Please, help me; I don’t know if I can keep this secret to myself. I also need to be careful so that I won’t be seen as not wanting to help my husband’s cousin. She came to live with my husband and I three years ago and since she joined my household, it has been one problem after the other.
I was not informed by my husband or my mother-in-law that she would be living with us. My mother-in-law came to stay with us when I had my third child; a boy who we all had prayed for, because my husband is an only son; I already had two girls, my husband practically begged me to try another, which resulted in our son.
My mother-in-law did not stay with us when I gave birth to the girls, but according to her, she had no choice because he had to help me with the boy. She, however, came with Jumoke, her late sister’s daughter who lived with her. It was easy for her because the school was on summer break.
Sincerely, I have nothing against her staying back because we were close and I took her like the sister I never had. I only questioned the fact that mama; that’s what we call my mother-in-law should have believed in me enough to tell me, instead of making it a hush-hush issue with my husband.
She was not there when I discussed this issue with my husband; neither did I speak with mama on phone in her presence, but eventually she heard and her behavior towards me changed completely.
Jumoke became rude and confrontational. Initially, I was confused; I called my mother-in-law to let her know what was happening. I never knew I only fueled the embers of their hostility. I was not comfortable with her response. I decided to tell her because I felt we were close enough to be able to train her together. I didn’t know mama had something else on her mind.
When my husband returned from the office that day, I told him what happened and what mama’s response was when I reported Jumoke to her. I didn’t know she had called my husband while at work to report me. My husband’s response shocked me.
He said, Jumoke is his relative and I cannot send her away from his home. He accused me of being insensitive to the fact that she is an orphan and we should be able to help her out. Fortunately, I do not have any relative I could ask to come to my house, probably; they would have accused me of scheming to send Jumoke away to bring my relative in.
When I saw the trend of things, I decided to keep my cool. I have a duty to feed her and make sure she is comfortable, that I did very well, even when it was not convenient for me. I don’t know why she saw me as her rival. I became extremely patient and God really helped me.
She would walk up to speak with my husband whenever we were talking without an excuse. My husband saw nothing wrong with this attitude and because it was okay with him, I kept my cool. Sometimes she would be so rude to him that I would feel like slapping her or beating her up, but since I have made up my mind to keep my cool, that I did.
She does not help me out with the household chores; I decided not to raise this at all because I didn’t want trouble. My mother-in-law became a regular visitor to our house. When she visits she saw nothing wrong with my doing the chores alone. She would even ask if I made Jumoke’s meal. At a point, I had to ask if Jumoke ever reported to her that I starved her.
She started living with us in her Senior Secondary Two (SS2). When she passed into SS3, she told her uncle that she would love to attend holiday coaching for her final examinations which he gave her money for. I however noticed that she attends seldomly in school for the coaching.
Several times, she would leave the house with dresses, return home late sometimes shortly before her uncle gets home. On a fateful day, I was so pissed off by her behaviour and I scolded her. She began to cry. She didn’t stop crying until her uncle came back from work and she told him tales. Instead of finding out the truth, my husband quarreled with me.
This really hurt me and I made up my mind to close my eyes to whatever she does. I had a cause to pick up some stuffs from the visitors’ room where she stays and I saw contraceptives and some other drugs I wasn’t comfortable with. I didn’t want to start trouble for myself, but I was so concerned that I confided in my neighbour.
She called Jumoke and talked to her. When she did; the issue almost broke my home. Jumoke claimed that I framed her up. My husband’s anger was further compounded by the fact that I had to discuss his niece’s issue with a neighbour.
I felt really bad about this. It took the intervention of our spiritual father and my uncle before I had peace in my house. After that, I made sure I minded my business. I was however surprised when she said she would like to talk to me two weeks ago. Initially, I told her I had no time, because I cannot imagine what we have to talk about.
Eventually, I had to listen to her when she wouldn’t allow me to rest. She came home on Monday last week after her UTME examination. She looked really sick and ready to drop dead. I must confess, I was actually scared. After I gave her food, which she refused to eat, all she did was cry, I calmed her down, I asked her to speak, and it took her time to tell me she was pregnant.
I smiled and told her I knew. I actually knew. The signs were written all over her. She had made her issues none of my business, so I had no reason to even raise it with her. I told her that much. She kept pleading with me to help her so that her uncle and mama will not get to know.
Although, I know what she was asking of me, I pretended. In essence, she is asking me to help her get rid of the pregnancy. I asked her when her last menstrual period was, she told me and it coincided with the time I saw the drugs with her.
I felt really bad for her. I did not mince words to tell her that I cannot help her get rid of the pregnancy. I won’t do that even for my own sibling. But I however promised not to tell anyone. But I am so confused; I don’t think I should keep something like this from my husband. What if she tries to do something silly? I have been keeping extra watch on her since that day.
And you will be surprised at the change in her towards me. I really feel sorry for her. My other concern is the fact that I want to keep my home, I don’t want to get my husband angry by meddling in Jumoke’s issue again. I wish she had not brought me in.
Please, what should I do?