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Mother-in-Law Excludes Name Despite Request

Dear Dr. Dave and Dr. Dee,

I read your answer to the question on your website about not having both names on the address label. My mother-in-law believes that it is definitely appropriate to address us as Mr. and Mrs. John Doe although both my husband and I have requested her to include my name when addressing the envelope. My mother-in-law contends that etiquette dictates that the envelope be addressed as she does it and that it is not a snub.


Please help the snubbed

Dear Please help the snubbed,

Addressing the envelope as Mr. and Mrs. John Doe is appropriate for formal invitations. However, for other correspondence, it would be fine to address the envelope Jane and John Doe. Or, if you have a different last name, then it would be addressed as Ms. Jane Smith and Mr. John Doe or simply Jane Smith and John Doe.

Because both you and your husband have requested that she include your name on the envelope, then she is intentionally disregarding your feelings on this matter. Your mother-in-law is not just snubbing you, but also snubbing her son by ignoring his request to include your name.

But, what can you do when she ignores your request? You can take the high road and change your attitude about the matter, especially if this is the only area in which you feel slighted.

Changing your attitude would involve understanding your mother-in-law's point of view. It may be that she is a traditional thinker and feels uncomfortable addressing the envelope in a manner that is counter to her conventional ways. Another way to change your attitude would be to feel sorry for someone who is inflexible and persists in this conflict.