Tag Archives: in-law behavior

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


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