For a spouse to respect your family, do not talk ill of them

Thursday October 18 2018

Building relationship with in laws

When you get married, you become part of another family with its own set of expectations. You need to recognise and respect these and while setting limits of what is achievable and what is not. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Christine Nakalungi

Once two people tie the knot, they cease to be independent and are joined together as one. This also means that their families are also joined together. This is how it should be but truth be told, each family will defend their own when put in a dock.

What we say about our family to others determines how they will treat them. As I watched a video where a man and his wife were fighting over who sits in the front seat, I wondered. The mother-in-law had visited the couple for a weekend and as they were going out for dinner, the mother-in-law sat in the co-driver’s seat that was usually the wife’s spot and the wife was ordered to sit behind.

To so many people, this is just respect for elders whereas other wives find it as a violation. The two women had a huge fight and the son was torn in-between. Should he defend the mother or the wife? The mother reminded the daughter-in-law that without her sacrifices, she would not have a husband. The daughter-in-law also assured the mother-in-law, “Why don’t you stay out of our lives, all you do is ask for money every time. Your son is grown and he no longer needs you.”
The mother-in-law looked at his son and her eyes were filled with tears. “Am I a burden to you?” She asked as she ordered him to stop the car. The daughter-in-law was still ranting about how disrespectful and inconveniencing her husband’s mother was.
“Shut up Clara,” the son shouted at his wife. He ordered her to keep quite or get out of the car. The mother was sobbing because his son was not defending her and the wife also started crying as she blamed the husband for choosing his mother over her. Family can be difficult sometimes but for some reason, family always sticks together. If you treat your family members with respect, your spouse will treat them the same way but if you complain and talk ill about them, do not complain when your spouse treats them the same way.
In some cultures, the parents-in-law never meet with their children’s spouses in an effort to avoid confrontations that might drag the marriage to divorce court. Either way, family should be able to respect each other and live happily ever after.