DEAR HARRIETTE: I don’t get along with my mother-in-law. She is too judgmental. Whenever I see her, she immediately picks something about me to criticize. It could be my outfit, especially if it’s new and pretty, or my body -- she notices every pound that I put on. When I talk, she often accuses me of trying to talk over her, so she starts to talk over me instead. And on and on. I usually ignore her, but this is getting old. I don’t know if she is jealous of me, but I try hard to get on her good side. Still, nothing is ever enough. When I mention it to my husband, he just says that’s how she is. -- At Odds
DEAR AT ODDS: What if you approached her directly and asked her what you can do to have a better relationship with her? She may be surprised by your directness, but perhaps that will get her to be real with you. Remind her that you love her son and chose to marry him. You are going to be in each other's lives, and you want to have a better relationship with her. If she acts like she doesn’t know what you are talking about, give her a few examples of things she has said or done and how they made you feel. Describe how uncomfortable it is when she disparages your outfits or points out your weight gain. Ask her to be kinder to you.