This may be one of the largest growing pains of all when it comes to getting married, but no one really talks about it.
You’re getting more parents. Not “different” parents – I’m assuming the original mom and dad who changed your diapers and gave you life aren’t going anywhere – these aren’t replacement parents, they’re just… additional parents.
In-laws can be tough. For some of us, the additional family members can feel like a blessing. Best case scenario, they feel like an extension of your own family that you’re comfortable with inviting over for game nights or planning family vacations.
Worst case scenario, your mother-in-law wears a white ballgown to your wedding and your father-in-law starts spewing profanities during the “I do”s.
(I doubt that’s going to happen. First of all, where is your mother-in-law going to get her hands on a white ballgown with such short notice?)
All jokes aside – “Will my husband’s family finally like me once we’re married?” – what do you think?
Seriously. What do you think?
Do you think that once you’re married they’ll “have” to like you, just because you’re married?
Do you think they’ll suddenly have a change of heart and see you as their “daughter” as opposed to “the girl their son brought home”?
Do you think they’ll be more comfortable around you since you’ll be “officially” part of their family now?
Or do you think everything will be exactly the same as it was before the wedding? (Hint, hint – if you chose this one, you’re right.)
Here’s a hard pill to swallow: whoever you were, and however you fit into your partner’s family before the wedding is exactly who you’ll be and how you’ll continue to fit into your partner’s family after the wedding. A wedding is not a magic cure-all.
.Say it with me – A WEDDING IS NOT A MAGIC CURE-ALL.
Your in-laws are your family now, and families don’t always get along (even if you’re blood related to them). But it’s important to figure out how to play nice with your fiancé’s parents now – even before the wedding – considering they’re probably going to be in your life for a very, very, very long time. (They are his parents, after all.) (And they’re not going to magically like you just because you’ve got a “Mrs” in front of your name).
If you need to – agree to disagree on certain topics. Whatever the hot-button issues are for the two of you, learn to avoid them. You don’t have to agree on everything.
If they’re blatantly rude to you, it’s okay to address their comments. Don’t be rude back, but address their negativity in a positive manner. Remain calm. Stand up for yourself without putting them down. Be confident.
Remember that you can’t control them. Look, I don’t know why you guys can’t get along. Maybe they’ve been too opinionated about the wedding. Maybe they’ve made comments about your family. Heck, maybe you’re the problem, I don’t know. But whatever they’re doing – understand that you have no control over them. If it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, you can’t turn it into a chicken. Just take their actions with a grain of salt and move on.
This is your fiance’s family. They’ve literally CREATED someone you love. Give some credit where credit is due. He didn’t just come out of a box, you know.
Respond with compassion. If you fight fire with fire – guess what happens, you’ll get a bigger fire. Try to diffuse the situation by responding with compassion. I’m not saying you have to go out of your way to suck up to them, but treat them with the same kindness that you would want someone to show to your parents. It will only help to build a healthy relationship with them long term, and it will make your fiancé respect you even more to see you trying with his family.