Starting Off Right with Your In-laws

It's ironic that the same people who raised the man you fell in love with can seriously damage, if not destroy, your marriage. But as many iVillagers can tell you, loving your fiance doesn't mean you're going to love his family. That doesn't mean, however, that you have to hate them, either. Here's what some iVillagers did, or wish they'd done, to start this important relationship off on the right foot.

Reach out

"Take the time and put out the effort to get to know your mother-in-law one on one." --op_marthajr

"I met with my would-be mother-in-law over tea and explained to her what our plans were and also asked her if it would be okay to marry her son. It wasn't that I needed her permission, it was just something that I felt would be the right thing to do. Get her blessing and what have you. I think she respects me more for it (taking her feelings into consideration). I guess it was just out of respect. --taia


"When you see problems with your in-laws on the horizon, pull your fiance aside and decide how you're going to handle these issues together first. Then you can put up a 'united front' when you go to deal with your in-laws." --subon

"If you establish open communication with your in-laws as soon as you're engaged, expressing your needs and expectations and allowing them to do the same, you'll have fewer conflicts in the future than if you try to resolve every problem when it arises." --carang

Keep things in perspective

"Sometimes you just have to accept your in-laws as they are. I know it's hard, but what else can you do?" --stretch123

"No matter where you are in your life, try to have meaning and purpose in your life. Have a worthwhile cause that you believe in. Strive to be more giving and expect less from others. Laugh at the small stuff, and pray for everything. Then, when you meet your future in-laws, know that they can accept you just as you are. You may not want to live their type of life, or shop in their favorite stores. But if you can see their perspective, you have it made." --cl-fullhouse

"It is most important to keep peace in your own home. So if some distance is what works best for the two of you, then stick to it. He made the choice to be with you for the rest of his life. And your in-laws have their own lives to live." --expectations

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