Hey everyone, so the in-law trilogy has gotten such a buzz, thanks for the input, shared experiences and the support. Today I’d like to draw the curtain on the three-part series and I am making this a double dose. Yours truly will be giving you not only the 411 on making the best out of a bad in-law situation but also, the 10 commandments to being a
good great in-law!
So here goes:
10 tips on making the best of a bad in-law situation:
- Avoid the situation: When you marry someone, you marry their families as well, especially in Africa so if you know that family is the match to your gun powder then stop eyeing their son and marry a man with a family you can
Pray: I am not going to mince words here. It isn’t enough to spend days and nights praying about your dream man, devote some time to praying he has a great family that will adore and support you because it takes one bad in-law to ruin a perfect fairytale! And if you are already stuck with them, keep praying about them. Miracles happen when you pray, there is no situation too hard for God to fix!
Don’t smell what you can’t eat: If you know washing your sister in-law’s clothes will be an issue, don’t do it a couple of times in the beginning hoping she will stop asking because when you stop doing it you become the vile wife who was pretending all the while! This is not to say you have to be rigid, compromise some but do not go against your moral principles and sense of justice.
Avoid confrontations: This is one of the times when tackling the problem head on isn’t the best solution. You need tact and wisdom when tackling bad in-laws because every thing you say will be counted as rudeness in an exchange of words. There are many ways to win a battle. A friend of mine says she smiles anytime her in-laws are trying to aggravate her and doesn’t utter a word. Over time they have gotten wary of that smile because it makes them feel powerless and they actually don’t know what she’s
thinkingplotting or what her next move is going to be. Find what works for you but avoid confrontation because a little shove will be reported as the merciless beating you gave your in-law and you definitely don’t need the ensuing drama.
Be firm: My friend T, who is a pediatrician had issues with her mother-in-law when she came to take care of she and the baby. Every time her mother-in-law tried to give her baby water or a bit of soup saying breast milk wasn’t enough she stood her ground with a firm NO. It caused friction for a while but by her second pregnancy dear mother-in-law had adapted and was even the one advising the other women in the village not to do some of the things she had earlier on tried to do. T said she wasn’t rude or aggressive and never once raised her voice but she stood her ground and despite the complaints her in-law finally did as she asked. She also made sure she treated her very nicely all through her stay so that dear MIL couldn’t stay mad at her.
Familiarity breeds contempt: Be nice, be courteous but do not give room for see-finish if you know that you are already walking on eggshells around your in-laws. Let there be a mutual respect between both of you and that can’t happen if they are already taking you for granted. Don’t be too available or too open. This is a delicate balance because they need to see that you have accepted them as family but at the same time they need to know that they cannot treat you anyhow.
Let your spouse be your shield: If you have bad in-laws then more than ever you need to bond with your spouse to the extent that he is ready to defend you, fight for you and drink panadol for any little headache of yours. They are his family, he is the only one who is going to be able to make them leave you alone, the only person who can actually keep them in check without thinking twice. Agreed that some men like to sit on the fence when it’s their family versus their wife but really you live with him, sleep with him and take care of him, if you can’t sway him over to your side with all the
ammunitionlove you have, then no one else can help you. Be prepared though because when a man makes his woman untouchable, it’s only a matter of time before they label the wife a daughter of the devil who has bewitched their son lol!
Give them love and attention: These two ingredients work wonders on even the hardest hearts. Remember, hurting people hurt others. They may not respond to it at first simply because they doubt your sincerity but if you keep on loving and showing them you care eventually even the iciest of Queens will melt. Besides, what would Jesus do?
First to report, wins the case: If you are having ongoing battles with your in-laws and it ultimately always ends with your husband acting as judge and jury then it would be in your best interest to be on the offensive instead of always defending yourself. So next time there’s a row, don’t wait till hubby starts asking you what you did to his mother/sister to try to convince him that you were the victim because it might already be a tad late since he would have already made up his mind based on the first story he heard, call him up and serve him your pain while it’s piping hot so that the Voltron in him can rise up and defend his universe! 😉
- Don’t be petty: It takes two to have an argument. Learn to overlook some things. Being long suffering is a virtue and a mature person doesn’t take offense at every little word or deed. Try to be the bigger person. The monster in-law might just be testing you, don’t fall for her poking. Many in-law battles start from the smallest of inconveniences and words that you could actually have turned a deaf ear to. Pick your battles, remember that not every one in the world is sane or in a good place, don’t let them rob you of your peace.
I am sure there are dozens of other foolproof tips for surviving bad in-laws. I hope these were helpful enough. May the odds always be in your favor!
And to round up I shall go over the 10 commandments of being a great in-law for those who weren’t aware or had forgotten!
KJV MCV style 😉
Commandment number one: Thou shalt not meddle!
Commandment number two: Thou shalt treat her like she was thy own flesh and blood.
Commandment number three: Thou shalt not bully thy brother’s wife (or son’s wife).
Commandment number four: Thou shalt not try to emotionally blackmail thy kin against his/her spouse.
Commandment number five: Thou shalt not covet thy brother’s property (or son’s property).
Commandment number six: Thou shalt not compete for the affection of thy brother’s heart with his wife (or son’s heart).
Commandment number seven: Thou shalt know thy place as a guest in thy son’s house (or brother’s house).
Commandment number eight: Thou shalt not bring to tears anyone whose bride price was paid by your kin for whatever reason.
Commandment number nine: Thou shalt not play God in the lives of any person married into your family.
Commandment number ten: Thou shalt treat everyone the exact same way you hope to be treated for whatever thou soweth, thou shalt reap!
Amen and it’s a wrap!
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Have a super weekend and may you be blessed with the most fabulous in-laws and may the bad ones have a heart transplant tonight! Shout out to all the great in-laws out there- mine included. The bad ones are just a copy gone wrong (Made in Aba) and we all know if it’s not panadol, it’s not the same thing as panadol! 😉