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How Do You Survive In The Same House With A Mother-In-Law Who Doesn’t Like You?

How Do You Survive In The Same House With A Mother-In-Law Who Doesn’t Like You?

Exactly five years ago, my husband, who was then my boyfriend took me to his house to meet his parents. His father died when he was ten. His mother married again when he was fifteen years. When we were going to meet them he told me, “My mom is hard sometimes. She can also be lovely to a fault. I don’t know which side of hers we are going to meet today but whatever she says, allow me to talk first before you do.”

We got home and he introduced me; “Mom, this is Albertina. The lady I spoke to you about.” His stepdad chipped in, “Do the introduction properly. What do you mean when you say ‘the lady I spoke to you about?’ What did you say about her and should we do with what you said about her? This is for the benefit of the doubt.” K.T went into details. “She’s the one I’m currently with. If everything goes according to plan, we may marry in the next two years.”

His stepfather went into an advisory mode, telling us what we should do and what we should expect now that we’ve made the decision to marry. All this while, his mother hadn’t said anything. Her cheek was rested in her palm, staring at me from the hair to my toe. When the step-dad finished talking, he asked his wife, “What do you also have to say?” She turned to me and asked only three questions;

“Where do you come from?”

“I’m from the Northern part of Ghana but I’ve lived all my life in Kumasi.”

“Where are your mom and your dad?”

“I don’t know where my father is. I was nine or ten when I last saw him. I lived the rest of my life with my mother.

“Did your mother marry again after your dad disappeared?”

“No. She didn’t marry again.”

She looked at me from hair to toe again. She told her son, “We’ll talk about the rest in private. There are things we talk about in public and there are other things we keep to ourselves and later talk about them when we are in our own space.” She got up and left us there. I looked at KT and he looked back at me. His dad said, “Young woman, there’s nothing to be worried about. Everything would be fine. Just relax and feel at home.”

I was in the room with KT when his mother came to knock on the door. He went out with her. Hours later he came back. He had this subtle smile on his lips. I asked him, “What did she say?” He answered, “She’s asking a lot of questions. Why did your dad leave your mom and never came back? Have I investigated to know if there’s madness in your house? Those old age questions. I answered to the best of my knowledge. Let’s hope it ends there.”

It didn’t end there. 

For the rest of my days in the house, it was only his dad who engaged me. His mother only responded when I asked questions. And when she answered my question, she did with a tint of nonchalant in her attitude. I didn’t stress her. I didn’t push myself on her. I kept my distance. Some people are like that. They take their time to open up to new people. Even if that new person is the future wife of their son. We left after spending three days with them. When we came back home, I called KT every day, asking if his mother has said anything about us. From all the explanations he gave me, it looked like his mother just didn’t like me.

She used all her energy to fight against the marriage but KT was determined. Six months before our marriage, she told KT, “That girl you want to marry doesn’t have a father. She grew up with only her mother. That means she doesn’t know how to live with a man. She didn’t experience it. She doesn’t have what it takes to keep a man happy. And doesn’t have what it takes to care for a husband. Women of this nature are usually selfish. They end up caring for only themselves because they grew up with a woman who only cared for herself.” I’d been with KT for over three years. I’d lived with him on weekends and had lived with him on holidays. He knew what I was capable of and what I was capable of was far above the fears of his mother. 

His mother never spoke to me even when it became very clear that we were getting married. I called her once and she didn’t pick my call. She later called her son and asked why I was calling her. There’s so much one can do to court the affection of her in-law. KT advised me not to push things further than I should. “If she won’t talk to you, that’s ok. After marriage, I’m the one who is going to live with you and not her.”

Three years ago we got married in her presence. She thumb printed her portion of the marriage certificate making our marriage official. After the wedding, I went to the house with KT to thank them. I went to her room to purposely give her my heartfelt gratitude but this woman turned deaf ears to my message. She told me, “You can’t thank me for what I didn’t do for you. I did it because of my son.” I asked her how she wants me to relate to her after she had become my in-law; “I want to know the boundaries so I don’t outstep it. Tell me, how should I relate to you going forward?” She chuckled and left my presence.

At first, I was worried but I grew up t accept things as they were. She speaks to my mother freely and even laughed with her but not me. It’s life. It goes on no matter who loves you and who doesn’t.

My husband came home one day after a visit to his parents. He told me, “My mom wants to come and live with us for a while. All is not well.” I asked, “Your mother? What’s wrong with her that she wants to come and live with us?” He said, “Apparently she had been having issues with her husband. From what she told me, they’ve agreed to go their separate ways. Divorce. She wants a place to cool off her head and think about the future.” 

This is a woman who had never spoken to me ever since I got married to her son. She hates me and she hates the fact that I was the woman her son chose. This same woman is coming to live under the same room with me. How’s the relationship going to be like? Fighting distant enemies is easier than fighting a skin-close enemy. At first, I wanted to let her come. I told myself, “It could be an opportunity to build a relationship with her. Maybe if she sees the way I treat her son, it would give her a change of mind about me.” I told KT to give us some time to think about things critically. 

READ ALSO: My Mom Left My Dad Only to Become A Side Chick At Forty-Nine

I called my mother and discussed it with her. She said, “You’ll be mad to accept that arrangement. How many times have you not tried to build a relationship? How did it go? When the cheetah falls into the water, it gets wet but its spots don’t get washed off. She’s the same woman. The best you can do is to help her get a place. Not to come live with you.” It made sense so I told KT, “Let’s get a place for her. We can put resources together and rent decent accommodation for her. Where she can have her peace of mind. Don’t you think that’s a good idea?”

He said, “No way. How can a woman going through such stress live on her own? She has lost a partner. Her hearts are in the wrong places. She needs people around her and I’m the only person she can fall on. I can’t turn my back on her at this moment. She’s my mother.” I told him, “What about me? She hates me and you know about it. How do I cope with her presence? Will she eat what I’d cooked? When you travel and we are left alone here, how are we going to manage? Have you thought about that?” He simply said, “We’ll see about that when she comes.”

My husband wants his mother in our house. I foresee danger and I want to avoid it. When there’s a fight between me and her mom, I foresee my husband taking the side of his mother. He may even think I’m fighting her because I didn’t want her here in the first place. I can’t sleep at night because of this issue. His mother is due to travel here probably next week. What am I supposed to do to change his mind? This is calamity in the making. Even the blind can see but it’s only my husband who thinks everything would be rosy once she arrives.

Is there anything I can do to get out of this situation?

–Albertina 

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Source: CelebritiesbuzzGh | How Do You Survive In The Same House With A Mother-In-Law Who Doesn’t Like You?