13 Things Your Mother-in-Law Won’t Tell You
Build a better relationship with his mother by remembering these things she'd like to say but won't (you hope!)
By Maureen Mackey from from Reader's Digest | May 2009
1. It hurts to be downsized.
I spent a couple of decades being the leading lady; now I have a character role.
2. I know he's your husband now.
But he’s still my son.
3. You don't seem very confident about yourself.
The littlest comment from me is taken as a criticism, so I’m very careful what I say around you.
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4. A little gratitude wouldn't hurt.
Every year, I send you a birthday present, but you never even pick up
the phone to thank me. This year, I said, “That’s it. No more.” Yet look
at me: I’m about to send another present. I guess that’s how I am.
5. I want the best for both of us.
We mothers say to our children, “I want you to be happy.” And we mean
that. What we don’t say is, “But I would like to be happy too.”
6. I know a little something.
I’ve bought and sold 13 houses in my life. Why won’t you ask for my advice?
7. When I visit you, I'm just coming to see the family.
I’m not coming for a "white-glove inspection.”
© Noel Hendrickson/Photodisc/Thinkstock
8. I've got his number.
When I really want to talk to my son privately, I don’t call your house. I call his cell phone.
9. I'm truly appreciative.
I’m so happy that you allow my son—your husband—to visit me on Mother’s Day. It’s a long trip and a big expense.
10. I have a dirty little secret.
I’m afraid that if I don’t get this right, you’ll cut me off.
11. I'm in competition with your mother.
She takes you on vacations every year and buys things I can’t afford.
All I can do is love you and babysit for you. I hope that’s enough and
that it’s appreciated.
12. I'm lucky to have you!
Whenever I stay at your house, you always have my room ready, my towels, everything. You do all the right things.
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13. You know me well.
I cherish the refrigerator magnet you gave me: “Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.”
Sources: Susan Abel Lieberman, PhD (The Mother-in-Law’s Manual), Jane Angelich (What’s a Mother [in-Law] to Do?), and anonymous mothers-in-law in four states.