Life Advice



Ask Amy: Mother-in-law can't get a word in edgewise

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I have a wonderful daughter-in-law.

She is a great match for my son and a great mom to their daughter.

We all have faults, and I accept that. I know I may sound like a "typical" mother-in- law complaining about my son's wife, but I'll risk it in order to get your advice.

She's a talker. She doesn't know how to have a conversation. She is wonderful about keeping me in the loop (we live in separate states), but she calls several times a week and talks for 45 minutes to an hour each time.

I can hardly get a word in, and when I do try to tell her something, I can tell she is just waiting for me to finish so she can talk again. She often doesn't respond to my inquiries.

Additionally, most of her conversation consists of complaints about my son.


I have asked her not to do this, but her response is, "You know him and so you understand." I have asked her how she would feel if someone did nothing but complained about her daughter. This didn't help at all - and the next call was again littered with complaints.

When she is with my son, she doesn't dominate the conversation as much, but if he's not around -- she takes over.

How can I approach this without hurting her feelings?

She has a big heart and I would never want to damage our relationship.


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