Mother-in-law As A Demon; By Safiya I. Dantiye

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I remember, when I was young, I read a column where the author, a woman, said as they were criticising mothers-in-law, one day they too would become mothers-in-law, and advised women not to be too harsh in their attitude to their mothers-in-law.

However, this is not an advice that many women would take, after all, a mother-in-law is believed to be domineering, overbearing, demanding, and above all, a nuisance that they wish to do without, so that she would not become an obstacle to their enjoyment by having to share in her son’s riches!

But the irony of it is that such women that begrudge a mother the right to her son’s wealth may be just a small amount of money, food,  healthcare, etc. would be happy to bring their own mothers in and enjoy the fruits they have not sown.

The point is; fathers-in-law that are usually out of the picture of these tugs of war, real or imagined, are being dragged into it. On the other hand, there are mothers-in-law that are truly troublesome and make the life of their sons and wives miserable. This is more so if they live in the same house, where she monitors everything and interferes unnecessarily.

There are many ways to do these tricks! For example, if the husband wants to buy an expensive lace for his mother, the wife would say it was not fitting for elderly women, but it would be fitting for her own mother.

One man brought his mother from their village to go to the hospital and she spent some months in his house. The wife was very angry and complained, even though the woman’s two daughters also lived in the town and regularly went there to bath and feed her. She also had a maid.

In any case, these days some young women prefer to marry a man whose mother had died, so that nobody would ‘disturb’ their life.

They call mothers-in-law Hypertension, though in a rare situation, I learnt that one woman added a father-in-law and named him Ulcer.

This was a young divorcee who was divorced because she was very rude to her mother-in-law. They lived in the same house in a village.

But no matter what, never allow you wife to be rude to your mother or try in a clever way to prevent you from helping her. That is why some men would never consult their wives when it comes to buying things for their parents or relatives. The wives may not like it, but they can live with it when they see that they could not control the husbands.

One day, the husband gave her an option between being good to his mother and staying married to him, or being divorced. She said she would prefer the divorce.

She got another suitor, but the first thing she asked him was whether he had Hypertension, Ulcer and Heart problem.

He said no, but she kept insisting and asked him to go and find out from her friends what she really meant. So, he went and asked one of her friends.

The friend told him that Hypertension meant his mother, Ulcer meant is father and Heart problem meant a wife.

To cut a long story short, he had all of them, and he asked if the friend would like to marry him and she married him. The young woman was not happy and said her friend betrayed her.

The point is; fathers-in-law that are usually out of the picture of these tugs of war, real or imagined, are being dragged into it. On the other hand, there are mothers-in-law that are truly troublesome and make the life of their sons and wives miserable. This is more so if they live in the same house, where she monitors everything and interferes unnecessarily.

Women who see mothers-in-law as evil forget that their own mothers are equally perceived as such since they are mothers-in-law to others as well. And one day they too would become mothers-in-law and the circle of the evil mother-in-law continues.

Some women feel that whatever is eaten in their son’s house must be given to them even when they live in a different house.

It is left to men especially young ones to know how to balance the scale. Your wife is your wife and your mother is your mother, each one has her own place in your life.

If you have an overbearing mother, make her understand in a kind manner that your wife has a place in your life too, and you have to take care of her.

But no matter what, never allow you wife to be rude to your mother or try in a clever way to prevent you from helping her. That is why some men would never consult their wives when it comes to buying things for their parents or relatives. The wives may not like it, but they can live with it when they see that they could not control the husbands.

But the moment your mother has to go through your wife to get food items from you, repair her leaky roof or go to the hospital, you have given room for all kinds of insolence to your mother.

In other words she has given birth to you for other people to claim and enjoy.

Women who see mothers-in-law as evil forget that their own mothers are equally perceived as such since they are mothers-in-law to others as well. And one day they too would become mothers-in-law and the circle of the evil mother-in-law continues.

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