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My mother in-law hates me

18 April 2016, 21:04 Shakila Alivitsa

Nairobi - I was watching a husband, a wife and the mother-in-law (mother to husband) at a baby shower yesterday. The mother-in-law had picked the perfect time to have one of her arguments on why she still does not like the woman.

The woman is already pregnant with your first grandchild; you need to get over it at this point.

The wife had done the amicable and ‘bigger’ person thing and allowed her husband to invite the mother to the baby shower. Just for once, she thought, it is not about me, or her but my child. Let me invite her and she will see it the same way. Nice on her part but in the end it seemed foolhardy.

The mother-in-law decides to have  fully fledged argument, in the midst of the event, with the guests looking on as to why this lady is the reason her son is not paying her attention anymore, does not mind her or her needs-the usual and why she thinks the women will not make a good wife or mother. She is already pregnant, like, the time to make that argument has passed. The pregnant wife tries to defend herself and tell her in most cases she has actually stepped in to help her son to sort her out, the man tells her to shut up. Mistake number one.

You could see the whole thing was putting a strain on her and the one person she expected to understand her and just for one day, support her was not doing that-it was getting to her.

As a man when things get to a point where your wife goes out of her way to stop her children from seeing your mother, does not make the effort or does not like the idea of hosting your mother in her home-it is mostly your fault because what did you do in the beginning? When it all started, what did you do? Which side were you on and how did you handle their issues?

Rule Number 1 As a man you need to let your mother know that you now have a family of your own that comes first

If your mother really loves you and wants you to be happy in your house, then she will not go out of her way to make the life of the person you are living with even harder. The only way that happens is, as a man, you sit your mother down and have a conversation with her. Remind her of how she was treated when she went to her husband’s home. Better? Then she should do the same. Worse? It is not your wife’s fault so she needs not take it out on her.

Like the above example, the man does not need to even have a conversation. It was a special day for the child that was to come. Now it is going to become a bad memory for the mother every time she thinks about it. That is how mothers-in-law get excluded by the wives from everything. Some of you men have saints for wives and you do not appreciate it. Throughout the whole pregnancy your mother is nitpicking your wife and she has invited her to stay with you because you asked as her husband. I would tell the both of you to pack and go somewhere else while I give birth in peace. If you do not leave then you will find me gone. Have the baby shower on my own too. There are just some things in life you do not put a dent on especially if your wife is looking forward to it.

Rule Number 2 Let your mother know when your wife helps out

Some mothers have this wrong idea that the wife is busy whispering in her son’s ear how he should spend less on her. If you as her son decide to ration her allowance or expenses then let her know it was your decision. Don’t keep quiet because that woman will now start making up her own things in her head. Explain to her, that now you have a child in kindergarten and one on the way, you need to be wiser about savings and spending.

Let her know that you are a bachelor no more and this is how your salary is set up. She is still going to think that way but at least you put it out there.

If your wife puts her mother in a lifestyle out of her own pocket, don’t let your mother think it is you. It is going to cause strife.

If your wife helps out when you are unable to or you are tied up, then tell your mother this time it is my wife that did it. So that she just knows that your wife has no ill feeling toward her.

Rule Number 3 You need to be your wife’s liaison

90% of mothers-in-law are never if not rarely pleased by their son’s wife but you only hear about the 50% that are mad. What happens to the 40%?It is called micro-management on the man’s part. A man should always choose to understand his wife and her emotions first. Then what she needs or expects from him.

For example; your mother is coming to visit and you know she gives your wife a harsh if not a hard time. What do most men do? Ignore the situation and just be happy that mum is here and wife can sulk at least my mum cares. Then you go at the bar till late because mum supports you because she knows it pisses your wife off.

What smart men do; they sit their wife down and tell her something along the lines of, ‘I know she gives you a hard time and I am sorry about that. But I cannot do anything about it because she is old if you can just bear with it while she is here and I will be thankful and appreciative. I just want to know you understand while we put up a front for her sake.’ The key is to sound very apologetic. Your wife will wash your mother’s feet with a smile on her face and spoon feed her every meal. And you will not have to be so worried when you go to sleep at night about getting any cold shoulders. That is crisis management on a smart husband’s part.

Woman to man; one of the things most husbands forget is that you are never too sure who will go six feet under first. Heaven forbid it is you and your mother is left with a bitter/ resentful wife. What will you do; especially if she had no one else to turn to other than you? One wife will remember her as the grandmother to her children and take care of her. Another brutal wife will not care and will close that chapter without a second backward glance.  Be smart and careful on how you treat your wife because of your mother. She may be the only person who will take care of her when you no longer can.

- MyNews24

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

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