Living Up to In-laws’ Expectations: Common Mistakes

In Law PleaserOne of the more stressful parts of getting married for many women is making a good impression on the in-laws. In some cases, these new family members have been known and well received for years.  That sort of head start is certainly advantageous, but it does not always work that way, especially in this day and age when parents often live many, many miles away.  There are a few things that recently engaged individuals and newlyweds frequently do that can make this transition to becoming a member of the family more difficult. To learn more about what you shouldn’t do when seeking the approval of your in-laws, read on.

Avoid Venting It is not uncommon to remain very close with certain members of the family – whether a parent or a sibling – even after moving to another town or another state.  Venting, or the act of voicing concerns, complaints, and problems to that person can be very therapeutic.  After all, it is someone that you know that you can trust and who will love you regardless of the mistakes you make in life.  However, there is a time to vent and a time to use restraint. When it comes to your spouse (or soon-to-be), the latter is definitely the way to go.  Discussing relationship issues with a family member can lead to severed and hard to repair ties that will undoubtedly make your spouse feel like an outcast.

Too Much Hype Okay, so you don’t want your spouse to tell his mother, father, sister, or brother all of your faults in life.  Perhaps you don’t want him sharing any of them, but there is some danger that lies in telling only the good or overplaying talents. If you do not see your in-laws often and they are led to believe that you are the ‘perfect wife,’ then surely there will be more room for criticism when visits do occur. Remind your husband that though he loves and cherishes you for everything you are, you want to be able to live up to the image he creates in the minds of his loved ones.

Preparation Craze A final mistake made by many newlyweds is the act of over-preparing for the arrival of their parents.  It is very common for people to feel the need to tidy their living space, their personal appearance, and their lives in general whenever parents come into town.  Stressing yourself out before your in-laws show up will only put you even more on edge and make it more difficult to maintain your normal cool, calm, collected composure during the shared time. Let them see what your life is really like (no, you don’t always wake up and bake muffins at 6:00 a.m. on Saturdays). It will lead to a better understanding in the long run.

What advice do you have for our newlywed blog readers?  Any major “don’ts” that stand out in your own in-law experiences? We’d love to hear from you in a comment!

One thought on “Living Up to In-laws’ Expectations: Common Mistakes

  1. Weddzilla

    These are great tips! The last one really leads to the most important tip I can give–be yourself. If you start acting how you think they want you to be, you will be on edge & you’re more likely to have your plan backfire on you! In-laws are only scary if you let them be. Treat them with respect, be nice, be polite, but also show them why their child fell for YOU. They are curious about who YOU are. The best way to respect them is to give them the real you, and don’t put on a front that makes you look as though you think you’re not good enough. If you start acting that way, they will too, and they will not understand what it is about you that their child thinks is good enough for them. Honesty is really the best (and easiest) way! Although I suppose it doesn’t hurt to find a common ground to bond over, either.. :)


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