My wife hates, insults my family members

What you need to know:

She is also not social and neither wants to visit any of my relatives. To make matters worse, she does not want any person to visit our home

My wife and I have been married for eight years and have a six-year-old daughter. However, my wife always insults me, my parents, siblings and relatives for no reason. Although she is a housewife, she rarely cooks for me. She is also not social and neither wants to visit any of my relatives. To make matters worse, she does not want any person to visit our home. This is starting to affect our marriage and intimacy. What can I do?


Dear Anonymous,

It looks like you and your wife are having differing views when it comes to dealing with relatives. It is also possible that you have categorically different personalities and this needs to be handled with care as it can complicate marriage. It is normal for people to be different but it is important to acknowledge this and embrace these differences and as a couple, adjust to accommodate one another. I would have liked to know if this behaviour is new or if it has been the same for eight years. If it is a new behavior, get external professional help.

Couple counselling would really work for you.

 The aim would be to assess what causes your wife to conflict with not only your relatives but you as well. Nothing comes out of the blue. Today, people stay together and one might be battling a mental health issue while the other imagines it is just a behavioural issue.

 However, if it is an old behavior, then it is possible that this is what she is limited to. Some people have gaps in their childhood formative years. Behaviour is learnt in childhood and research shows a relationship between nature and nurture. If your wife’s behaviour is not new and you have been able to stay together for eight years, this shows that you can work through it together.

 Let your wife know how her behaviour makes you feel. As a family, agree on how you treat each other’s relatives. Make use of a non-confrontational conversation and candidly let her know how you would love her to relate with you and your relatives.

 There is help, especially if you think you have tried speaking to her and it has not yielded any results. Find a marriage counsellor who will tailor sessions that might benefit you and your wife. This will give both of you an open and nonjudgmental space to work on the areas that are negatively impacting your marriage. Sometimes, the issues are two-way and before you know it, it is easier to see things from your own perspective.

Reader advice

How do they treat her?

Rachel Monyoncho. Women are responsive. Her actions could be a response to the way you and your relatives treat her. The Bible says, so shall a man leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and the two become one. If your family disrespects and dishonours her, she will obviously not want to be anywhere near them.

Talk to her

Phoebe Miriam. Sit her down and find out why she behaves the way she does. Gently let her know how you feel about her anti-social behaviour and how it is affecting your marriage. If she remains adamant, please involve both your parents and a counsellor if she consents. If you fail, then you will have to give each other a break so that you can properly digest the situation at hand. You cannot live a lie for long. People get married to find peace and companionship. I believe you will find a solution to this situation as you both listen to each other and agree to sort your differences.

Go for counselling

Nampa Patience Natie. Get some time when she is happy and bring up this topic. Tell her how you feel. Open communication is key. If she cannot change after that, suggest going for professional marriage counselling together.

Find the cause

Ojakol Michael Allan. First things first. Ask her what she values in the relationship and why she married you in the first place. Maybe you are not the man she expected and she is acting this way so that you divorce her. Find the root cause of this problem.

It is your family

Silver Okiror. Before you met her, you had a family that raised you. So, if she is trying to separate you from them, think twice. Maybe you did not take time to study her well to see the social side of her life. She is a mature person. I do not think you can change her now. The only solution might be for the two of you to go separate ways.

Show your authority

Miriam Adong. Although you are heartbroken, you need to sit her down and talk to her about this. Show your authority as the man of the house and tell her she cannot separate you from your family. Be firm and let her know that her behaviour will ruin your marriage.

Call a clan meeting

Daniel Combs. There is an African proverb that says, ‘‘you will never know the true character of your woman until you marry her”. If you paid bride price (which in most cases makes women hate in-laws if not sorted), you should call a clan meeting. Otherwise, you cannot handle this alone.

Ask her why

Alvin Johnson. The two of you must sit down and have issues uttered for a common goal or solution. Could there be a reason as to why she behaves in such a way? If you need the involvement of a third party, then involve a marriage counsellor. You should also think about the image you are drawing for your six-year-old daughter.

Evelyn Khorono Lufafa is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation