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!)

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[step-item number=”1.” image_url=”http://media.rd.com/rd/images/rdc/mag0905/13-things-you-mother-in-law-ch.jpg” caption=”I know he’s your husband now, but he’s still my son.” credit=”From BananaStock Image / Jupiterimages ” title=”It hurts to be downsized.” ] I spent a couple of decades being the leading lady; now I have a character role.   [/step-item]

[step-item number=”2.” image_url=”” title=”I know he’s your husband now.” ] But he’s still my son. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”3.” image_url=”” title=”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. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”4.” image_url=”” title=”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. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”5.” image_url=”” title=”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.” [/step-item]

[step-item number=”6.” image_url=”” title=”I know a little something.” ] I’ve bought and sold 13 houses in my life. Why won’t you ask for my advice? [/step-item]

[step-item number=”7.” image_url=”” title=”When I visit you, I’m just coming to see the family.” ] I’m not coming for a white-glove inspection.” [/step-item]

[step-item number=”8.” image_url=”” title=”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. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”9.” image_url=”” title=”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. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”10.” image_url=”” title=”I have a dirty little secret.” ] I’m afraid that if I don’t get this right, you’ll cut me off. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”11.” image_url=”” title=”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. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”12.” image_url=”” title=”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. [/step-item]

[step-item number=”13.” image_url=”” title=”You know me well.” ] I cherish the refrigerator magnet you gave me: “Age and treachery will always overcome youth and skill.” [/step-item]

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.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest