If we had to pick two words to describe last night’s Bachelor finale, they would probably be cringey and uncomfortable — thanks in no small part to the tension between Peter Weber’s final pick, Madison Prewett, and his mom Barbara. All those monster-in-law clichés that exist? Well, the fandom got to see them personified as Barb verbally eviscerated the woman her son claims to love. So, what’s a 23-year-old with a disapproving mother-in-law to do?
To recap, in case you somehow missed Barb’s Bachelor meltdown, Weber proposed to Hannah Ann Sluss, also 23, at season’s end. However, after popping the question, he admitted to her that he still had feelings for Prewett, who’d left the show after insisting that their values were too different and neither should have to compromise (she’s very religious, while he is decidedly less so). Throughout the process of picking his potential life partner, Weber looked to his family for their thoughts… and, oh, did Mama Weber have thoughts.
During the after-the-rose special on Tuesday, she insisted Prewett was the wrong choice. And when asked by host Chris Harrison what’s going to have to happen to salvage this situation, Barb bitingly said, “He’s going to have to fail to succeed.” Ouchie.
TBH, the whole thing gave me pseudo-flashbacks to when I met my husband. Granted, his mom is no Barb. She’s more like Doris Roberts’ character Marie on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond — over-opinionated and at times far too involved in her son’s life, but also charming despite being so neurotic. My husband is the only son in a family with four kids, so the mama’s boy thing is no joke. She once scolded me for not dicing his tomatoes “the way he likes them.” True story.
So, to an extent, I feel Prewett’s pain. Unfortunately, judging by Barb’s teeth-gnashing last night, it seems unlikely Weber’s mom is going to start championing the relationship anytime soon. Since Weber is so close to his family, this is going to make for some super-awkward get-togethers, no? If I were Prewett, I’d be torn between wanting to patch things up and wanting to hop in Weber’s private plane and get him (and me, natch) as far away from Mommy Dearest as possible. The dark voice inside of my soul is stirring with refrains of, “Stuff it, Barb!”
Then again, now that I have a son of my own, I’m not gonna lie: I might Barb-out if I felt like my precious boy — ooh, yep, I even sound Barb-like — was making a choice that would ultimately break his sweet little heart. So, head’s up to my future prospective daughters-in-law, we all have that to look forward to.
Happily, my son is only seven, so we’ve got years to go before I become annoyingly invested in his romantic life. Poor Prewett is in possible-future-mother-in-law purgatory right now.
Psychology Today recommends a multi-prong approach to dealing with a MIL who hates you. It includes things like considering where your MIL is coming from and asking yourself what role you’re playing in the situation. But if that sounds boring to you and you’re in much more of a “I’d like to stick it to her” frame-of-mind, you’ll be pleased to know that they also recommend being assertive like Prewett was on the finale (“This isn’t just Peter’s journey”).
Ultimately, Madison might just have to decide she’s okay with being disliked by Weber’s friends and family. The Jane-Fonda-‘Monster-in-Law’-future-me thinks that sounds terrible. But as a woman, I think Madison should stand her ground and walk away from situations that prove toxic to her wellbeing… whether that’s a Weber family barbecue or her relationship with Weber in general. After all, at this point, they’re just dating.
Maybe she’ll have better luck finding a less disapproving MIL through an upcoming season of Bachelor in Paradise. Although here’s betting she and Weber stay together for at least a year just to spite ol’ Barb.