Saturday, December 22, 2012

In-laws-The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

When the word in-law comes up for both singles and marrieds, a tinge of negativity tends to be associated with it. My sister always hoped her future husband's mum would be late already. I was not keen on meeting my to be mother in law because I wasn't from the same ethnic group. I had heard about how Yoruba women didn't like Igbo girls and she had told her son not to bring an Igbo girl. I decided to get to know her and at the end of the day, I couldn't have wished for a better mother in law, I love her so much.

As far as Nigeria is concerned, a woman is not only married to the husband alone but also to her in-laws

So that the same measure of respect you would wish someone gives to your own parents or brothers and sisters, give even more to your in-laws; You grew up with your family, and have an idea of what each and every person is capable of doing! A wife also grew up with her family and knows them inside out!!

So it is each person's responsibility to protect the other spouse from the wiles of their family,
Especially in the case of different cultural and ethnic groups, the Yoruba man should teach the Igbo wife the high premium placed on respect, the customs of kneeling down, accentuating their sentences with Sir and Ma and teach her how to relate with them without hassles.

You really don't have to pretend. If your mum is not the best mother-in-law for anybody to have and she's simply difficult to manage explain to your wife and tell her how to treat your mum. Since you know your mother and wife well you should be able to predict what each of them will do in any given situation.

There may be people in your family she has to smile at more often than others, even when she does not see the need to, etc.

Related post: In-Law Relationships: What do I owe my in-laws?

On the wife's part, it is her responsibility to protect her husband from her family also, this is basically like doing family "PR" and branding so that way in-laws are managed easily. Show love, tolerance and patience no matter how bad you feel your in-laws are. I'm not saying become a doormat. Stand your ground and don't be bullied, but don't be spiteful and over defensive, if you give fire for fire it never ends well,there will be too much anger and bitterness. and no one will be happy.

The most important thing is the bond between the husband and wife. Even a person who does not like confrontations and has confrontational parents/family will realise his/her happiness lies with the spouse and children. Never allow in-laws to come between you and your spouse. Once they do, the center will not hold. If u are dating someone who won't protect you from his/her family and leaves you open to attack and blatant criticism. You have to ask if he or she really values you or not.

Ijeoma Olujekun

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