Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Favorite Daughter-in-Law” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Favorite Daughter-in-Law” whose boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend kept defriending her on Facebook. She worried about tension between them now and in the future if they couldn’t manage to get along.

I read the guest columnist’s response as well as all the comments and was a little frustrated with the way everyone jumped at me for all the “in-law” stuff instead of giving me some advice. I also wanted to wait to comment because I wanted to really see how the relationship would develop. I have made a great effort to be nicer to her, to talk to her more, asking about her work (she is passionate about it and loves talking about it) and about herself in general. I also think she has been in a better mood generally since she moved in with her fiancé shortly after I sent the letter.

There has been less tension between us and I’ve come to think that our awkward relationship may also come from not really knowing each other. I don’t really have very high hopes for our relationship but at least it’s getting more pleasant. I’m still worried about what this will mean in the long term, especially because my boyfriend doesn’t like her, but I also realized that this is something between him and his brother and that I can do nothing about it.I guess the thing that I struggled with most was that I thought that if I went out of my way to talk to her and be nice to her, I would be accepting her rude behaviour towards me and sending the message that it’s OK to be mean to me. And I was worried my newfound interest in her would come off as fake (which ultimately it was). Luckily, I don’t feel like that anymore; after trying to “kill her with kindness,” I found that I felt better and like I had risen above the situation, and I felt treating her nicely was actually a relief.

I really want to thank you, Callie the guest columnist, and everyone in the comments who took the time to read and answer my letter. This issue was really bothering me and every comment was helpful. Even though the situation hasn’t improved dramatically, my approach is different thanks to everyone’s input.

Thanks so much for the update! I’m glad the situation is less tense for you now and that you found the comments and advice helpful.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

3 comments… add one
  • becboo84

    BecBoo84 March 15, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Man, I’d forgotten how much people jumped on your for the “in-law” issue. Your explanation regarding the difference in definition due to language/culture really made a lot of sense. Anyway, I am glad things are at least slightly improved. Sometimes you just don’t feel a connection with certain people, and there’s nothing wrong with that, even if they’re a part of your “family.”

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    camille905 March 15, 2012, 4:09 pm

    Here’s the thing- you don’t have to like and get along with everyone EVEN IF THEY’RE YOUR FAMILY. As long as you make an effort to be polite (which it sounds like you definitely are), I wouldn’t worry about it. You don’t need to be bff’s with this girl.

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    Temperance March 16, 2012, 12:20 am

    LW, I commend you. FWIW, I took the opposite tack with my in-laws … I decided to stop trying, and I’m much happier. I’m glad that she stopped being such a Nasty Nancy. 🙂

    FWIW, I found the ridiculous debate about you using in-law to be a waste of time, especially since it kept people from giving advice.

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