My grouse with my mother-in-law is simple, she doesn’t want me to live by her own example. So, this is what happened.
Maybe I should tell my story first before telling you about my mother-in-law.
Ok, my husband and I had issues, like any couple under the sun. We had our issues and we would resolve them but many times, my husband would go and report me to his mother, mama would come to the house and issue warnings.
I would relent and beg my husband…as per good wife concern. But after some time, I began to tell mama to mind her business. You can’t be coming from the village to tell me how to run my home or tell me how I should do things with my husband, haba.
Many times, she wouldn’t even hear my own version of things, she would just come and say I shouldn’t be giving her son problems, I should let him live long to take care of her.
What are our issues?
Like I said, nothing any other couple under the sun has never seen before; my husband complained about the school our children go, he said the school fees was high, that I should change the children’s school. I did, when complaint got too much from him but you see, my children weren’t doing well in the new school. It was one week one trouble for our son, he didn’t settle at all.
My daughter was being bullied, so after two terms at the new school, I took them back to the old school. They welcomed them back and they soon readapted to the school’s curriculum.
I pay the fees, my husband provides money for upkeep; I earn more, so the agreement was mutual. As a mother, I couldn’t stand my children coming home every day with one tale of woe or another, so without telling my husband, I changed them back.
When he found out; he gave me the beating of my life.
It wouldn’t be the first time but I was determined it would be the last time; yes, I was hurt, but I also fought back, I threw at him everything I could lay my hands on. Table o, pillow, o, glass cups…it was bad that day, for me and my children, he beat me ehn…
I moved out that very day and took my children along. Thankfully, I worked, my senior boss was sympathetic, he released money to my immediate boss to help me secure a place, me and my kids stayed in a hotel for almost one month before we finally got a place we could move into.
Now, this boss was great…he wasn’t even my direct boss, you know, he is a part owner of the company I work for.
Anyway, to be honest, I had no intention of seeing anyone after I left my husband. Who would? I sent my children back to school and warned the school not to let their father pick them from school because I would sue them. I pay the fees; I determine who picks them; I wasn’t against him seeing them but he must not take them.
Ok, so, after a year plus; this boss I was telling you, began to show interest in me. Maybe he had interest before then, I don’t know, I wouldn’t even have seen the interest, I was just after my children’s welfare.
So he began to call, talk to me, I invited him to dinner a few times to say ‘thank you’.
Is he a married man?
Yes, he is. The wife relocated to Canada a few years ago, so my boss visits once in six months. Anyway, that’s how we started o. He is mostly on his own here and maybe he is scared of Lagos girls, I don’t know, jare.
See, I knew my boss was married. I knew I couldn’t have anything serious with him so when he began to show interest, I knew it was because he was feeling lonely. I too was because my first child, my son went to boarding house, a year after we moved out, so I was left with my daughter, she would also go to boarding house the following year. So you understand the gist?
Anyway I began to have a relationship with him, my boss. We had gone like maybe six or seven months into it when my husband began to tell people to come and beg me to come back.
In almost two years that I left the house, I had say about two or three correspondences with him; usually texts, asking after the children etc.
Anyway, he began to send church members, family members, relations to come talk to me, whilst he went to my parents to beg them and ask them to forgive him.
All these while, my life was going on well, I was doing fine, though I know my children would love to have their father back. Anyway, we were like that o, with pressure from my family, his own…I began to talk more often with him on the phone and was telling myself that maybe I should give him another chance.
My boss? He is there, we were just keeping each other company, abi what do you want me to say?
There would never be anything real for us.
Anyway, as I was beginning to consider things my mother-in-law just called me one day, she said she was against me coming back because she heard I had been sleeping with other men and it was a taboo to come back to that same house.
I said, ‘so your child also hasn’t been sleeping with other women these past two years?’
She said, ‘He is a man, men can do anything’
Meanwhile, my mother-in-law herself, left her husband at one time and went to have a child outside. Yes, my husband has a younger sister that is not of the same father as my him, no bi away match mama go play so?
Yes, mama’s last born was born to another man that is not my husband’s father. She had a quarrel with him, left him for almost 3 years or thereabout and came back to the man with another man’s child! She still lives in my husband’s father’s house till tomorrow, o.
See, ol girl, we didn’t invent this going to father or mother an away child o, these our old people have been getting jiggy from time imo river, o.
So why grandma’s agitation against me? I have no child for my boss neither do I plan on having any, yet she says her son would not take me back, over her dead body…so I said so shall it be.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)