Dear Bro. Fuston,
I would have sent this letter to a radio station that usually treat relationship problems unfortunately, I discovered that adolescents who hardly know what marriage and relationship is all about, call in that programme to make contributions, sometimes the numerous advice being given by the many contributors instead of helping to solve ones problems will end up confusing the person.
I saw your column straight from heart as a mature platform for me to seek help towards my marital issues, and I am optimistic that you will not fail to offer lasting solution to my plight.
I am a 40 year old business man, married for nine years now with three children, we are expecting the fourth sooner or later.
But to be candid in the last five years, it has been hell in my house, there is no single day without a quarrel.
I sat back to find out that the cause of this problem and finally came to a conclusion that my wife and her siblings, especially her two sisters are the root of my family problem. My wife prior to our marriage lived with her parents, brothers and sisters in Ibadan for many years and so this afforded them the opportunity to understand and speak Yoruba language flawlessly.
They also understand and speak fluently even our Awo dialect, but sadly my wife and these her sisters cannot speak Igbo language anytime, any of my family member is seen in their midst.
Myself who is her husband is not excluded in this nasty treatment, I know this must be strange to you.
There was a particular occasion they spoke in Yoruba for over two hours, it got to a point that my mother who was there became very angry and scolded them for being disrespectful.
My finding is that they use that language to deride me and my family because whatever thing they discussed often manifest in my wife going against my instruction or refusing to go ahead with our plans.
I have told her severally to stop conversing in Yoruba with her sisters and sometimes her mother whenever myself or any of my family member is with them, but this is like pouring water on a stone.
This same issue led to the many problems we have in the house today. We can hardly do anything at home in peace as it stands.
My mother is not happy with her, my own siblings are very angry with her and yet she remains adamant in her behaviour.
I am very worried about this situation and hardly know what to do. I now keep late nights, because each time I go home early, it will be trouble. So, I now prefer staying late so that immediately I get home, I will go straight to my bedroom and sleep.
Do I stop her mother and sisters from coming to our home?
Richard in Umuahia
One clear issue you must know is that, running away from your marital troubles instead of offering solution will end up aggravating them.
Staying away from your home late in the nights hardly can bring the desired peace. Healthy communication is a vital key to the success of every marriage, unhindered communication between a couple fosters peace, love and understanding, but when there is a hitch it may result to quarrels and bickering.
Devote enough time to convince your wife that marriage has made you two one, and as such no secret should exist between the both of you.
You are going to relay these facts to her in love, don’t be rash in trying to make her change.
Some people are so attached to their siblings and parents even after marriage. It could be your wife is one of such persons. She has known her maiden family for many years and had only lived with you for few years. It is not usually easy to make such ones understand that the bond between a man and his wife is stronger than that, she shears with siblings and parents.
Make her realize that her ability to understand and speak Yoruba language should be used for the benefit of the family and not to deride you or any member of your family thereby causing disharmony in the home.
You may not go the extent of stopping your mother in-law and your brothers and sisters in-law from visiting your home, but you can also speak to them in a Godly manner, especially your mother in-law who is expected to live above board.
Politely make them know that there constant use of another language when they can fluently speak Igbo language the one all of you understand is causing disaffection between you and your wife.
Your in-laws are also required to give their best for the success of their daughter’s marriage. You can help them to know this if they are ignorant of it.
Have you tried to find out why they deride you and your family members, for me this mockery is not about the language, it maybe the kind of behaviour you put up before them. On your own, find out if there is something you or any of your family members is doing wrong.