Saturday, December 7, 2019
Home Advice Can Our Marriage Survive The In-laws Fight All The Time?

Can Our Marriage Survive The In-laws Fight All The Time?

Dear ma,

My wife and I are having an issue,we need your intervention. My name is Henry (not real name). I have been married for three years now. I love my wife but it has not been easy. We have had challenges in our marriage particularly in the area of extended family.

Well,the main issue is my wife and my mother have never really gotten along. My mother never really tried to get to know her or accept her. I think that made my wife really suspicious of her and quite defensive. That made it tough for other members of my family to really like my wife.

My mother thinks my wife is too domineering and not good enough for me.Being a Yoruba boy,my mother as is the case with most elderly people in yoruba culture interpret some behaviors as not being respectful. It took some convincing for my wife to actually learn to prostrate for my mother.

To me,its just a case of different cultures. My wife is Edo. But grew up in US. She is quit exposed and outspoken. So these two have been having a running issue for some time. I tried to intervene most times but my mom is just old school and unwilling to flinch and wants to demand  or control my wife.

I honestly thought things will get better as the marriage got older but that did not seem like the case. 3 weeks ago,my mother came to Abuja for some occasion and I was able to convince her to stay with us even though she tried her best to stay in a hotel because she could not stand my wife. My wife too was nervous about my mom coming to stay with us but she promised to do her best to be civil ,just to make me happy.

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Unfortunately,when mama came,I was called in to go to Boni for an urgent assignment. I had to leave home for two days. My wife was so scared of being alone with mama but I promised her all will be well. I also spoke to mama. She promised to be of her best behavior.

By the time I returned from my trip,three days later,mama had moved out of our home and gone to stay in a hotel. By this times,I had received several missed calls from my siblings and relations. Everyone was upset and cursing my wife for ”chasing” mama out of my home.

According to my wife,mama started the problem. That mama said to her that she will not eat the rubbish food my wife was making. That my wife should make yoruba meals like gbegiri,efo. My wife said she could not make it and insisted that mama should eat what she offered her. My wife offered mama bread in the morning while mama wanted pounded yam. Mama refused to eat. She was offered rice and chips for lunch and dinner,mama refused to eat.

So because mama refused to eat,my wife left mama to starve for a whole day. By the next day,mama moved out after she called my entire family that my wife starved her and that she wanted to die cos she is hypertensive. Long story short. My wife said she could not do anything to stop mama from leaving.

I was sad and I think my wife could have at least tried to convince mama to stay. I felt that she could have gone out of her way to even use youtube to learn how to make the meals mama wanted instead of just plain refusing.But my wife was angry with me for even taking sides with my mother.

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Words were used in anger. My wife went to the length of saying my mother is the cause of her not being pregnant after 3 years of marriage. That my mother hates her and is preventing her from enjoying her marriage. That hurt me. I said something like,maybe my family was right that I should not have married her in the first place. I know that was wrong but both of us said hurtful things to each other.

Now,my wife and I have not been in speaking terms since that day. Its almost two weeks. I am still hurt and angry. I know my mother is a handful but I feel my wife could have handled her better. Am I wrong? It feels like she is making no attempt in working out peace between them. My whole family is against her for this. Please what do I do? I love my wife,I thought things will get better but after 3 years,it seems like its only getting worse.

Do you think we should go our separate ways since my wife cant seem to get along with my family? And the marriage has not produced any children for now. What is your advice?






Photo Credit:Times of India


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A passionate people and godly relationship advocate!...Trained Psychologist and Human Resources Practioner. A seasoned Marriage and relationship counsellor. A mother, wife, sister, friend and daughter. J


  1. Hello Henry,

    You and your wife need alot of maturity and patience to be able to handle these family issues.

    But the main person who needs to stand up for this marriage to work is you. As a man,its your duty to keep ensuring that your family accepts your wife. Your wife needs to make some adjustments but she may not be able to do that if she feels like you are not backing her.

    So this is my advice: call a meeting and let your wife apologize to mama. Not because mama is right but for the culture sake that says elders are always right and for peace to reign.

    Thereafter,you must sound a note of caution that your family has to accept your wife cos she is your choice.

    Except you do not love her enough….yes,words were said in anger,that is why you both need anger management classes. You need to learn how to suppress some hurtful words…you cannot use some words if you want a happy family.

    Learn to be kind and empathetic towards each other. Learn to communicate better.

    I know the hostility is tough especially since you guys do not have children yet…and that will get worse if both of you do not learn to silent all the distractions and come together and make this work out…getting pregnant under a hostile environment is next to impossible.

    Find and seek peace with your wife,treat her like a queen,defend her in front of your family and keep coaching her about loving and accepting her in-laws.

    It takes two to and your wife need to work on your marriage..I believe you can. Divorce is not the answer. Give it time,water it with love and prayers.

    You guys will be fine.



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