She hates my mother, sisters

What you need to know:

In fact, they do not even greet each other. However, when I spoke to my father and grandmother about her behaviour, they said she is the most disciplined woman they have ever met.

I am a 28-year-old married father of one. I love my wife but for the time we have been together, she has failed to get along with my mother and sisters. In fact, they do not even greet each other. However, when I spoke to my father and grandmother about her behaviour, they said she is the most disciplined woman they have ever met.  I am caught in between and do not know how to proceed. Please advise. Bosco

Dear Bosco,

IIt can be disheartening to learn that your wife does not get along with some immediate members of your family. The ideal would be that people have a mutual understanding and relationship with each other even when they are not very good friends. However, this might not always be the case since it is difficult to control how your relatives will interact with your spouse.

 Since these are your close family members, it is much easier and prudent for you to protect the relationship between you and your wife. Looking at your age, it seems you are still young and, therefore, have not been married for long and are still learning from one another and doing everything you can to strengthen the bond you have with your wife.

When you two are each other’s friend, it is easier to talk about such issues and learn how to solve them together. Listen to her side of the story and if possible, guide her on how to deal with your mother and sister.

 I am sure you understand your mother and sister much better and so, your role here is to protect your spouse. It is possible that the relationship between the three ladies is not good due to personal reasons.

One of the causes could be because they have not yet created a bond and this usually takes time. For now, be a good coordinator between your wife and your family members.

 Relationships are built over time. I believe that with time, you and your wife will grow your relationship to a level where even when your mother speaks negatively about her, you will be able to remain neutral. Your family will treat your wife with respect if you show that she is worth it.

The relationship between her and her father in-law might be smooth because of accepting the fact that she is now part of the family and so each family member must work towards collaboration.

Many people have grown up believing what they hear about mothers-in law being horrible or hard to get along with. Also, some mothers-in-law believe their daughter-in-law will not be able to treat. Therefore, a slight change in perception can go a long way in repairing relationships.

If after all this your wife is still struggling to deal with your mother and sisters, it is important to seek out support from someone who can offer impartial advice. This could be a friend or a relative who is one step removed from the situation. They will be able to offer both of you support and guidance without any bias.

If your wife’s negative feelings about her in-laws are causing distress or interfering with her ability to function and carry on with her daily activities, then you should consider talking to a mental health professional. They can help you explore some of the reasons why these relationships are so upsetting and help your wife and even yourself develop healthy coping strategies that can help.

It is also important for your wife to find a way to express her feelings in a healthy way. This could be through writing, artistic expression, or other forms of self-expression. This is a family she has become part of and if she keeps all her emotions bottled up, she might one day not be able to handle the situation anymore, causing her to take drastic measures.


Set boundaries

Filder Claret Adyero. First of all, what is your position in the family; your job and financial status compared to the rest of your siblings? If you are the most stable and have been taking care of many other take family responsibilities, just know your wife is good and the trouble makers are the other team. They assume they will lose their benefits. Do not take sides but set boundaries that will protect your wife. Continue supporting your parents and siblings.

You should not choose

Mitch Okiru. When you get married to someone who has always had the company of his mother and family, do all you can to get along with them instead of trying to destroy the family. Men are usually attached to their family and expect the wife they marry to be cordial and respectful to their in-laws. Putting him in a situation where he has to choose is not right.

Involve the elders

Georgina Nabagereka. Do not be tempted to destroy your marriage because of your mother and sisters; it is possible they are conniving to make you leave your wife. Ask an elder you trust to sit the group down and let them reconcile. They both matter to you and taking sides will ruin not only you but the whole marriage and of course your family reputation.

Investigate your family

Sarah K Frankie. I am big on respect towards elders and family. However, your mother and sisters may be the problem. Some in-laws are quite toxic. Investigate their attitude and behaviour towards your wife.

Support your wife

Obedi Bwambale. If you front the relationship with your mother and sisters, you are bound to lose the marriage. Marriage requires leaving, cleaving and becoming one flesh. Importantly, collaborate with your mother and sisters without forcing your wife to do the same.

Limit their meetings

Martin Ssebyala. Do not discuss your family affairs with your wife or your wife with your family. Secondly, restrict them from saying anything against each other in your presence. Lastly, ensure they do not meet unless when it is unavoidable.

Does your wife love you?

Bartholomew Diaz Nsubuga. Did you marry your family members? As long as your wife respects you and treats you good, quit whining.

Protect your wife

Kish Dop. It is her marriage and many times, mothers-in-law and sisters-in-law think the wife has come in to take over and control the money they enjoyed before so they start resenting her presence. Set boundaries and ask your relatives to respect them.

Time heals everything

Peace Rose. Old is gold. Those elders know your mother and sisters’ behaviours and believe your wife can handle them. Give it time.

Evelyn Khorono Lufafa is a counselling psychologist with Sermotherapy Counselling Foundation