Nothing gets my goat more than parents who keep making allowances for their children (read: son’s) behaviour, thus teaching them that they can behave like utter pillocks without ever taking responsibility or accountability, yet criticise the wives of these very same men if they so much as lift their eyes. Yes, Shah and Falak Khan, I am talking about you too. I know your son Amir Khan has been a great athlete, representing Britain on the world stage and making us fellow Brit Pakistanis proud along the way. But the way you guys have treated his wife Faryal Makhdoom, and by default, Amir, is quite frankly, disgusting.
You allowed him to marry his own choice, but controlled him (and his earnings). Your constant interference meant that Amir was never really allowed to cut the apron strings and stand on his own two feet. Even when he did wrong along the way, you didn’t reprimand nor try to stop him. His constant forays into night clubs, and various hotel rooms with any number of young women was never properly addressed, knowing full well the impact of Amir being a role model for many young Pakistanis around the world could have. Yet every single time you have taken the opportunity to speak/ moan to the press, you’ve slagged off your daughter in law and now her family.
I saw your interview to the Pakistani press complaining about Faryal’s dress sense, and making out that you were the epitome of piety because you told her to cover up. And yet, you never said anything about Amir and his conduct, especially with other women. You expected Faryal to be the perfect paindu daughter in law, keeping her mouth shut and not speaking out for herself or her rights, yet said nothing about the expectations of a good husband and son in law. You used your daughters going to uni and their dress codes to claim you were not backwards yet we all know that the worse of controlling in laws always have one rule for themselves and another for their daughter in laws.
This hypocrisy was again on display during your (needless, and frankly self serving) interview to the Mail Online today.
You complained that Amir has stopped speaking to you because of his wife and her mother’s influence. Even now, you cannot bring yourself to place the blame for Amir not speaking to you at Amir’s feet. Your interjects today make him look like a weak and easily manipulated man, which is perhaps not too far from the truth given that you both spent years manipulating him and bending him to your own wills.
I know of the conversations you have had with other members of the Pakistani community, complaining that poor Amir is ‘majboor’ (helpless) and being blackmailed by his evil wife’ etc, shamelessly tapping into that ridiculous stereotype of greedy gold digging woman after your golden goose. Yes, I am aware that mother in laws and daughter in laws are traditionally seen as natural foes, but you both have taken to another level. Realise if your son doesn’t want you both in his life, it is because he is trying to salvage his marriage and protect the mother of his two girls, who I’m happy to note, have become the priority for him.
So here is my advice to you and others parents who keep interfering in their precious son’s lives:
1. Stop interfering in your precious son’s life. If Amir doesn’t want to talk to you, accept it and don’t blame his wife, her mother and their pet cat for that.
2. Show respect if you want to receive it. Yes, that does mean being nice to the mother of your granddaughters, even if she does have sharp pointy horns on her head (according to you)
3. Stop using the ‘Divide and Conquer method- it didn’t work for the Romans and it sure as hell won’t work for you. Treat everyone the same, inc daughter in laws and daughters.
4. If you son has behaved like a sex maniac on steroids, take him to one side and tell him off. And recognise that behaviour has caused pain for his wife (and her family) who love him dearly and want him to just be a decent husband. Oh, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
5. Similarly, if you know your son has been abusive/ violent/ bullyish to his wife, take responsibility as parents and stop him. Too many parents don’t say anything sooner which in turns cements their son’s shitty behaviour and causes a lot of problems for the daughter in laws and children of that marriage. (Disclaimer: this does not apply to Amir/ Faryal)
6. Stop seeing your son’s earnings as your own. You should be glad to see him wanting to provide for his family, not resent it. Who do expect to provide for them, the Department of Work and Pensions? It is his responsibility so make sure he fulfils it.
7. Finally, if you can’t handle the above, I suggest you never allow your sons to marry, tie them to your shalwar’s naras and blow on their food to cool it down before you hand feed them.