The wedding has passed and now you're part of this new family (exciting, but intimidating, right?). You might even wish you didn't have to see his family again - you're happy enough staring your own little family. Then you remember that these are the people who raised an amazing son whom you love, which inspires you to really try and love them back.
You may be "stuck with them", but there are lots of things you can do to show them that you love them and will support them through the hard times. In return, they too will love you and support your marriage and your future children.
It's hard to try to include someone when they are always refusing your gifts and time. Though it might not be what you are used to, snubbing your in-laws is how you hurt their feelings and eventually they will stop trying. Rather than thinking you can do it all yourself, just accept what they are trying to do for you. Be sure to frequently say thank you and be appreciative of their service.
2. But remember that gifts shouldn't go one way
It isn't bad to let them know that you were thinking of them. Whether it's a card in the mail, or gifts on their birthdays, take the time to show them that you appreciate who they are.
3. Call them
People always want to be remembered. If you have kids, setting up a time for your children to call their grandparents is a really good idea. Or share photos with them in the mail. You and your in-laws have their differences, but they'll want to know what their son and his new wife are up to.
4. Embrace the family vacation
No matter how unorganized it is or where it is, always go on the family vacation. They are excited to get together as a family and if you are excited, you will definitely win some brownie points.
5. Talk through big decisions
They are parents. They have experienced the same things you have been through and they will love to be included in the conversation. It can be hard to ask for advice because you may think you have the answer already, but they have different life experiences and could help you gain a different perspective. Plus, the worse case scenario is that you don't get any good advice, but you still get to build a good relationship with your in-laws.
This one can be hard if you are not a "touchy-feely" person, but giving them a hug every time you see them shows them that you love them and appreciate them. Things like hugs help break down walls and build connections.
Gossip is a toxic part of relationship, but there isn't anything wrong with commenting about how the lady in church almost lost her teeth while singing. Sharing stories and laughing together is one of the best ways to bond - it will make it easier for you to feel like you have an in with the family.
8. Say I love you
You love your husband and these are the people who raised him. Saying I love you confirms to them that you care and that you're glad to be part of the family.
Connecting with your in-laws can be hard. However, that's not an excuse to not try. Over time, these simple steps can help you create a great relationship with your new family.
Christa is a part time photographer, part time writer and full time lover of life. She loves eating chocolate chip cookies and singing (but not at the same time). She has her degree in political science.