Dear Mrs O.
Any advice at this point would REALLY be helpful. Im convinced my mother in law hates me. I don’t want to ask my friends for help because I do not want them in my matrimonial affairs. I also do not want to ask my own mother for advice because she is the type that will say something and make things even worse than they already are!
I married my husband 3 years ago. His parents both lived back home so I only encountered them once or twice before we got married. I would call to speak to them occasionally but that was where the communication ended. Even those times when I would call to check on them my husbands mother would be cold to me over the phone. I took note of it then but I didn’t care because I figured she lived over seas so she wouldn’t be much of a problem.
Big mistake! Long story short his parents decided to move to the states. And now they are staying with us. His mother is making my life a living hell. Every thing that I do she has an issue with. If I make soup there is not enough salt. If I pound yam it is too thick. If I wear makeup its too heavy. If I wear a dress its too short. If I lead prayer I didn’t do it well. I swear if she could enter our bedroom and critique she would!
The final straw was last week when I wanted to make dinner. I clearly told her that I was going to buy groceries after work so I could cook later that evening. You won’t imagine that before I got home she had already got my husband to take her to the store to buy groceries. She was in the kitchen making stew before I got home. That made me really angry because some food will obviously waste because we have double the groceries needed.
Im sick of it. I don’t know what to do! I’ve been pretending everything is rosey while I’m silently suffering. The only person that I have complained to is my husband. He says that soon enough I will “learn to love her.” But I promise you I won’t. I know its not nice to say but I can’t stand her and I want her out of this house. My husband cannot see how awful his mother is or maybe he just doesn’t care. I can’t take it anymore. Before she moved in we were so happy! Now for the last four months Ive been living in a miserable marriage.
Please how can I get her out of this house?
Im so sorry to hear about your issue! Don’t overreact, what your going through is very common. However I do have some questions for you. Is your husband the only child that lives abroad? Is he the oldest? Are the other siblings well off? If he is the oldest and the most well off you really don’t have many options to get her to leave. Your husband isn’t going to put his parents in a nursing home.
Also, I don’t think making the woman move out is the best option. She is your mother in law. Even if she moves out you will still see her on holidays, birthdays, and family get togethers. Avoiding her is not the way to handle this issue. You have to handle these type of things head on.
Firstly, you stated that you haven’t told anyone anything even your own mother. I think that is a mistake. Part of the reason you are so frustrated is because you are bottling everything inside. Im am with you about not letting all your friends know about everything that goes on in your matrimonial home, but there must be someone you confide in occasionally.
What I like to do is pick one particular friend who is also married and lives a similar lifestyle. That person will be the only person I go to if I’m having issues. You need to make sure that person is trust worthy. You also need to make sure that person will give you sound advice. This person should also confide in you if she is having issues.
The next thing I would tell you to do is figure out why his mother is being so cold to you. You said that she behaved this way before she even moved in. Which means it might not be personal. There might be something in particular that has happened that is causing her to act this way towards you. You need to be an adult about this matter. This isn’t the time to talk behind closed doors and avoid her around the house. She has moved in and might be staying with you for a very long time.
One day when your husband is not home you need to have a conversation with her. Make sure you speak to her very calmly and respectfully. If possible even pray before this conversation takes place. Prepare her favorite meal. Wear something very modest. Sit her down and let her know that you have noticed that she hasn’t been very warm towards you. Tell her that you see her as a mother and you really want the two of you to get along. If she brushes you off that is when you now have to move to more drastic measures.
Keep in mind you can’t just force your husbands mother out of the house. That is not how things are done. However, if she doesn’t calm down after numerous discussions the next step would be forcing your husband to speak to her. Right now you may have only casually mentioned it to him. But at this point you would need to make it an ISSUE. If your husbands speaks firmly to his mother she won’t feel so comfortable.
If speaking to your husband does not work you can speak to her husband. You mentioned that both the mother and the father are living with you. You can also have a discussion with your father in law. This will probably be very awkward but it will surely have an impact.
If everyone speaks to your mother in law and nothing comes of it unfortunately you might have to fight fire with fire. Some people don’t ever calm down unless they get a little taste of their own medicine. I would only do this as an absolute last resort. At that point you would have to make her understand that you won’t be sitting down suffering in your matrimonial home. When she records her shows on the DVR delete them. When she goes to make garri add salt. Throw your red underwear in her whites while she is doing laundry. After you do some of these things to her she will surely calm down. Nobody spoiled her own marriage so she can’t come and spoil yours!
I would really like a follow up about this issue. Please let me know how the conversation goes and if she eventually changes. You never know your husband may be right you might eventually learn to love her! Thank you so much for writing!