Forced to babysit hubby’s relatives

Mudzimba with Mai Chisamba—

Hello Mai Chisamba, I hope my letter finds you well. I am 24 and my soon-to-be husband is 27. We argue about almost everything. We are set to have our traditional wedding at the end of February. We go to different churches but we are planning to go to a neutral church when we have our white wedding. I do not like his church and he is not fond of mine either. We met through a cousin of his whom I went to school with. Amai zvematch making zvichiri in style here? I am a professional in my own right but he thinks he is better. Truly speaking I now detest him and I have no feelings for him anymore. I told my sister and my tete about this vakati zvichapera mava mumba, is that true? I am also torn apart because my ex who dumped me for another girl wants us to get back together. I love my ex but haataure zvekuroora but we really get on well. Should I accept his apology and move on? I am under pressure from friends and family to get married, they said ndatokurisa I should have been married at 19. My fiancé had said he wanted to pay lobola in March but my tete pushed for end of February saying bring whatever amount you will have gathered kuroora hakupere nezuva rimwe chete. I cannot take my mind off my ex-boyfriend who still texts and pleads with me all the time. I need help I am just overwhelmed, I do not know which is which. We are both gainfully employed. I rent an apartment and my boyfriend stays with his parents. We argue about where we are going to stay after we tie the knot. Anoti haagare muimba yemukadzi, iniwo handigare imba yavamwene. We may need to discuss this, I hope I will learn to love him.

Response

Thank you for writing in. I do not understand why families push their children against their will into getting married. I have tackled this topic on numerous occasions and my response this time will be no different from what I stated on previous occasions. You are only 24 what is the panic about? People get married in God’s time and when they are in love. Marriage is a serious covenant and one is not supposed to jump in and out of it willy-nilly. It is a lifetime commitment, which comes with responsibilities. My advice to you is if you are in doubt do not get married. Marriage is supposed to bring peace of mind and amplify the existing love and respect you have for your significant other. Arguing over everything proves that you are two different people. You argue about church, your professions and where you would want to stay and so forth. This is not a good sign at all. There is nothing wrong about what his cousin did, he only introduced you to your fiancé, the decision to date him was entirely yours. You cannot stop thinking of your ex-boyfriend who at one time dumped you for another girl? What guarantee do you have that he will not do it again? It really is food for thought. As far as learning to love someone, I do not believe that is a real thing. Tete is lying to you that zvichapera nekuroorwa, what tete is implying is that you can put rotten food in a fridge and it will become fresh again, which is impossible. Another problem you are encountering is that you are looking for a man to marry you, not someone who truly loves you. Look for someone who truly loves you and allow it to naturally blossom into marriage. Usaroorerwe zita. The marriage is supposed to be for you and not for tete and the family. I feel like February is too soon for you, I advise you to go for premarital counselling, it will help you decide what you want. Families out there please learn to wait for God’s time. Do not put your sons and daughters into unhappy unions. The final choice is still yours but I do not see a light at the end of the tunnel. I would be very happy if you make your final decision after counselling. I wish you all the best.

I am a guy of very few words and naturally reserved. My mother on the other hand is a very destructive woman, munhu azere godo. My father has been reduced to an onlooker in our family. She denounces him in front of our spouses, children and whoever is present. I am 48 and blessed with an understanding wife and three kids. In our family we are five, three sons and two daughters. We are all married. The word happiness does not exist in our family because of amai. To us she is more of a biological mother and nothing more. She only gets along with the last born in our family because she is like a carbon copy of my mother. She is also good at gossiping, kunyima and pretending to be a good person when she is in the presence of others. I am grateful for my wife, she taught me how to love. What hurts me the most is the respect my mother commands kuchurch. She is holier than thou there. The reason I have written to you is, although, everyone now knows that the discord in the family has been caused by my mum, we have never spoken openly about it. We want our father, spouses and children to bond. Amai has called the shots for too long and destroyed everyone’s spirit. Taneta kutongeswa nehama dzavo for issues we do not even know about. This is a hard life but hapana zvekuita. When visiting if you do not mention kuti please come with baba she comes alone and her stay will always leave you saddened. I am the eldest, I want to save my family, how do I go about this? We are siblings but she does not want us to be together in her absence, hanzi muri kundireva. My father is so henpecked, he is like a slave in his own home, he gets instructions from amai. It is so sad, it’s breaking our hearts we have to fix this as soon as possible. I am even prepared to go it alone if others are too scared. Please help.

