I had been married only 3 months and was having my in-laws over for dinner. As was usual for us after eating, we both cleared the table, my husband piled the plates into the sink and started washing them.
My mother-in-law later pulled my husband aside and told him disapprovingly (in front of me), “In my 40 years of being married to your father, he has never had to wash a single plate.”
I was a junior lawyer working 80 to 100 hour weeks then, and frequently came home past midnight most days, exhausted. She knew this.
I also earned more than my husband, and paid for most of the household expenses. Bad with finances, he was often broke. She knew this too, or at least suspected it. Yet every time a new item of furniture appeared in the house, my mother-in-law would ask saccharine sweet, “So how much did your husband pay for this?”
3 years later, when my marriage was on the rocks (is it any wonder why, but add hubby having an affair into the equation), my mother-in-law’s response to all and sundry was a churlish, “You know, my son already allows her to work and pursue a career, what else does she want?!”
For the record, my mother-in-law is an educated woman from an upper middle class background, who ran her own successful business for many years. So I truly do not understand where the statements above (and many others like them) came from.


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