12 text messages you should never send your mother-in-law (for the sake of your marriage)

Some things need to be said in person, and others are better left unsaid.

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  • Mothers always look after their babies, even after they've grown up and left the house. Stay on your mother-in-law's good side by never sending her these texts:

  • Ouch. This is the start of a long-lasting conflict between you and your mother-in-law. Never text an insult, even an offhand one. Send a compliment instead, like how much you appreciate passing on her excellent money management skills to her son.

  • She's a mom, too. She understands that schedules get busy so whenever a visit isn't possible, mention a time that might work. Leaving it at just "you can't see the kids" sounds unnecessarily harsh. Rescheduling shows your mother-in-law that you care about her desire to spend time with her grandkids.

  • It's exciting that you're adding a new addition to your family, but remember that this is also exciting news for your mother-in-law. Give her a call - don't text. If possible, tell her in person. She deserves to hear the big news and celebrate with you; don't make it impersonal by making her read it.

  • "Tell your son to stop complaining so much." "Tell your son to put down his phone and pay attention to me." No matter how you finish this sentence, try to avoid it. Doing this puts your mother-in-law in the middle of a conflict that should only be discussed and resolved between you and your spouse.

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  • Your mother-in-law wants to be a part of your life. If you truly feel she is overbearing, discuss this sensitive topic in person.

  • Here's another topic that should be discussed in person. Watch your word choice and delivery. You could say, "I appreciate that you took time to watch the kids today. They sure had lots of fun. However, I don't like the TV show they watched while they were with you. Here are some shows that are good options for next time." You can follow this up with something positive such as mentioning the paintings your kids brought home and proudly displayed on the fridge.

  • Even if you don't think you need her help, welcome it with open arms. She only has your best interests at heart. You could learn a lot from her experiences as a mother and wife. If you feel that she is becoming too involved, politely mention it, but don't refuse her help.

  • Remember that your in-laws are family, too. Deanna Brann, PhD, encourages women to think about how this phrase might affect her husband's family, especially his mother.

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  • If she's giving you parenting advice, avoid this phrase at all costs! She's probably giving you tips based on what worked for her, so this comment could leave your mother-in-law feeling hurt and offended. If she mentions something you'd rather not try, just thank her. Showing your appreciation doesn't mean you have to take her advice. But remember, she's been a mom for a while, so it might not be a bad idea to listen when she offers her expertise.

  • Again, never text an insult. Of course she taught her son how to clean. No matter your intention, she's going to take it as an insult on her parenting skills. Maybe you are sending this text as a light-hearted joke, but remember that sarcasm is hard to send through a phone.

  • You're married to her son. She isn't going to be too thrilled to see you ogling over famous actors.

  • This is cute, but remember, jokes sometimes don't pass through text. Include a few hearts or winks to show you're just being playful.

  • You can't send your nonverbal cues in that seemingly harmless text message. You also can't see the other person's reaction when it pops up on their screen. If you are sending a message as just a joke, take advantage of those emoticons - they aren't exactly the same as communicating in person, but a few winky eyes can help show your intentions. And if you're trying to discuss a sensitive topic or have a more serious conversation, face-to-face (or even a phone call) is always your best option.

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Shaelynn Miller is a staff writer for FamilyShare who has a passion for writing, video production and photography.

Website: http://shaelynnmiller.weebly.com/

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