How to live peacefully with your Nigerian mother-in-law

Is it actually possible to live peacefully with your
difficult mother-in-law? The answer is yes, and here are
tips on how to achieve it.

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Many Nigerian wives have several tales to share when
it comes to their mother-in-law » , and only a few of
them have genuine nice things to say.
Unfortunately for most of these women, their husbands
share a very strong bond with their mothers, and may
want them to live in their matrimonial home. This is
usually where the problem begins.
In fact, this is can sometimes be equal to living in a
nightmare for as long as the old woman remains in the
house. Believe it or not, it doesn’t have to be this way
and you as a wife, have the power to change the
situation to favour.
So is it actually possible to live peacefully with your
difficult mother-in-law? The answer is yes, and below
are tips on how to achieve it:
Acknowledge her position/role in the home: First of
all, if not for her, you wouldn’t have that your
darling husband whom you love so much. She
brought him into the world, so appreciate her for
that. Also, you need to realize that she has more
experience than you do where marriage is
concerned, and you would do well to tap from her
wealth of experience to help your own home.
Understand that she’s as much a part of the family
as you are, so don’t treat her like a permanent
guest or else you will forever walk on eggshells
around her.
Respect her: As already noted in the previous tip,
acknowledge the fact that this woman knows far
more than you do. She has been around longer than
you, so don’t even try to compete with her because
the bitter truth is you can’t win! If your husband
totally adores her, then you must too. Note that I
said “must.” It’s not optional. Imagine if your
mother lives with your brother and his young wife
and she talks to your mom rudely as if they were
age mates, how would that make you feel? Think
about that next time your mother-in-law says
something you don’t like and a very rude comment
pops into your head. If it would hurt you when
someone insults your mother, then it would hurt
your husband if you insult his. Never forget that.
Seek her opinion: Since she is living in the same
house with you, then it’s only normal that you
include her in running the home. Ask her for some
useful remedies for taking care of the children and
the home. If your sibling or friend would be coming
to spend a few days in the house with you, after
seeking your husband’s approval, inform your
mother-in-law as well. Don’t spring any unpleasant
surprises on her as this would cause unnecessary
tension between you two. It doesn’t hurt to involve
her in the decision making process in the home as
well. Treat her as a vital part of your family and
she will definitely warm up to you.
Be friendly: Some mothers-in-law are downright
mean! True, but have you ever tried to find out the
reason(s) why they are like that? Funnily enough,
they may not be that way because they don’t like
you, it could be because of something or situations
that are entirely unrelated to you. Unfortunately, you
find yourself at the receiving end of their anger even
when you have done nothing wrong. No matter how
nasty she may be, your mother-in-law will definitely
have moments when she’s in a good mood. Utilize
this rare opportunity and engage her in a
conversation she can relate to. You could talk about
her favourite thing or food. Ask her questions about
your husband’s childhood and the naughty pranks
he played while growing up. With time, she will
loosen up and tell you about other unrelated issues.
Even if she reverts to her nasty mood shortly after
this peaceful moment, don’t lose faith. Wait for that
rare moment again and try your ‘trick’ once more.
As time goes on, her foul moods will reduce and she
may even let you in on what usually ticks her off
most times. This won’t happen overnight, so you
have to be patient and consistent.
Treat her like your biological mother: Back to our
second tip above – would you insult your own
mother? I bet your answer is no. Therefore, if you
want your mother-in-law to be kinder to you and
more loving, then you need to start treating her like
your own biological mother. She is not your rival or
opponent; she is the mother of the man you love
with all your heart. This means, if you truly love him
as you claim, you would love the woman who
brought him into the world for you. It’s that simple.
Let the love you feel for your spouse be the
springboard that will propel you to improving your
relationship with your mother-in-law. Regardless of
whatever you may think, she also needs your love
and acceptance. And remember, she is also a
woman like you and she has emotions that can be
hurt too. So please, be kind and love her like your
own mother.
Never argue with her: As I noted earlier, competing
with your mother-in-law for whatever reason, is one
battle you just can’t win. She’s been there before,
so she knows all the tricks. Arguing with her even
when she’s wrong is totally pointless. Aside from
being a disrespectful thing to do, it also means you
can never be in her good graces because you have
shown her that you are both equals. To avoid an
argument, just remain quiet when she says
something you do not quite agree with, especially
when she is upset. When she is more calmer, you
can then bring up the matter and express your
opinion respectfully. Doing this will make her
respect you and appreciate your maturity in
handling the matter.
Mothers-in-law don’t have to be ‘witches’ and ‘sadistic’
old women. They need to be loved and appreciated, just
like your own mothers. Treat her the way you want
your mother to be treated.
Yes, it’s that simple.

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