Tag Archive | dialogue

Affirmations for Mothers-in-Law & Daughters-in-Law – Round 4

“Anonymous” shared her approach – in detail and with conviction:

I take advantage of opportunities to serve my Daughter-in-Law in any way I can, even when I am not feeling it. (Isn’t this when affirmations can be especially important?) I will even change my plans if she needs me.

(Serve? How often to we hear that word or consider that concept in regards to our MIL/DIL?)

I take notice of her feelings and make an effort to “read” her, especially when we talk about controversial subjects. (You and your Daughter-in-law can share views on controversial topics? Bravo!)

I am not her mother, but I am someone who loves her. Therefore, I will treat her as I treat other loved ones.

I will speak the truth in love.

I will encourage my Daughter-in-Law.

Authenticity is my goal and I will practice this with consideration and respect.


Obviously, this Mother-in-Law has thought things through and is demonstrating love in words and deeds. She is working at living out the motto of this blog – “MILs & DILs – Family, Friends and Allies”.

Thank-you! Your efforts influence us all for the better.

Dear Abby Column in Today’s Paper

Dear Abby: Dear Abby

I am no advice columnist, but may I offer a few wise words to future brides?

I have been married for 25 years and have never had an argument with my mother-in-law.  Never!  My mother gave me some valuable advice before my wedding that I’d like to pass along.  She said, “Always respect the woman who made the man you love.”

I never forgot it, and my MIL has always been welcome in my home for as long as she wishes.  If we had any differences, a respectful dialogue was opened right away — especially if it concerned our kids’ education.

We have enjoyed shopping, eating, cooking, parties, caring for newborns and family moments together for as long as I can remember. Sadly, she is now frail and can no longer travel as much as she once could.

The women who made our husbands deserve all the respect we can offer them because if we are happy as wives, it is thanks to all of them.

— Simone In San Francisco

Habits of the Heart

A friend, John Backman,  has recently written a book entitled Why Can’t We Talk? ..  Dialogue as a Habit of the Heart.  In it, he speaks about the “soul work” that must be done by those who truly desire to dialogue with people of all different worldviews, backgrounds, cultures and persuasions.  It has struck me that I’m hearing this same idea in regards to building and growing a great MIL/DIL relationship.  IMG_1066The condition of the hearts of those involved is tantamount to its success or failure.

Are the MIL & DIL automatically comfortable with one another?  If so, great!  If not, then what?  Do they easily find topics of common interest so that there is no lack of stimulating conversation?  If so, great.  If not, then what?  And do they bond quickly and permanently?

Even thought they both love the same man, they grew up in different generations.  One knows better who their man was and the other knows better who he is.  Oftentimes, there is discomfort, unease, misunderstanding, awkwardness, barriers and unrealistic expectations between the two women.   What then?

That’s the opportunity – not the problem.   That’s the place of growth, personal as well as relational —  blossoming, refinement, discovery – about oneself, others, this world and, perhaps even what God is calling one to become.

“In life as in the dance, grace glides on blistered feet.” — Alice Abrams

“Soul work” is challenging.  It is uncomfortable, even painful.  It calls for the continual cultivation and practice of humility, forgiveness, graciousness, patience, kindness, generosity, acceptance and love.

Whew!  Now, I’ve got enough to work on for the next 50 years.  And by then, the MIL/DIL relationship will no longer be an issue for me. 😉