Life Advice



Ask Amy: Long-distance contact amplifies in-law issues

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I live in a different country than our families. Our only source of communication with our mothers is through FaceTime/FB Messenger.

While I have a great relationship with my mom and call her almost daily, my husband's relationship with his mom has always been rocky.

She likes lecturing him on how he should live his life, what to do, what job to get, etc. She's also a very religious woman, while we definitely are not.

My husband had a big argument with her about the fact that he doesn't attend church, and she was questioning whether it was my influence!

I'm an atheist, but if my husband wanted to go to church, that would be absolutely fine with me.

My mother-in-law keeps pushing him about it. She was incredibly angry when he told her that he doesn't share her strong faith. These arguments get him really depressed and discouraged.


He said that if it wasn't for the fact that he's the only child (and his mom is divorced), he would distance himself, or stop contacting her altogether.

While I wouldn't want her to lose her son (my mom is also divorced, so I feel for her), it pains me to see him going through all that uncalled-for pressure.

How can we keep the relationship with my mother-in-law, but also firmly tell her to stop dictating to us how to live our lives and what to believe in?

Enough of Dictatorship


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