Mother in law…

Remember my post from back in the day? Well let me refresh your memories: Here is the post. I found something similar and thought to share with y’all.

This is a true life letter from Carolyn Bourne of Devon, England to her daughter-in-law to be. Her stepson, Freddie, plans to marry Heidi Withers in October, and this spring Mr. Bourne brought his fiancée to his family’s home for a weekend. Clearly, things did not go as expected.

After the weekend at theirs,  Mrs. Bourne wrote Ms. Withers not so exciting e-mail, and Ms. Withers, shellshocked as you can understand decided to have it forwarded it to her friends. The letter went viral.

Here’s what Mrs. Bourne had to say to her future stepdaughter-in-law:

“It is high time someone explained to you about good manners. Yours are obvious by their absence and I feel sorry for you.

Unfortunately for Freddie, he has fallen in love with you and Freddie being Freddie, I gather it is not easy to reason with him or yet encourage him to consider how he might be able to help you.

It may just be possible to get through to you though. I do hope so.

Your behaviour on your visit to Devon during April was staggering in its uncouthness and lack of grace.

Unfortunately, this was not the first example of bad manners I have experienced from you.

If you want to be accepted by the wider Bourne family I suggest you take some guidance from experts with utmost haste.

A few examples of “your lack of manners”:

When you are a guest in another’s house, you do not declare what you will and will not eat – unless you are positively allergic to something.

You do not remark that you do not have enough food.

You do not start before everyone else.

You do not take additional helpings without being invited to by your host.

When a guest in another’s house, you do not lie in bed until late morning in households that rise early – you fall in line with house norms.

You should never ever insult the family you are about to join at any time and most definitely not in public. I gather you passed this off as a joke but the reaction in the pub was one of shock, not laughter.

I have no idea whether you wrote to thank [your future sister-in-law] for the weekend but you should have hand-written a card to her.

You should have hand-written a card to me. You have never written to thank me when you have stayed at Houndspool.

[Your future sister-in-law] has quite the most exquisite manners of anyone I have ever come across. You would do well to follow her example.

You regularly draw attention to yourself. Perhaps you should ask yourself why.

In conclusion,

It is tragic that you have diabetes. However, you aren’t the only young person in the world who is a diabetic.

I know quite a few young people who have this condition, one of whom is getting married in June. I have never heard her discuss her condition. She quietly gets on with it. She doesn’t like being diabetic. Who would? You do not need to regale everyone with the details of your condition or use it as an excuse to draw attention to yourself. It is vulgar.

As a diabetic of long standing you must be acutely aware of the need to prepare yourself for extraordinary eventualities, the walk to Mothecombe beach being an example. You are experienced enough to have prepared yourself appropriately.

No one gets married in a castle unless they own it. It is brash, celebrity style behaviour.

I understand your parents are unable to contribute very much towards the cost of your wedding. (There is nothing wrong with that except that convention is such that one might presume they would have saved over the years for their daughters’ marriages.)

If this is the case, it would be most ladylike and gracious to lower your sights and have a modest wedding as befits both your incomes.

One could be accused of thinking that Heidi Withers must be patting herself on the back for having caught a most eligible young man. I pity Freddie.”

Are you as speechless as this left me.

Share your thought folks!



  1. While this letter is shocking for it’s bluntness (i saw it sometime last month, btw), it would be fair to ask if the step-mom has a point and if the recipient of the letter indeed lacks manners…..just saying. Some people are very rude and classless and have no clue or don’t care how they come across to others. I believe when you are meeting a family you are about to join, you should put your best foot forward.

    However, i’ll be fair enough and say this. The lady could have passed across the same message in a nicer, friendlier way. Maybe she wouldn’t have gotten so much flack for what she wrote.

  2. Oh my good Lord! Do people actually do things like this? I mean write such letters?? I’m speechless! The prospective mother-in-law is obviously not shy about sharing her feelings, lol. Some of the things she mentioned are actually uncouth but she’s not going to get far by informing the lady this way. Can’t stop laughing and exclaiming in horror at the same time!

  3. ah hmmm but seriously is this for real … lol and yea think i am a bit in ters but daughter in law to be … but at the same time there is a” lot of advice and wisdom”
    what more can i say guess the lady had it up where ever with the daughter in law to be … My goodness the letter will sure make the 8th wonder of the world !!!

  4. first time i heard this story, all i could think was that the daughter in-law did wrong by sharing this letter with her friends, and allowing them share it with the world. now i’ve read it again, i still feel she shouldn’t have let it go viral, but seriously this mother in-law has got some nerve! i can understand her wanting to correct the girl, but she took it too far, really took time to put the girl down. she could have been a lot nicer, or better still told her son to communicate her concerns to his fiancee…

    it’s no surprise that some rich guys find it hard to find true love; when mothers create such a hostile environment, how many girls can survive?

  5. Nawa oh…please what happened to speaking the truth in love as bible commands.. This seem like a case of naked man running out of his bathroom chasing a mad man for his stolen clothes

  6. sadly the mother in law has no business in her son’s life. I pray That God will not give me a daughter in law or son in law that isn’t worth it. for once your children have their homes you have to leave them completely to make their own mistakes and learn from it. But the mother in law is bold sha..loll.

  7. First, lol @ that picture of Patience in the middle of the post…this sure sounds like a role she’d play very well, if it were a movie.

    The MIL does sound quite harsh, but if she actually took the pains to sit and write this, then the DIL’s behaviour must have been really appalling. I think she certainly has a right to express her “disgust” but she ought to have done it more nicely/lovingly, and preferably not in writing.

