The Sunday Mail
In-laws stay too close to my house
Hello amai, I hope you are well. I am a happily married 29-year-old woman. We have one son and we generally get along great. My complaint is centred on where we live. It is very close to his parents’ house and his siblings.
His mother and siblings often ransack my house, raiding the pantry and fridge when I am not there. I have told my maid to stop them, but she is helpless because they refuse to listen to her. I do not know why they do this.
They have even mastered the times that I am usually not around. My husband and I live a comfortable life. We are both gainfully employed.
We assist both sides of our families equally, hence there is no need for all this. I am about to lose it. I have repeatedly told my husband to sort this out but he refuses to listen. How can I solve this problem? This is a very expensive problem to fix.
Thank you for writing in. Your situation is not complex but requires a straight approach. Do what your husband cannot. Speak to amai woman-to-woman. Inform her how their raids are inconveniencing you and your budget. I am sure they will complain and accuse you of not being accommodating but you have to call a spade a spade.
Over time, they will realise the error of their ways. As for your husband, he must do more to control his family. The maid bit is tricky. It may be time to find a new one who they are not accustomed to; someone who will listen to you when you give instructions to lock the gate when you are not there and not let anyone in the yard if you are not at home.
Make sure she has a phone so she can reach you when this happens. It is tough to enforce order but it will even be more burdensome if you let this go on. Be direct and sincere. It is something you need to address head-on.
Must I fight for custody?
Greetings amai. I am a 34-year-old married woman. I am into my second marriage and I have a daughter who is 13-years-old with my first husband. He was never there for her and had I not dragged him to court when she was four, he would not be paying child support.
He wants to assume sole custody of this child. I am hesitant because he has many children with different women. I am also not sure if he can provide a stable environment to raise her. I do not know if I should refuse outright or try and find somewhere to meet halfway. Please help.
Hello dear writer. You are right to be cautious, especially if it concerns the welfare of your child. However, bear in mind he is the child’s biological father and is entitled to seeing his child.
Try and have a sit-down with your legal representatives present. Map a way forward and try to tick all the boxes such as finances, schooling and living conditions for the child. If he ticks all the boxes and genuinely wants to share custody with you, I do not see why it may be a bad idea.
You can start off slow with weekend visits and then up it to longer time intervals if you feel it is going well. The courts and social workers are readily available if you feel this is not the route you want to take. However, try to avoid an all-out war as this might affect your daughter. Tread carefully. I wish you all the best.
I stole from a client
Hello amai, I hope you are well. I am a 37-year-old man and I am a jack-of-all-trades. I sometimes work as a runner, delivering goods to people, or in some instances as a cab driver. I recently gave a group of kids a trip into town.
One of them dropped his wallet in the car and I do not know what got into me but I proceeded to steal it. I spent the money as well. When he asked if I had seen it, I lied. I can still see his face crying every now and again. I feel terrible. How can I make things right?
Hello writer. It is always the right time to do the right thing. When you said you are a jack-of-all-trades, I sincerely hoped being a thief was not one of them.
I know the economy is tough and people do what they can to survive but be advised that it is much better to come clean now and stop going down this dark path. If that admission of guilt scares you, then at least confess that you later on found the wallet and return it to the boy. I am assuming you know his whereabouts. I hope that all will be forgiven.
Trust is important in your line of work. If you expect people to engage you for services, you have to be trustworthy.
◆ Write to: [email protected], WhatsApp 0771415747.