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Aunty Bella: Mrs. Worried About My Husband’s Cousin



Aunty Bella is our  agony aunt column on BellaNaija. We launched this column in the early days of BN and periodically feature issues sent in by BN readers.

This story was posted by a BellaNaijarian in another post. We hope the BN family can offer insightful advice.

Guys, please I need your opinion on something. My husband has a cousin of his, living with us. She is as stubborn as they come, but my husband is a very jovial person, so he just lets a lot of things slide. She is 17 and just talks to my hubby anyhow, as if they are mates.

I have spoken to hubby several times to not let her disrespect him like that, but he says it’s my job to talk to her, not his. I have also reprimanded her on several occasions; but since he does not mind, I had to let them be –  just that they should not do it in my presence.

Anyway, the reason for this epistle is that she has some eczema looking things on her back, and hubby took her to the hospital to get some drugs which includes an ointment. So after bathing at night, she would just walk past me to hubby to rub it on her, while she is just tying only towel.

I confronted them after the third day, that it’s not proper for him to do that, since I am in the house. But hubby said she is his cousin and he has the right to apply it on her whether I like it or not.

I just want to know if I am wrong to feel the way I do? I feel so disrespected in my home. And this is not the first time he lets his family members disregard me.

Photo Credit: Alistair Cotton |


  1. Darius

    May 20, 2017 at 5:58 pm

    You are just unnecessarily jealous. All this long story is simply because she didn’t ask you to apply the ointment for her. If you feel strongly about applying ointment for people, you should become a masseuse.

    Women! Always looking for a slight issue to stir up trouble. How can she ask you to apply ointment for her when she has noticed that you are unfriendly.

    I know your type. She is living freely as if she owns the place and it is not sitting well with you. You clearly do not like the girl, and when you dislike someone, you always find fault in what they do.

    • Oge

      May 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

      This does not solve her problem.

    • Darius

      May 20, 2017 at 7:19 pm

      I forgot to add that – we shouldn’t take the poster’s account at face value. I think she is being economical with the truth; women tend to blow things out of proportion.

      Experience has taught me that when a woman cries foul, one should hear from the other side before passing judgment.

    • Seriously??

      May 20, 2017 at 7:35 pm

      Ironically I used to respect you Darius until this. Like what the?? Are men this myopic or is it just you? She obviously has valid reasons to be ‘jealous’ otherwise she won’t be a human. For crying out loud this ‘cousin’ is a threat to her home and either the husband is already doing more than meets the eye with her or he is really naive and underestimating the interests of the so-called cousin. Well madam I would say trust your instincts. I don’t know the full situation but I would bundle her rude self out of my home. What arrant nonsense. Hia.
      OK bye.

    • Random

      May 20, 2017 at 10:53 pm

      Wow Darius…..The fact that your approach is spontaneously that of judgement and bias says a lot about you. You can’t even holdback your pettiness and be honorable enough to give some objective and productive advice.

      You’re obviously projecting some personal bitterness into this thread.

      Anyway, I think a mature spouse should learn how to manage his family and spouse. Bottom line is that everyone gets territorial in their own home but at the same time one has to strike a balance between being accommodating and setting boundaries.

      She should speak nicely to her husband about their concerns and maybe he will listen….if not, she should just pray that the cousin finds another abode sooner than later.

    • Jade

      May 22, 2017 at 2:04 pm

      Hahahahahahahahaha, this is so hilarious. But she has valid fears

    • didi

      June 3, 2017 at 12:26 am

      Y r u sounding like this. Never disrespect a woman in anyway. I have every reason to feel her hubby n d cousin r having an affair sef. No woman can come to my home n make me feel this way o. U go wound o.

  2. Nikky

    May 20, 2017 at 6:03 pm

    Oh Chimoo. What will someone not hear in the name of marriage. Why can’t men just do things whole putting themselves in their wives shoes and vice versa? What kind of rubbish is the one that a 17 year old girl will tie just towel and be walking around the house all in the name of cousin?

    Men, yall married pple wehdone o. God knows I will throw her Lil behind outta my house. Why can’t you just plainly tell your husband u don’t like it and that the next time she does it, u will send her packing? Is it not your house too abi are you squatting?

    What I won’t do in the house, he isn’t allowed to. How long will she even stay in the house? Relatives except parents are not allowed to spend more than 2 weeks or 1 month in extreme cases in the house.

    If you know you are not squatting, send the girl home. She is rude and you don’t want. Na wa

    • Bia

      May 20, 2017 at 6:15 pm

      You are right. She is rude and you don’t want her. Very soon she will decide to do her own cooking after all, Na her uncle get house. l beg let her go. If he refuse seek a transfer out of where you live. Let oga marry his cousin. not that you have a say now in that house sef ABI like @ Nikky said are you a squatter?

