This is a guest post from Jeff Nickles at My Super-Charged Life, where he shares tips, motivation and resources for living life to the fullest.
Guys, did you know that there is more to being married than just getting along with your wife? Generally, a woman’s family is important to her. She doesn’t just want you to have a good relationship with your mother-in-law and father-in-law. She needs it. Ladies, am I wrong here?
Men, your wife needs you to be a good son-law and to blend into her family. Yes, she is, in a sense, leaving them behind when she gets married to start her own family with you. But, she is going to need their support and encouragement along the way. Trust me, your relationship with your wife will grow deeper and be easier if you develop a great son-in-law relationship with your in-laws.
The Case for Becoming a Good Son-In-Law
Furthermore, I suggest that it is in your best interest as well. I know that having a terrific relationship with my in-laws has been a true blessing for me. Their love and support of me and my family has been invaluable over the years. For example, they were there for us when an F-5 tornado destroyed our home. In another instance, my mother-in-law took care of our newborn daughter when my wife had to go back to the hospital for a week. I don’t know what we would have done if my in-laws weren’t so willing to help in these situations.
Having children creates a whole other reason to build a great relationship with your in-laws. Grandparents are very important to a child’s sense of well-being. They add depth and security to the loving relationships surrounding a child. The better your relationship is with your in-laws, the easier it is going to be for them to grow close and be a positive role model for your children. This is a valuable gift that you can give your kids that will serve them the rest of their lives.
I hope I have convinced you of the advantages of having a great relationship with your mother- and father-in-law. They are special people to your wife and kids. Your family needs them and therefore so do you. Fortunately, son-in-laws don’t usually have the difficulties forming good relationships with their in-laws like many daughter-in-laws do. However, there are still some points worth mentioning that I believe will help you in this endeavor.
How to Build a Great Son-In-Law Relationship With Your In-Laws
- Respect their daughter and take good care of her. Daughters are very special to their parents. I should know because I have two of them. My wife and I have invested our whole hearts in loving and nurturing our daughters to become excellent young women. I have even created a list of things I want to teach my daughters to be successful in life. After giving so much, I want to know that the men that marry my daughters will be gentle with them, respect their opinions, provide them a sense of security and above all love them faithfully. It will be a lot easier for me to love my son-in-law when I know he loves her as deeply as I do.
- Be there when their daughter needs you. I shouldn’t even have to mention this one, but we’ve all heard stories about men missing the birth of their child due to some foolish thing. Her parents will love you if they know their daughter comes first in your life. I know that my relationship with my in-laws has grown as they’ve witnessed me caring for their daughter when she was in the hospital.
- Act and look like a respectable man. Don’t embarrass your in-laws by acting and dressing like an idiot. There comes a time in a man’s life where he needs to grow up. There is a time and a place for everything. Act appropriately around your in-laws. Get a sense of what they think is acceptable and then conduct yourself accordingly if you want to build a meaningful relationship with them.
- Reach out to your father-in-law. The relationship between a father and a daughter is special. It will mean a lot to your wife and your mother-in-law if you can build a relationship with your father-in-law. Find things that you have in common with him and go from there. Invite him to a ball game, go with him to a local event or simply take him to lunch. If you aren’t yet married, then be sure to ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage before you pop the question. This is a show of respect that he will appreciate.
- Attend family gatherings and engage. When your wife’s family has a get together, make certain that you attend. Unless it is unavoidable, never let your wife and children go to a holiday gathering at her parent’s house alone. It causes your in-laws to worry that something might be wrong in your marriage. In addition, you are missing a fantastic opportunity to build upon your relationship with your in-laws and the extended family through conversation and a shared experience.
- Build good relationships with their other children. I believe that part of my success in building a great relationship with my in-laws has a lot to do with how I’ve connected with the rest of the family. Your wife’s siblings have a great deal of influence with your in-laws. The better the relationship you have with her brothers and sisters, the better your relationship will be with her parents.
- Consult with your wife on how to handle sticky situations. Your wife knows her parents better than you do. When you sense that a situation might be a little sensitive, consult with your wife for advice on how to respond. My father-in-law used to be big in multi-level marketing programs. I knew he was going to try to recruit me and I didn’t want anything to do with it. I asked my wife how to handle it. She was able to help me diffuse the situation before it became an issue.
Becoming a great son-in-law that your in-laws love has a lot to do with respect. If you want a great relationship with them, then respect their daughter, respect them and respect their family. Be polite. After all, being nice is good for you.
As a son-in-law, you have a responsibility to build a great relationship with your in-laws. Your wife and family are counting on you to do so. You have to learn to become a part of her family and to maintain a balance between the demands of your family and hers. This is a worthwhile cause that you definitely want to invest yourself in whole-heartedly. It has certainly been worth it to me!
Read more of Jeff’s articles about living life to the fullest at My Super-Charged Life!
(Photo by ladyb)