  8. A lot of us are already spitting fires and brimstones over mother-in-law’s letter. But the question is did she say the wrong things, NO! She spoke the unadulterated truth. Agreed, she probably was too blunt, but her message was clear- u have bad manner!
    The lady should work on the message,and and not crucify the messenger. Mother-in-law not only spotted her gross shortcomings, but offered corrective measures. All this she did in a private mail to her, emphasis on private! That’s the love! She could jolly well dress her down when next they meet, but she wants her to change.
    Most ladies just have this phobia for mother-in-laws, and some even pray that the guy’s mum should be late before they marry!

    1. My thoughts exactly.
      Most MIL’s wont take out time to correct, they would just act it out and make life very uncomfortable.
      And as she has already stated in the letter, she knows Freddie won’t be able to talk to her so she just did it to avoid further problems.
      I guess she was a bit harsh, but she spoke the truth nonetheless.
      The only time I would fault her is if the girl didn’t do ll that was stated here.
      We can all learn from it.

  9. If the future mother-in-law spoke the truth then I don’t blame her. I can imagine spending time with the Ms Withers of the letter, I wouldn’t just send her a letter, I would tell her my mind, to her face as well as dissuade my son from marrying her. First impressions do count sha and like they say, no smoke without fire.
    Kudos to Ms Withers for forwarding the message to all her friends (it proves some truth in all the mail says). I can just imagine what her mother-in-law would think when she sees the letter in her mail box. Ms Withers should be dipped in tar and flogged down a street. Now shaking my head at the foolishness

  10. Infact i was shocked. Is this for real? in the generation? this century?? its known alot of young girls are uncultured, but 2 wrongs dont make it right! am sure there were better ways to pass this message across. The lady in turn obviously hasnt learnt. if it were me, even if my action were justified, i would be too ashamed to show the letter to people, let alone spead it.

  11. This is serious. Heard it sometimes back on radio but didn’t really listen to it. Just stumbled on the presenters going back and forth on whether the MIL was right in sending the letter, whether the DIL was a good house guest and all. The MIL is “right”; the DIL really didn’t need to do some of what she was accused of doing. BUT… The MIL went about it the “wrongest” way possible. If na 9ja woman, the DIL def would “hate” her for life and that’s the beginning of the end of such marriage (in most cases). If the husband support him mama, wahala. If he support him wife (which he actually should), mama go dey vex. So na lose-lose situation.

    The DIL shouldn’t look @ it from the angle of “how did she correct” her. If she needs to change, she better get @ it

  12. @ Ibifiri, I bet you’re not married and if u are, u don’t have a child. How on earth can you say a mother does not have a say in the life of a son that she raised? Come on

  13. abegggg,make she go hug transformer,was she suppose to be under the table? and why is she comparing her to her daughter,I pity the Freddie sef.

  14. LOL @ Patience’s pic; that woman is the epitome of winchi winchi mother-in-law. hehe.
    Jokes apart, 3 gbosa’s for this mother-in-law. If the things she claims in the letter are true, the bride sef is a jumping-jumper. People should learn to be more cultured and well-mannered. It’s not posing or forming, it’s pure etiquette and courtesy. Like who declares what she wants to eat or not eat, unless she was specifically asked? Who stays in bed when the rest of your host family (esp as they are your in-laws- to be) are up early? Who draws unnecessary attention to themselves?
    The mother-in-law coulda put those words in a better and nicer way but the girl sef don do asheju. lol.
    I cringe to think this is real though…poor girl musta got the shock of her life reading this.

  15. The fact that the daughter in-law shared this letter just proves the mother was right. Ur a visitor why draw attention to ur self so much? & having a wedding in a castle u don’t own pure unadultrated classless behavior infact kudos to the mother in law I can imagine her horror at the thot that her son is spending the rest of his life with such a person. Imagine how the grandchildren will grow up to be?!

  16. Well I understand the MIL very well and kudos to her for saying her ‘privately’ the DIL should be ashamed of herself for sharing the letter!u see them everywhere with designer dress,shoe,jewery,even undies yet no good manners!Singles out there better learn from this.

  17. It is true that you risk some sort of injury to the way you were used to thinking(and acting) when you marry out of your social circle/class. We must conduct ourselves with the best possible manners always.

    This one woman is particularly cruel in the manner she sort to correct her step-daughter in law (many degrees of separation). The young lady in question may or may not be who she is slated out to be according to the letter. No matter, the tone of this letter is harsh at best and cruel at worst. There is no undertone of love or concern, simply a read between the lines – your are not good enough!

  18. I like what she wrote apart from (picking on her parents). To be honest, I like blunt things some times, it just makes the whole thing hurt and deep for u 2 think and rethink…

    I have learnt quite few things that a)Study ur prospective husband and learn from the way he talks about his mum/dad and siblings and learn to accommodate their character (remember u cant change anyone).

    b)It does make sense that some mothers in law are extremely harsh, but make attempt to grow a mental thick skin ( in a positive way i.e. just listen and nod, never ever hold on to any negative words or actions) and pray for grace…

    c) I believe one should have no expectations on how she will treat u or not treat u. WHY: If she is nice to u, u will be shocked, if she is not u will still be cool with it… But always have expectations for urselves and never sell ur values and I have learnt to make sure am courteous and aware of my surroundings.

    I pray God will lead us to continue to pray for this area of our lives and actually invest time in thinking and developing the right attitude and manner in life.

    Note: I enjoyed the letter jor, i think people should learn from it.

  19. I actually enjoyed the letter and think ladies should learn and not just bluff it off. Most of us our characters are nothing to write home about. Let’s work on ourselves, learn. The woman was blunt but then it should be expected

  20. for her to even share it with her friends and let it go viral also shows she’s no angel,the step mother must have seen this.besides the height was the part where she was making fun of the family she was about to marry into in public.The more I think of this,the more annoyed I get.The daughter-in-law has got alot of nerve

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