  3. Princess

    May 20, 2017 at 6:04 pm

    Lmao. Reminds me of my aunt. You are just being unnecessary. Let me guess you’re a housewife. Joblessness can cause that, go find something to do and stop looking for fault where there is none. Your husband will not sleep with his cousin so relax. You’re probably jealous of the young girl cause she is young, free and probably beautiful too.

    • Ilupeju

      May 20, 2017 at 11:25 pm

      @princess are you ok? Husband can’t sleep with his female cousin like seriously! Ok let me guess you are new to life and yet to have experience. Sister snatched sister husband, friends does the same let alone of cousin, I guess you need to read Kwam1 interview how he got his wife niece pregnant and wife her. Also late Sikiru ayinde how he impregnate his friend daughter. Wake up princess

    • didi

      June 3, 2017 at 12:29 am

      That doesn’t justify rudeness to d wife. How will u feel if ure d son of this woman n one 17yr old dey disrespect ur mama

  4. Osunbanjo

    May 20, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Madam!!! I beg you to do your research, I don’t think they are cousins. And if they are please take charge of your home, no person born of a woman called cousin can come to my house and be misbehaving. To be very honest I’d rather even wage war with my husband than let all these rubbish slide in my home.
    17 year old cousin she better go back to her parents since they did not train her.

  5. Rose

    May 20, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    I haven’t commented for a long time here but Madam this ur case made me come out of my self imposed exile…. Madam Are You Sure That Oga and Cousin are not also doing other things…eg bedmatics… My dear that oga cousin is bad news…a disaster waiting to happen…its time for her to find her square root…she needs to LEAVE ASAP

    • LemmeRant

      May 20, 2017 at 10:07 pm

      Wow. who would have thought of that.

      Such unique insight to the matter at hand, You must be a detective.

  6. Teris

    May 20, 2017 at 6:14 pm

    Madam, I am sorry for you. You have a situation: you are not comfortable in your own home. Your. Own. Home. = your safe place.
    What is worse is that as Darius above has shown, yours has the makings of a no-win situation.

    At the moment, I am unable to come up with a diabolical response/action for you to take to hopefully nip all this now while still budding and still avoid the “nag” “shrew” “insecure” “selfish” label. I empathise.

  7. Jirla

    May 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Hmmm shine your eye o! Something is definitely wrong. Are you sure they are cousins?

  8. Paul Adeyemo

    May 20, 2017 at 6:20 pm

    Jobless housewife.

  9. Ethio

    May 20, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Your feeling of jealousy : unnecessary (you were clearly showing her you don’t sit well with her over comfortable dispose)
    Girl’s behavior to hubby : not commendable (judging by what you told us)
    Applying ointment on the back; *clears throat*
    Bottom line : you don’t like her, she threatens your relationship with your husband, she has to go before situations escalate

  10. Deb

    May 20, 2017 at 6:47 pm

    Cause a scene, chase her out of your house, they are not cousins. Try and fix cameras in your house and expect a shock. Crazy things happen

  11. Paul Adeyemo

    May 20, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Stupid, jobless wife

    • funmilola

      May 20, 2017 at 7:44 pm

      You’ve said that before, you no dey tire?

    • Anonymous

      May 21, 2017 at 8:22 pm

      He want to be noticed nii. Ode!!

  12. Udegbunam Chukwudi

    May 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm

    Things dey happen these days. All I can say is prepare for the worst so that when shit happens (if your suspicions are on point), you won’t be caught unawares.

  13. Ottawa Queen

    May 20, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    Let’s not just analyse things from one angle, saying the woman is jobless or jealous. The truth is, It’s highly disrespectful for the young niece/cousin/lady, whoever she is, to treat the woman of the house that way. A good husband, even after the wife has made some complaints, should caution the girl to behave herself or she will have no choice but to leave the house. No loving husband should stand and allow the maid, relative, friend or whoever disregard his wife, why are you tagged the man of the house then? If you can’t handle little domestic issues as this? Are you only the head of the family when it comes to finances? Even if you don’t love or regard your wife, but for the sake that she is still your wife, at least she deserves some respect in her own home by others. Anyways, there’s also every possibility that he is sexually relating with her; cousin or not. I won’t rule that out. Maybe that’s why he’s being nonchalant.

    • slice

      May 20, 2017 at 9:02 pm

      Problem is the girl is not doing anything to her. She’s just relating with her cousin the way she wants. Not being tribalistic but I do wonder if madam is Yoruba. Yoruba tend to have a heightened sense of what us respectful that other rribes don’t share. Some well meaning ones even try to tell me how to talk to my own parents. Madam pls relax. That is how they do in their place. If oga is fine with how she talks to him, pls leave the girl alone. It’s a terrible thing you nske a visitor uncomfortable

  14. Fabulous

    May 20, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Madam I don’t believe they’re cousins and even if they’re, they’ll soon start sleeping together. I know her type, she’s after your husband. Send her out of your house.

