Archive | March 2013

MIL = Blessing-in-Disguise in “Mail Online”

Excerpt from “How to Make Your Mother-in-Law Love You Forever”  —  by SHARON BEXLEY,

A blessing in disguise

Denise says it’s worth reminding yourself that your mother-in-law can be a blessing, and it really is worth putting in some work to improve your relationship. ‘Mothers-in-law can be a real source of support. Daughters-in-law need to recognize that and not automatically assume things will be difficult, which often may alienate the mother in law unnecessarily.

‘If you start off with a bad relationship, and let her get away with making you feel inadequate, the less likely things are to change. The more confident you are about your position in her son’s life, the easier you’ll get on.

‘If you let things lie, and never tackle her, it will cause problems not just between you and her, but also between you and her son.’

Things to Consider


  • Even though one feels loved and accepted by one’s MIL, it doesn’t necessarily mean that interactions and conversations will come easily or be comfortable.
  • A woman’s relationship with her son will affect her relationship with her DIL – for sure.
  • Encouraging, affirming words play a big role in helping a MIL/DIL feel       accepted, appreciated and loved.  Does that come easy to you?
  • Sometimes a MIL’s and DIL’s personalities will just “click” and sometimes they won’t.  That’s natural.
  • Notes, cards, emails, texts, phone calls, Skype, visits are all different ways of connecting with your MIL/DIL.  Which work better for you two?
  • Expectations have a lot to do with how you feel about your MIL/DIL relationship.  What are your expectations?
  •  Accepting your MIL/DIL is different than accepting their choices, practices, situation.  How does one communicate this?
  • Hurt feelings happen even when neither the MIL nor the DIL is at fault.
  • Geography plays a part in the ease and enjoyment of a MIL/DIL relationship.

Ladies, please weigh in with your own thoughts!  What would you add to the list?

Be Careful Not to Take Offense Easily

On a cold January morning, Cherie and I planned to meet at a Dunkin Donuts, but the place was packed! and there wasn’t even room to park.  So, we ventured a couple of miles further to check out a small place at the corner of N. Lowell and Windham Depot Roads.  I had passed the place numerous times on my way to visit friend and to attend a small group which gathers weekly at Nellie’s home.

We were delightfully surprised that no other patrons were present and we could have the place to ourselves to talk at length.  We settled in at a table as far from the front as possible and grabbed two mugs of hot coffee and cocoa (with whipped cream on top!)

Even as we began our conversation about in-law relationships, I could tell that Cherie had wisdom to share that she had learned over the years.  She is analytical and had prepared in advance some thoughts to convey.

When asked what makes for a great MIL/DIL relationship, one of the first things she related was the following:  “Be careful not to take offense at first words because I have found myself a couple of times doing that not knowing where Meagan was coming from.  And I found it was a lot better …  It took me a while to ask her ‘Do you remember when you said such and such?  Did you mean …. ?”   And she said ‘Oh, no.  I didn’t mean that at all.  This is what I meant.’  It clears the air.   If there’s a misunderstanding, clear it up”. 

Before much time goes by? 

“Absolutely.  And that goes for any relationship.”

Our conversation took a turn at that point when  Cherie mentioned that her DIL said about her relationship with her husband “We have disagreements, but we never have arguments.  John actually listens to me and my opinion and how I feel about something.”

Maybe that’s the difference between discussing and arguing? – whether both parties actually listen to one another.  (Bonus thought!)

Great insights, Cherie.  Going to put those on my mirror.  Be careful not to take offense easily.  Make a point of clearing up any misunderstandings  as soon as possible.  Listen – really listen.