Adalla Allan\u00a0@Allan_Adalla Sharon Wanzala is one of the many women who has suffered in the hands of bothersome sisters-in-law. She got married eight years ago in a family of nine siblings consisting of six daughters. For her, the biggest challenge was getting married to the second born sibling in the family, who also happened to be the first son and the breadwinner. \u201cWhile we were still courting, my husband told me he is the breadwinner in his family. He was paying fees for his four younger siblings in college and high school.\u00a0 He also told me his retired parents, who were small scale farmers, in the village depend on him financially,\u201d she starts.\u00a0 \u201cSince I was so in love with him, I became psychologically prepared to start off with a lower lifestyle to avoid the burden of increasing his expenditure. However, with time my husband, who works as a hotelier, could not get paid on time at his job, leading to a change in how he used to smoothly service normal bills and money he used to send to his family. The sisters-in-law started turning against me claiming that I am the main cause of all these,\u201d she narrates.\u00a0 The mother of two says they would team up and abuse her in front of her introverted husband, making her feel helpless.\u00a0 \u201cAt first, I overheard from other people how my sisters-in-law were backbiting about me, but later, they even confronted me in front of my husband, whom they seem to have overpowered. It had even reached a point, I thought of walking away. However, when I think of raising my children without their dad, I opt to stay,\u201d she says.\u00a0 \u00a0 \u00a0 Sharon is not alone. Caroline Awuor, an ex-wife to a breadwinner in a family comprising of two sons and five daughters, says her sisters-in-law even accused her of bewitching their brother who used to be a financially stable businessman before she came to his life. For her, she had no option but to walk out of her marriage as she had no one to support her whenever they pounced, including her husband who seemed to believe his sisters.\u00a0 \u201cMy sisters-in-law would come and cook for their brother who they claimed was dying of hunger. They would call their parents in front of me and tell them how I don\u2019t cook for their starving son.\u00a0 It reached a point where they incited my husband, and he would come home drunk at night and beat me up over false accusations. It happened a number of times, and I couldn\u2019t take it anymore. It was as if the sisters-in-law want to get married to their brothers; they become so nagging and controlling,\u201d the mother of one says.\u00a0 Sarah Changalwa, a counselling psychologist, defines the sister-in-law rivalry as a conflict that arises, especially when the brothers\u2019 wife is viewed to bring in change and tension in the relationship between the siblings. In this case, the wife is viewed as a relationship strainer and a rival to whom they need to conquer to win back the love and attention they had before her arrival. \u201dIf the siblings were so attached to each other, introducing another party to them acts is an interference to their peace and calm. As a result, the tension automatically makes them overprotective of their sibling,\u201d she\u00a0 points out. Changalwa adds that family background also triggers this rivalry.\u00a0 Dysfunctional families \u201cIndividuals, brought up in dysfunctional families, especially where marital conflict was fuelled by the in-laws, will tend to view all other in- laws as potential enemies and will tend to want to ensure they eliminate the possibility of ever re-experiencing their past. The uncertainty of the nature of a peaceful marriage subjects them to a sense of tension, and the need to prevent future dysfunction creates an insecurity that prompts them to eradicate the in-law to protect their sibling from any dysfunction,\u201d she asserts. She says such a situation can be solved by setting healthy boundaries between the sisters and their brother\u2019s wife in the way they relate and interact, avoiding triggers to potential conflicts the two, and focusing on the positive side of the relationship between them and the good attached to the other party. \u201cLastly, in an argument, smile and let it slide. This helps to reduce any potential damage or harm that may affect the way the two parties relate. Such healthy conflict resolution techniques help in ensuring that one can effectively sustain a healthy in law relationship,\u201d she says in conclusion.