My Wife’s Senior Sister Has Become A Thorn In The Flesh Of Our Marriage
My wife’s senior sister lives with us. She found a job here in Accra and decided to come live with us. Before she came she called me one night and said, “I’ve had a job in Accra. They called me unexpectedly to tell me that I’ve had the job. They gave me only one week for preparation. One week isn’t enough to get accommodation so I want to come and live with you for a while and look for accommodation.” I said, “Oh that’s ok. But I hope you’ve discussed it with your sister?” She said, “Yeah I have but I thought it wise to tell you too.”
We live in a two-bedroom house. We have two kids. Both are girls. Our first kid was seven years old when my wife’s sister came to live with us. The second born was only three then. We hurriedly arranged the room for her and a few days later, she came to live with us. In my mind, it was only for a while. I didn’t know how long that while was going to last but I gave it at most three months. A year later she was still living with us.
She complained of not getting the kind of accommodation she wanted. I asked her what she wanted. She said, “Something not too far from town. At least a chamber and hall self contain.” I spoke to friends and colleagues about it. A few weeks later, we got one. Not too far from town and matches all the specs she gave me. I went with her to check the place. She said, “Wow, that’s nice. I will talk to the landlord and pay before someone comes for it.” A week later she told me, “The house is very nice but I don’t like the landlord. He looks like someone who will give his tenants problems.”
Two years later, she was still living with us. She wasn’t looking for any accommodation and from all indications, she had given up because she was comfortable living with us. Again, a friend of mine showed me a place. It was a new building that no one has ever occupied. Everything in the house was new. I took her there. She inspected the place, smiled, and asked, “So how much are they charging?” I told her, “Speak with the landlord.” Days later she said, “It’s a beautiful place but I will have issues with water. If I don’t take care, I will spend all my money on water.”
Three years later, she still lives with us. She has never contributed to bill payments. She doesn’t pay for light nor water nor food. She sleeps, wakes up, and goes to work. Come back, eat, watch Tv and go to sleep. On weekends, she’ll pack all her dirty clothes, turn on the washing machine and wash everything without thinking of how electricity bills are paid but that’s not the problem. My first girl is ten years now and she shares a room with us. It’s not the best and it’s not how I planned life for my kids.
I told my wife, “You senior sister has been here for far too long than we both anticipated. Start talking to her. Alice(our first daughter) needs her own place.” She asked me, “Is Alice complaining?” I said, “No she’s not complaining but she’s too mature to share a room with her parents.” She told me, “She’s only ten. When I was eighteen years, I was still sharing a room with my parents. There’s nothing wrong with that.” I said, “Everything is wrong with that. Talk to your sister. It’s about time.” She asked me, “If you want my sister to leave, just go straight to the point. Don’t hide behind Alice.”
As expected, she didn’t tell her sister anything. When I raised the point again she told me, “Have you forgotten where I was living when you found me? Right after senior high school, I went to live with my sister. Whose house did you visit each time you came looking for me? Whose food did you eat? It was her food. She was always happy with you when you came around. Until we got married and rented this place, Iwas living with my sister. Today you want to sack her because she’s living with you?”
All that she said was true but the situations are different. I told her, “I’m not asking her to leave because I don’t want her here. Our space is limited. Again, she didn’t tell us that she‘ll be living with us for over three years. She asked to live with us for a while to look for accommodation. Why is she still here?” My wife responded, “She hasn’t gotten a place. When she gets it, you won’t be the one to tell her to leave.”
I decided not to raise that topic again. One day, our light went off. She came to ask for money, I told her I didn’t have it. She paid for it. Another time, it went off again. She came back asking for money. I told her I didn’t have it. She got angry but she later bought it. Two days later, the light went off again. She didn’t come to me. I also didn’t say anything. For three days we were living in the darkness. That one, I still don’t know who bought it. One day I called her sister and told her everything that I told my wife; “You only said for a while. It’s been three years already so when are you leaving?”
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She looked at me as if I’ve asked the craziest question. She said, “Soon.” That evening my wife confronted me, “You have no shame. So you went to her and told her to leave your house? How could you do that to someone in whose house you found your wife?” She was angry but I didn’t care. One day, I was returning home when I heard her sister on the phone talking to someone. I looked through the window and saw my wife sitting there too. They were discussing the issue with their mother. I didn’t hear what their mother said but I heard all the name-calling and insinuations. When I walked in, they both went quiet.
Her sister is still living with us but doesn’t talk to me. My wife is also giving me an attitude. Her senior sister doesn’t sit in the hall again and doesn’t eat from our kitchen again because of what I said. I’m waiting for the day she’ll stop using the washing machine too. I don’t care about how she feels about what I said. I want her to leave and leave as soon as possible. I need advice. What’s the next strategy I can use to push her out of the house? I don’t want it to be bitter. I want another cool way to ask her to leave.
She has now ganged up with my wife to fight against me but I don’t care. Previously, her mother will call and ask to talk to me. Now when she calls, she doesn’t mention my name but I don’t care. We need the space for my daughters and I need a way to ask her to leave us. Or I’m being petty and ungrateful?