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There are a lot of questions about in-laws that some of us might need answers to. An In-law issue is a very complicated one that one needs a lot of wisdom to address. You love your spouse very much, you don’t want to hurt or offend them, and yet there are issues with his/her parents.

They have been the ones taking care of your spouse before your spouse met you, so they cannot be wrong. They are flawless. They are saints, so does your spouse see them. How do you handle them in such a way that it doesn’t cause frictions? We will try and look into some of these issues.

Scenario 1
She grew up with her mum in Kaduna, who has been taking care of her ever since her dad traveled to South Africa when she was 12 years old. She is the firstborn and has been very close to her mum since then. Now she is married. Her mother does not understand that she is married. They live close to each other and their mum visits them every day. The husband is infuriated and irritated each time he sees her. She even passes the night and spends weeks with them.

Initially, she helps with the daughter. The husband complains a lot about this but the wife feels he is taking things too seriously. The wife, who is a Medical Doctor, is sure divided between her mum and her husband. Her time is divided, her attention, her finances, her care, she is divided in spirit, soul, and body.

Her mum will often take her time talking with her. She enters their room and she has no boundaries whatsoever. She gets on the husband’s nerve so much that they often have open confrontations. Instead of the mother seeing that she is intruding, she sees it as enemies not wanting her to stay with her daughter. The husband has instructed his wife a number of times about her mother but only falls on deaf ears. She claims ‘will I send my mother away?’

What should be done?

This is a clear case of over-familiarity. The bond between the mother and her daughter is so close, more so that she is more or less separated from her husband who has not been home for many years.

The husband should be patient and use a lot of wisdom while being firm. While they are looking for another accommodation far away from where the mother lives, the husband should try and reduce their dependency on her.

The husband should be very strict and put certain instructions and rules in place. The husband should also be very prayerful and very patient. No matter what, he should not allow himself to be provoked.

Scenario 2
The husband is the first born and lived with his parents before he got married. He was to get a house after the wedding but one week became six months.

The wife is not finding it funny but she tries her very best to be a good daughter in-law. The wife leaves her job as a Pharmacist in Abuja to stay with her husband in Ogun state where he leaves with his parents.

The wife doesn’t have a job yet in the new place and she is frustrated. They fight, quarrel and the husband concludes she’s not been patient enough. The husband’s job is not that stable so he doesn’t know whether he will settle in Ogun state, Abuja or outside the country.

The problem is with the mother in-law. She is so attached to the son. Her body language is that they should stay and keep living with them.  She behaves like her son’s wife. She takes care of him, asks what he will eat as though the wife does not exist. She competes with the wife over him and for his attention

What should be done?

The husband has to try as much as possible and get a house in where he plans to settle down. Even if it is a room, he needs to take a drastic decision because it is obvious his wife is running out of patience. With that distance, they can reduce their proximity to the mother. They will still remain in touch through regular calls.

The wife should be full of prayers and very patient at this time not to do anything she will later regret. She should be calm and try harder to endure till it’s over.

They also need counsel and should be guided all the way.

Tomorrow, we will consider more scenarios and pick out lessons from them.

God bless your marriage.

Lord, I receive wisdom to handle all in-law issues.

Father, give me wisdom and discernment to handle all in law issues.

For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave unto his own wife.

Begin to handle every in-law issues in your marriage with God’s wisdom

2 Chronicles 28; 2 Kings 16-17

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