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Successful Home Building By Chukwuneta Oby


A friend (that just had a baby) gave me something to think about when I asked how things were going at her end and she said, ‘My mum in-law is with me. My mum will come later next month. She (my mother in-law) is an excellent woman. You won’t be surprised how my husband became who he is when you meet her. Oby, the bottom line is, I am blessed in marriage.’

Those words made my day!

That is surely coming from someone who has made the efforts to remove the ‘in-law’ from the ‘mother’ and thus began to relate with the woman as she would relate to her own mother (whom she is very close to, by the way).

The genuineness of people’s efforts and their appreciation of their blessings are often seen even in the minutest of things they do. The thought of ‘mother in-law visiting at all’ would have been an issue with most ladies even when their own mother is still billed to come and even stay longer.

The taxi driver that attended to me while at a function in another state, told me about a prominent family in town. What necessitated the gist was a huge abandoned edifice that we passed and I wondered why it would be left to dilapidate. He sighed first, before regaling me with the gist about the brothers (owners of that property) who used to be very close but do not see eye to eye now that the ‘wives’ have started coming. He wondered why some women are ‘agents of division’ in any family they come into.

I have always opined that successful home building is not just a ‘me, my husband and our children’ setting. It is all encompassing and that includes the kind of vibe (peaceful, quarrelsome, etc) that you exude in the family that marriage has taken you to. Are you an agent of ‘unity’ or busy carrying tales/sowing seeds of discord such that by the time you are done, a once closely knit family is in tatters?

As young as I was (about 14 years old), I knew there was something wrong with the marriage of a (now late) relative who would send stuff to her aged parents in the village behind her husband. That’s because some men are so self- centred and insensitive. If you can remember that your own mother needs ‘upkeep’ every now and then, why do you conveniently forget that the folks you uprooted their daughter (probably their breadwinner) from their lives, also need similar gestures extended to them?

When your own folks misbehave, you shield them but an in-law’s mistake is magnified (and a mountain is made out of a mole hill) so that ‘katakata’ will perpetuate!

The fact remains that whoever is married to you will always have a part of him/her left with his/her people (parents and siblings) and can never be happy being alienated from them in any way. Forget the ‘brave face’ your spouse gives you behind closed doors. For as long as he/she remains alienated from his/her folks, a part of him/her dies daily and you (the spouse) should never allow this for whatever reason.

Successful home building entails carrying along (in humility, tolerance, peacemaking, etc) your in-laws. Not because you can’t put anybody that ‘tries’ you in his/her place but because the happiness of your spouse means a lot to you and you are willing to stoop to conquer for his/her sake.

Be an agent of ‘peace’ in any family you find yourself.

Let it not be because of you that:

Siblings do not see eye to eye anymore

A son/daughter knows not his/her parent(s) again and…be ready to reap what you sow (many times over) someday!


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