My son and I feel unwelcome in my married sister’s house

Mother and baby

A mother cuddling her baby.

Photo credit: Pool | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • You need to appreciate the effort your sister put in to accommodate you and the child until you stabilised.
  • Is there a possibility that you took advantage of the hospitality accorded to you and stayed longer with your sister than you needed to?

Hello,

I am 28 and I have a son who is almost two. My sister convinced me to move out of where I was staying with the father to my son. This was after I made her aware of our disagreements with him. I have been staying with her for about two months now, and she is married with two children. 

At first, and while I was still jobless, they were kind to me and my son but they began to treat us differently after I found a job. Our relationship deteriorated and we were blamed for everything that went wrong in that house.

Whenever my son cried, everyone shouted at him including his cousins. They insisted that I taught my son bad habits. I was so devastated that I could not express my problems. 

All of them including my niece who is 12 were unwilling to help me babysit. They could excuse themselves as being busy but in the real sense, they were not. Thankfully, a certain lady agreed to babysit at a fee. I would leave my son with her while I went to work. 

That, however, did not solve all the challenges. My sister’s family complained a lot that my son was a noisemaker and that his cries in the morning when I left him for work were bothering them. It has become too much for me and I feel confused. Please advise. 

Hi

It appears like there is a need for understanding between you and your sister. Although you have not shared much on the details of the differences you had with your boyfriend, which resulted in your sister asking you to leave him and come to stay with her, the seriousness of the issues as shared by you must have worried your sister enough to have made this decision.

You need to be grateful that she was considerate enough to not only care for you but also help you find a job. 

Second, you need to appreciate the effort your sister put in to accommodate you and the child until you stabilised from the abusive relationship. This is what sisters are for. They watch out and care for each other.

However, wisdom demands that we don’t take advantage of the love shown to us by others. I have the feeling that your sister’s attitude began to change when she realised that she had done enough for you and that you were now well able to care of yourself. You have to put yourself into her shoes. She has a family to take care of beside you and your daughter. Could it be that she now needs space for herself?

Third, is there a possibility that you took advantage of the hospitality accorded to you and stayed longer with your sister than you needed to?

Relationships are hard to maintain. Either partner in the relationship must feel like they are putting in equal measure, otherwise, the other partner will feel ripped off. Remember that your sister is married with two children.

I am not sure about the contribution of the husband to this discussion. Could he have felt also that it is now time for you to leave? Could they have failed to find a way of telling you to leave?

Whatever the case, you need to value what they have already done for you and move on if you are going to save your friendship with your sister.

Parenting is tough. Having a pre-teen and two other children in one house is not easy. This is particularly true if your sister’s house is small for the enlarged family.

Maybe the husband’s thoughts and hers were that as soon as you found a job, you were going to use your wisdom to move out. According to her, you needed to have started looking for alternate accommodation, considering the prevailing circumstances.

Coming up with a plan of caring for your child is your responsibility and not your sister’s. You can’t expect your sister to help you find a job and thereafter take over the care of your son as you went to work. You have to realistic. Your sister is human with feelings and needed to be treated as such.

Depending on the relationship between you and your sister, could she have felt like you were not appreciative for her contribution? May-be all you need is a private conversation with your sister and ask for clarification.

My opinion is that your sister has done her best to support you. For now, you are not in the state you were in when she first invited you to her house. I guess it is time for you to be grateful, pack your bags and move out into your own house.

Standing up for yourself is no small thing but yet necessary. Being able to handle situations

He forced me to abort

Hi Pastor Philip Kitoto,

I met a guy and fell in love with him but he turned out to be the opposite of love. His silence tells it all. I knew him for a very long time but he has been indifferent to me since 2016. I thought I had murdered someone but that wasn’t the case.

I had also believed that he was my friend but I was wrong about that. He walked away never to return to my life. I have always asked myself what I did wrong for him to disappear. Was it the pregnancy that ended abruptly? He made me have a "miscarriage" when he gave me something to drink. 

He has three children now. The third child was born after my miscarriage. I still have a grudge with him as it isn't over. However, I leave it all to God to fight my battles. God and my family are the only ones that have given me the strength to survive. I wish to be happy. I will appreciate your advice.

Hi, 

Relationships are both emotive and complicated. However, each partner in a given relationship has their definition of what makes a relationship. It is this definition that governs how two people respond in the relationship. That is why it is important to harmonise the two definitions if spouses have to be on the same page.

Back to your story, some things you have said are not clear from your narration of issues. First, were you in a “come we stay” marriage arrangement or just living together as two good friends with no strings attached?

This will help explain actions and reactions towards each other. The commitment must be built on strong convictions about what the two of you want in a relationship.

Second, although you celebrated the pregnancy, if the two of you were not in agreement concerning the relationship and the conception of the baby, then this could have been the genesis of his self-denials and silence.

For him to make you procure an abortion was part of a scheme to refuse to take responsibility for the pregnancy. Also, his silence was a good indicator of his desire to keep off. 

Third, it is not uncommon for one partner in a relationship to walk away from the other. The reasons leading to such a decision to walk away are varied. As for you, you may never know why he decided to walk away from you.

However, you will have to deal with three issues associated with this relationship. First, treat this relationship as one that ended. As a result, don’t blame him or yourself. This will help you acknowledge that every action has consequences that we face.

Second, take steps to forgive instead of blaming yourself or your former boyfriend. Somehow, you made some wrong choices and trusted someone you should not have. Because God has granted a pardon towards us, we can freely receive that forgiveness and start all over again in making more honourable choices.

Third, learn from the past without dragging the past into your current and future life. You must choose to let go while at the same time choosing to lay boundaries that will help you live differently.

Happiness is a choice you have to make. The happiness you are looking for is associated with letting go of lingering pain within you; embracing God’s forgiveness; determining to make better choices now and in the future; and keep the right company of friends.

Send your relationship questions to DN2Parenting@ke.nationmedia.com

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