One major cause of untimely death in average Nigerian men these days are the squabbles and skirmishes between mothers and wives in the homes, which often leads to high-blood pressure for the men. At the moment, this issue is approaching a very dangerous dimension such that any family where there’s relative peace may either be lacking the presence of a wife or, alternatively, the husband’s mother is late.
In this light, I’ve carefully selected a material that should help you – both men and women – navigate your way through this thorny issue bedeviling many marriages. Enjoy the piece and take a lesson from it…
Your friends and sometimes your mother, advised you before the wedding, not to give her a chance and so even when the woman sees you as her own daughter and is very free with you, you want to protect your home.
You really have to be careful not to start a fire you cannot quench. There is nothing as strong as love. No matter how tough that woman is, you can change her with love and prayers. Your husband may never tell you, but the truth is that he is not happy about your relationship with the mother.
Also know that there are times these mothers-in-law do things, not because they are wicked, but because that is their level of reasoning. You must know that many of them are not educated and exposed and, she could have been too attached to her son before you came into his life.
You may not understand, but it is always not very easy for them. Before you came, she had the son’s attentions whenever she needed it and controlled him at will. Then comes this total stranger who didn’t know what she went through to train him up and now the son is gone. This is funny, but I can tell you that is what plays on their mind.
They see us as intruders who shouldn’t have a place in their sons’ lives. We shouldn’t blame them because it is somehow natural. We are the ones who passed through the university and read psychology; we should be able to have things under control.
I understand there are times they make you feel like going mad. I know you have tried many times to hold your peace when they do what they shouldn’t do. I have heard friends in church say they attended a particular meeting, not because they wanted to, but because they saw it as a good opportunity to run away from the mothers-in-law. I know there are some very difficult ones who can never be pleased, but as my people say, “onye aghugho nwuo, onye aghugho elie ya” (if a cunny man dies, another cunny man buries him). You should be able to match her, not by staging a fight or doing things that are disrespectful; you should be able to use wisdom and love to defeat her.
I told a story sometime ago of how my mother-in-law one day said something that should ordinarily lead to some misunderstanding, but with wisdom, I was able to turn it to a joke. I remember taking her to the hospital when she came to Lagos for her routine medical care. I wore a very long skirt, it was in vogue then, and the slit stretched from my ankle to the knee.
She didn’t say anything until we got to the hospital. In the presence of the nurses and other patients, my mother-in-law complained about the skirt. In my usual manner, I didn’t get upset and I am sure people expected me to be. Amidst laughter, I told her that was the in-thing and that I was going to buy it for her when she was going back. Everyone started laughing and that was the end of that case.
I want you to start seeing your mother-in-law as your own mother because that is the only time you will stop misinterpreting her words and actions. Stop feeling she is talking about you whenever she decides to speak to her son in private. Allow her, after all, the son still comes back to tell you everything they talked about and I can tell you that most times, they don’t talk about you. The greatest problem we have is our heart and that is why you must have to be in control always.
I know some mothers-in-law are reading this now. You really have to understand that your daughter-in-law did not come in to take your son away from you, but to complement him. I want you to count yourself blessed by God; He decided to give you a daughter just like that. I know you had issues with them during their marriage and you never wanted your son to get married from her tribe; that is where your son found love and you have to live with it.
You just have to accept her and no matter what she had done in the past, please forgive her as a daughter and take her in. I know she is there to become a source of blessing and joy to you; please give her the chance to show you how much she loves you. She yearns for that moment when she can freely make your meal without fear of rejection and some scolding before strangers. She wants to be free to enter your bedroom and do whatever she likes with no one being afraid of the other.
Fellow young women, we have a greater role to play in this. Don’t say you won’t go to her again because of what she did the first time you tried. Allow her to go to your pot and enter your room just the way your mother does. The moment you agreed to marry that man you love, you agreed to have a relationship with everything around him. You can never tell me you love your husband when you hate the woman who brought him into the world. Don’t give up, go to her again and try. Keep trying until you win her over with love. I know you will.
This is the concluding part of an article I posted last week,
written by Ama