‎Marriage Clinic – I Want His Sisters Out Of My House

‎Marriage Clinic – I Want His Sisters Out Of My House
Dear Agatha,
I have been married for six months, but it feels as if I have been married for a longer time, due to the issues I am having with my husband and his sisters.
I feel betrayed by my husband’s decision to allow his sisters stay with us, even after making my position clear on the issue of any live-in family member.
Granted his sisters have been living with him long before he met and married me; I explained my resentment of live-in extended family members, because of my own experiences with my father who took in his family members indiscriminately. My mother didn’t like it one bit because they denied us of the exclusive attention of our father.
Another reason is the fact that he spends too much on his sisters who depend on him for everything. Not even the immediate younger sister who has graduated three years ago,   can buy herself anything without asking the brother for money. Even though she is yet to get a job, she has a boyfriend who can support her. Afterall, if she didn’t have a brother, wouldn’t she ask for money from her boyfriend or father who is also comfortable?
In addition, I don’t want my children and I going through what my mother went through.
What is particularly annoying is the fact that my husband pays too much attention to the sisters. Although their mother died while giving birth to his youngest sibling who is in her second year at the university, they should be living with their father and stepmother who is very accommodating.
He takes them with us to watch film and refuses to do anything about my complains of their going into my kitchen without permission. He didn’t like the fact that I had to change the key to my kitchen to deny them access to my kitchen. He told me in plain terms that I don’t have the right to do that to his sisters.
When I reminded my husband that it was my home and that they had a father who was very much able to accommodate and provide for them, he almost slapped me. There was nothing he didn’t say to me.
I know I am not being unreasonable. All I want is for these girls to leave my home.
Since changing the locks of my kitchen, he has refused to eat in the house or talk to me. The two girls two have started to avoid me. Whenever the younger one comes home for the weekend, she stays in her room while the older sister leaves and come back late. To completely avoid having any discussion with me, he goes into their room when around to gist with them. This is one of the reasons I don’t want anybody staying with us. If we were alone, we would have since sorted out our problem but the presence of his two sisters is making that impossible- the same thing my father did to my mother.
It is painful because he is making me out as the villain, when all I want is for him to do the right thing- send his sisters away from my home. Is that too much to ask? How can I make him see reasons with me?
Oluwaseun.
Dear Oluwaseun,
Are you for real? If these ladies were your sisters and he insists you drive them away, how would you feel? You are not being fair to either your husband or his sisters. Yes, you may have made your position known but your met them living together. You had a choice not to have married him at that point. If you didn’t insist they leave before you agreed to marry him, why has it become a huge issue to you now? The truth be told, your husband hasn’t done anything wrong. You are the one making a mountain out of a mole hill. You are the one who should be reasonable by allowing sleeping dogs lie.
Your husband knows the younger of his two sisters is old enough to have a boyfriend who can care for her, but if he insists on being the one to provide for them, let him be. Besides are you lacking anything, which his sisters have more of? If that were the case, you would have listed it in your mail. The fact that you didn’t, means he is not neglecting his responsibilities towards you.
Count yourself lucky these ladies appear to be good mannered. Some sisters-in-law would have dared to challenge you for locking them out of the kitchen. The fact that they didn’t, underscores the amount of respect they have for their brother and by extension you. Some women didn’t do half of what you did to find themselves out of their husbands’ houses.
It is also out of line for you to dictate where they stay. You don’t know the reason behind your husband’s decision to have his sisters close to him after the death of their mother. He knows his family more than you do. Appearances can be deceptive. If he doesn’t consider his family house safe enough for his sisters, you cannot on account of your own morbid fear of the extended family, force him to send his sisters there.
Besides, you have to be careful of the kind of foundations you are laying for your children whose aunties these ladies are. Don’t do anything that will make it impossible for your children to fit into your husband’s extended family later in life. A woman needs to be tolerant, accommodating, patient, understanding, reasonable and prayerful to transform her house into a home.
Many problems within the family begin with irrational decisions like the one you are making now. Whether you like it or not, these girls will always be part of their brother’s life. If he has taken care of them right from when their mother died, you cannot break the bond between them. As a matter of fact a wise woman wouldn’t.
If you are proactive, you will gain more by stepping into the void created by their mother’s death in the lives of these ladies. By virtue of being their only brother’s wife, you have automatically assumed the position of their mother. Rather than allow whatever experiences your mother had in her marriage affect your home, you should do everything in your power to change from the path you are charting for your marriage.
As it is now, you have succeeded in alienating yourself from them. They have left your kitchen and food for you. Are you happy? Can you withstand the long term implication of what you have started?
It is counterproductive for any woman to transport her mother’s negative experiences into her marriage. Your marriage is unique to you. Your husband isn’t your father. They are two different kinds of men. Allow your mother’s challenges stay in her home while you fashion out ways to make your home better.
Besides, these ladies would soon be leaving your home, given the stages they are in now. The elder sister is almost out of your home, while the younger one may not be there in the next five years. So why not befriend them while they are still there? You may think you will never need them but trust me, you will, when the storm of marriage comes calling.
For now, don’t allow the issue to linger any longer. If he relocates his sisters before you make up with them, it will be one of the biggest mistakes in your marriage. Call his sisters and explain your reasons for your reactions to them. It will help them understand where you are coming from.
At the time your husband is most receptive towards you, approach him to beg for his forgiveness. Once he sees the attempt you have made with his sisters, he is most likely to listen to your apologies. With prayers and the right attitude on your part, everything will work for good.
Good luck.