Evil Mother-in-Law Sends Nastiest Email Ever


wedding dressI've heard about evil stepmothers and evil mothers-in-law, but Carolyn Bourne of Devon, England takes the cake: She's both. When Bourne's stepson Freddie brought his fiance Heidi Withers to meet his family, Heidi soon discovered that her soon-to-be MIL was a complete biatch. And lucky for us, there's hard evidence.

You see Carolyn, displeased with Heidi's manners during their visit, sent Heidi an email explaining all the ways Heidi messed up during her stay as a guest in Carolyn's home.

Carolyn's words are bone-chilling. She writes:

(Oh, and as if I had to tell you, this should be read aloud, and with a British accent):

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.

If you want to be accepted by the wider Bourne family I suggest you take some guidance from experts with utmost haste. There are plenty of finishing schools around.

Please, for your own good, for Freddie's sake and for your future involvement with the Bourne family, do something as soon as possible.

Here are 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.

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

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

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.

Let's take a breather here for second. That was intense.

OK. So much to say. First of all, I believe in manners. I believe in thank-you notes and I believe in common sense. Sounds like Heidi made some classic rookie mistakes when it comes to etiquette, but did she deserve an email like this?

No way. Carolyn is cutting, rude, and pretentious. She's clearly not trying to help Heidi, but reprimand her in the most demeaning way possible. (Just realized that if Carolyn reads this, I could be getting a nasty email, too. Score.)

Here's the question. If Carolyn was your soon-to-be mother-in-law, and you hadn't yet said your vows, would this change your mind about marrying into this family? I will say that it would certainly push me over the edge if I had any doubt whatsoever that my fiance was the man for me. To know that someone in his family hates or disapproves of me so much as to send an email like this would make me reconsider my future.

Because, as I'm sure some of you know, your in-laws are a big part of that future. I think the only time I could overlook an email like this would be if I were marrying Prince William and the Queen had sent me a rant like this.

Other than the promise of becoming a Princess (sure, I'm that shallow), I from here on out have a strict zero-tolerance policy when it comes to snotty emails dissecting my manners. Hmph!

Would you change your mind if your future MIL sent you this email?

Photo via video4net/Flickr



To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

rerra... rerratron

What a snooty bitch! And finishing schools? Seriously? What decade does she think we're in? Also, I'd LOVE to see the email she'll send when she finds out her nastiness has gone viral.

nonmember avatar Alli

It was extremely rude of her to write such a mean and nasty letter but honestly a lot of those things did sound really rude if they are true. But of course i would never actually write a letter about them.

Katie Hesney Johnson

Carolyn has it all twisted. She made it sound like this girl should worship her for letting her stay as a guest in her home. She sounds like a snob, and I would pack my things and run the other way.....as fast as I could. 


mama_... mama_em_c

I had some serious reservations about marrying into my husbands family because his mother is a bit shallow and has very "on the surface" mannerisms (i.e. constant pedicures, hair-cuts, tans, etc). Now I get there is looking good and having good behavior and being practical about it. I am able to look sharp but be practical. She has been really snooty in her behavior toward my own family and complains about a life they would love to have. She is beyond clinging to her son (who travels and some days *I* his pregnant wife, don't even get to talk to him) and she mopes around the house until she does.  

Fortunately I was able to work past it and realize we don't have to live right next to her and there is an ignore button on the phone. And I can learn how not to be when our son brings his partner home. 

medic... medicwife

I would have appreciated a heads up from my MIL in the beginning, lol! Would have saved me a lot of energy if I'd have known she was a bitch from the get go :)

SicTr... SicTransitGlori

What a bitch! If she was getting married into this family, then you would think that she could have felt at home at their house. I know I feel totally at home at my mother-in-law's house (and vice versa). I know that when we have houseguests I don't expect any elaborate thank you's or for them to "fall in line with house norms". I've been raised to treat your houseguest with respect and to provide them with every available comfort.

Sorry Freddie, but I would run far far away!


lovin... loving_my_hero

Maybe I'm alone in this, but I'd appreciate it. These things that she has listed are all things that would be expected in my family as well. Its call class and cooth and unfortunately people have forgotten about these things.

GlowW... GlowWorm889

I agree that a person should not do the things listed in the e-mail; I could not imagine declaring which foods I will and will not eat or demanding more food if I were a guest in someone's home. Or sleeping late in an early riser household. It's just rude to have others who have graciously allowed you to stay in their home to accommodate those needs. I also agree about not throwing a lavish wedding if my side of the family is not contributing an equal amount as the groom's.  But I was raised in a really old-fashioned household. My family is huge on manners. My grandmother owns Miss Manner's Book of Ettiquette. I'm not kidding. She used to quote from it when I was a kid. Drove me nuts. However, I have always been grateful for the education in manners and have been complimented on them by others. I believe in instilling them in my children as well.

However, it is just as rude and pretentious to point these things out in an e-mail. If one has to correct another person's manners, it should be done quietly and discreetly in person. So she wasn't raised with the same manners. Politely inform her of how your household works and that you wish she would adhere to your family rules while she is in your home. Especially since she is not a one-time guest and will be representing the family while married to her son. I think her points were valid, but the way in which MIL presented her troubles was inappropriate.

Histo... HistoryMamaX3

You're not alone, loving_my_hero... the British are known for their uppity ways and if you are going to marry into a class that considers finishing school and etiquette the norm, you'd best do your best to fit it. Nothing the MIL said was out of line, all SHOULD be considered common courtesy. Sadly, most people are selfish and rude when it comes to how they behave around other people.

Of course the letter was a bit harsh- but I imagine that the MIL was rather frazzled and embarrassed in regards to how her new DIL behaved.

jingl... jinglebells8677

I wish my mil and sil would of sent me an email telling me everything i did wrong, instead 3 days after we got married my sil post some not so nice blogs about me on myspace but didnt name any names just gave enough detail so ppl would know. Then when i wrote her an email telling her i was sry for whatever i had done she acted like it was nothing big but treated me like shit and told my hubby i was not allowed at her house and her kids are not allowed to call me there aunt and has never given me or dh a reason why she does not like me. My mil waited until dh and i had been married over a yr to tell dh that she hates me for no reason. Just like my sil she has a gut feeling about me and wont even give me a real chance. She also waited to inform him of this after he had just got into a bad accident and was just released after 5 days in the hospital. I was his sole care giver and all she did was talk crap about me in front of our kids. Now i am not welcome at her house and im 6 months pregnant and she has very lil to nothing to do with dh and our kids. it has caused alot of problems with our marriage and staying together has been very hard.

1-10 of 99 comments 12345 Last