BG: DH and I are in a commuter marriage, meaning we live apart Monday - Friday and are together on weekends. Neither of us have a landline and only use cell phones.
Recently, my MIL has been calling me more frequently during the weekday. I find it a little odd that she usually calls me, not DH (especially since DH is a mama's boy
) and resorts to calling him second if I don't answer. Anyway, I'm not sure how to handle all these phone calls. If it was a weekend and we were together, I would just hand the phone off to DH. But seeing how she knows our living arrangement, it's pretty clear that she's trying to reach me specifically.
Well, I've been bad and letting all her calls go to voicemail.
Why? Well, English is not MIL's first language and she speaks with an intensely thick accent. Furthermore, she speaks "broken" English so even without the accent, she could be difficult to understand. The first time I heard her speak, I thought she was speaking her native language, I kid you not. I've learned to understand her fairly well in person (she tends to make up a lot of words/phrases, but I can usually get the gist of what she's trying to say). The phone however, is a completely different story. I cannot understand a word of what she says.
If it was anyone else, I would just tell them the truth and ask them to email or text me. However, MIL's is very poor at reading/writing English, so that's pretty much not an option. On top of all this, MIL is very sensitive about her language barrier. She's been rudely tormented and teased by past coworkers, her ex-husband and his new wife, and even complete strangers about it. I can tell it is a very emotional issue for her, so I really feel it would hurt her to be told the truth regarding why I don't answer her calls. I'd rather her just assume I'm terrible about answering calls because I don't want her feelings to be hurt, not to mention I wouldn't be able to understand her anyway.
How should I handle this? DH and I have no idea.