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October 4, 2015 / 21 Tishri, 5776
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The In-Law Relationship


3) Try to get close with your mother-in-law. Call and talk to her about her family or about any problems you know she is experiencing. If you know this will make her uncomfortable, then talk to her about your children and ask her for her advice and opinions. Even if you don’t need her ideas, pretend that you do and make her believe that her advice and opinions are important to you. If you ever follow her advice, make sure to let her know that it produced great results.

At the next simcha, sit next to her and talk about something you know she likes. Compliment her on a dish that she prepared, and ask her for the recipe and how to make it as well as she does. If you notice that she needs help with something, volunteer to do it for her. While this step might seem useless, the more you have these types of conversations with your mother-in-law the more she will feel that she is needed. This will make her feel much closer to you, and ultimately she will be more comfortable helping you.

If you follow these three steps, I am confident that you will notice that your mother-in-law will help you more often and be more supportive. I bet it will even get to a point where your sisters-in-law will become jealous of you!

Much hatzlachah!

Simple Yet Powerful Thoughts  

Dear Simple Yet Powerful Thoughts:

Thank you for your insightful and helpful letter. I think your ideas will help to bring shalom and create better relationships between daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law. Your ideas can be helpful in all relationships. It is important for all of us to remember to be appreciative of others and judge them favorably.  Thank you again for writing and may Hashem give you hatzlachah in all your endeavors!

About the Author: Letters may be emailed to deardryael@aol.com. To schedule an appointment, please call 917-751-4887. Dr. Respler will be on 102.1 FM at 10:00 pm Sunday evenings after Country Yossi.

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One Response to “The In-Law Relationship”

  1. rcr says:

    While most of the advice was good, I will disagree on one crucial point in the article:
    From the commentaries on the Torah, we know that Yaakov Avinu was criticized for showing Yoseph favoritism, even though he technically had every right, and a great reason for doing so. (After all Yaakov Avinu was a cheshboned man, and did everything for a reason.
    That being said, we learn a tremendous lesson from that. It’s a lesson to parents NOT to show favoritism to one child over another. Favoritism causes jealousy, and jealousy causes all sorts of bad things, including leading one to believe that they are doing a big mitzvah, when in fact they are doing the opposite. (As was the case with the Shevatim, who too cheshboned out the sale of Yosef as a mitzva).
    I don’t see why the inyan of preferential treatment towards a child, should not be applied between Inlaws.
    While the Advise of “simple but powerful” is good, it should not excuse the behavior of parents and in-laws who are treating one child better then the next.
    ~trying to be fair

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