Absence doesn’t necessarily make the heart grow fonder


Dear Bunmi,

For over 15 years, I’ve been trying to get into the good books of my mother-in-law, but I’ve come to the end of my tethers. She’s never liked me and has never bothered to hide the fact.

In her opinion, I’m not good enough for her son, neither am I good enough to be the mother of her grand children.

I’ve tried ignoring her, buttering her up or keeping out of her way. Nothing worked.  My husband says she doesn’t mean any harm but I know she does. How can I put her in her place?

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Franka, by e-mail.

Dear Franka,

If I were to be honest with you, I would tell you that your chances of changing your mother-in-law were slim, but you could change your attitude towards her, which should help.

See her for the pathetic, insecure person she is, and recognise that she is no threat to the happy family you and your husband have built.

At the moment, you’re a little bit afraid of her, but what you don’t realise is that you hold all the aces. No matter what she does, be nice to her because you are a happy person who can’t be bothered to hold a grudge. There may be a miracle and she may change. If she doesn’t, you’ll still be a winner. 

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