A couple fall in love and get married and have kids. The kids in time grow up, fall in love and get married and it goes on and on. In most cases, they have more than one child which means there are several brothers and sisters in the family, and very often, cousins, nephews, nieces and a host of relatives by various nomenclature. The couple think the world of each other and look forward to building a home free of troubles and trials.

And then one day, the man’s younger brother sends an innocent letter requesting for extra pocket money from big brother and all hell breaks loose! Wifey will have none of it. “They” are disturbing her husband and threatening the peace of her home. They scale that hurdle and then at Christmas the sisters decide to pay big brother a visit and again wifey is upset. They have have come with an evil agenda to ruin her home and take what belongs to her. They have no right to just land in her home anyhow without invitation. It is unfair and it is a plan designed to spoil the love she is enjoying with her man.

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The couple fulfill the multiplication mandate and have a baby; as is the custom in many Nigerian communities, the wife’s mother comes to stay for a while to look after new mother and child. And then the mother of troubles begins in the home. Hubby is convinced that Mama is a witch and has brought her witchcraft from the village to kill or at best change his erstwhile loving wife into a monster.

Really? My people why are we the way we are? Is the in law really such an outlaw? Or does he or she have to be one? What is it about the relatives of our spouses that make us feel they do not deserve to be in the life of the person we married? Allow me to spell it out for you so you have a better understanding of who this evil person is.

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1. They are the parents of the person you married. They gave birth to him or her, it was through them that person came to this world. If they wanted them dead, they had ample opportunity between birth and marriage to do so. So stop acting as if your partner dropped out of the sky. Accept that you owe these people a debt of gratitude for bringing your lover from eternity.

2. They are his/her brothers and sisters, meaning they grew up together; probably dreamt of a great future together. A future that likely had you in it. They have history, they have blood and they have a bond together which was there before you came on the scene. The bond did not automatically break when you became wife or husband.

3. We are all a sum total of all the experiences we’ve had and the various people we have interacted with in the past; no man is an island. It’s no use pretending that our partners were lone rangers before we met them.

4. All these people you resent now were a vital part of the network long before you came on the scene, don’t be so quick to disconnect them
You need to realize that  in life the more willing we are to give of ourselves, the more willing life is to return to us. If we go into a marriage with a negative mindset, the in laws will easily become outlaws and vice versa. No family is totally evil and none is totally good either. Humanity is  basically, a collection of flawed people trying to make it through life.

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People see others through various prisms and very often, our view of others is flawed. Don’t be so quick to conclude that the relatives of your spouse are on a mission to ruin you and your home.

If you check carefully, you may find that the evil In law is not an out law after all.

Watch out for “How to be an ideal In law.” Coming soon..


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