  15. Annie

    May 20, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Some comments here are disgusting!
    And who says some cousins don’t sleep together?Haa….calling her jealous by that empty-headed,jobless Paul and Darius,shows how shallow you are!
    Madam,take charge of your home.Call that girl into your room and talk sense into her,warning to send her out if she continues.As for your husband,he’s not telling you everything!Just don’t be too surprised when you find out they are bed mates.Yes,I’ve seen where cousins are lovers!!!So,be wise and always at alert!!!

  16. Deleke

    May 20, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Girl, that your husband’s cousin has to leave your house NOW. You wanna know why? I will tell you why!
    There’s places in the Deep South, the mid-west; where cousins get their freak on

  17. Paul Adeyemo

    May 20, 2017 at 8:26 pm

    Unsecured woman couple with demon of feminism. Carry your matter go FIN, they will teach you how to become a lesbian

  18. Regina

    May 20, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    I’m going to side with the cousin on this one. Some families are super casual with each other; even when there are large age differences, cousins may still use first names, instead of “brother” or “sister”. I know because that’s how my family is.
    Secondly with the skin cream, it’s obvious to anyone that you haven’t built a rapport with her (I don’t know if you’ve tried or not, but the lecturing her on proper behavior between herself and her cousin suggests you have not) and to be honest I would go to the person I know instead of the obviously resentful and spouse who I don’t know well but seems to have it in for me…
    Now the concerns of them being “kissing cousins” may or may not be unfounded. Ask yourself though: do you trust your husband? Is he the kind to be unfaithful to you in your own home? Because everything that happens is his choice. He has to CHOOSE infidelity.

    TL;DR; don’t go looking to blame her for your husband’s transgressions, he is the one who is married, not her

    • curios

      May 21, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Gbam! This is probably the most reasonable comment here. Take my family for instance my younger ones call me by name. Then when they see my friends/age mates they are like “senior bros/sis” , even go as far as bowing to surprises me sometimes. But I haven’t confronted anyone about it. Because that was how it ha been as long as I could remember. I refer to my mum as “teacher” …bcos she is a teacher by profession, after a while the name stocked and we were all calling her teacher. Someone visited one day and thought we were being disrespectful! I didn’t even bother explaining o the person…we have continued to address my mum like that and joke with it everyday.
      So maybe dear wife…u might be seeing this whole thing from a different angle and that is why you are upset. And you said something about “confronting them”…. I think at every given point in time the only person you had to talk to in private was your husband. When you say “confront” it sounds like an accusation and people tend to get defensive when they feel they are being accused.
      And lastly lets assume the worst and say your husband is sleeping with her (which I doubt). Then it his lost and not yours. Every adult you be held responsible for their own actions and be ready to face whatever consequence that results. You can’t go loosing sleep and your peace of mind over this. You can’t stop any man or woman from cheating, if they want to. But it should be clear to them what the consequence of their action would be. All the best.

  19. Meah

    May 20, 2017 at 10:12 pm

    I am just wondering how it got to this level.
    Disrespect from your husband’s cousin or family members.
    I cannot count the number of teenagers coming into my house for the holidays.
    Where did you get it wrong?
    Handle her like a younger sister
    Teach her how to behave
    Maybe you are not telling it all

  20. Anon

    May 20, 2017 at 10:32 pm

    This story is doing me one kain. I agreed with Darius until he went the misogynistic route. See woman, this is not even supposed to be an issue, You know why? One of you is an adult. I once lived with an older cousin and guess what, her husband had every right to call me to order when I did what he didn’t like. Some things he picked on were shallow but I still had to adjust because it was HIS HOUSE. I don’t necessarily like him for that but there’s nothing I can do about it because he’s married to my cousin. So lady, it is YOUR HOUSE. In this sense, you’re her guardian legally and you have every right to discipline her appropriately without anyone’s permission. She’s still underaged and she’s living under your roof. I strongly believe the disrespect stems from something you’ve done before, maybe the way you’ve carried yourself in the past or something. And like Darius said, if you’ve let your hate for this girl show from day one, there’s no way you would expect her to respect you. When someone respects you, they revere you and you cannot revere someone that doesn’t like you. You may either fear or resent them. I think in this case, it is the later. So what you need to do now is to stop acting like you’re in competition with a CHILD. You are an adult. Carry yourself with dignity around your house and put your foot down. Tell her straight up that if she doesn’t adjust, she would have to leave that house which is YOUR HOUSE. Tell her you won’t condone such behavior anymore, better still in the presence of your husband. Both of you will go and iron that out in your bedroom if your husband is mature. Don’t forget to balance this with love. Next time hubby wants to apply ointment, collect it from him and apply it yourself. If your gut feeling is really telling you there’s an illicit affair gong on between the two of them, then your husband is the problem because she is a MINOR aka hubby is a statutory rapist. That’s all I have to say.

