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Are You A Diva-In-Law?

Ask Ms. Vicki

For a three-month period I polled 80 women ages 50-65 and I asked this question: Do you like your daughter-in-law?  90 percent of the women said NO. Some even said "I despise her." Other responses included "She's despicable" and "I can't stand being around her." When I asked, "If you don't like your daughter-in-law tell me why," I received four common reasons below.

  1. You make negative comments about the way she raised your husband. Every time you get mad at your husband you find a way to blame it on your mother-in-law's poor parenting, or "lack thereof". A better option for you is to realize that your husband is a grown man who can make his own decisions. It's not fair for you to blame your mother-in-law for your husband's bad decisions or unfavorable behavior.
  2. You go out of your way to make her feel like an unwanted guest in your home. You call her by her last name and place emphasis on every syllable: "Misssessss Jooohhhnnnsssooonnn". Ok, she gets the picture: you regret that you have to address her at all. If that's not enough, you isolate her when she's in your home and she's not included in any activities. You won't let her help cook and she can barely have any contact with the children. You go out of your way to be MEAN…not nice at all…shame shame.
  3. You try to re-dress her and you constantly correct her grammar. You suggest proper attire as if the way she is dressed is embarrassing to you. Okay, you've "moved on up" to the penthouse in the sky, but don't treat her like a Beverly Hillbilly. Don't correct her grammar. After all, she's a grown woman too. Stop treating her like she has no class.  
  4. You won't introduce her to any of your friends and when you do, your friends look at her like she's an alien from outer space. In this situation, your mother-in-law can see that you have "bad mouthed" her to your friends. What do your friends have to do with this situation? Why can't they show respect for your mother-in- law?

If you're a Diva-In-Law you could be placing your marriage in jeopardy. Your husband will feel like he is in the middle of two women that he loves dearly: his wife and his mother. Children will notice your behavior too and will do one of two things: feel bad for their grandmother and join with her against you, or show disrespect towards their grandmother too. Both outcomes are tragic.

If you think your husband is a great guy, you have to remember he didn't raise himself. He was raised by the mother-in-law you can't stand to be around. If you find you're exhibiting one of the above behaviors, you may think about giving your mother-in-law a little more respect and courtesy.

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Contributor

Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on Military.com and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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