Nigeria, like any other African country, upholds tradition. Although the western ways of doing things have almost wiped away family values, there are traditions that are still observed and kept sacrosanct. One of such traditions is that of the extended family relationship where relatives go to live with married brothers or sisters.
In some traditions, it is almost compulsory that the man must take one of the wife’s younger sisters to train her as a way of giving back to the family for training up the woman he has come to marry.
Aside tradition, today, most wives are career women, so they naturally need help to go about domestic chores when children come into the family. As a result, they look out for either a house help or a younger relative to live with, who in most cases, is a woman.
But over the years, living with one’s girl relative or house help has become so risky as some randy men sleep with these girls. With the way girls expose their bodies these days, wearing either skinny or short clothes, unfaithful men throw shame to the winds and actually pull their trousers before their wife’s relative. Investigation revealed that these men actually use monetary inducements on the girl.
While some pay hotel rooms where they go to spend times, others actually do it on their matrimonial bed when their wives have gone out for the day’s business.
We have had cases where the girl gets pregnant for the in-law, who without shame will tell the wife to leave if she feels hurt because he now loves the younger sister more. There had also been cases where the man gets the wife’s younger sister pregnant and goes ahead to marry her as second wife.
With this development, most women are becoming wise and skeptical in allowing their younger sisters live with them, as they now prefer hiring house helps who they ensure don’t look good so as not to get attracted to their husband. On the other hand, some men who want to avoid trouble, tell the wife not to bring in any relative or be ready to face any consequence that may arise.
Collins, a married man with two children argued that it is better to avoid temptation by preventing a sister in-law to live with you, instead of having to cope with the problem that such action will bring to the family.
“I am married with two boys. First and foremost, it’s not as if I have one that I will refuse her coming to stay with me because I won’t have any problem with that. But the issue there is that some men who don’t allow their sisters-in-law to stay with them have always expressed the fear that they are susceptible to mistakes, that’s the way they put it.
“Besides that, they tend to recall the stories of other persons who have had similar experiences, how the men are tempted to make love advances to their sisters-in-law. So some of them feel that instead of allowing themselves to get into that situation the best bet is, why not stay away from what you can avoid, and keep away what will tempt you.
“You know the way these things are; like it or not, the person we are talking about is your wife’s sister and you know the way ladies are these days, we have heard stories of sisters-in-law taking over their own sister’s husband so in some of the families, the woman wouldn’t want that to happen. It is not as if they are so sure but it is better you keep away anything that will bring you trouble. It is like a precautionary measure. Some instances you have the wife not allowing their brother in-law to come and stay with them because it is vice versa, he said.
For Sunday, it is the man’s character that determines his behaviour towards his sister in-law. Sunday, who does not see anything wrong in his wife’s relative coming to stay with him, believes that the way to avoid such temptation is to put in place principles that will not allow the girl to get attracted to the sister’s husband.
He said; “My sister-in-law is not staying with me, not really because of anything but because my wife does not have younger ones. Occasionally the boys do come. There is a relative she is planning to bring in so I don’t object to the idea.
“Personally I don’t see anything wrong with my sister-in-law coming to stay with me, what I look at is the character, if you come to my house and you can cope with the dictates in my house then you can stay but if you come and you are not ready to submit to the principles that govern my house then you will leave but as long as you can cope, I think we are just one family. To me, if you allow your wife’s relative to come and stay with you, it’s a way of extending family gesture to your in-laws.
“Some many things happen in situations like this, but I think you should know the character of the person your wife is bringing in. And like I said, it is a thing of character, for example, if you are a Christian family, the person that is coming to seduce you, of course the person’s dressing pattern will attract you and these are the kind of things you must have stated that you don’t want in your home, so I think it’s a matter of principle.”
“My wife’s younger sister was living with us but she left. She started behaving wild, following men and all that. Actually we did not tell her to leave; she decided she was no longer going to stay with us again, so she had to leave.
“I won’t say this is the reason why most men don’t like their wife’s younger sisters to stay with them. People may have their various reasons but that was the reason why she left because we tried to restrict her from following men; because we felt she was not of age but she refused and left. Ordinarily, I will not stop my wife from bringing her sister to live with me, it’s just like bringing my own relative to live with us”, said another man who gave his name as Bright.
Ihedioha, a businessman believes it is better to have a sister in-law stay with him because bringing his own relation may cause problem between him and his wife out of jealousy.
“Before now, my wife’s younger sister stayed with me but now she is no longer with us because she is in school but she still visits during vacation.
“The issue is that as a business man I leave my house very early and since she started staying with us she has not caused any problems for my family. I think the issue is that she is the direct sister to my wife and my wife has not reported anything bad about her to me so we are living well she takes care of the domestic work in the house.
“Even when my wife delivered, she took care of a lot of things without complain, I also meet her needs through my wife so we don’t have any problem. I even prefer her living with us instead of my direct sister because women don’t like staying with their fellow women, more especially, extended relations”, he stated.

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