Want my mother-in-law out of my house

March 02, 2021

Dear Pastor,

I am a 40-year-old man and I have been with a woman for three years. I had two children before meeting her. She told me she got pregnant once but lost the baby.

She is very close to her mother. When I first met her, she told me that, even if we were to get married, her mother would have to live with her because she didn't have her own home.

I agreed. She came to live with me. I am a mason. I was building a three-bedroom house. My relatives told me I should not accept her mother but I told them that I had already promised.

I used to have a cleaning lady and, after the mother was living here for two months, she told her daughter that I was in love with the cleaning lady.

Pastor, the woman who does my cleaning, washing and ironing would not only wash and iron, but she would put away my clothes in my chest of drawers. This woman told my girlfriend that the lady would only be doing that if she and I were having a relationship.

When she told her daughter these things, I decided that I would not fire the lady because she has been working with me for a while. But the mother said that she suspected that I was having sex with her. She had no proof and her daughter came to me with that. I told my girlfriend that her mother had to go because she was nothing but a troublemaker.

My girlfriend said that, if her mother had to go, she would go, too, because my reaction made it seem like her mother was correct. My girlfriend's mother does not do anything in this house.

She is all over the place saying she is looking for work. She wants to use my house as a hairdressing parlour because that is what she is good at, and I told her no. Do you think that I am quite correct in telling my girlfriend that her mother has to find another place to live? I don't want my girlfriend to leave because I love her so much, but her mother cannot stand me, although she is living in my house, and I can't stand her either.


Dear P.A.,

I know you meant well when you told your girlfriend that you would agree for her mother to live at your house. Your girlfriend loves her mother. She feels that she has an obligation to her. Her mother might have struggled with her while her father did not do much for her. I don't want to blame you for the predicament you have found yourself in but, from the beginning, you felt that your girlfriend's mother did not like you and you were warned not to take her to live in your house. But you couldn't see that she was a troublemaker. Now that you have realised that you have made a mistake, you want her to go.

Your helper has not done anything wrong. Although your girlfriend and her mother are now living at the house, she continues to do what she has always done. For your mother to go to the extent in suggesting to her daughter that what the helper is doing indicates that both of you are having an affair is out of order. If your girlfriend didn't like what the helper was doing, a quiet word with the helper would have been sufficient. She could have told the helper that she didn't have to pack your clothes away after ironing them.

You were correct in asking this woman to leave your house. I expect your girlfriend to plead for her mother and for her mother to say to her daughter that, if you are not having an affair with this woman you should fire her. But sir, I do believe that if you were to allow your mother-in-law to stay at your house, you will be asking for more problems in the future. If your girlfriend insists that she would go also, don't beg her to stay.


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