An adage notes that a bad spouse is easier to manage than a bad in- law .
To this end , it can be frustrating battling with financial demands from acquaintances let alone in-laws .
A grandmother , Mrs Esther Adetola , while examining the problems associated with financial demands by in – laws , said she contended with such situation during the early years of her marriage .
She stated that the development made her to always advise her children and those close to her to find ways to settle financial issues with people whether in- laws or not.
Adetola said , “My husband is someone who is attached to his family .
When we got married , I had lots of issues with him especially when he chose his family over me .
My husband , despite being the last child , is like the breadwinner of his family .
“ His father was late and his mother never demanded anything but his cousins wouldn’ t let him rest.
He gave his older siblings money too . When their children grew up , they also came with numerous financial demands.
It became so bad that my husband would spend his salary on them and take loans to cater to his own household . ”
She added that excessive financial demands by family could disturb one from making any tangible progress in life , adding that they started making headway when they cut down on the demands .
She stated , “I was deliberate about getting them out of my family because I knew they were parasites .
We wouldn’ t grow if we continued to have them around.
I talked to my husband about our plans and achievements and also prayed that God should provide for them so that they could leave us alone .
Soon , my husband began to change towards them and the demands stopped.
He changed his mobile and we also moved to a new place. ”
Adetola further said they were able to build a house and send their four kids to private universities after cutting off from excessive family demands.
A civil servant , Mr Dayo Emmanuel , told us that he never experienced in-laws with excessive financial requests maybe because of his wife ’ s position as the last child .
He, however, said he believed that most people , especially in-laws , were now being reasonable with demands because of the country’ s economic situation.
Emmanuel said , “ If in- laws see one as their major source of income , then it would be problematic .
For my family , this is what works for us .
We send money to in – laws ( my family and my wife ’ s) at our convenience and we give whatever we have .
We don’ t try to impress anybody . I think that is one of the issues people usually have with their in-laws .
They try to impress them and those ones get used to it . ”
On her part, a clothier and a mother of three, Mrs Caroline Frank , held a similar opinion with Emmanuel .
According to her , one should be in charge of how one gives to one’ s in- laws , else one will run into trouble .
She noted that if one was not firm enough, one would only run into debt.
She said , “ When it comes to the matter of in- laws , one can never be too careful.
Don ’ t try to impress them or overdo things, else one will be shooting oneself in the leg. Give when you want to give .
Give what you decide to give . Let them know what you are worth .
When you state and spell out things carefully to them , you will be on the same page with them and won ’ t have problems . ”
Also , a mother of three, Mrs Funmi George , said it could be difficult curbing excesses of in-laws so that one wouldn’ t be seen as being disrespectful or stingy .
“ Don’ t start what you cannot finish . You can help financially and know when to curb excesses .
Some of them never stop asking and will not know what you go through , ” George stated .
An engineer and a mother of one, Mrs Aduragbemi Onabote , advised that one should not leave out one’ s partner in handling in- laws’ issues , urging couples to join hands in curbing noticeable excesses regarding financial demands.
She said , “ The couple should have budget to cater to the financial requests of in – laws .
Generally , on issues related to in- laws , it is always helpful if the couples are united .
Always let your spouse know either you are dealing with your family or your partner’ s .
“ The way the family handles finances will also play a big role in the way financial demands of in- laws are handled .
For example , if a couple is open to one another about the way they handle their finances , they will be able to determine what goes to the in- laws even if they aren’ t operating a joint account .
“ For instance , in a case where it is the wife ’ s family that is financially demanding, and she has been using her money to meet their demands, her husband should be in the know and it shouldn ’ t affect the family finances . ”
Onabote said when giving money to in- laws , it shouldn ’ t be to the detriment of one’ s finances , adding that it was vital to examine the cause of the demands.
She added , “ For example , if you need to give an in- law N 5 , 000 monthly, why not look for something tangible and give to him or her to start a business .
In summary , don’ t meet any obligation that will affect you or your family .
You should agree with your spouse on how much you want to give irrespective of who is giving the money . ”
A relationship expert , Shamsideen Giwa, said different categories and factors come into play in such a matter.
He said specific factors would determine how one handled the situation.
He said , “ Top on that list are parents and there’ s a lot of sentiments surrounding how we treat parents especially when we factor in religious and cultural positions .
It is assumed that parents have invested in one , hence they deserve a good return on the investment .
But really there is a limit defined by different things including availability of funds and perceived importance of demand .
“ If one has a wife and children , then one’ s responsibility is also to them ; so , a balance must be created .
Even if one is single , one has a life and needs deserving consideration . Some needs are important like shelter and food . ”
He stated that with siblings , some sentiments could apply which might be missing dealing with distant relatives .
Giwa said , “Whatever one does, it is important not to get lost and to have a priority list of what/who comes first and create a limit .
Finally , be comfortable with the idea that you will never be able to satisfy everyone and not everyone will listen and understand your actions and conditions .
Don ’ t try to do that . Stick with what is in your mind and do what is right and fair to everyone, including yourself . ”