Building a Lifelong Relationship with Your Daughter-in-law

 There is an old saying, “Your daughter is your daughter for life but your son is your son until he gets married”, it is wise to keep this in mind when your son gets married.  Building a lifelong relationship with your daughter-in-law is one way to guarantee you won’t lose your son. 

The most important thing that any mother in law can remember, is that she also was a daughter in law at one point in her life and to remember how she felt about her own mother-in-law. 

Being a new bride can be a terrifying experience. You will be looking for all the moral support you can get. You mother can be your best ally but your mother in law should not be looked upon as the “other woman” in your husband’s

As a mother in law, you want to make your daughter in law feel welcome and part of her new family. This really should start before the marriage if at all possible. Invite her to lunch or for a shopping trip or if it is more your style, have a small family tea for her. Get to know her and realize that she is the woman your son has decided to spend his life with. You don’t have to love her, but it will be wonderful if you can find it in your heart to do that. Keep reminding yourself that she is going to be the mother of your grandchildren if that helps. Don’t think of it as losing a son, think of it as gaining a daughter.

If you love your son or sons you owe it to them to try to develop a relationship with the woman they have chosen. Think of your sons as on loan to you until they find the woman they marry, this will make it less of a power struggle for his affections. We all know that you can love more than one person. Accepting that your daughter in law is the number one love in your son’s life can be a hard pill to swallow for some mothers. Stop keeping score and start thinking in terms of the unlimited nature of love. Your daughter in law isn’t taking anything away from you, she is just adding a new dimension to your son’s love.

You are looking at a great opportunity to add a wonderful new friend into your life. You will have years of family times together. Here are a few tips that I have used with my two great daughters in law.

Never be critical. While a mother can get away with that, a mother in law cannot. If you have nothing good to say, keep it zipped. There are times when your tongue may bleed, get used to it.

Don’t offer advice unless it is solicited? Even if you think she is doing everything all wrong, don’t tell her.

Make up a photo album of pictures of your son and give it to her as a gift. My daughters in law love that. They probably didn’t know your son when he was a baby and they will be very grateful for this opportunity to be part of his whole life.

Never mention how much you loved his previous girlfriends (wife) etc.

Be available if they need help but don’t drop in without a call. Keep the lines of communication open.

Create a little cookbook of old family favorite recipes. Chances are she may not have had a lot of cooking experience, you can offer to teach her a few of his favorites, I will always be grateful to my mother in law for this.

You may only have one chance to make a good first impression on your future daughter in law. Don’t blow it by letting your possessiveness get in the way. Welcome her with open arms and reap the rewards that will follow.

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