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Wife or Siblings, who comes first?

Updated on September 6, 2017
Larger family excitement upon reunion
Larger family excitement upon reunion

How to make your siblings / relatives respect your wife

When we are joined together as husband and wife,"Till death do us part," is usually Gods expectation as we take the vows. Your wife becomes a member of your family through you.

The relationship between her and your siblings depends a lot 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 been a draw back for wives in several marriages.

Most African communities have not yet learned to appreciate their wives despite the fact that they are not blood relatives. The way you will live with your wife is determined a lot by your upbringing and whether you are able or not to shun misleading cultural practices.

In some families, even the man's parents seem to be more interested in how they want to spend their son's money rather than 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 cultural practices 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.

It would translate to lack of respect for your wife especially if she were not brought up in such a setup. 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 your siblings to boarding institutions and let them live with your parents when they are on vacation. This way, the interaction between them and your wife is minimal thus lessening the chances of learning each other's 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 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.

My Story:

I lived in misery with my husband's orphaned niece for eighteen months. 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 felt she deserved to do her will and often complained to her uncle about me.

I got 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 family." 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.

My Opinion:

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 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.

What's your experience?

How would you handle such a situation?



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    • profile image

      Edgar Oguta Jamasiro 7 weeks ago

      It's true your wife may not be perfect, but a better alternative for her May not be there. Appreciate her as she is.

    • Ratke-Rani profile image

      Ratke-Rani 19 months ago from Lauderhill, FL

      This situation is common amongst Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian cultures as well. For my whole marriage, I have been forced to live with my Husbands family, despite being promised that we would be living on our own at 6 months from our marriage day. It never happened. There was always some excuse as to why his sister (who was married but for some reason was living SEPERATE from her husband) and her children (who were 2 working adult females and one teenager boy) could not move out or why we could not move out. For the first 2 years of marriage, we didn't even have our own bedroom but had to sleep in the living room with no privacy. We do have our own bedroom now but our 9 year old son must stay in our room because 'he doesn't need his own room'. Needless to say, we don't have much of a sex-life in our marriage. My husbands family has always disrespected me and even my nieces had rule over me. I was and still am treated as a slave. I have no say in what happens in my own house. I must keep 85% of my belongings in my room while my sister in law takes up space everywhere else. All of my sister-in-laws children have grown up, gotten married or left to college and are no longer living with us. But my sister-in-law is still living with us and there is no reason for her to be here anymore. She refuses to return to her husband who she claims to love and yet she has been living in this country illegally with her husband still in Bangladesh for more than 10 years. She has put an immense amount of strain on our marriage and I cannot take it anymore. My Husband always either takes her side or takes no one's side. He almost never takes my side. But because his sister is older than him, he feels that he has to listen to her. I have been holding on for almost 10 years now and I feel like I have lost all strength. I have had several miscarriages due to the stress. I'm tired of coming in 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th in my husbands list of priorities. I'm tired of not being free or having any peace in place that is supposed to be my solstice from the world. I'm tired of being treated like a slave. I'm tired of the disrespect and disregard. I'm tired of my husband spending more time talking with and paying attention to his sister than he does with me. I'm tired of the excuses and broken promises. I'm ready to give up on this marriage. I've wasted enough years. I don't want my son growing up thinking that this is the way that a man is supposed to treat his wife. I'm tired of being unhappy and having to chase my husband around like a chicken for the smallest, teeniest, tiniest, breadcrumb amount of attention and affection. I am tired of being walked on, taken for granted, not being appreciated. I am not getting what I put in. I am not getting what I was promised when we exchanged our vows. I can't hold on much longer. One foot is already out the door. I already feel myself have less amd less love for my husband. I am falling out of love with him. My husband claims that he spoke strictly with his sister and stuck up for me after our last argument but I still don't see her leaving. Even if what he claims is true, I think that it's too little, too late. I think that I am done.

    • profile image

      Spouse 22 months ago

      Thank you for this article. There are not enough teachings on issues like this. Some marriages have no issues with the parents because they get it. But sometimes when siblings are so close, they tend to aide with one another no matter how wrong they are for mistreating the other's spouse, leaving the spouse to feel like an outsider. I pray more people will share their story and teach on this, even in the church because people need to correction in this area.

    • advmarie profile image

      advmarie 22 months ago from Philippines

      I need this kind of reading. Really need to become a wife and not to become third party.

    • bizna profile image

      JUDITH OKECH 4 years ago from NAIROBI - KENYA

      Affinity, thanks for passing by and for your comment.

    • Affinity2010 profile image

      Leslie Trotter 4 years ago from New Orleans, La

      This is a great hub...thank you.

    • bizna profile image

      JUDITH OKECH 4 years ago from NAIROBI - KENYA

      Thank you so much CMerritt for passing by and i love the fact that you are committed to your marriage, i like to hear more and more people respect the marriage institution. It makes me feel waw.

    • CMerritt profile image

      Chris Merritt 4 years ago from Pendleton, Indiana

      I have a responsibility to my children, until they are grown. I will always be there for them. My wife and I have a responsibility to one another until we die. I have made a commitment to my wife. Not my in-laws or my brother and sister.

      I think you did a great job on this hub, with your suggestions and your opinions.


    • bizna profile image

      JUDITH OKECH 4 years ago from NAIROBI - KENYA

      This requires a very strong woman and of course God's intervention. If not it's very easy for the man to lose his lovely wife.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      My child and then I, it can be difficult to cope with such situations, especially when other members of the family are involved.