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Dear Deb--Saturday May First

Updated on May 1, 2010

Your Response was Good

The response to my last hub, Dear Deb was a positive one, and as long as it remains popular and wanted, I will be here to provide it. So, without further ado, here is what we came here for.....

Dear Deb,

How do you respond to constant criticism from an in-law (husbands mother). Do you politely ignore it, just grin and bear it, or to you find a subtly cutting way to make her QUIT.



Dear P.,

I believe that you are correct. The mothers' of our husbands can sometimes become very critical, for several reasons. They almost always think that there is no replacement for themselves, and that they are the only one who knows how to do things right regarding their sons.

This may be voiced, or kept quiet, but the truth is it is how they feel for the most part. It isn't their fault. They are moms and moms will always want what is best for their kids. The problem is how they act on it. Open criticism is usually the worst way they could choose, especially if it is meant to put you down instead of intending to help.

Here is what i meant by you are correct. First you could just be polite and ignore it. If it continues, a look intending for her to see you hear her and grin and bear it. If it still continues, get out the fire power and tell her (when you are alone with her for you do not want to be as bad as she is) whatever it is that you want to say that would make her QUIT. I have found that in instances like this, just being brutally blunt and honest works the best. Something like this--"I know you feel you are helping, but you are not because we like doing things our way, so I would really appreciate it if you could think whatever you want but do not let us hear it. Keep your thought to yourself and peacefully in your head only. Oh, and don't forget to thank her in advance for her cooperation.


Another question from a guy--

Dear Deb,

   With the economy the way it is, it is very difficult to make enough money to pay the rent, buy food and the rest with only my income.  I have a full time job, and also have side jobs on the weekends. 

   Here is my problem.  I have a girlfriend who lives with me, that feels that I owe it to her to take care of her.  She wants to sleep late, and I even have problems getting her to clean up, do laundry or cook.  She wants me to stop on my way home to get dinner. 

   She is a sweet girl mostly, and we never fight about anything until I suggest she does something to help me financially.  I do not care if she works, or if she makes money some other way, perhaps online, or whatever she can come up with.  What should I do?



Dear MB,

   I can feel your problem, for my son had a similiar one with his partner.  It is not easy to have a conflict like this, especially with someone you not only care about but get along with.

   Here is my take on it.  Regardless of how sweet she is, or how well you get along, the reason it is that way is because she has it made.  I would suspect that if you did not make her life like one of royalty, she might not be as sweet.

   Give her exactly one month to do something to help.  Make a budget on paper so she can see it and understand better.  Chances are that she does not realize the numbers, and when she sees that one side equals the other, meaning there is little money leftover, she may snap and get it.  If not, stick with you guns and if she still does nothing, she must move, not break up with her, just move.

   Give her a number, half of what your bills come to, and when she comes up with that amount, consider letting her move back in ]but not until.  She needs to grow up, she is still wanting to be a child that is securely taken care of.  She must know what it is to become an adult and meet her portion of the responsibilities.

Good Luck, it should work.


Got A Question???

If you have a problem or a situation or qestion you would like to submit, please do not leave it in my comment box below, but submit it directly to my email account which is: and put dear deb in the subject box.  thank you.



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  • Paradise7 profile image

    Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

    This was great advice to both questions. It really did sound to me, on the second one, that the girl is using the guy...I mean, he's working 2-3 jobs, and she's just laying around the house???? Go figure, honey. I know, I know, it's love, but STILL! You're so right--she has to grow up sometime and take on some adult responsibilities. She'll find it improves her life!

    And the response to question #1 was perfect, too. Get the mother-in-law alone, talk to her straight, if you can't stand it anymore!

  • JY3502 profile image

    John Young 7 years ago from Florence, South Carolina