you will need to work with your husband to help him overcome this cultural tradition which has brought much heartache to many women and their families.
Your parents are the reason your husband has a wife to marry, and therefore, he should honor them by making sure your relationship with them is never cut off.
I pray there comes a time when this custom will no longer be encouraged or practiced as it does not have roots from within our Deen.
Until then, see if you can also look for strong female role models within your family or community who broke tradition, and did so without having her in-laws ostracize her, and learn from them or seek advice as the best way to bring about change that is beneficial for everyone in the long term.
And remember that sometimes being the first in your network to break tradition can mean a lot of negative pressure but you'll be making sure it doesn't pass on to another generation.