Myles Munroe of blessed memory once said that the major problem in human existence is “Relationship”; Parent – Child(ren) relationship, Husband – Wife relationship, Pastor – Member(s) relationship, Employer – Employee relationship, Teacher – Student relationship and many more that one can think of. In fact, it’s impossible to be alive and not relate with anyone; human activities in general entails relating with another person.

Managing human relationship is a large topic on its own and something everyone alive needs to pay attention to in order to have a very smooth sail in this journey called life. For the want of space, today I’ll be focusing only on “Defining Relationship”; in order to learn how to manage relationships well, we must first of all be able to put a definition on that relationship.

Who is a mother? Who is a father? Who is a Pastor? Who is a teacher? Who is a child? And so on and so forth. Being able to define what a particular relationship really is will help you know how to relate with that person; the things within the boundaries of that relationship and the things outside the boundaries of it.

I have heard of so many ugly situations of husband sleeping with mother in-law, wife getting pregnant for brother in-law, lecturers desiring to have their female students in bed, wife having rivalry issues with mother in-law and so on.

I know that many men have ego issues and believe that all women are under their feet; these kind of men when they receive their mother in-laws get carried away by the way she serves him and he forgets that she is his mother “in law” (by law she becomes his mother), he begins to see her as his wife; that can be the only reason why fear will not catch him to mount on her, no matter who makes the advances. It is also for this reason that a woman will begin to see qualities in her son by law; qualities she probably didn’t see in her husband that makes it possible for her to give in to his devilish advances or even be the one to make the bold step! Tufiakwa!

Same thing happens to women, especially the ones married into a family where they are loved; your father in-law instead of calling you daughter begins to call you “wife”.  You go to family house and “wife” “wife” will be flying around; one day you’ll be a wife in deed and in bed to your father in-law and/or brother in-law. Setting boundaries will help you know how to respond to and interact people; it should be a standard operational in your life already not something you intend to apply when you come face to face with these challenges.

When women define properly the relationship between they and their mother in-laws they will live peacefully with her as a mother and not a rival; same applies to women to their daughter in-laws too. The first step to mutual understanding is being able to define a relationship because the way you respond or talk to someone who is your mate is definitely not the same way you respond to someone who is supposed to be a father or mother figure, which is also not the same way you respond to a friend or a lover, or a colleague, or a child that is supposed to be under your care. We should know when a handshake is leaving the hand and extending to the arm and when to withdraw from that handshake.