How should couples defend their partners against family attacks?

MARRIAGE and relationships exceed the love between spouses. They rely greatly on the acceptability of the family from both sides. However, most times, some partners are easily accepted in the family while some are not lucky. Thus, they have to rely on their spouses for footing in such families. But, this is not an easy task as some families go to the length of attacking the spouse just because of the hatred that exists as a result of the unacceptability. Hence, how should couples defend their partners against family attacks?

On WhatsApp Conversation, these are what those who joined the conversation and our expert said on the issue:


Dunsin Ogunmoyela

No matter how harsh or gentle my family members are to my spouse, I would like to tell you this golden key to a successful home which is: when you are in a relationship with someone, it is important to work as a team. So, in whatever scenario we both found ourselves in respect to attacks from my family to her and vice versa—when my partner struggles to balance her loyalties to me and to my family—I would not feel anything but united. It is common to feel hurt or betrayed if your partner does not back you up when their family criticises or judges you. Not seeing eye-to-eye on how to handle family conflicts could damage your relationship with your partner. So, it is important to know how to cope with this situation. I could learn to do so by communicating better with my partner behind close doors, likewise setting up boundaries with my partner’s family, and learning to stand up for myself. I think these are key points to enable one overcome this and have a blissful home.


Mrs Adekola

They should try as much as possible not to expose the other partner’s weakness to  family members. Even if things are not going on well, pretend as if they are.

We have to apply wisdom and maturity no matter how difficult the matter is.


Dipo Olaoye-Ofino

For me, setting some barriers could help to hide some weaknesses. From experience, both couples might need to understand themselves and set themselves straight on where barriers need to be, not hiding under the impression of love. The reason for their relationship is already based on love. But to avoid attack, some barriers need to be put in place. When setting these barriers, the method they use goes a long way in establishing communication amongst couples.


Amana Solomon

I do not allow outsiders to come in between my immediate family decision. I always drew a line. I love my family but, I do not allow them to cross the line which cannot be crossed.


Ebitanmi Taiwo

I think couples should sit their families down and let them see and understand their judgements concerning their partners. They should do well to treat their partners with respect, especially in the presence of their family members.


Yinka Animashaun

Tell them to back off, because it is none of their business. Do not put your partner in that situation. Not even in a situation where your mother would have the right to interfere in your affairs.

As soon as you are married, your immediate family (partner and children) comes first.

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Farida Sanusi

First of all, do not let your family members ridicule your partner in any way. Treat your partner with respect. They would respect your partner if they see you value him. Do not let your family members run down your partner. Brag about him. If you are with someone you love and you are proud of it, it would be very easy— knowing that this is my marriage not theirs. If I am not comfortable with their reasons of the attack, I would make them understand that they cannot ridicule someone I have decided to spend my life with. Although it would be challenging at first, once they understand and respect your decision, they would have to accept your choice. I would reassure them that it is me and him that are in the marriage together. So, whatever happens he does not feel bad.


A sensitive case like this requires the parties involved to brainstorm the best way out. In resolving cases like this, we would apply the stakeholders’ analysis. The stakeholders in this case are the husband and wife. It should be noted that attacks from family originate from hatred, which in turn could culminate in unpleasant scenario or characteristics that could becloud the victim of such attack.

Before marriage, there is a need to understand that families have a major stake in spouses’ lives and accept them as one. Thus, the partner must see to the acceptability of his/her spouse to the family in order to put the root of the hatred at bay. Also, the victim of such attack should find out why it has been happening and, if possible, correct such ill while making the family see that he/she is the best choice for the partner. He/she should respect the place of the family in the partner’s life.

Meanwhile, the spouses’ families should adhere to the fact that what God has joined together, let no man (family) put asunder. Minimal is what they can do in a marriage of their son or daughter, since everyone has right to their own lives as well.

Next week on WhatsApp Conversation, we would be treating: Could you forgive your spouse after catching him/her in your matrimonial bed with his/her lover?


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