Don't Be Mean To Your Daughter-In-Law

If You're A Mother-In-Law, Watch What You Write!

Mothers-in-law who have had less than charitable thoughts about future or present daughters-in-law take note. How would you feel if your correspondence to your daughter-in-law went viral and you became branded as the mother-in-law from hell? 

A story in the London Daily Mail relays that future mother-in-law Carolyn Bourne emailed her stepson Freddy’s fiancée, Heidi, that she showed a “staggering uncouthness and lack of grace” in her visit to the family home in the English countryside.

“It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you,” Mrs. Bourne chided. An almost humorous observation was that Heidi’s behavior had left the family’s pet dog, Bomber “profoundly upset, depressed and anxious.”

What could Freddy’s fiancé have done to incur the wrath of Mrs. Bourne? According the email, Heidi had poor table manners, insulted the family in public, and failed to send a handwritten thank-you card. The real problem is apparent in this observation, however: “One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie.”

Could Mrs. Bourne be a tad controlling, perhaps desiring to hand-pick a daughter-in-law that fits in with the family’s image?  Or is it that, as Heidi’s furious father has said to the press, ‘She has her head stuck so far up her own a*** she doesn't know whether to speak or f**t’:  “Miss Fancy Pants,” as Heidi’s father now calls Mrs. Bourne, may have a point, however, when she suggests her daughter-in-law lower her sights on a marriage venue from a castle to something more in line with reality since her parents, according to Mrs. Bourne, do not have any money saved up for their daughter’s marriage. And speaking of bad manners, why is this private rant now public? That can’t be blamed on Freddy’s fiancée, who naturally was so shocked by Mrs. Bourne’s diatribe that she forwarded it to several friends. Those friends forwarded it to others and so on until it became a viral phenomenon, attracting the attention of media, who have now blown up the this tempest into a tornado. What do you think? Is it ever ok for a mother-in-law to criticize her future daughter-in-law? I ask because I, too, have sent email “rants” in response to what I considered unacceptable behavior. At the time, and even up to the present, I felt justified more out of hurt at how I was being treated than anything else. But I see now, if my correspondence had been blown up in the press, the hurt would definitely seem to be on the other side.  Mrs. Bourne’s comments do sound ridiculous, especially the one about her dog being traumatized. But must mothers-in-law hold their tongues, no matter what? Please advise. Tell us:  How do you get along with your daughter-in law? Is your relationship always strained, or is it a good one? Join us in our forums and have your say! Clarissa James Wilson will be doing a series on mother-in-law issues.      
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