Life Advice



In Praise of Mothers-in-Law

Annie Lane on

Dear Readers: So many of you were relieved that I printed a positive letter about mothers-in-law. Please find some more letters in praise of MIL. I'm sure any mother of a son appreciates these letters.

Dear Annie: I share "Change's" feelings about my mothers-in-law. I, too, won the mother-in-law lottery, twice! My first husband's mother was incredibly supportive even after he left me. She sent me gifts and cards until I remarried. My second husband's mother and stepmother are delightful. They have loved my son from the first marriage with no variation from the biological grandchild; never stepped on my parenting toes; babysat, spoiled and always been there in ways my mother couldn't be because she lived out of state. All three of these ladies had been burned by unkind significant others who really hurt their sons, but that didn't stop them from giving me a chance and opening their hearts.

Let's change that narrative. I'm guessing there's more good mothers-in-law than wicked ones. We just hear about the sensationally and outstandingly bad ones. -- Another Winner!

Dear Annie: Another letter in support of wonderful mothers-in-law. My husband's mom was always just the loveliest person. We were 17 and 18 years old when we started dating, and I felt her warmth from the moment we met. My husband and his younger sister were the youngest of six. The older siblings were married and had children. And I had never seen such happy chaos as when I attended family gatherings. You were family the minute you walked in the door.

The sweetest thing she ever said (and she told me how much she liked me all the time) was when she told me that I had been part of the family so long she often forgot that I wasn't her own daughter! She was a truly special lady, and my life was richer for having her in it. She passed away several years ago and we all miss her. -- Very Loved Daughter-in-law

Dear Annie: I just read a letter from "Change the Narrative" regarding her positive relationship with her mother-in-law, and I couldn't agree more! First, I not only have a wonderful mother but also a wonderful mother-in-law!

I know that's not everyone's story, but I have a feeling that reality exists more than we think; we just don't hear about it as much. The bad always seems to be louder than the good. -- Blessed in Texas


Dear Annie: I loved "Change the Narrative's" mother-in-law story. I grew up with a volatile, abusive and religious zealot (enforced with violence) for a mother. I have no idea what psychiatric disorder my mom suffered from, but it was a traumatic childhood for me and my siblings.

I met my first husband when I was 18 and fell immediately in love with his Italian family. Once married, my new mom took me under her wing and taught me how to cook and take care of a home. And all with patience and kindness.

I have so many wonderful memories of my time with my new mom. I was loved, praised and, above all, valued. Between her and my father-in-law, I grew from a nervous young wife and mom into a woman who will always be grateful to sing her (and my father-in-law's) praises.

So, thank you, "Change the Narrative." Your experiences brought back so many sweet memories that I am grateful to have. -- Nostalgic and Grateful


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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