• I know it’s totally cliche, but I never seem to do anything right in the eyes of my mother-in-law. I’ve heard her concerns and complaints and fortunately, have developed a thick skin to were it doesn’t bother me anymore. At least not for long. However, this week she said something so absurd, that it was rather comical so, I just had to share. She told my husband that I was manipulating him with “kindness.” How crazy is that?

    It was in regards to a trip we usually take with his parent to Las Vegas over the Fourth of July weekend. This year, instead my husband decided to take our family on a cruise, without his parents. It was totally his idea, not that I resisted or anything, but when he tried to break the news to his mother, she quickly directed the blame at me. She labeled me as manipulative and controlling to the point where I was distancing him from his parents. When he tried to defend me and described all the good things in our relationship, she responded, “That’s exactly it. She’s coercing you with kindness.” Either I’m really good at manipulation or she thinks that her son is really stupid and is easily influenced.

    Yes, it’s true that both men and women can be sneaky and may fake kindness if they have an ulterior motive when expecting something in return. But I’m his wife for G-d’s sake! If I want or need something then I’ll just take it myself! I don’t have to trick my husband for that (at least not all the time).

    The reason I bring this up is to alert you that sometimes people who think poorly of you will believe what they want regardless of who you really are. If they have preconceived ideas about you and want to see you in a negative light then they will do so even if you prove them otherwise. So, don’t lose sleep over it or let their craziness dictate your behavior. You don’t have to justify yourself to anyone. Their thoughts about you are not going to change. They’re looking to find something bad about you so, all you’re going to do is give them more ammunition to use against you. Even if it takes twisting your words to do so. So, dear Mother (in-law), please STOP trying to manipulate and control your son (my husband) with your deceitful ways. He has a great mind of his own, and is quite intelligent, if I may say so myself. After all, he did choose to marry me!