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You're in the early stages of cultural acculturation. It's a long journey but it's worth it if you want to minimize drama in your marriage. Most Yoruba folks are very simple to please and understand once you get a hang of it. Here are a few tips that might be helpful for your journey:

1) RESPECT, RESPECT, RESPECT: Nothing pleases a Yoruba family member more than respect. As a wife, you're considered pretty low in the social order of a Yoruba family and you are expected to show deference and respect for every single one of your in-laws. If you've not learned how to kneel down when greeting older in-laws, start practicing. The next time your husband's "big mouth" Aunt comes visiting, greet her at the door cheerfully and kneel down! You'll see how pleased she'll be. In fact, she will use the same big-mouth she used to complain about you to sing your praises to everybody that will listen. It's just a Yoruba thing and if you want a little bit of peace of mind, you need to start observing Yoruba culture of respecting and showing public deference for your husband's family. It's a pain; but it works.

2) FOCUS ON HIS MUM: Some Yoruba families are so large and full of drama that you can't possibly please everybody. It might help you to focus all your attention and devotion to the most important members of your husband's family. You said your husband is a mama's boy so your first priority should be to start showering his mum with attention. When you go out shopping, buy something for her, no matter how small. Make sure to call her at least once a week just to "greet" her. Start calling her "mum" and treat her like your own mother. You'll be shocked at how quickly she'll pull you into her fold and protect you from other family members. If you can win over his mum to your side, you have absolutely nothing else to worry about. She's the most important person to your husband after you, and she'll be the one to shield you from any family drama (and to give you good advice on how to deal with certain family members). Most important, your husband will love you even more for making the effort.

3) EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES: Yoruba people are the most boundary-violating people I have ever encountered (and I am a full-blooded Yoruba man myself). They love the notion of family so much, that they construct new families everywhere they go. Don't be surprised that a Yoruba person has dozens of aunts, uncles and cousins that are not related to him by blood. That's just the way the culture is; everybody that's close to the family becomes an automatic aunt, uncle or cousin. Unfortunately, once a Yoruba person considers you family, they stop recognizing normal relationship boundaries. They will call you at any time of the day and expect you to pick-up their calls every time; they will drop by for visits without letting you know beforehand, they will ask you for loans; they will expect you to baby-sit for free or host them in your home for weeks for free. That's just the way the culture is.

You have married into this family and you're going to be ultimately happier if you just expand your boundaries a bit to accommodate a little bit of Yoruba excesses. However, the key words here are "a little bit". You must also firmly and politely re-establish boundaries as soon as they are broken. When next your big-mouth Aunt comes visiting, tell her you were just about to go-out and jokingly ask her why she didn't call you to confirm before showing up. Going forward, she'll be more likely to call you first before dropping by.

Overall, nobody can give you all the tips you're going to need on here because every family is different and this is a life-long journey that can't be completed in one day or one week or one year. Just approach this as you would a long journey; with an open heart, with humility and with the firm hope that one day you'll look back at the early stages of the journey and laugh. Good luck with your marriage! A happy husband and family is worth all the hassle and struggle!

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Very silly I'd say....



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