My Husband’s Mother Wears The Pants In Our Marriage –
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My Husband’s Mother Wears The Pants In Our Marriage

I was always against getting romantically involved with someone I attend the same church with. What if we date and we end up sinning together? Will we come and sit in church and pose as saints while the preacher speaks against sin? That would be uncomfortable. There was also the issue of breakups. I can’t bear to watch my ex get married to someone else while we are in the same church. These were the reasons why I never paid attention to Maxwell. We were in the same church and served as executives of a singing group. Due to this, we spoke regularly, but I never had any interest in him. There was also no sign from him to show that he was interested in me.

Our relationship was uneventful until I lost my phone in 2016. Maybe he missed me so much when he didn’t have easy access to me. I don’t know what changed but as soon as I got a new phone he started calling me more frequently than he used to. We talked about church. We talked about our singing group. When we exhausted those topics, we moved to our personal lives. From the start, we only spoke for a few minutes. From there we progressed to talking for hours.

“You are an amazing woman,” he declared during one of our conversations, “Thank you for showing me all the parts of yourself you don’t show to everyone. I will be happy if we can study ourselves for marriage.” By then I had grown fond of him, but I told him, “It is not a good idea.” He asked why and I listed all the reasons why I don’t date guys I attend the same church with. “What if we don’t work out and you end up marrying someone else?” “That’s not going to happen. I love you and I don’t foresee that changing,” he assured me. I wasn’t seeing anyone so I chose to take a leap of faith and agreed to give things a try with him.

Our relationship was good. By 2018, we were making arrangements to get married. However, we encountered some financial situations that hindered our plans. It was also in the midst of these challenges that I found out that I was pregnant. It was unplanned but I decided to keep it due to two miscarriages I had suffered in the past. When I informed Maxwell about it, he was surprisingly happy about the news. “That’s good news. Let’s do everything to get married after the baby is born,” he said.

I was working in a bank at the time and the banking system was experiencing some crisis. My bank had to cut down on staff in order to keep the business going. Fortunately, I was part of the few who were retained. But right before I went on maternity leave, my employers gave me a letter of termination. I wasn’t financially strong enough to survive on my own without a job so I was very devastated. Maxwell stepped up and took care of my every need. Sometimes, my father also pitched in to make sure I don’t depend on my boyfriend for every little thing.

While I was in the ninth month of pregnancy, my father passed away. I was inconsolable. The thought that my only surviving parent died when I was close to bringing forth a new life wrecked me. A few days after his demise, I went into labour and delivered a beautiful boy through C.S. After we were discharged from the hospital I had to move in with Maxwell’s mother. Things started well at her end until familiarity set in. She started getting nosey and too involved with our lives. I would be having a conversation with her son and this woman would come and sit with us, making it difficult for me to discuss certain things I considered intimate.

One day I asked her to teach me how to bathe my son so I can do it in the event that she is unable to, and she went to tell her son that I don’t want her to bathe the baby anymore. That was not the only thing she complained about. Every time the two of them are talking and I appear on the scene, they would keep quiet. I wasn’t bothered by their behaviour until Maxwell stopped providing for our needs the way he used to. I wanted to complain but I realized that he stepped in to contribute substantially toward my dad’s funeral. His father who lives in the States also sent money for the funeral, and his friends also helped. I was very thankful for his support. I even believed that it was because he had to save toward the funeral that he cut down on child support. I was sure that he would start providing for us properly when things settle down.

After the funeral, I noticed a change in his attitude. He preferred his mother’s company to mine and the baby’s. He would sit outside with her till 10:00 PM without coming to see if we were doing okay. Sometimes he would go for days without talking to me, yet he spoke to his mother every day. “How is it that we live in the same town but you won’t come and see us at least once a day?” I complained. I thought he would change but he only got worse.

He would travel out of town for work and wouldn’t tell me or call to talk to me. I only knew his whereabouts when his mother felt generous enough to share the information. I put up with their behaviour until the baby was three months old. That was when I told Maxwell I was ready to move back to my place. He tried to talk me out of it but I refused. After I moved out, I noticed that he started hiding his finances from me. The guy was treating me as if I was his competitor and not his partner.

I couldn’t imagine how a marriage with him would work so I called the three people who are very important to me; my godmother, my aunt, and Maxwell’s best friend. I told them about everything that was happening and how it all started with his mother. “I am glad I am seeing this now. At least now I know that I cannot marry him.” “Don’t say that,” they said. They advised me to exercise patience as they talk to him.

The next thing I heard was that Maxwell and his mother went to Accra to buy the items on the list for our marriage. They didn’t bother to inform me first about it. It was his big brother who informed me when I went to their family house to thank his mother for all her help with the baby. Seriously, I was no longer interested in the marriage at that point, but everyone involved advised me to be patient. We got married in December of that year. It was his mother who helped him to plan everything. We didn’t even go for premarital counselling.

After the marriage, he moved into their family house while I lived in a single-room apartment with the baby. He told me, “When you wake up in the morning, come to my mother’s place. You will bathe the baby, eat, and do everything there, then at night you will go to your place.” I said I wouldn’t do it and he got angry. He was always getting angry at the slightest thing. He only came to visit us when he was in the mood for shuperu. I discussed family planning with him but he did not show any interest.

READ ALSO: The Pain When Your ‘Wife’ Marries Someone Else

A year after I had my first child I got pregnant with the second one. It wasn’t easy carrying another baby just a year after having CS. It was at that time that he started spending the nights with me. I tried my best to get him to talk about our marriage but he wouldn’t budge. Sometimes I would wake him up at dawn so that he would know how important it is to me that we mend our relationship, but he just listened to me talk. Nothing ever changed.

My husband wouldn’t eat my food. He passes by his mother’s place to eat before he gets home. Sometimes, he would bring food from her place and come and eat in front of me. Whenever he had to give out money for our upkeep, he would complain bitterly. I was very unhappy throughout my pregnancy until I delivered a beautiful baby girl. We moved from our apartment to a more spacious one. I was even the one who searched for it and helped pay for it.

Like a rotten egg, our marriage kept deteriorating with time. All my husband did was pick fights with me over petty things. His father came home from the States and invited us over to talk to us but everything he said did not stick in MaXwell’s ears. If anything, he got worse. I have even moved from our apartment into his father’s house. He has threatened to divorce me. “And don’t think that after the divorce I will let you keep the children. You are their mother but I will do everything possible to get custody of them.”

My godmother tried to get to the bottom of his anger, and he told her, “Your daughter makes me sick. I don’t know what it is about her but she even makes the children sick. If you speak to my mother, she will tell you everything she does wrong. I can’t stay married to her. It’s not healthy for me and my children.” I was in that meeting but I didn’t talk. I am just so tired of being a villain in his and his mother’s life. I want to get out of this marriage so badly. The only reason I haven’t left with my kids is my poor finances. I work as a private school teacher and I earn less than GHC500 a month. I learned millinery but it’s difficult to get customers in our small town so I depend on his pocket money to get by.

My family says I shouldn’t make any rush decisions, and that I should wait for his next move so I take things from there. I need advice outside my family. What do you suggest is the best way to handle the situation? I am at my wit’s end.


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