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
Also in Reader's Digest Magazine May 2009
Loading

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.

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.”

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.

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.

POPULAR RIGHT NOW

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

Sending Message
how we use your e-mail

Your Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus