How to Get Along with Your Mother-in-Law
Though we would love to believe that given enough time our Mother in laws will come to love us, that just is not always the reality of it. Getting along with your Mother-in-law can take a lot of work but for the sake of your sanity and that of the one you love it is worth it -most of the time. Here are some of the factors that need to be considered when you are looking to learn how to get along with your mother-in-law.
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Who is She: How was this woman raised? How was her family life and her relationship with her parents and also with your significant other? - This information can help you to understand the type of relationship she expects to have with you. It can also make it more apparent as to how you should best approach and handle her.
What does she like: Find out what type of things your Mother-in-law enjoys. -Is there anything you are willing to take on as a hobby so you have something in common? - Invite her out for a night or afternoon of Bingo or for a sit down lunch and shopping. -Getting involved gives you an opening to start up a general conversation, ask for advice or just get to know each other without the awkwardness that can come with In-law relationships. You will finally have common ground outside of the family circle.
She is a mother : Often it is hard to keep in mind that this woman probably struggled and worked hard to raise the person that we love. There is a bond that they share that you need to make sure you are not coming between. Promote lunches with mom and keeping her up to date with all the going-ons in her child's life (more positive then negative otherwise you risk being labeled as the "problem"). Be open to asking her for parenting advice if it fits - whether you use it or not, this will make her feel needed and a valued member of the family.
Don't Demean : Never demean your significant other or discuss how horrible they are or your personal relationship problems in front of your Mother-in-Law. This can be a sure-fire way to obliterate any chances of a good relationship. (Down the road when a good relationship is established this can come in to an extent)
Support : Supporting your significant other when they are going after their dreams or are in a time of need is a great way to show your Mother-In-Law that you have her child's best interests at heart.
Public Behavior : Clingy and needy is not attractive. As much as you might feel like hanging and smooching on your significant other keep it within reason. Save the gory (and juicy!) details of your personal relationship for behind closed doors. Your Mother-In-Law does not want or need to see you clinging to or making out with each other. (Yes, that means refrain from the playful rump pats). Imagine how uncomfortable this behavior can be for your mother in law.
Be Yourself : Now I am not saying if you are typically a crude sarcastic person to feel open to being that way with your Mother-In-Law but, don't try to paint a mask of someone you are not. This can ruin a family relationship down the road when the truth comes out, and it will.
Research : Don't be afraid to pick up a book and find out what worked for others or simply to just get some ideas. There are dozens of great books out there that can help you with suggestions and ideas and I've even included 4 of those above that come with good reviews. The fifth recommendation is simply for your enjoyment.
Knowing when it is a lost cause : Not every Mother-In-Law has the want to get along with you. If you have tried everything else and nothing has worked it may be a lost cause. What you should do at this point is continue to be respectful and allow her to be part of your guys' lives but stop putting yourself out. Always be the bigger person - as long as you know her bad behavior is unwarranted you will better be able to continue on with your life instead of focusing on trying to win her over. This realization will make movies like Monster in Law - that much sweeter and enjoyable.