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Managing in-laws…


Unhappy couple Photo NY Daily News

Husband and wife have reconciled and all seems “well” again-with their marriage, except for his recent declaration…that he doesn’t want to see her mother and siblings in his house anymore!

Their offence? The last time he had issues with his wife, she got her mum and siblings involved, and they insulted him real good.

Now, it seems he’s finding it difficult to get over the hurtful words they hurled at him.


Let’s face it…the natural urge, when one has issues with a spouse is to garner allies-even if it means recruiting relatives to help “give it” to him/her…but what some of us do not always seem to bargain for is how things play out, afterwards.

I have always told whoever cares to listen that relatives should not be brought into anyone’s marital fracas with his/her partner-if one is still very much interested in the marriage.

Even after husband and wife have reconciled…the INSULTED PARTNER will always find it hard to embrace the very relatives of a spouse, who obviously shunned objectivity to take sides with their own.

Not that I blame the relatives much here-I mean, it is very natural to get overwhelmed with emotions (and relegate OBJECTIVITY to the back ground) when we sense that OUR OWN is being maltreated.

One who has a penchant for inviting his/her relatives to come insult or fight with the spouse, at the slightest quarrel, should really watch things.

Couples who INSULT and FIGHT with each other will always have a way of making up but it’s almost impossible to expect one who has been insulted by in-laws to carry on as if “no water has passed under the bridge.”

Putting myself in anyone’s shoes, if I have issues with my spouse and he feels the best way to get at me is by getting his relatives to come insult me, he would be doing himself (and the marriage by extension) a great disservice because it will be practically impossible for me to welcome such people (with open arms) in my home again.


Yet, only God knows the fate of any marriage, where in laws are reservedly related to-in Africa.

So, the next time you are tempted to “give it” to your spouse by getting your relatives involved in your issues, you had better be sure that you could care less –if the marriage also packs up.

Repairing such damaged relationships is always more difficult than envisaged.

Getting your relatives to insult your spouse is the worse DISRESPECT that anyone can give to his/her partner and it’s most unfair of you to expect “the insulted” to embrace whoever has disrespected them with open arms.

Attempts to forgive might be made but what I do know is that things are usually never the same again in such dealings…and that damaged relationship with in-laws is another point…from which the crack of a marriage widens.

The place of IN-LAWS in a marriage cannot be wished away, especially in Africa.

While I admit that some in-laws are anything but pleasant, it will also help if we learn to disabuse our minds from the thinking that in-laws are the demons of marriage.

This is especially important for ladies, some of who already have a negative mindset about in-laws…even when they are yet to get married.

I hear some pray for partners-whose mum is no longer alive!

Don’t always square for a “show-down” with anybody in a spouse’s family.


A fight with in-laws is a battle most women can never win! Don’t sideline yourself from his family and stop carrying yourself like an outsider.

If you over-react in any way with in-laws… waste no time in apologising to those you may have offended.

No matter how well someone means, once you have a negative mindset about him/her-anything he/she does is automatically misunderstood.

If we can learn to see a bit of ourselves in others, it will go a long way in ensuring that there are no elements of hostility and selfishness in the way we handle our affairs (even) with in-laws.

Treat others as you would have them treat you. Why make an enemy of a woman that’s only trying to be motherly to you by the reason of the relationship (marriage) you have with the son?

Marriage has automatically made you a part of whatever family you are married into but some of us will get there and choose to remain outsiders-via our attitude.

What you would normally overlook with your own people is easily viewed with a magnifying glass because in-laws are involved.

We must learn to relate with people that marriage has brought our way-with the measure of enthusiasm that we would extend to someone we are seeking to make friends with.

It’s of no gain seeing issues where none exists or blowing issues out of proportion because IN-LAWS are involved.

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