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married to the mom

I am married to a man with a large, close-knit family. There are events every weekend and lots of phone conversations, so they keep in touch really well. He and his mother have an especially close bond and I don’t begrudge it, but after a few years of marriage she has started calling me to ask personal questions about my husband. Like, “Is he drinking a lot lately?” “Does he still smoke marijuana?” “Why was he out so late last night?” “Is he eating properly?” “Do you think something is bothering him at work?”

I love my husband and everything, but I am so not interested in sharing an obsession over him with his mother. In fact, it’s making me sick of not only talking about him but talking to him.

And I think it’s weird.

And we do have some marital issues that I have to bite my tongue to keep from blurting out to her. If I talk to her about his problems, am I “telling on” him? It’s as though she wants to know some of this info in order to help me and our marriage, but I know he is her “baby” and anything I say against him will come back to bite me in the ass. Should I divulge personal info to her? He kind of deserves to be told on...

-The Tattler

Dining Out says: I’m no expert at marriage but I do know a thing or two about relationships and how to salvage them. Whether you’re friends, lovers, or husband & wife, relationship issues are best resolved when they stay between the primary people who’re involved. You’re probably going to aggravate your marriage if you get your overbearing mother-in-law involved or anyone else for that matter. It sounds like you need to set boundaries with her before she moves in and starts doing your husband’s laundry and cooking his meals. If you really think your marital problems are severe, hire a marriage counselor. And what’s so bad about indulging in a few cocktails once in a while or eating junk food? It’s called having fun.

The Piano Man says: The correct response to all of the harpy’s questions is “You’ll have to ask him.” The correct answer to “Is he eating properly?” is “Why, no...he hardly ever gets steak, prime rib or lobster tails... could you please send him some on a weekly basis?” Your last paragraph, especially the last sentence is creepy enough—it’s as if you’re already holding something over his head. I’d dump ya...

Ruthless says: Ahhh, a boy and his mother. ‘Tis the oldest story in the book.

Now, after I’ve stopped throwing up because that question is so nauseating, I will tell you this: Let her take care of him if she wants to. Can’t you use a break from this malnourished, drunken pothead? If I were you I’d tell her everything. I’d embellish. Chances are she will launch an intervention. (Maybe you’ll even get to be on TV !!!!!!)

But, if your 15 minutes does not await you this time, let his mom at him and then YOU decide if and when he gets to come back.

P.S. I wouldn’t take him in until he’s potty trained.

Dr. Sigmund Fraud says: I’m with Ruthless on this one, but I don’t think you should just wait around for your 15 minutes of fame to arrive. Seize the moment to launch your career as a reality TV freakazoid by shooting an email to, explaining your situation.

When you are chosen to appear on the Jerry Springer Show, get into a fingernail-snappin’, hair-yankin’ cat fight with your mother-in-law and see who your husband rushes to protect.

Sounds to me like he’s in an arrested state of development. In which case, you’re going to need plenty of therapy. Say, over at my place some evening.

What’s your schedule like this weekend?

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