Having a Mother-in-Law is No Joke

Sometimes Mother-in-laws don't like to joke around; afterall, the jokes may be a lawsuit waiting to happen!
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Having a Mother-in-Law is No Joke

A New Jersey mother-in-law is suing her son’s wife for making fun of her. Is it possible to have a good relationship with your MIL?

-Jenna Mahoney


So, did you hear the one about the mother-in-law who is suing her son’s wife over making jokes at her expense? No, this isn’t a plot for the latest Everybody Loves Raymond spin-off. But comedian Sunda Croonquist is really being sued by her mother-in-law, Ruth Zafrin, in a New Jersey court. The MIL thinks the jokes went too far. No kidding.

Sunda CroonquistNow it isn’t as if telling mother-in-law jokes is a new concept, but usually it’s the guy who is making the audience laugh. And in real life the mother-in-law relationship for a wife can be a slippery path to navigate. Get too close and you may get hurt, get not close enough and you may be left out of the will. (Come on, you all remember Bunny MacDougal from Sex and the City, don’t you?)

In my own marriage, my relationship with my mother-in-law has been pretty smooth sailing. I mean, maybe it is because she lives about three thousand miles away and we don’t really speak the same language. But I think it is more than that – we seem to have similar outlooks on life, family and, yes, fashion. (I know that makes me sound vapid, but trust me, it is so much easier to deal with a MIL who likes the same stuff as you – no returns on gifts, et. al). And she is overly generous to me. I know that I’m lucky because some of my girlfriends have MILs who don’t respect them, who make them feel less of a wife and who in some ways even compromise their marriages.

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0 thoughts on “Having a Mother-in-Law is No Joke

  1. i could complain, but i already fear the kind of MIL i will be so I try to hold my tongue. I can’t imagine another woman ever being more important in my son’s life than ME. I know, I know, but he’s only 6 so i have some time to get used to the idea… but i had a lot less sympathy for MILs before i had him.

  2. @needcoffee – I totally agree, my son is 5 and I can just see myself tearing any future girlfriend of his to shreds. I just hope once the whole “teenage angst” thing kicks in that maybe I’ll be more willing to share him. My current MIL is great most of the time, she just upsets me when she undermines my mothering skills.

  3. I loved my MIL. We were best friends until I had a stroke and her son refused to deal with it. End of our very close relationship forever. Now I am remarried and introduced my new husband to my former MIL. That was the last time I saw her. She never returns my calls or anything. It is such a shame because we were soooo close and now that is all gone. (She said she likes my new husband…go figure!)

  4. My MIL is a complete nightmare. What she says and what she does are two different things. I respect her because that is how I am, but she is CRAZY. I have two sons and they are very young. I know how not to be when I am a MIL. When you are mean to your daughter in law you are only hurting your son and disrespecting him. These MILs should be happy that their sons are in loving relationships. Stop being pathetic and put the jealousy aside. Its ridiculous.

  5. I agree with larzec…going to have to let go (someday)! Do you really want to be THAT MIL? And you could very well end up alienating your child if you don’t like his/her spouse. My MIL likes me, but she’s pressuring my husband and I to have kids (she started 2 months after we were engaged…about 1.5 years ago) and we’ve only been married just under 3 months. She’s stopped (for now), but it was VERY upsetting…like my sole purpose in life was to make grandbabies for her. Never mind the fact that the decision to have kids belongs to me and my husband alone. MILs (& mothers): Don’t try to make us feel guilty because we don’t have kids (be it yet or ever). This situation has damaged the relationship between my hubby & his mom. *deep breaths* That said, I like my MIL otherwise (for the most part although the hurt still exists), and do try to respect the fact that my hubby is still her son.

  6. I had a healthy relationship with my MIL until very recently. Hubby and I were looking at moving out of state. Sure, we were making a couple decisions that were risky, but it was something we wanted to do for ourselves. So we got some money from a source that she, being a CFO, made her completely fall off her rocker. She said some pretty terrible things, but before we got home that night, hubby was standing firmly beside his decision to move. Later that night, he completely dropped a bomb on me. “Maybe we should stay here. I want to use the money to start my own business.” So now at this point, it doesn’t look like he wants to start the business, and I am guaranteed not be be moving.

  7. I am a MIL and I feel I am a good one. I do adore my sons and all I ask is that the DIL love them and treat them right. I’m always on the ready to contribute household stuff to make their lives easier and I try to hold down on the advise. I never request a g/child right away, in fact one son just married the most perfect woman he has ever been with and I’ve told them to wait at least 3 years, have some alone time, time to do what THEY want when they want. Because I trust her to be the kind of wife I’d want for him, I have no trouble giving her full reign as the woman in his life. I have a very important place as his Mother, but she is his soulmate and the one he should turn to for every need.

    It seems that when a girl is dating your son they are your “best friend”, but when the wedding band goes on their angel wings drop off.

    If you want your son’s marriage to work and be a good one, you need to step back and let the two of them be the adults in the relationship. Only hop in with advice when asked.

    When this son and his X were together, I consoled myself with the knowledge that they had 2 sons and one day she would have 2 DILs to deal with. Made me smile!!!!

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