Mother-In-Love or Monster-In-Law? ‘RHOA’ Fans Blame Kandi Burruss for Allowing Mama Joyce to Berate and Disrespect Her Husband Todd Tucker for Over a Decade on Reality TV

Multi-hyphenate Kandi Burruss appears to have finally checked her mother, Joyce Jones, for disrespecting her husband of nine years, Todd Tucker. It only took 12 years.

Affectionately known to “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” fans as Mama Joyce, Jones has made it clear she doesn’t favor Tucker nor does she think he’s good enough for her daughter.

(L-R) Kandi Burruss, Todd Tucker and Joyce Burruss attend VIP Premiere watch party of “Kandi’s Ski Trip” at Suite Lounge on May 17, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images)

Though it seemed relations between the two had begun to improve, Jones publicly shaded her son-in-law again during a cast appearance at BravoCon in October 2022.

Jones, 72, said she and Tucker, 49, were “getting along much better.” But that didn’t stop her from answering a fan who’d asked whom she would replace Todd with by saying she would have preferred her daughter have married someone else.

“If I could have replaced Todd, I probably would’ve picked anyone that had a decent job; somebody that was maybe in the same business, in the financial realm that she was in,” Jones said. “I just think that she should’ve married someone that was on the same financial scale.”

At the time, Jones received plenty of backlash for her comments. The June 5 episode of “RHOA” flashed back to the incident, and Burruss finally confronted her mother’s continual rudeness toward Tucker. She revealed that she and her mom didn’t speak for a while after the event.

“You sat up there and you said all these negative things … and that went viral by the way,” Burruss told Jones, who responded that she just told the truth when asked a question. Jones also said her son-in-law needed to lighten up.

“Why [does] he need to lighten up? You’re constantly dragging him in public. Do you ever bring up the times that you think Todd has done something nice or right?” the Grammy Award-winning songwriter and entrepreneur asked. “This next anniversary me and Todd gon’ be celebrating nine years of marriage so at this point, it’s getting out of hand. You gotta stop.”

Related: Mama Joyce Shades Todd Tucker Again, Fans Think She’s In Competition with Todd Over Kandi’s Money

Though many fans applauded Burruss, others felt she was also at fault for Jones’ behavior, noting that she took far too long to defend Tucker against her mother’s often unprovoked attacks.

“Mama Joyce is ridiculous! This is honestly all Kandi fault for letting this drag on for so long! But I am proud of her for FINALLLY saying something!” one Twitter user wrote.

“Remember when everyone told Kandi to get Mama Joyce under control and she sat at that reunion and told everybody that’s MYYYYY mama,” another user tweeted, referencing the time Burruss got emotional defending Jones. “She was ready to fight the internet like Mariah did Toya about Ms Lucy.”

“RHOA” is in its 15th season and Tucker and Burruss have now been together for 12 years. The couple met on set in 2011, while Tucker was working as a producer on the show. When they began dating, Jones said she thought he was a gold digger.

“At first you just seemed to be a working guy and then after you got with Kandi, it’s just like the work stopped,” Jones told Tucker before they got married. “Are you passing on a job because of Kandi?”

“I’m not here to get anything from Kandi. I’m not here to get her money. I’m here for her,”
Tucker responded, explaining he’d taken time off from work because he and Kandi wanted to spend more time together. He also said he had money saved.

“I want you to get to know me so you can see that and be like, ‘You know what? I want that guy to be my son-in-law.’ I just really want us to all be a family,” he continued. “I would love for you to love me one day and start out with liking me. One thing is like how do we work towards that?”

Despite Jones’ feelings, Tucker and Burruss tied the knot in April 2014. They became a blended family as each had daughters from previous relationships, then welcomed two children together in 2016 and 2020, respectively.

Tucker lost his mother, Sharon Tucker, to a stroke months after the wedding. Jones offered him a semi-apology for some of the things she had said about Sharon, and fans hoped she’d become more maternal to him. But that didn’t happen.

Though Tucker is the visionary behind the family’s popular restaurants, the first of which, Old Lady Gang, pays homage to Jones and her sisters, Burruss’ mother continued to insult him.

Jones has called Tucker an “opportunist” and said she didn’t trust him to care for Burruss’ oldest daughter Riley if something happened to his wife, among other things.

According to a recent study in Evolutionary Psychological Science, Jones and Tucker’s contentious relationship is not an anomaly. A summary of the study said 44 percent of men and women reported having more conflict with their mothers-in-law than their birth mothers.

“U.S. men and women both reported more conflict with mothers-in-law than with mothers, and mothers reported more conflict with their daughters-in-law than with their daughters,” the study’s abstract states.

Dr. Greg Smalley, vice president of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family, said it’s important to set boundaries, defend your spouse in public and private and ask them how they’d like you to stand up for them against overbearing family members.

“Always be your spouse’s ‘wingman,’ ” Dr. Smalley said. “Be your spouse’s ally, shield and advocate. You are each other’s ‘helpmate.’ ”

He then suggested that married couples, “Err on the side of standing up for your spouse and having their back. After God, your spouse is your first priority — not your boss, your siblings, your parents or your children.”

In an attempt to finally mend the relationship between her mother and her husband, Burruss asked Jones to attend family therapy in the June 4th episode to help resolve the issue. Jones agreed, but some fans don’t believe therapy will do any good.

After their conversation, the Xscape singer said she still believed there was “some side shade” from her mother toward Tucker.

“God, thank you,” Kandi said in a confessional on the show. “My mom agreeing to counseling is definitely giving me hope — but I think that the therapist is gonna need therapy after hanging out with us.”

“RHOA” returns with a new episode Sunday, June 18 at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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