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by Abigail Van Buren

Husband's List of Good Deeds Creates Bad Feelings in Wife

DEAR ABBY: I'm one of those daughters-in-law who are "unkind" and "ignore" their mothers-in-law. I'm shocked you didn't ask that mother-in-law who wrote you about her daughter-in-law (Feb. 6) why it was happening.

In my case it's because she belittles me, is rude and finds fault with everything I do. An actual complaint she made was that I didn't make enough eye contact with her during a family party. Abby, there were 10 other guests and she was across the room.

When I speak to my mother-in-law, she constantly reinterprets what I say, giving my words her own meaning; then she becomes offended by the meaning she assigned, not what I said. I am her son's wife; I am not a doormat. I'm the mother of her grandkids, and it's not my responsibility to fulfill her emotional need to feel important.

A healthy relationship is a two-way street, whether it's between spouses, parents and children or daughters-in-law with their mothers-in-law. -- DISGUSTED DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

DEAR DISGUSTED: There are often two sides to every story, and I'm sorry your relationship with your mother-in-law is such a poor one. Thank you for writing and sharing the other side.