This reader has a tough situation with her mother-in-law. She sure could use your thoughtful advice.I recently visited my husband's family, and am just steaming. I get along really well with his parents, and appreciate how they've welcomed me as a daughter, but I can't deal with my mother-in-law's comments about my body. She's super honest and open, but she has no filter from her brain to her mouth when it comes to her thoughts and opinions. For example, as soon as we arrived, she hugged me, then looked me up and down and said, "You seem a little softer — are you pregnant?" I was stunned, but answered, "No, I just haven't been hitting the gym as much." And she said, "Oh don't worry. You haven't gained too much weight in your butt." This isn't the first time she's noticed that I packed on a few pounds. Last time we visited, she asked if I was eating a lot of salt because my face looked puffy.
I know she's not deliberately trying to hurt my feelings, but I'm becoming really self-conscious about my body whenever I see her. She herself is always talking about her appearance, how fat she is, and how she's on this diet and that diet, so I know body image is on her mind constantly. I just don't want to hear it anymore. I've talked to my husband and he just shrugs his shoulders and says, "Well at least she's honest. You know she's not hiding anything from you." Great. He's no help. Any suggestions? I dread going to see her now, which is at least once a month.
—Self-Conscious and Annoyed
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