Tag Archives: father-in-law

The 411 on making the best of a bad in-law situation and more!

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:

  1. 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 stand like!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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 thinking plotting 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ammunition love 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!

  8. 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?

  9. 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! 😉

  10. 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!
Please read, share, like and comment.
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!  😉


Leave a comment

Posted by on October 3, 2015 in Relationships


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

What you didn’t know about being a bad in-law!

Hey Chutzpah fam, this is the second post in my in-law series.
First of all, let me wish you a happy independence day! Nigerians have survived economic and political crisis that would have torn other countries apart or caused a civil war but still we dey kampe! God bless Nigeria.

So without further ado, I shall delve into the10 things you didn’t know about being a bad in-law. And yes I am talking to you, you might not yet have come to terms with the fact that you could possibly be a bad in-law though I am sure deep down you have niggling doubts as to how good an in-law you probably are but after reading through, hopefully some clarity will emerge.

  1. Bad in-laws are human beings too. They have good days and bad days, trials and triumphs and are often otherwise caring people and quite sensitive. The problem is they have abnormal responses to everyday human situations. They are quick to take offence, make judgments and put people in boxes and this ultimately affects the way they treat said people.

  2. Bad in-laws have an innate fear of being alone or disliked. So instead of being vulnerable they build up walls and airs and get on the offense. For example a mother-in-law who is afraid her son who is all she has, will forsake her and focus on his new wife and as a result starts to maltreat the new wife for future crimes not yet committed rather than see the situation as God expanding her family by giving her a new daughter.

  3. Bad in-laws need to be in control. Usually because the other important parts of their life are out of their control. For example, a sister-in-law who is unable to control her marriage or children or even an older ‘our wife’, preys on a younger-in-law overcompensating for her lack of control. This is similar to the classic bully scenario where a bully is usually an unloved, uncared-for little boy who seeks to regain some control in life by bullying smaller children. The litmus test for this kind of behavior is the way they seem to shrink back in fear when ‘our wife’ stands up for herself. Someone did say bullies were cowards…

  4. Bad in-laws may have bad in-laws. So true but so sad. Remember those kids who were bullied in junior secondary school and then immediately became bullies as soon as they were seniors? The oppressed becomes the oppressor in the blink of an eye. Sadly it is the way of the world and very few people rise above abuse to live whole, free lives.

  5. Bad in-laws may be sugary sweet in-laws. Sometimes a seemingly troublesome in-law may actually have your best interest at heart while a sugary sweet one might be overcompensating for secretly planning your downfall. Before you judge an in-law as bad, see how she/he treats actual siblings or their own children. It might just be a character defect not specially conjured up for you.

  6. Bad in-laws may be good in-laws who learned a bitter lesson before you came along. Find out about their family history. Just as there are bad brother/mother/father/sister in-laws, so also there are horrible daughter/son/brother/sister in-laws aka ‘our wife’. If iyale showed the family pepper before you came along, they are bound to tread carefully with you, show you pepper before you have a chance to show them or hastily put you in a box. Only time and good character can change their mindset.

  7. Bad in-laws may be bitter. That monster in-law may be the old, unmarried aunt or the childless elder sister or the unsuccessful elder brother who has become chronically bitter with their lot in life and have developed a gruff, grouchy, meddlesome persona that gives them the small satisfaction that instilling fear in others brings. They may also need this fear to keep them feeling relevant in a dynamic family.

  8. Bad in-laws may be envious. Jealousy is such a silent emotion that few people realise when it stealthily creeps up on them. An in-law might justify treating you bad because you are too proud about your beauty/accomplishments or her brother/son spoils you too much or you are enjoying her brother/son’s money too much. The green-eyed monster plain as day could be the reason why some random extended family member is making your marriage hell!

  9. Bad in-laws may be overspiritual. The bible says dreams come when a man has many cares/worries [paraphrasing]. However a lot of people prefer to see all dreams as visions into the supernatural and a concerned in-law might start to maltreat you after you featured prominently in a bad dream he/she had even if the dream is a product of too much African magic mixed with always carrying you for mind!

  10. Bad in-laws may just need attention. Growing up there was a common phrase; ‘notice me or I quench’. People would do bizarre things in a bid to get noticed. A lot of bad in-law behavior might just be due to a lack of attention. Many mother-in-laws are famous for this. Luckily, this is one of the easiest in-law behavior to fix, you just need to be dedicated to the cause!

I am sure there’s more about in-law behavior waiting to be uncovered. Please drop a comment and remember- every human being is a potential in-law! The choice to be a good or bad one is yours to make. Don’t have the breakdown of someone else’s marriage hanging over your heard on judgment day!

Look out for the final post in this series soon but till then remember to like, share and comment. Thank you!

Happy independence day Chutzpah fam and shout out to all the good in-laws out there, God bless you!


Posted by on October 1, 2015 in Relationships


Tags: , , , , , , , ,