Spend your engagement creating a lasting bond with the woman who raised your beloved.
The bride and future mother-in-law relationship can be a fragile one. It’s also an extremely important relationship to foster in order to prevent unnecessary tensions in your marriage. If you don’t live near your future in-laws, you may not have had much opportunity to foster closeness. The good news is the time leading up to your wedding is a great opportunity to strengthen the relationship. The bad news is that planning such an important event is often stressful and can lead to increased tension.
While there is certainly time to get to know each other after the wedding, the effort – or lack thereof – that you put forth during the planning process will likely make a strong impression that will stick in her mind. Here are our tips on how to bond with your future mother-in-law in the months leading up to your wedding.
• First things first: If there are any issues with you and her, don't vent to your future spouse. It's not fair to make them choose between you and their mom.
• Shortly after the engagement, invite her to your place (whether you and your sweetheart live together or not) for dinner. Yes, you’ll have to make sure everything is spotless, but the welcoming gesture will be worth it in the long run.
• Though it’s understandable if you want dress shopping to be a special outing with you and your mom, you can still invite your future mother-in-law to shop for your wedding shoes or other bridal accessories.
• If you and your fiancé’s family come from different cultures, be respectful and willing to incorporate their traditions into your nuptials.
• Be sure to ask for her opinion on aspects of the wedding planning – especially if it’s regarding something she has a wealth of knowledge about. Only do this for decisions where you could actually use some advice, otherwise you risk causing an argument that could have been easily avoided.
• Find anything you have in common and use that as much as you can. If she’s a movie buff, go to the theater – just the two of you. Take a trip to the nursery if she’s proud of her garden.
• If all else fails: fake it ‘til you make it. Just do your best to seem as nice and genuine as possible, and your future mother-in-law will soon realize that the wedding means she’s gaining a daughter.
Opening photo by Robert Evans Studios