Dear Barb – The Difference a Wedding Makes

Dear Barb:

My husband and I have been married two years. Before we got married my mother-in-law was great. She and I did things together and had lots of laughs, but things have changed. Now when she comes over she is constantly trying to tell me how things should be done. For example, the other day I was preparing stew while she was visiting, I was chopping up the potatoes and she stopped me and said, “This is how Greg likes them done.” She also tells me how to clean the house, do the laundry, even how to make our bed. She keeps saying, “She knows how Greg likes things to be done.” When I talk to my husband about this he says “Oh That’s the way she is, just ignore it,” but I can’t ignore it. I really don’t want to have problems with my mother-in-law; because I know when I have kids things will just get worse. I don’t know how to resolve this! Do you have any advice for me? Thanks, Kristen.

Hey Kristen:

You have a very common problem. Many mothers feel somewhat threatened by their daughter-in-laws as they have always been the most important woman in their son’s life and now someone has taken their place. Try to be patient with her, while also drawing your boundaries. When you are preparing the stew and she intercepted, you could have said, “I appreciate what you are saying, but this is how I prepare my stew.” Also your husband needs to support you, because if his mother sees that her son is happy she will be more accepting of the way you do things. It may take a while for you both to get your mother-in-law to accept the situation, but, eventually, she will have to if she wants to have a healthy and happy relationship with her son and his wife. Thanks for your question Kristen.

Dear Barb:

I have been dating a really great guy and we are planning on marrying next year. But with our wedding preparations Brad has become controlling and unreasonable. He doesn’t want to spend any money, he thinks we should buy cheap wedding accessories, and hand deliver our invitations. Also, he wants to serve pizza for dinner. I absolutely refuse to have pizza for my wedding dinner! This has become such an issue that I am getting to the point where I would rather call off the wedding and just elope. I’m wondering if this is a prelude of things to come and he is going to be this cheap and controlling once we are married. I know I can’t live like that. I really do love him, but I’m not sure how to resolve this issue. Thanks Stacie.

Hi Stacie:

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Actually it is good that this has surfaced before you were married, therefore you have an opportunity to address it and begin your marriage on the right foot. The best way to resolve these types of issues is to go to premarital counselling. You can go to couples counseling with a private counselor or many Churches offer premarital courses for couples. The premarital courses cover many topics such as finances, family planning, as well as faith and prayer. These courses can be in the form of a weekend retreat, or weekly classes. Good Luck and thanks for your question, Stacie.

Email your questions to Some submissions may be edited for length or to protect confidentiality; your real name and location will never be printed. This column is for entertainment only. The author is not a professional counsellor and this column is not intended to take the place of professional advice.