Response

Thank you for writing in and I am very concerned about the state your family is in. Yes, wakura it took a lot of courage to write to me. It is very unfortunate that one of the tetes is taking after her mother. It is never too late, she too can be assisted if she wants to change. The first thing you should do as siblings is to give baba his rightful place in the family.

Never be disrespectful to your mum. You said she does not want people to get together in her absence. You are the eldest and we are still in the festive season, call the family together.

A bring and share will not be costly, let baba, amai, your siblings and children come. Do not use this platform to talk about any issues, just have fun. Next time you can invite just your siblings and their kids to keep the trend going. Help each other in fortunate and unfortunate times.

When you have family issues, address baba first kuti tozvifambisa sei before amai jumps in. Since amai wants to be seen as a saint at church if she goes overboard just say let’s rope the church in. I know she will not agree with this. If you work together nobody can break you.

You do not even need anyone from outside the family structure to help you because you know where the problem emanates from. Getting on as a unified family is the best remedy to fix this problem. Gossiping and bad mouthing each other is a cancer that should be rooted out. People judge others by the way they live, that is why amai vachitya kurehwa. You have proved to be a good big brother, step up and save the family. You can get amai assisted indirectly by doing good because ivo she wants the opposite.

Pray sincerely for your family, God will grant you your heart’s desire.

Enjoy while it lasts. I wish you all the best.               

 Forced to babysit hubby’s relatives

I write this letter with a broken heart. My spouse and I are members of a church couples’ group. Within this group, six of us have become so close that we now constitute a group within this group. We plan activities with our families outside church and we have great fun. For the beginning of the year trip (2017), we have agreed to go to Nyanga with our families for three days. We have already made plans and all the logistics are in place. We avoided Christmas and New Year’s Day since these are days people usually spend with their close and extended family members. Our trip is scheduled after the first of January 2017. My problem is that this year my mother-in-law and one of the unmarried tetes decided to come to our place for the festivities, I do not mind really, even if they did invite themselves. My husband is now saying I cannot travel to Nyanga because amai natete varipo. He says he will go with our two kids and everyone else. I am not their babysitter and I do not want to be disadvantaged because of them. If my husband insists I will go to my parents’ house and come back pavanodzoka. My husband has two other siblings in the same town, why can they not go there? When we planned the Nyanga trip we budgeted according to the number of adults and kids we had. What will happen to my contribution? I am not talking to my husband since he suggested this, I am spending a lot of time in my room.

When I am not happy I cannot hide it. I really want to go with the rest of them to this dream holiday. I do not understand why they came over we had bought them their Christmas goodies and given them money for daily upkeep. Ndiko kukara ikoko, kuno vachasiya vatishotesa then when they go back home enjoy in full. Should I talk to my mother-in-law about this or tell tete to convey the message? People should wait for an invitation especially during the holidays because they disrupt long standing arrangements. We started planning and saving for this trip at the beginning of 2016. I am confused I do not know what to do, please help.

Response

Thank you for writing in, you sound as if something tragic has happened. A holiday to Nyanga is great. It is good to have fun but you cannot stress yourself to this extent over potentially not going.

In my view your letter does not resemble anything someone who frequents church would write. I wonder if some churches have lost their salt. You begrudge your mother-in-law and tete for visiting without an appointment kusvika pakadai.

Why do you think when people visit you the sole purpose of the visit is to eat? This is a planned visit she could have gone anywhere else but she came to see her son and family.

The festive season is very special, it is a time when families come together but you are trying to start a quarrel with yours. Please do not assign such value to food, good relationships are worth more. What do you learn about marriages in your group? Do not go to church for the sake of just going, that will not help you. I do not see the benefit of going to your parents’ house. Your marriage lacks proper communication and cracks in the wall are beginning to appear and other people can peep through. You do not need to pick a quarrel about this, you just need to talk openly about it.

If you really want to go to Nyanga why not leave tete and gogo at home for the few days you will be away and ask other members of the family to check on them whilst you are away. Tell them you had planned and paid for the trip in advance. It is not like you are leaving a bunch of kids unattended, handiti kumusha vanogara vega?

Please slow down I can tell that you are in the fast track. Remember the woman we are talking about is the mother of your husband. In as much as scheduling appointments is a nice courtesy, it is hard to enforce within your own family. I would like to personally speak to you as there are areas we need to delve deeper into. I hope this holiday issue does not continue to pull you apart. Embrace your visitors and make them feel at home, pray for yourself, marriages and relationships God will assist.

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