INTERPERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN NIGERIAN MOTHER-IN-AW AND THEIR DAUGHTERS-IN-LAW: PRE-MARITAL AND FAMILY COUNSELLING IMPLICATIONS
1.1 Background to the study
Violence is unfortunately part of human social life (Fein, 1999). The inevitability of violence in whatever form it occurs in the day-to-day activities and interactions of man is well documented in social research. Anthropological evidences since pre-state era till contemporary times have shown that human violence and cruelty either to other humans or/and animals have been on for long and appear to be rule rather than aberration. Apparently to many, violence is an issue that no rational human being should desire; an issue many abhor and try frantically to prevent, yet its rate of occurrence since the pre-historic period till now and how oft it occurs suggest that human beings, by nature, are not totally peaceable and that human’ social relationship cannot be totally rid of violence
In literature, several factors ranging from biological, psychological to sociological and many others have been attributed as causes of violence. But of all forms of violence globally, domestic violence occurs the most, in spite of the fact that actors involved are relatives (either by affinity, consanguinity), known to one another and more often than not live together or had lived together one time or another (WHO, 2008). Findings from social research have shown domestic violence to be a global phenomenon which only varies in patterns and trend in different societies of the world (UNFPA, 1999, UNICEF, 2000; 2005).
Research findings have described domestic violence as a form of violence that transcends colour, race, creed, age, education, social class and family lines.
It occurs when a family member, partner or ex-partner attempts to physically or psychologically dominate or harm the other. The problem is exhibited in many forms, including physical violence, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, intimidation, economic deprivation or threats of violence. Domestic violence is recognized as most prevalent but relatively hidden and ignored form of violence mostly against women and girls. Most incidence of violence in home goes unreported and this makes it difficult to measure the true extent of the problem.
1.2 Statement of the problem
Due to asymmetric information between mother in law & daughter in law with respect to their son and husband creates differing opinion which leads rivalry feelings among them. Due to hatred condition between them family relationship extended towards failure. Therefore, to explore the experiences of conflicting behavior of mother in law and daughter in law to draw meaning to solve this issue.
Of all forms of domestic violence, violence of men against women and girls dominates the academic circle more than any other and has been well researched into than other forms. It is the commonest and the most pervasive of all human rights violations. It is also a global epidemic that kills; tor- tures and maims physically, psychologically, sexually and economically (UNICEF, 2000).
As discussed above, a lot has been documented on do- mestic violence in general and the problem is widely re- ported by social researchers, civil liberties and international organizations, however, it is very rare to come across find- ings from social investigation about the ubiquitous issue that is known as wives/mother-in-laws form of domestic violence, especially in Nigeria. Feminists’ activists that identify male violence against women as central to the perpetuation of women’s oppression are yet to offer concrete and enduring explanations to the ever present violence between wives and their mothers-in-law. Consequence upon this (dearth of research work in this area in Nigeria), this study investigates the mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationships and violence among Yoruba women of southwestern, Nigeria.
Customarily, among Yoruba people of southwest of Ni- geria, a wife according to tradition is married to all extended family members (not only to her husband according to western culture, although her sexual obligation is restricted to her husband alone). This belief also forms part of the advice mothers give to their daughters as they prepare to join their husbands (Bascom, 1969; Fadipe, 1970). Hence, mar- riage is regarded as union between families of the bride and the groom, rather than just an activity between a man and a woman (The intending couple). However, despite this clear cultural position of the Yoruba people, most relationships between mother-in-laws and daughter-in-laws are fraught with conflicts and problems.
1.3 Objective of the study
The main objective of this study is to examine the interpersonal relationships between Nigerian mother-in-law and their daughters-in-law: pre-marital and family counselling implications. Specifically, the study aims
1. To determine if it is every relationship between wife and mother- in-law that is marred with violence
2. To examine the likely/common causes of strained relationships and violence be- tween wife and mother-in-law in Yorubaland
3. To determine the impact of generational gap and differences in values, norms, lifestyles,expectations from the other party served as strong determinants of violence between the two groups
1.4 Research question
1. Is it every relationship between wife and mother- in-law that is marred with violence?
2. What are the likely/ common causes of strained relationships and violence be- tween wife and mother-in-law in Yorubaland?
3. How far have generational gap and differences in values, norms, lifestyles,expectations from the other party served as strong determinants of violence between the two groups?
1.5 Significance of the study
Purpose of this research is going to explore the conflict experiences between mother in law & daughter in law and to draw essential meanings of those experiences of conflict while both are finding their places in family. By addressing these experiences of conflicts, hidden meaning can be identified and express in way that it can settle down the anonymity between the relationships. At the end the study will show pre-marital and family counselling implications.
1.6 scope of the study
The main purpose of this study will be to examine the interpersonal relationships between Nigerian mother-in-law and their daughters-in-law: pre-marital and family counselling implications. It will explore the causes of the feud between Nigerian mother-in-law and their daughters-in-law. Geographically, the study will cover selected communities in Oyo, Osun and Ogun state in Nigeria.
1.7 Limitation of the study
This study is limited to a small sample size used in this study limited generalizing the study findings to the entire population of all the yoruba states since all Oyo, Osun and Ogun state did not have the same characteristics as those in other part of the country. In the limitation on research work of this magnitude or nature can be carried out without limitation. Hence, during the course, certain constraints were encountered.
v Cost: the cost of thorough research is not what can be afforded by a student. The prices of materials needed for this work has gone up and transport fee has also gone up.
v Time: the time was one of the limitations in the process of carrying out this research work.
v Scarcity Of Literature: The research encountered some problems in collection of literature especially on the bank History and operations. This are hindered the smooth running of this work.