Whether you plan to have a love marriage or an arranged marriage, there’s one thing you can’t run away from – your in-laws! Getting along with your in-laws is a difficult challenge that every newlywed girl has to face; especially so, in the case of mothers-in-law. Relationship trouble with one’s mother-in-law (let’s call them MIL) is a common issue with most girls these days.
Looks like I’m among the lucky few who have so far got along really well with our MILs; but if you’re concerned about being on the same page as your MIL, take these tips to get along with her and make peace.
- Allow enough exposure: The first thing that any new daughter-in-law has to bear in mind is that she has come into a new family that is already well-knit, so it is ‘her’ responsibility to try and gel with them. You must try to mix and mingle with every member of your family. Your MIL will notice this and you’ll immediately take a step forward towards getting in her good books. Remember, exposure breeds affection. So try and get enough exposure and spend quality time with your in-laws to understand them better.
- Be in the positive light: You don’t want to look like a vamp to your MIL in the first week (or month, or year!) of your wedding itself! So before meeting your in-laws, take a moment to calm yourself down and put yourself in a friendly, warm and positive frame of mind. It’s true that emotions precede actions, but sometimes, it works the other way round. If you act positive, you’ll feel positive.
- Avoid internal strife: If you and your MIL do not agree upon something, (like politics or religion or the day’s food menu for that matter) do not let yourself be in any internal discord. Take a deep breath and let it go. Since you are a new member of the family, you do not know or understand them and their habits as well as your MIL does, so give her the upper hand initially.
- Don’t give up your values: While it is good to learn things from your new family and your new mother, never lose your own values that your parents have taught you in the bargain. While the time is right (read: when your MIL is in a good mood) share your thoughts and value on a particular topic with her and ask for her views on your thoughts. But ensure to be very cautious and polite and don’t say something that would offend her or go against her values.
- Always be polite: She is your mother-in-law after all. Think of her as your second mother because that’s what she would expect from you. If you take her as a mom, she would soon enough take you as her own daughter. Share your feelings and worries with her even if they are regarding trifling matters like laundry. She would feel that she is important to you and her advice matters (and it should).
- Respect other’s priorities: Promote peace by thinking from your MIL’s point of view. Once you enter a new family, you may not get along pretty well with each and every member of the family. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. If you have a problem with one such person in the family (your mother-in-law in this case) who seems to expect too much from you, take a minute to ponder over what is it that they want. Do they expect you to dress a particular way? Do they want the children to go to a religious sermon every Saturday? Do they expect you to call them during any good or bad news? Take this advice – unless it violates your deeply held principles, it’s completely okay to respect their priorities and try to make them happy. You’ll only be promoting peace and winning a place in their hearts.
- Think about your spouse: If you end up having an argument or a spat with your MIL, think how it will affect your husband. He is after all your MIL’s son first. Even though he secretly agrees with you and thinks your MIL needs to give you a break, he may not be able to put it into words. And you don’t want him to hurt your MIL for your sake, as that will never let you win a place in her heart or her good books.
- Respect your in-laws: It is extremely important to respect your in-laws especially your MIL because she would be the one teaching you how her family lives their day-to-day lives. So in a way she is helping you make the others happy. Do you need another reason to be grateful to her? Of course not!
So if you really want to get along with your MIL, follow the advice given above and peace out! All the best!