A new husband is a new son-in-law as well. Family dynamics are hard enough to negotiate, but when you get married, there's a whole new set of people to get along with. However, you can be the son in law that everyone loves by following these six tips.
Be Respectful of Your Wife
The in-laws will constantly be watching you to see how you treat their darling little girl, so make sure they see you at your best. If you support her in her hobbies or remember her birthday, you'll be the hero each time she talks to her parents.
Be Respectful of Her Parents
As a son-in-law, this means no jokes about them, sarcastic comments or otherwise rude behavior in their presence. No matter how you feel about them inside, always be polite and show them the respect they deserve as your wife's parents.
Offer your services whenever it's necessary, from helping her dad carry some boxes from the basement to clearing the dishes for her mother. Even if they insist they don't need you, her parents will still be impressed that you keep offering.
Allow your wife to be your buffer with the family. She is allowed to get in the midst of family issues, but as a son-in-law you should not. Quietly support your wife and avoid getting into any discussions or arguments with her side of the family. If you're being actively recruited for an opinion, be as firm, gentle and neutral as possible. What is said or done in the heat of an argument now may come back to bite you down the road.
Just as you want your in-laws to keep their nose out of your business, do the same with them. That means helping your wife set clear boundaries with her parents. It also means letting your in-laws have their own space - don't expect them to always babysit the kids whenever you want.
This doesn't mean you have to crack jokes at every gathering. It simply means that you are an approachable, easy going, funny and fun to be around son-in-law. Everyone wants to be near someone who is comfortable enough to laugh at themselves and who is ready with a witty reply. The more you act like you feel at ease, the sooner you will actually feel comfortable with her parents and in your role as a son-in-law.
Mothers-in-law aren't necessarily the Wicked Witch of the West, but you're bound to have some awkward moments once you marry into a family. After all, you have married her child; she's bound to feel left out, or you might think she's snoopy or bossy. If you are prepared for bumps in the road and do your best to avoid or coast over them, you can avoid major fights with your mother-in-law and maybe even forge a friendship.
Every bride-to-be is marrying another woman's son, and he is probably the apple of his mother's eye. It's hard for many women to accept to her future daughter-in-law is good enough for her son's long-time joy. Fortunately, there are ways to cope with, soothe and even win over many mothers-in-law, even if they seem tough at first.
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