You can navigate in-laws from hell

Saturday January 12 2019

By Marete Wa Marete

So you are smugly married and you have warmed up to the notion that your in-laws are in cloud nine for having you as part of their family.

Don’t be mistaken; you have built around yourself the impression that you are indispensable and that very small errand should be run by you? Did you know that the more you stoop to your in-laws’ whims (fathers-in-law and sometimes mothers-in-law are exceptions) the more they will use and despise you?

Even before you were married into the family, your sisters-in-law would sit for hours on end discussing how short you are. They would frolic discussing how none of their brothers has married such a short woman like you.

Indeed, behind your back, don’t be surprised that you’ve forthwith been sarcastically been christened our “midget” sister-in-law.

The reaction when you settle down is naturally to compel yourself to work hammer and tongs to impress them. You will go against the grain to do things you would rather not done, only to be ridiculed behind your back.

I recall with a lot of annoyance how one day, my wife struggled to cook and mop one my sister’s house as well as baby sit while my two sisters nonchalantly chatted away in living room.


When I came in, my Tanzanian wife was working so hard to impress my sisters so that I demanded she stops immediately. I told them on the face that my wife is by no standards a housemaid.

In Tanzania, there is general trend that whenever a woman is married in a family, the sisters-in-law have a grip on their brother such that the woman will always feel like an outsider. A man can stupidly listen to his sisters without reservations.

That is wrong. A man worth his salt should not brook to his sisters’ let alone his mothers whims when it comes to his wife unless they chose the woman for him.

What I am trying to say is that my woman is mine. It does not matter whether you are y brother or sister. It won’t matter if you were my parents.

Some tribes have yet to come out of woods when it comes to the status of our women.

When are we going to treat women with rights above those defined by in-laws and outdated customs?