My late husband’s younger brother has threatened to sack me from our home if I decline to marry him
My spouse and I have been married for 20 years. We had four kids. He was a good man, but he became ill in the early part of this year and died in April. Death is never easy, and I had to be strong for my children while still looking ahead to what the future held for us. I’m not sure if all tribes in Ghana practice this, but my husband and I are from the same tribe, and it’s customary for a widow to be given over to her late husband’s brother upon his death. It’s not that I’m expected to marry my brother-in-law; the intention is for him to look after his nephews and nieces and to be a father figure to them now that their biological father is no longer alive. So it’s more of a formality for him to provide some advice to the children and for me to contact him if I need anything. If he is able, he can also provide financial support.
My husband’s only sibling was given custody of my children and myself. He used to be a decent man and he was extremely courteous. That is why his acts have taken me by surprise. After my husband was buried, he began to pay us frequent visits. I assumed it was to keep us company and distract us from missing my late spouse. But it was becoming too much. He’ll come to see us and then refuse to go. He will pay me a visit and enter my bedroom, pretending to browse through my husband’s belongings. I didn’t like the way he was acting, so I politely asked him if he might go a bit early because his children were waiting for him at home. (He has two children from two different mothers. He’s not married.) Then he said that because I am his wife, I should not complain. When he said that, he was laughing, but I wasn’t laughing with him. I didn’t like where this was headed.
My father called me a while later. The elderly guy called to tell me that my brother-in-law and other elderly men from my husband’s family had came to see him and told him they wanted to marry me off to my late husband’s brother. My father was completely unprepared. Fortunately, he declined any Schnapps they brought. He instead informed them that I was old enough to make these decisions and that he would ask me. My husband’s funeral was only a month away. I’m still dressed in black. Even if I remarry, it will never be with his brother. He has grown quite antagonistic to me since I declined his offer. He began threatening to evict us from his brother’s home. Meanwhile, our children inherited the house, and because I was legally married to his brother, he has no such power. He got really intoxicated one day and came to our house.
He got into a confrontation with me when I asked him to leave, and he almost struck me. He would have attacked me if it hadn’t been for the timely intervention of my first son. His elder brother has never done anything like this before. After that, I informed my father, who organized a meeting with the head of my late husband’s family. Despite being summoned, my brother-in-law did not appear. I vowed to take him to court for his threats and attitude, but the family cautioned me not to since certain issues are resolved internally. My son has pledged to confront him if he comes to our house again, but he is just 19, and I don’t want to cause any difficulties between him and his uncle. He’s already said he’ll come and stay in the boys’ quarters with his kids. We used to rent it out, but the tenant departed some weeks ago, and my son wants to occupy the property as he is growing and he wants to have his own area. (He lives in the same room as his younger brother.)
I’ve informed my brother-in-law that he has no right to dictate to us how we should use our house and that he has no right to inhabit any part of it. He continues telling me that my days are numbered and that I will have to hand over the house to him shortly. These threats irritate me greatly. This man was not like that while my husband was alive but look at him today. My husband’s parents are also deceased, therefore he pays no attention to anyone. He’s turned into my worst nightmare. Do you have any advice on how to deal with him?
Source: Anonymous Confessions
How to start a new relationship: 6 tips to make it work this year
Starting a new relationship can be quite tricky yet exciting at the same time.
You will be excited at the prospect of someone loving you and caring for you, taking time for you.
The start of a relationship might probably be the best time of your life as you are starting a new relationship. However, as excited as you might be, it is crucial to know what to do in a new relationship and what not to do in a new relationship.
How to make it work
If you understand the dos and don’ts of new relationships, it will be easier for you to move forward and form a healthy relationship with your partner.
It would help if you respected each other’s independence and choices. Although it is alright to keep in touch, be aware of each other’s whereabouts, and communicate, continuously pinging each other can also suffocate at times.
It is just that how to start a relationship can be quite complicated and tricky and requires lots of effort. Once you get used to it and know about your partner, it is easier to form a healthy relationship.
Dos and don’ts for a new relationship can help you stop second-guessing yourself. It gives you a vague blueprint about what needs to be done, and it can enhance your bond further.
- Have realistic expectations
For a relationship to work, it is essential to be emotionally and mentally strong. You also have to be compromising and understanding. It’s not necessary that what you want in a relationship is the same as what your partner wants. So, be realistic about situations.
You can both have different thoughts and opinions, like how often you should text in a new relationship. While one person could enjoy the attention, the other appreciates space. So, it is crucial to find a middle ground.
- Show love and affection to your partner
You might have made a new boyfriend. And now you must be thinking about starting a new relationship with a man you’ve just developed feelings for.
You must first remember to show love and affection to your partner to strengthen the bond between you both. You must give attention and time to your partner and make eye contact with him.
- Don’t start talking about the future prematurely
When you start a new relationship, bombarding your partner with questions and plans for the future is not how relationships work. There is a big chance that you can put your partner off.
Every relationship requires time, and you cannot imagine your boyfriend being head over heels from day one.
You should remember that you are new to this and just starting a relationship. It is okay to be on cloud nine. However, if the question, “How to have a good relationship?” lingers in your mind, you must know that it’s all about taking things slow, one thing at a time.
- Don’t mention fears prematurely
At the beginning of a relationship, you and your partner are still getting comfortable with each other. Therefore, one of the crucial new relationship dos and don’ts include not mentioning your fears prematurely.
