Tuesday, May 14, 2013

My relationship with My Mother-In-Law

The first time I met my to-be mother in-law i was nervous. I thought she would not like the me since I was Igbo. I couldn't have been more wrong. She got to know me and I got to know her and we built a strong and precious relationship.

A few months ago we asked if it was possible for wives today to enjoy the same relationship Ruth and Naomi shared. The mother in-law, daughter in-law relationship is one that is always seen as delicate with many single ladies wishing to marry someone who's mum is already late. However, it is not impossible to get along with your mother in law even if she appears difficult. 

First of all get rid of all preconceived notions you hold about mother in laws. Consult your fiance, she’s his mother so he should know better than anyone how to get through to her. Ask for suggestions on how to get on her good side. The eirlier you do so,that the better it gives you a better chance of you hitting it off from the beginning. 


Even if she’s arrogant, rude and generally unkind to you, resist the urge to bad mouth her, even if you feel justified. Her son may know she’s wrong, but she’s still his mother and he may have a hard time hearing you say his mother is the wicked witch of the west. Men are often caught in the middle. Its unwise to make him feel he has to choose he has to choose between the two of you. As he sees for himself what she does, let him handle it as best he sees fit. 

Respect, respect, respect,! I'm not suggesting you become her doormat especially if she is mean towards you. Respect begets respect, so carry yourself with respect at all times. This way, no matter how she behaves, you can hold your head up high and know that you’ve done everything you can to facilitate a civil relationship. 

Naturally, mothers are protective when it comes to who their children, and she may think there is no woman who will take care of him the way she has. The best thing to do is show her that you love and respect her son If you truly care for him, this will be obvious and your sicerity alone will put her fears at rest, knowing her son is truly happy. 

We all love complements, whether it's her new hair do or a pretty Ankara fabric she has on, or a lovely soup she made; compliment it. I'm not talking about things you don't like, because it is just as important that you are genuine. You can probably spot a fake complement from a mile away, so can she. 

If your husband's mother feels this generation is depraved and lacks boundaries of decency (like most elderly women do), then please keep the mini skirts and tight jeans off her radar. Dress respectfully. The last thing a mother wants to see is her son’s fiancee or wife looking like a daughter of Jezebel. We know you want to feel and look comfortable and trendy at home and everywhere else but take care to dress in a way that does not offend her sensibilities. 

Finally, I think the bottom line is humility. The Bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Cultivating humility will always go a long way.

Ijeoma Olujekun

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