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How To Have A Healthy Relationship With In-laws

by Frederick Akinola
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When a person gets married, they might not imagine the sort of influence their in-laws would have on their marriage. Some mothers have so much influence on their child’s marriage that is seems overbearing. You might then wonder, is it possible to keep an in-law problem from becoming a marriage problem? Let’s consider some common scenarios:

Do you find your wife’s mother difficult to deal with?

As mentioned, some mothers aren’t easy. What can you do? Discuss the problem with your wife, and be willing to make concessions. The issue is, not how you feel about your mother-in-law, but how you feel about your spouse, the person whom you have vowed to love. Come away from the discussion with one or two specific ways that you could improve your relationship with her mother, and then follow through. As your wife notices your efforts, her respect for you will undoubtedly grow.

Does your wife always go to her parents for advice?

Talk with your wife, and reach an agreement on where the boundaries should be set. Strive to be reasonable. Remember that there is no hard or fast rule to life. Concessions have to be made. If she is comfortable getting advice from her parents, you shouldn’t allow that be a problem. Make sure the advice she is getting is not advice on how to cope with you. If it is advice on other facets on life, then no wahala. Try to resolve your misunderstandings quickly. Do not allow it to escalate.

Does your husband neglect your side of the family?

This usually doesn’t make a woman happy, especially if the man extends a kind hand towards his relatives and does not for that of his wife. It then seems as though he doesn’t value her family. Remember that marriage in Africa is not just between man and wife but between families as well. Try to accommodate your wife’s family as much as you can. Listen when she talks about them. remember their names, and show interest in them.

Things To Remember

Marriage creates a new family family unit. You are now married. Your parents and siblings now come behind your spouse in the pecking order. Ensure that you do not make your spouse feel secondary. Your marriage comes before your parents.  Creating or renewing your sense of solidarity with your spouse may involve some rending and tearing away from your primary families. Some parents may find it difficult to adjust. And some newly weds may find it difficult as well.  Having in-laws is not like having friends you chose.  You have two new friends, whether you like it or not. Even if they drive you nuts, they’re family.

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