How to Be a Good Daughter-in-Law

What’s yours is his, and what’s his is yours. This includes the bank account, closet space and yes, his parents.

Being a great daughter-in-law means doing your part to not create or fuel a monster-in-law. The rules are surprisingly similar to those you had to learn in kindergarten and, at times, just as challenging to follow.

Share. He may be signed, sealed and delivered all yours now, but once upon a time, he was theirs. So invite them over, and send him off to spend time with them. These gracious acts will go a long way. And remember, this is not a game of tug-a-war, because you’re all on the same team.

Stay in the lines. Your mother-in-law is not your new BFF, nor is your father-in-law there to be your Mr. Fix It. You’ll probably be able to tell by raised eyebrows when you’ve crossed lines.

Mind your manners. Say “please” and “thank you.” Give compliments. Say you’re sorry when you mess up. You’ve heard them all your entire life, but the in-laws may cause you to need reminding.

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Do not talk while others are talking – even if it’s crazy talk. You don’t necessarily have to take her advice on how to best clean your stove, but you can at least listen without rolling your eyes or interjecting with “please get out of my kitchen!”

Use your words. After pausing and gathering your thoughts in a mature, level-headed manner, open the lines of communication with the in-laws. But remember, when you need someone to vent to about your hubby’s recent wrongdoing, these are not the ones to call.

Be nice to everyone – even if they are very different from you and your family. Do not enter into matrimony under the delusion that after the ceremony you can change the in-laws. It’s true what they say, you marry the family – as they are. Don’t expect automatic perfect harmony once you’re the Mrs., especially if it doesn’t exist now. But being nice regardless of differences and opinions is a beautiful trait in a daughter-in-law.

Use your reasoning skills. Even though what they are doing may make absolutely no sense to you, try to give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume they mean well, even if you are apt to conclude they have a conspiracy theory against you. Try to understand their point of view, and remember, one day you may just be a mother-in-law.

Pick your battles. Does it really matter that your parents-in-law are constantly inviting you on the latest homes tour to get ideas for your abode? (A polite, “We’re not interested in going, but thank you for inviting us” should suffice.) But, you might want to address them before it’s too late if they start eyeing the house for sale next door.

Follow the rules. Despite what this list appears to be, there really are no written rules. You just might have to learn them as you go. Most importantly,
when it doesn’t seem like these people are doing anything at all right, remember they raised Mr. Right for you, and for that you can try to be patient and love them.

Try, try again. And if you happen to fall on your face, brush yourself off and get back to enjoying blissful newlywed life.

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