More Things Your Mother-in-Law Won’t Tell You

The dreaded mother-in-law! Your relationship with her can certainly place stress on your marriage. No matter how hard you try to please her, there will surely be some things she doesn’t like but never mentions—or so you hope.

The dreaded mother-in-law! Your relationship with her can certainly place stress on your marriage. No matter how hard you try to please her, there will surely be some things she doesn’t like but never mentions—or so you hope.

1. Thank you.
I’ve never seen my son happier than he is now, married and with children.

2. You don’t have to call me Mom.
But it would be nice if you did. Listen to my advice when it comes to certain topics.

3. I’m so grateful that my daughter has another person to look after her.
I am finally off the hook.

4. I really want to make you happy.
If you hate that green sweater I bought you, please, please tell me.

5. Thank you for making my child so happy.
If I haven’t told you that very much, it’s because I’m afraid you’ll think I’m sucking up.

6. I desperately want to ask you:
When are you going to have children?

7. I’ve never formed a warm bond with you.
But when I see how happy my son is, I feel enormous affection for you.

8. I so wish I could talk to you about it.
Sometimes I watch you making choices that I so fear will lead you to difficulty. But I bite my tongue.

9. I’m aware that my time on this earth is growing shorter.
I want to spend it positively. I don’t want to waste it by fighting.

10. I’d like to share my advice more.
I might not have the best ideas, but I do have decades of experience.

11. Talk to me.
If you think I can’t give good advice because I don’t have the full picture, well… paint it for me.

12. We’re from different generations.
And we’ll probably always see things differently.

13. I really want to give my grandkids a gift now and then.
But you forbid me to do it. That’s painful.

14. I want us to be closer.
The last time I was at your house, you hardly even spoke to me. I can’t understand why.

15. What I want most can’t be wrapped in a box or bought online.
I just want to be loved.

16. I thought you’d be thrilled to have me as your mother-in-law.
I thought that you’d think, Wow, I’m so lucky! It kills me that you don’t.

17. I always send gifts for your birthday and all the holidays.
It bugs me that you never thank me personally.

18. Some mothers-in-law will say anything.
I try not to. It’s not wanted, appreciated, or believed.

19. I’ve actually led a rich, interesting, complicated life.
I wish you’d see me that way. I feel a little resentful that suddenly my whole life is seen through the prism of “the mother-in-law.”

20. When I call you on the phone at 8 in the morning on a Saturday…
I hope you’re not secretly saying, “Damn. Why is she calling here so early?”

1. Sometimes I weep.
I’ll think, How could my child who I loved so much marry someone I don’t understand at all?

22. I want you to need me.
I want to feel valued, respected, and loved.

23. I don’t always agree with your decisions.
But I know you have to live your own life.

24. I would visit my grandchildren more if I felt closer to you.

25. You’re bright, thoughtful, and loving.
I’m lucky we have each other.

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.

Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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