“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Dec 12, 2013
Dear Amy: I got married a month ago, and I am having trouble adjusting to my husband's mother. Don't get me wrong, she's a peach when we get together all smiles, hugs and homemade treats.

But when she talks to my mother (typically when she's been drinking or has something to get off her chest), the story is different.

Recently she called my husband a "sack of s-" because he didn't mow the lawn before we went on honeymoon.(MIL offered to do it for us. Am I mistaken in believing that was her choice and therefore not something to be angry about?)

Then she told my mother that we "have too much stuff." My mom thinks this is a dig because she generously provided us with furniture when we bought our house, so that, you know, we'd have something to sit on.

Mom tries to avoid these conversations by getting off the phone in a hurry. I have to drag this stuff out of her. But I am sick of it. This woman has created drama with my family since she's met them, and now that we're married, I know I can look forward to years of this.

I don't know how to tell my husband. He is close to his mom, and letting him in on these jabs would crush him. Please help! Fed Up Newlywed

Dear Fed Up: The first rule of a happy in-law relationship is to diminish the opportunities for discord. You are violating this rule right out of the gate by actively looking for trouble from a foul-mouthed and negative person to whom you are now related.

According to you, you had to drag these unkind observations out of your own mother. Why? And why would your mother share these insults with you?

You cannot guarantee changing your mother-in-law's attitude or behavior. Do not pump your mother for gossip, and if she offers to pass something along, you should cut her off at the pass. I cannot imagine why your mother would engage in this, but you should encourage her to establish some very firm boundaries of her own (hanging up the phone when she receives a drunken call, for instance).

Be cordial and polite with your MIL. Assume that she will find things about you or your household to criticize. If she does this to your face, then deal with her politely, firmly and directly (and involve your husband). Otherwise, avoid!

Dear Amy: My nephew was married in May. Our families live locally and are close.

Of course I gave them gifts for both the shower and the wedding.

Four months after the wedding we received a postcard in the mail, featuring a montage of pictures of the bride and groom with a generic printed message of thanks for making their day special.

That's it. No handwritten note, no signature, no mention of gifts.

This reminds me of the annual holiday postcard sent by my insurance agent!

Is this considered acceptable nowadays? Or am I justified in being a bit miffed at their lack of manners? Should I say something to them about it? Miffed About the Gifts

Dear Miffed: My theory is that this unfortunately common practice started when this current crop of brides and grooms were young and their mommy sent out photocopied, nonpersonal thank-you notes on their behalf to the dozens of children attending their birthday parties.(And so I say to the marrying couples out there: Stop it! You are not State Farm Insurance, advertising your relationship to your clients.)

You can say to this couple, "Your postcard is lovely, but now we're left wondering if you received our gifts. Can you let us know?"

Dear Amy: "Secret Holder" wondered if she should tell a woman that she suspects the woman's husband is gay because she has just learned that her husband is gay and the two men are emotionally close.

I am a gay man, and I have many straight male friends I am emotionally close to. It's just gossip to speculate about someone else's sexuality. Jim

Dear Jim: Thank you for offering your perspective.

“Where is Tonka?”

Since: Feb 09

Neda, stay with me! Charlie

#2 Dec 12, 2013
1&2 So dont care
3 Jim, your male friends are gay too, their just not into you, sorry.

Since: Jun 09

Saint Petersburg, FL

#3 Dec 13, 2013
LW1: I'd want y mother to tell me.

LW2: That was just rude on their part. I'd do wht Amy said. And I make my daughter WRITE thank yous with pesonal notes in them. In fact, we ar doing that this weekend.

Thanks for postng these PEllen!

“The two baby belly, please!”

Since: Sep 09

Evanston IL

#4 Dec 13, 2013
LW1: The real question is why are your mother and MIL talking so often? I've been married 10+ years and can count on one hand the times my mother and my MIL have spoken. And it's always in person.

I would advise talking to your mother about that. MIL can't stir the pot if nobody is listening.

LW2: Oh the outrage!

LW3: Can rehash be gay?

Marina, CA

#5 Dec 13, 2013
LW1: Your MIL is a closet alcoholic. I'd advise my mother to not take her calls late at night.

LW2: I am so over the thank-you-note letters. The correct answer is that thank-you-notes are hand-written, personalized, and sent promptly.

LW3: If you say so, Jim. Most of the gay men I know are emotionally close to their women friends. The only exception is my dance teacher, who is very close to his straight brother.

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