When we got married, my wife’s mother came to live with us. For close to a year, she left her husband there and came to live with us, poking her nose in everything that went on in the house and assumed the decision-maker position in the house. She decided on the menu, decided where to hang what and where to put what. She even decided on the channel we had to watch. Our marriage was new and things of that nature is usually delicate. I didn’t say much but to overlook most of the unfortunate series that went on.

At some point, I told my wife, “Your mom had lived with us for so long. She had good intentions. She wanted to guide us for some time. She had done that. Isn’t it about time that we took it from there?” She asked, “Are you trying to say my mother should leave us?” I responded, “That’s exactly what I mean. We are old enough to manage this house and manage it well. I trust you.” The next minute, my wife’s mother called me; “I learned you told my daughter that I should leave your house.?”

My wife ran to her mother and told her that I said she should leave my house. I was so angry but couldn’t let it show because my in-law was still there. I told my in-law, “I didn’t say you should leave. I only suggested that you’ve helped us a lot and we have no right to still keep you here. It’s only a suggestion. I didn’t say you should leave.” She said, “I’m not complaining. When it’s time for me to go, I would go. You don’t have to tell me.”

It was from that point in our marriage that it dawned on me that my wife had been telling her mother everything that I tell her. When we had a disagreement in the secrecy of our bedroom, my wife would run and tell the mother and her mother would broadcast it to the other members of their family. I started guarding my tongue, choosing what to say and what not to. A year later, the mother left us. I was so relieved that for once I was going to be able to man my own house and make decisions for the house. Her mother left on Monday. Saturday my wife told me her junior brother is coming to live with us. I told her to give me some time to think about it. Monday, his junior brother was in our house, with a bag and other stuff that looked like he was going to live with us forever.

I called my wife aside and said, “But I told you to give me some time to think about it. Why is he here?” She responded, “I knew you were not going to say no that’s why I made him come.” I screamed, “Then I’m telling you. It’s no. He can’t live with us.” Thirty minutes later, I saw my wife’s father’s call on my phone. I knew the issue has gotten to him. When I picked the phone he said, “I heard you said you won’t allow your wife’s little brother to live with you. What would it take from you if he lives there? Do you think if it’s your family member that came around, your wife would sack him?”

I kept quiet and listened to his rants. In the end, he said, “We are one family now. What’s ours is yours too. Your wife’s brother is your brother too.” That’s the beginning of that boy coming to live with us. He was nineteen when he came around. One lazy boy. He doesn’t sweep, clean or mop. He thinks he’s a boy so that work wasn’t for him but he had no problem watching me sweeping the house, mopping the floor or scrubbing the bathhouse. All he did was to listen to loud music and go to the kitchen when he is hungry.

Now he’s twenty-five and nothing is changed about him. He lives around, makes noise, eats while he looks at me cleaning after him. A man’s patient has a limit. And there’s a limit to how far one can tolerate nonsense so one day I told my wife, “Your brother is a grown-up man now. When I was his age, I had already started working and earning income. He can’t continue living with us. Let him go back home.”

Not too long afterward my wife’s mother called. “I learned you are sacking my son?” I told her, “I’m not sacking him. I’m saying it’s about time he went his way to be his own man.” Her father also called; “Why would you sack a family?” What broke the camel’s back was what my wife’s brother said to me. The next day, he angrily said to me, “This is also my sister’s house so you can’t ask me to leave. You don’t even pay rent for you to ask me to leave.”

I don’t pay rent? How did the boy get to know I don’t pay rent?

The truth is, Yes, I didn’t pay the last rent. It was an agreement I had with my wife that I’m investing money in our building project so she should take care of the rent for that year so I can concentrate on our building, complete it and move in the following year. I’ve always been the one to pay rent, utilities, pay my kids’ school fees and provide for the house. My wife paid rent for only one year and every member of her family is aware of that. I was deeply hurt and embarrassed. I confronted my wife and all he could say was, “He’s a child, don’t take what he says seriously.” I told her, “I’ve always chosen this marriage over everything. I have families too. They can come and live with me but they are not here but you can’t leave your family behind so we can build our own. Live with your family. I will go and live with mine.”

The next day, I pack few of my things and left the house for them. It’s been over a month now. My wife’s brother still lives in the house. My wife keeps begging me to come home but I tell her to marry her brother and leave my life alone. I’m learning to move on. A man deserves better than a lame wife who puts her family over everything. I tried. God knows I did try. Credit: silentbeads

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