One day I ran into a guy I went to school with, Fiifi. We had lost contact after school so he was excited to see me. He had feelings for me when we were in school but nothing came out of it. We exchanged contacts that day and started a new friendship. I was recovering from a breakup by then and Fiifi’s presence in my life helped the healing process.
On the eve of his birthday, he took me out on a date. We had a good time and at the end of the night, he said, “Baaba, you know I’ve always liked you and I’m happy whenever I spend time with you. I want to be more than your friend. I want to build a relationship with you, hoping to get married to you someday. What do you say?” I had fallen in love with him so I said yes. He screamed excitedly, “This is the best birthday ever.”
We didn’t date for long until we decided to involve our families. We were both raised by single mothers so we wanted to get their approval first before things got serious. My mother is the kind of person who would only accept someone based on their finances. She would look at the person thoroughly and look at the bulge of his back pocket to determine if their appearance sings money. That is the only way she would approve of any man I bring home. Fortunately for me, Fiifi dresses well so when she met him, she accepted him. After he met my mum he also introduced me to his mother. She was very welcoming.
After a year of being together, we started planning for the marriage ceremony. I told Fiifi that I would take care of the traditional marriage when it comes to the reception and souvenirs. Fiifi’s mother also offered to take care of the wedding reception. Somehow, I felt the need to make it look like my mother also contributed money to the ceremony. So, I told my husband that she contributed toward the food for the traditional marriage.
We got married and went on a honeymoon. While we were away on our honeymoon, my mother called me. I thought she wanted to congratulate us so I put the call on a loudspeaker while I listened with my husband. My mum said, “I am calling to tell you that you owe me money. I bought fish to prepare your engagement food, and I rented plates to serve the guests. Send me the money so that I can pay off the people.” I was so embarrassed that my mother couldn’t wait for me to get home before she starts asking me for money. It was even more embarrassing that my husband had to hear that.
My mother always finds a way to milk money out of me. It isn’t that I don’t take care of her. I do. I send her money for upkeep every month. I pay her hospital bills, I help her pay her rent, and if she needs anything I buy it for her. I have two siblings I also support financially. Yet my mother is never satisfied.
My husband’s mother is the opposite of my mother. She likes to give than take from us. I remember when we returned from our honeymoon, my mother-in-law brought us food. She said, “I know you would be too tired to cook tonight so I brought you something.” It was a generous gesture that warmed my heart. My mother didn’t think of anything like that. Instead, she got angry when she heard that my husband’s mum visited us. She said we invited the woman over and left her out. It became a problem we had to resolve.
I am not trying to compare my mum with my husband’s mum but see what happened next. A few months into the marriage I got pregnant. My mum’s first reaction was, “I will use this baby as an opportunity to make money out of them. Both of them are busy people. I will have to take care of the baby when they go to work and they will pay me. This is good news.”
I got angry when I heard her plot so I told my husband about it. We decided not to let her babysit the child. Fiifi’s mother was the one we trusted to come around and help with the baby. My mother got angry when we did that and it became another issue we had to resolve.
Whenever my mother-in-law visited us she brought us foodstuff. No one asked her or paid her to do it. She is just a thoughtful person. When my mother found out she said, “Give me money to buy you foodstuff the next time I’m visiting. That way your in-laws will think that I’m also helping out.” I had to send her the money before she could get us foodstuff.
I was home for my maternity leave when she called me to ask for her rent money. I told her I couldn’t afford to help. She complained bitterly trying to make it look like I’m neglecting her because I’m married. I had to scrap whatever I had in mind and send her the money. Two months after that, my husband came home from work with complaints. Apparently, my mother was going around telling people that I neglected her since I got married. Again, she was telling people that the whole marriage was funded by me and my husband made no contribution to the marriage. My husband told me, “Your mom is telling everyone that you’re the one who takes care of me.”
I didn’t doubt what my husband said. My mother is capable of saying more than what my husband said. I’d wanted to confront her but my husband said, “There’s no need to do that. Just let it go.” I didn’t let it go. I rushed to ask my mom and she denied it. She got so angry she went to my husband’s workplace to confront him. Fortunately for us, my husband wasn’t in the office the day she went there. From there, she went to my in-law’s house to invoke curses on her.
My husband said, “I told you not to confront her so why did you do it? You see what you’ve caused?” I had no answer for him. We later had to sit to resolve the problem amicably.
It didn’t stop there. Every day new problems from my mother. At some point, my mother-in-law got tired and told me, “If your mother doesn’t support your marriage then divorce my son. We have not had a moment of peace in this family after your wedding.” Out of frustration, I answered her, “Come for the marriage certificate and take the lead to the court. I will meet you there.” She said I’ve insulted her. It turned into a huge conflict between us. One marriage that I entered into, every day we are settling issues. No time to even catch my breath.
My aunt visited me. In conversation, she revealed that my mum had pronounced curses on me. According to her, my mum said when she dies I shouldn’t attend her funeral. My aunt pleaded with me to go and apologize to my mum. I don’t know what I did but I went to beg my mother for forgiveness.
Things became peaceful until recently everything started falling apart again.
There’s this lady who is a friend to my younger sister and my husband. She called my husband and asked him to talk to me. When I took the phone she said, “I am calling to warn you to be careful about your sister. She has told me terrible things about you and your marriage. Keep her as far as you can. She has no good intentions.”
I pressed for more details and she told me, “Your mother wishes for your marriage to fail so that you will return home to her. Your sister also said you will fall sick and spend all your money buying drugs all because you’ve neglected them since you got married.”
I didn’t doubt what the girl told me. Everything she said had the DNA of things my mom and sister would say. I haven’t wronged them in any way for them to harbor such ill feelings toward me. I got married and have someone I’m living my life with, hence the hatred.
There’s no elderly person in our family I haven’t reported my mom to. They’ve sat on our issues on several different occasions but nothing changed. They are now tired and don’t want to engage her again. I’m also tired. I want her to leave me alone to enjoy my marriage. I need peace in my home but I don’t know what else to do to get these two women off my back.