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Woman Defends Herself Against In-Laws’ Criticism, Leaves Husband Fuming
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Woman Defends Herself Against In-Laws’ Criticism, Leaves Husband Fuming

Interview With Expert
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When you decide to get married, you’re agreeing to merge your life completely with your partner. And for most couples, that’s extremely exciting! But when that also includes inviting in-laws who aren’t fans of you into your life, things can get complicated.

One mother recently shared on Reddit that she found herself in some family drama after defending herself against her in-laws’ rude comments. Below, you’ll find the full story, as well as a conversation with Dr. Lee Baucom of Save The Marriage.   

This woman and her husband both work to support their family

Image credits: piasupuntongpool / envato (not the actual photo)

So when her in-laws repeatedly shamed her for keeping her job, she found it impossible to stay silent

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Image credits: Keira Burton / pexels (not the actual photo)

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Image source : PlaneKoala1680

There are benefits to both being a stay-at-home parent and being a working parent

To gain some perspective on this situation, we reached out to therapist Dr. Lee Baucom, creator of Save The Marriage. Dr. Baucom was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda and discuss how parents can decide whether they should both keep their jobs.

“Children need consistency in care. How that care happens is less about working versus stay-at-home parenting, and [more about] quality of care,” the expert says. “There are plenty of situations where a child gets minimal care in either situation, and possibilities in either way for consistent and substantial care.”

“There is usually more of a philosophical judgment that is made by one camp toward the other,” Dr. Baucom continued. “This is the case here. Research shows different potential benefits for either approach. So, the question is how the couple makes that decision and supports each other in that decision.”

“In-law conflict is in the top five areas of marital conflict”

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We also asked the therapist what kind of an impact it can have on a marriage when spouses have tumultuous relationships with their in-laws. As cliche as it may sound, it’s actually quite common for married individuals to have trouble with their in-laws. And unsurprisingly, these relationships tend to be the most complicated between mothers and their daughter-in-laws.  

“When I talk with couples pre-marital, I remind them that when they marry, their spouse’s family is their family,” Dr. Baucom noted. “Conflict with in-laws creates a very tough position for the spouse, feeling pulled between them. I do remind each that their spouse’s family is part of what formed the person they love, and to remember that.”

“But I also remind a spouse that their allegiance is now shifted to their spouse, over their family of origin,” the therapist added. “In-law conflict is in the top five areas of marital conflict. So, conflict with in-laws often leads to conflict between a couple.”

We also asked the expert what a spouse can do when their family doesn’t support their partner. “In this case, it would have been appropriate for the husband to clearly state, ‘We have chosen to raise our family in this way, with both of us working. We make sure the children are cared for. And I expect you to respect that as our decision,’” he shared. “Standing as a unified force is important for a couple, both with their kids and their family.”

“They both would have been better served by earlier standing together”

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Dr. Baucom also pointed out that there are clearly some underlying familial scripts around gender roles and money in this situation. “What happened here was the wife saying something that hit against that script,” he noted. “The husband felt shame. It is interesting that his advice to his wife was to ignore their comments about choices made, but he felt shame when she spoke about the reasons for the choice.”

“In other words, he didn’t follow his own advice. They both would have been better served by earlier standing together, stating they had made their choice, and they did not need to hear opinions about it from others,” the therapist explained. “That would have been a good marital boundary for both to give, together, as a team. And that really is the question for any couple: How can you stand together as a team?”

We would love to hear your thoughts on this situation in the comments below, pandas. Do you think this mother was right to stand up for herself? Should her husband have done more? Feel free to weigh in. Then if you’d like to read another Bored Panda piece discussing similar family drama, look no further than right here!

Readers assured the mother that she had every right to stand up for herself

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Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

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Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Read less »
Adelaide Ross

Adelaide Ross

Writer, BoredPanda staff

Howdy, I'm Adelaide! I'm originally from Texas, but after graduating from university with an acting degree, I relocated to sunny Los Angeles for a while. I then got a serious bite from the travel bug and found myself moving to Sweden and England before settling in Lithuania about two years ago. I'm passionate about animal welfare, sustainability and eating delicious food. But as you can see, I cover a wide range of topics including drama, internet trends and hilarious memes. I can easily be won over with a Seinfeld reference, vegan pastry or glass of fresh cold brew. And during my free time, I can usually be seen strolling through a park, playing tennis or baking something tasty.

Kotryna Br

Kotryna Br

Author, BoredPanda staff

Read more »

Kotryna is a Photo Editor at Bored Panda with a BA in Graphic Design. Before Bored Panda, she worked as a freelance graphic designer and illiustrator. When not editing, she enjoys working with clay, drawing, playing board games and drinking good tea.

Read less »

Kotryna Br

Kotryna Br

Author, BoredPanda staff

Kotryna is a Photo Editor at Bored Panda with a BA in Graphic Design. Before Bored Panda, she worked as a freelance graphic designer and illiustrator. When not editing, she enjoys working with clay, drawing, playing board games and drinking good tea.

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lisamai-wood avatar
Lee
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He should have had his partners back. The husband seemed fine with them looking down on her but he's now not fine with them looking down on him. Was he pretending to them that he also wished she didn't work? Him and his family are AH's

raemo avatar
Rae Mo
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

It's hard for me to believe he didn't have her back. She won't even speak up for herself in the drive thru, like he's captain save a h*e. He obviously doesn't care what his family has to say. She better learn how to use her own damn words and not shi*t on her husband in the process. She had nothing to prove to them. But his family is for sure the AHs and should have stayed their "rich" a$$ at a hotel.

Load More Replies...
byzantiume2 avatar
FreeTheUnicorn
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It sounds like this was just the reply the husband expected when he said his wife should defend her decisions, but couldn't work up the nerve to say himself. But now that it's out there, he regrets it. If you are really worried about family finding out things about you, you always have a plan, a line a contingency, and he would have had a game plan with his wife. He would have had an explanation ready or a suggestion to his wife of say this. He just isn't as brave as he thought he was, and is now embarrassed about that and taking it out on how wife.

Load More Comments
lisamai-wood avatar
Lee
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

He should have had his partners back. The husband seemed fine with them looking down on her but he's now not fine with them looking down on him. Was he pretending to them that he also wished she didn't work? Him and his family are AH's

raemo avatar
Rae Mo
Community Member
1 month ago

This comment is hidden. Click here to view.

It's hard for me to believe he didn't have her back. She won't even speak up for herself in the drive thru, like he's captain save a h*e. He obviously doesn't care what his family has to say. She better learn how to use her own damn words and not shi*t on her husband in the process. She had nothing to prove to them. But his family is for sure the AHs and should have stayed their "rich" a$$ at a hotel.

Load More Replies...
byzantiume2 avatar
FreeTheUnicorn
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It sounds like this was just the reply the husband expected when he said his wife should defend her decisions, but couldn't work up the nerve to say himself. But now that it's out there, he regrets it. If you are really worried about family finding out things about you, you always have a plan, a line a contingency, and he would have had a game plan with his wife. He would have had an explanation ready or a suggestion to his wife of say this. He just isn't as brave as he thought he was, and is now embarrassed about that and taking it out on how wife.

Load More Comments
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