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Comebacks for Your Mother-in-Law's Criticism


Family talking at dinner
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Problems between mother-in-laws and their son’s wives date back to the beginning of time. There were probably in-laws arguing via hieroglyphics back in the day. Stone tablets, the pen, and certainly the tongue can be mightier than the sword. Those criticisms from your mother-in-law can really sting – and those harsh words might have your ears ringing for years.


The worst part is that you probably realize what you should have said in response to your mother-in-law’s criticism an hour after she said it, when it’s too late to respond. This happens to the best of us. But now you can arm yourself with comebacks to her unsolicited advice, questions, and criticisms ahead of time. Here are some diplomatic responses to common criticisms that you can keep in your arsenal –

Mother-in-Law – Is that what you’re wearing?

Daughter-in-Law – Yes, it is. Your son picked it out for me. He loves the way it brings out my eyes.

Mother-in-Law – I know you’re busy, but a clean house is a necessity.

Daughter-in-Law – We always get around to the cleaning, but your son and I think spending time together when we can is more important than any of our chores. Sometimes, it might take a day or two more to get to the scrubbing. And that’s okay.

Mother-in-Law – Don’t you think it’s time to have kids?

Daughter-in-Law – I know you’d like grandchildren, but that’s a decision to be made between my husband and me. If and when we get pregnant, you’ll be among the first to know.

Mother-in-Law – I noticed lots of new items in the apartment. You should be watching your money now that you’re married.

Daughter-in-Law – Many of the new items were wedding gifts, but thanks for the tip about saving.

Mother-in-Law – Why are there so many take-out boxes? Would you like me to give you a few cooking lessons?

Daughter-in-Law – That’s all right. Your son and I already know how to boil water, turn on the oven, and get us fed. But thanks for the offer.

Mother-in-Law – The only thing missing from our holiday feast is you. You really should have made an effort to celebrate this holiday with us.

Daughter-in-Law – It’s nice to know you miss us, but my parents and family want to see us, too. It’s only fair if we spend time with both sides of our family now that we’re married.

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