Allow your partner the chance to discover your fears and limitations gradually. Mentioning things at the get-go can make them feel intimidated and overwhelmed.
You can mention your fears when they become relevant to the equation you share with them.
- Enjoy moments
One of the big dos and don’ts in a new relationship is enjoying the present moment.
Don’t let your past experiences and concerns about the future take away the sheen of the exciting present you are sharing with your partner.
The best part of a new relationship is often the excitement and fun that you can have with someone. The chemistry between you two should be your focus, not the stress and anxiety about the past and present.
- Communicate effectively
Entering a new relationship can seem daunting as it often involves opening up to someone and sharing your life with them. However, this can be a cakewalk if you let clear communication guide you through this process.
Treat effective communication as one of the most important dos and don’ts in a new relationship. It can make or break a relationship depending on whether you do it honestly, respectfully and openly.
5 healthy boundaries every relationship needs this season
Every relationship needs healthy boundaries.
Topics such as the boundaries you wish to have can save you from heartbreak down the road.
These are simple dos and donts that you expect your partner to abide by. They could be as simple as how you expect them to communicate to whether or not your relationship is exclusive.
Setting boundaries can determine the success or failure of your relationship.
Even as you enjoy the butterflies that materialize in your stomach at the sight of your new partner, consider talking about the following:
- Communication style
This is very important information to give your partner. Tell them whether you like them to call or text, how often you need to hear from them, which pet names you like and which you don’t, etc. This will ensure that nobody gets offended when their communication preferences aren’t met.
In the same vein, talk about if and how you will address your relationship on social media. Some people are comfortable bearing it all online while others would like to keep it off social media.
- What to do during conflict
Disagreements are inevitable and so, you need to know whether your partner needs time alone when they’re angry or they prefer to hash out your disagreement there and then. Communicate this clearly, preferably before you have your first fight, so that you know what is expected of you.
- The type of commitment you want
To avoid any misunderstandings, clearly state what you expect as far as your relationship is concerned. Will you be exclusive or would you like an open relationship?
As you talk about commitment remember that you can’t change your partner. Even if you’ve clicked and you want different things from the relationship, it won’t end well. Be strong enough to let go if your expectations as far as commitment is concerned.
It’s very important to set sexual boundaries. Tell your partner what you like and don’t like in the bedroom, how often you’re comfortable having sex, what level of intimacy you like on a first date or in public and when you’re alone, etc. Do you mind holding hands while you’re out and about? Are you a chronic hugger?
A partner who won’t respect these boundaries or tries to coerce you to break them even when you try to remain adamant risks becoming abusive. This is a relationship red flag and you need to run.
- Personal space
Tell your partner when you need personal space and what you require from them during this time. Do you need a few minutes alone when you wake up in the morning or do you like some quiet time when you come in from work?
Here’s just one of the examples on boundaries you should set early on in your relationship. Don’t be afraid to speak up if you feel your partner is crossing your boundaries and making you uncomfortable. And remember, some boundaries can be negotiated such that you’re both happy and on the same page.
4 best tips to avoid getting pregnant during s*x
There are many ways to avoid pregnancy if you are having active sex.
Sperm can live inside your uterus for up to 5 days after having sex, and pregnancy can only occur if there is sperm in your uterus or fallopian tubes when you ovulate.
You have many tools to prevent pregnancy. Birth control options are plentiful, but some work better than others. The key is to make sure you’re using them the right way.
Here’s what you can do:
- You’re on birth control
Hormonal birth control methods such as the pill, patch, ring, implant, shot, or IUD significantly decrease your chances of getting pregnant, but they don’t eliminate your chances.
These experts say methods work in various ways. For example, IUDs block sperm from reaching the egg, while the pill, ring, and patch prevent ovulation.
- You’re on your period
While it’s not impossible to get pregnant while on your period, your chances are pretty slim.
Your lowest chance of getting pregnant while on your period is during the first day of bleeding. But the chances increase with each passing day as you get closer to your ovulation window. If your typical menstrual cycle is close to the average 28- to 30-day cycle, then the likelihood of getting pregnant while on your period is low. But if your cycle is shorter, your chances of getting pregnant while on your period go up.
- You use the ‘pull-out’ method
The pull-out method may be the world’s oldest form of birth control.
The pull-out method, also known as withdrawal, involves pulling the penis out of the vagina before ejaculation.
While some studies have found that withdrawal can be as high as 96% effective with perfect use, it isn’t easy to maintain perfect use with this method.
- You use a condom
When using a condom to avoid pregnancy (or sexually transmitted infections, for that matter), it’s vital to use it correctly. Correct usage means the condom is rolled onto the penis (or inserted into the vagina in the case of internal or female condoms) before there’s any contact between genitals and skin.
According to research, the chance of getting pregnant with male condoms is about 18%, and with female condoms, it’s 21%. With perfect condom use every single time, those odds decrease to 2%.
Some nursing parents use the lactational amenorrhea method (LAM) or “breastfeeding method” to prevent pregnancy after giving birth. LAM as a form of birth control relies on the temporary pause in ovulation that often accompanies breastfeeding in the first several months postpartum.
While breastfeeding, the hormone estrogen, which is responsible for getting your period each month, is suppressed experts say, hence, preventing pregnancy.
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