Dear Sir Stan KSC, I have followed your posts with kin interest, your ability to deliver hard truths without fear or favour is quite impressive. I have battled with an issue in marriage, my wife sides with her parents and siblings to gang up against me. Even when she is clearly wrong, they always find a way to twist very clear truths in her favour. This has made me lose respect for my in-laws and has permanently pitched me against my wife. I am considering leaving her for them to marry. Your advise will be appreciated, regards, Samuel

My dear Samuel, he who fights and runs away stands to fight another day. Instead of running away from your problems, I advise you stand and face them. Ask yourself why a woman who said yes to your proposal of marriage will turn around to lean on the same family she chose to leave for you. I don’t have all the facts from your message above, but I am almost certain that she is unhappy about something. Even if you leave and do not fix what is making her distant, the next woman you end up with will do exactly the same.

You and your wife should be on the same team, if she insists on siding with her family against you, then there is something fundamentally wrong with your marriage. Identifying the problem and trying to fix it should be your primary concern and not giving up on the marriage. A thorough self introspection is a good starting point, when you have identified your part in the problem, take the lead as the head of the family and dialogue with her, accept your faults with an apology and promise to do better, she will most likely do the same. Your in laws are obviously ignorant of what a marriage should be, do not let them derail what you have with you wife.

Courtship is an ongoing exercise, resting on your oars because you assume your wife is already in your house is a grave mistake. Marriages are like engines, they require constant servicing, oil change and tune ups to function well. The fact that you love and care for a car does not mean it cannot disappoint you sometimes, how rough you drive can also cause a car to develop faults. What you do is to keep fixing it, sometimes even overhaul the engine until you achieve optimum performance. This analogy between car engines and marriages explains what happens in a marriage. To achieve happiness and stability, you must continue working on it, a total overhaul of behaviour, approach and mindset may be required.

To your wife, I will say forgive her because she does not know what she is doing. Her affinity to her family against you is a mistake she will regret sooner rather than later. The division her parents are encouraging is dangerous, except there is a proven case of verbal and physical abuse, parents should always remain neutral in marital affairs. If on the other hand you have abused her physically or verbally, then the parents and the siblings reserve the moral right to encourage their daughter to flee from a toxic relationship which is potentially dangerous to her physical and emotional health.

If you have been a responsible and loving husband, she is making a huge mistake. If the marriage breaks, her parents and siblings may not be there for her as much as she thinks, they can tolerate her on a temporary basis, when the dust settles, she will realise that she is alone. The parents and siblings all have their own issues and families to cater for, no one can replace a husband’s support and love for his wife and children. Loneliness bites harder than hunger, don’t let her make the mistake of ruining the marriage and experiencing this. If you love her, court her all over again, teach her in love, fight for her, it will be worth it at the end – Sir Stanley Ekezie