Dear MIMsters: How Do I Resolve This Polygamous Problem Between My Mum and Dad?

How do I resolve this polygamous problem between mum and dad? I love my parents and I don’t like to see them having issues (seriously quarrelling).

Mum doesn’t like talking but when I see her quarrelling, that means she is really angry. My dad is married to two wives and my mum is the first wife. We live in Nigeria precisely in Lagos. My dad had a child before getting married to my mother and he is our elder brother. My mum brought him up and by the grace of God he is also married.

My step mother doesn’t live in the same house with us. She runs a business and lives here in Lagos too. For the past years we have been living like that.

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Few days ago, when I returned from work, mum told me that my dad told her that he wants to give one of our apartments to my stepmother and stepsisters to live in. My mum and dad suffered to achieve what they have today. We have about 7 apartments out for renting. I was there and saw my mum toil under the rain and under the sun so that they could achieve something. My dad is retired so these apartments are his only sources of income. The money collected from these apartments help my parents send my junior sister and step sisters to school. My mum is a government primary school teacher.

My mum felt betrayed when my dad married my stepmother. My dad would sometimes spend more time with her than with my mother. My stepmother in one way or the other has hurt my mum, caused a lot of tension between mum and dad. But my mum is a strong woman and has learned to fight for us.

About 3 days ago, mum and dad had a serious argument concerning this issue of allowing my stepmother and sisters live in one of the apartments she toiled to build with dad. That evening our first born called her to discuss some issues. In the course of their discussion, he said my stepmother told him that it is time for them to come and benefit what their my dad has worked for. This made mum really angry. She says it is not possible that a woman who made her cry and develop nerve problems will live in one of those apartments when her children haven’t been given the same priority.

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She says if she allows it to happen, then all her work will be in vain. My stepmother has some apartments that she built and so my mum says let her go and stay there. Mum and dad now live in the same house like a rat and cat. My dad called me yesterday to explain his reasons for taking that decision. He said it’s because where my stepmother is living and doing her restaurant business is not conducive for school and learning for my step sisters and their relatives.

He said he knows he has hurt my mum but she just has to condition her mind and accept things the way they are. He said my mum still remains his first wife and he can’t allow my stepmother to take her place. My mum is of the opinion that if my my stepmother comes to stay in that apartment, it will cause a lot of trouble and tension. I know in the long run if my step mother comes and stays in the same compound with us, it will cause a lot of problems. I know what I am saying. What is the possible solution to this problem? How can I act as a mediator in solving this problem?

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I don’t hate my stepmother and stepsisters. I love my parents and I really like when we are in peace.

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