    • Pearl

      May 21, 2017 at 11:58 am

      Thank you Anon ??

    • Sisi

      May 21, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      This is it. She needs to deal with the sitution up front and direct. I don’t want to believe they are sleeping with each other because if you can think that about your husband and his cousin – the cousin is not the problem, the fact you think your husband is capable of that is a huge problem. Grab that lotion, anything she does and you don’t think is right for valid reasons correct right there and then as any older lady would a young lady whether your husband is there or not. If your husband really has no sense or regard for your relationship he will turn that into a fight in front of her and you will know where you stand – if the girl is bold enough to try you in in front your husband and he watches on and doesn’t put her in her place then again my dear you know where you stand and that something is not right. Side note – you sound a little petty hope you’re not the one just being the antagonist because you don’t want family in your house – be nice always and correct as necessary.

  21. Kili

    May 20, 2017 at 11:05 pm

    I’m sorry but I think there could be something going on between them. As I read through I initially blamed the rudeness of exuberance, but tying a towel and marching past you to his cousin to rub ointment is “one kain”. It’s a No No.

  22. Adunnie

    May 21, 2017 at 12:01 am

    Madam, first and foremost don’t listen to any of the airheads who called you jealous, jobless and paranoid. Imagine if the table’s were turned and it’s your 17 year old male cousin that you’re rubbing cream on in only boxers right in front of your husband will he be comfortable with you doing that? Will you airheads call him a jobless, paranoid househusband? What is going on in your home is some serious disrespect. No one should ever feel threatened in their own home.
    I think you should call the girl aside and talk to her like she’s your daughter. It’s possible she doesn’t feel close to you or you’ve somehow pushed her away. Tell her you know she loves her cousin but you don’t like how she speaks to him and you’ll prefer if she asked you to rub her cream for her instead of tying towel to meet your husband. Be nice to her and take her like a daughter. Tell her to see you like her older sister too and you’ll like for both of you to become close. Watch her behaviour as you speak to her and see if there will be changes in how she acts. If she listens then you have nothing to worry about but if she flares up and starts giving you attitude there is fire on the mountain o. You’ll probably need a family intervention then. Speak to your husband about it again. On one of those days he’s really happy just chip it in calmly and tell him how you know he won’t like it if you we’re the one acting this way. Finally if you’re a Christian pray, pray,pray. Ask God to reveal to you if your husband’s cousin has any hidden agenda. I wish you the very best and I pray your home will never be put asunder.

  23. Ozone

    May 21, 2017 at 4:22 am

    I have a problem with how the husband is handling the situation. We can all say the wife is jealous and maybe unfriendly to young lady but her husband is doing a bad job.
    Husband 101 lessons tell you to send her to your wife for the required ointment rubbing needs in this situation. Her husband is disrespecting her and the remedy is as follows:
    1. Stay by your Wife in front of anyone. This manages the jealousy and strengthens her trust.
    2. Advice her on how to bring the young lady closer.
    Young ladies fantasize a lot and sometimes lust after matured minds. It’s the responsibility of the man to put her in her place as a kid sister.
    Women, young and old, are territorial by nature and in this case each stakeholder has vested interests, this young lady could be competing with the woman of the home.
    It’s also important that the man is mindful of how he talks to his wife and what he says to family members as this can also breed animosity between both parties.

    If everything fails, I expect the wife to have built a relationship with her mother-in-law to whom she can report the situation.

    This is coming from a married man!

  24. Kimmy

    May 24, 2017 at 3:32 pm

    He might not have any romantic relationship with his cousin, but she obviously is taking charge of someone’s home.. He needs to act fast.

  25. Chichi

    May 30, 2017 at 3:58 am

    Common people we are talking about a teenager,They are known misbehave,don’t take it personal it is her age. Most likely the poster is a housewife (no pun intended) cos idleness has a way of disrupting the mind. Don’t over think things and be the matured one and reach out the girl. Lastly is for husband is sleeping or will sleep with his cousin then I see no reason why such a man should be in ur life .

  26. princess

    January 18, 2018 at 10:37 am

    its so obvious that the the wife is jealous and u were”nt friendly to this young girl.they are cousins for Christ sake,do you know if that was how they played growing up?see lady try and be close to that young girl you will know what’s up soon and stop thinking evil in your house and behave like a mother to that girl.lastly,talk to your husband about referring the girl to u anytime she needs something& make her feel safe in your hands than her cousin.

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