Is it your wife or your siblings, who comes first?
How to make your siblings / relatives respect your wife
"Till death do us part"This is what God expects of us when we are joined together as husband and wife. When you marry a woman, she becomes a member of your family through you. The relationship between her and your siblings is key here and it all depends on you. As much as your wife must not be your wife forever but your brother remains your brother forever, it's your duty to protect your wife from getting hurt by your relatives. She is with you for a purpose which was created by God. You are seated in the middle, your wife on one side and your relatives on the other side. They all belong to you. So you are a very important person here. The decisions you make will create a good or bad relationship between the two parties thus determining the way you will live your lives. Are you the type of a man who finds it difficult to say no to your parents or relatives? Are you the person who takes your relatives side when there is a problem and leaves your wife on her own?
Culture, especially in the African society has really been a draw back for wives in several marriages. Most African communities have not yet learnt to appreciate their wives despite the fact that they are not blood relatives. This includes even some educated ones. The way you will live with your wife is determined a lot by your upbringing and whether you are stuck to your cultures or not. In some families, even the mans parents seem to be more interested in how they want to spend their sons money rather that how peaceful he should live with his wife. Some parents expect to transfer all their responsibilities to their able son and this interferes a lot with his marriage. Surprisingly, some men seem to be blinded by this.
I very much agree that some parents are so poor and cannot afford to educate their children but this does not mean that you should carry all the burden. You can assist in educating your siblings but you should not live with them, guard your own family's prosperity. You have more problems if you come from a family where some cultures are of more importance to them than the presence of God. For instance, if your brothers are free to misbehave in your house in the village, they will probably transfer the same to your house in the city. This translates to lack of respect for your wife especially if she was not brought up in such a set up. They look at your wife as an intruder into their family and expect her to come third in your life after them. How do you handle this as a man? Do you expect your wife to lead a frustrated life? Do you expect her to quit? Find some tips here.
How to create a good relationship between your wife and your relatives:-
1. Never live with your siblings.
Help them as much as you can to shape their future but never live with them. Send them to boarding institutions and let them live with your parents when they are on vacation. This way, the contact between them and your wife is minimal thus lessening the chances of learning each others weaknesses, which leads to hatred.
2. Correct your siblings when they are wrong.
If corrections to your siblings come from your wife, this tends to cause tension especially in a scenario where they look at her as a third party. So in order for them to respect your wife, correct them without any fear and do it in your wife's presence if the mistake affects both of you. If you do it in your wife's absence, they imagine that you fear her and this might not change their attitude towards her.
3. Never solve a problem between your wife and a relative at a sitting.
First of all, not all of your relatives are happy about your marriage. Some are more interested in your failure than success. So you must be very careful about issues that arise between your wife and your relatives. Correct your sibling right in front of your wife if he's wrong but never correct your wife in his/her presence. He/she will feel big headed and will even hate her more. Discuss it with your wife privately.
4. Never discuss your wife with your relatives.
I lived in misery with my husbands orphaned niece for eighteen months. I only had one child then, even his own child was not of importance to him as his niece. She could do anything she wanted in my house without my permission, yet my daughter asked for permission to do anything. She interfered a lot with my budget because she was given freedom by her uncle. She was always complaining to her uncle about me. I was stressed to the extent that i even lost a pregnancy. All this while, i kept on talking to my husband about it but it was not easy to change him. Then one time, God heard my prayers because when his niece raised an issue he told her "You are the one who will leave this house and leave me here with my wife and daughter". Things had turned around and she left in a weeks time since she was through with her college and had gotten a job four months earlier.
Do not allow your relatives to push your marriage to the wall. Even if your current wife decides to quit the marriage, you will get another and none of them will accept to live in such harsh conditions so they will keep on going as you replace them.
Don't wait to mend an already messed relationship between your wife and relatives. Work to maintain a good one right from the time you marry to maintain the respect between them.
NB: What God has put together, no man is should be allowed to put asunder. If you have a limit for your relatives in your marriage, you will all be happy to meet as an extended family since nobody will be holding a grudge with your wife for any reason.