{Benin City, Nigeria Local Time}
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Coping with Nagging Mother-in-Law

By Gladys Omoragbon {August 2, 2022}

Coping with Nagging Mother-in-Law Last week, a colleague told me about a neighbour of hers who the mother-in-law has decided to make her regret ever setting eyes on her son. Now, the story is this, the woman (that is the daughter-in-law) is married to a guy who apparently loves the mum more than the wife. Why? Because, anytime the mother coughs, he answers. In other words, he attends to his mother’s beck and call to the detriment of the happiness of the wife.

Hey!, do not get me wrong. She is the mother and so should take care of her but a responsible and balanced man would try to balance both. Don’t hurt your wife’s feelings because you want to please your mother and do not hurt your mother’s feelings to please your wife. So a man tied to the mother’s apron string needs to asked for wisdom to balance the two. Recently, my sister’s friend got married and the mother-in-law is already giving her hell.

As a matter of fact, she had started her manipulations even before the marriage. She dictates everything even to the clothes the lady should or should not wear. She said no trouser in their house. The man’s comments always starts with “my mother said this or that”. So imagine what that lady is facing having a mother-in-law who dominates things. The son works with one of the leading banks in Lagos. The mother ordered him to work his transfer back to benin and the son without consulting with his wife, worked his transfer back to benin to satisfy his mother.

Now back to my colleague’s neighbour. The lady is married to a guy who lives in London and so, she lives with the mother-in-law in a four flat apartment built by the husband. The man first mistake is asking the mother (a high society woman) to come live with the wife. So Imagine the scenario in that house. The mother-in-law feels the woman is eating her son’s money. If a wife does not eat her husband’s money, I wonder who should. The problem now is that the woman is fed up and is seeking solutions to her problems. The husband is presently in town and has offered to buy the wife a new car. It will surprise you to know that the woman has been doing school run on motorbikes why the mother-in-law has a posh car with a chauffer attach to herself alone. Now the husband after telling the wife about his intention to buy her a car, later came back to her to tell her that she should take the car his mum has been driving why he gives the new car to the mother. Strange you would say. Well, that got me thinking about this week’s article.

It is widely believed that mothers-in-law contribute a great deal to the success of any marriage. Any man that is tied to his mother’s apron string would always have problems because the mother would continually have a say in matters concerning the home. I am not disputing the fact that sometimes, his mother’s advice is very necessary for the betterment of the home. But as the English people would say, “too much of everything is bad”.

Most women when they go into marriage, forget the fact that they have not married the man alone but the entire family, especially the mother of the man. So, some women do not make room for the man’s people. This problem of mothers-in-law has broken a lot of relationships. The problem of nagging mothers-in-law comes to play when the guy’s mother feels over protective towards the son. Some men are their mother’s pet, so whenever the man decides to take a wife, the mother feels jealous because the man’s attention would now be deviated from her.

This kind of mother in-law could just decide never to like the son’s wife no matter what she does to satisfy the family. So that is the beginning of trouble for the ‘poor’ woman. Many mothers-in-law nag because the son’s wife has not been able to produce children for the family. She then urges her son to take another wife who can procreate for him. Some mothers-in-law would not allow their son’s wife peace off mind. This particular problem has resulted in many homes breaking up. Some mothers can really go to any length to ensure that their son does not take the particular girl they don‘t approve of. Sometimes, the problem lies with the wife. Some women because of the pre-conceived notion that mothers-in-law are terrible do not take the pains to study their mothers-in-law and they do not also try their possible best to win the heart of their mothers-in-law. Some ladies even pray for their mother-in-law to die before they go into the home. They have forgotten that whatever measure you used in measuring people, the same measure will be use for you.

A lot of women are so lazy and dirty and this of course does not endear them to their mother-in-law. Some are selfish and wicked and may even use any means to make sure that the man’s attention never goes to the man’s family. No mother-in-law would be happy to know that the woman her son married is a hindrance to the progess of the family. Some women also nag whenever their husband’s mother is around. They begin to complain here and there. And of course the mother-in-law cannot help but feel unwanted in her son’s house.

However, in everything in life, there are always two sides to it, so if some mothers-in-law are bad, there are certainly some that are like real mothers. Even better than some real mother. Some mothers-in-law are really nice. They do anything to make sure that the son’s wife is comfortable in the home. I know of some who would even take sides with the woman (whether wrong or right) whenever there is a conflict between the couple. After, she would call the woman and admonish her about what she did. But she does not reproach the woman right there in the presence of the man (that is her son.)
So in coping with a nagging-mother-in-law, one needs first and fore-most to learn to accept her. Also be determined to make the best out of a bad situation.

Learn to understand your mother-in-law, do your utmost best to win her over to yourself. Even if people have said it is impossible, believe that yours will be possible. Show her love and be undaunted to win her to your side.

Mothers-in-law should also try to stay off their son’s marriage because the Holy Bible has said that what the Lord has joined together, let no man or mother-in-law put asunder. Please give peace a chance. After all, somebody gave you a chance to succeed in your own marriage.

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