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Every bride and groom has some level of concern about getting along with his or her future in-laws. This is a perfectly normal concern and considering that two families are now becoming one in marriage, it is a big deal. Sadly, there are far too many marriages where couples start their marriage out with friction because of the in-laws. While not everything is perfect, there are things you can do to make the in-law relationship healthy, strong, and enjoyable.

First, although some call it sucking up, making a little effort is never a bad thing. That does not mean that you cannot be yourself but putting your best foot forward is perfectly fine. This means to be kind, respectful, and loving. For instance, as the bride, when visiting your future or current in-laws home for dinner, do not wait for your mother-in-law to ask you for help with dinner or cleanup. Instead, before she can ask, stand up and get to work. As the groom, occasionally bring your future or current mother-in-law flowers. If she is divorced or widowed, you might ask about anything around the house that she needs help with. You will be amazed at how far a little generosity and kindness will go.

When you first meet your future in-laws, always refer to them by their proper name of Mr. and Mrs. Jones or Dr. and Mrs. Jones. This simply act shows immediate respect. Most often, you will be asked to call them by their first name, if not immediately, soon. However, until that offer is extended, respect their title and position. After you are married to their son or daughter, you can then ask them in privacy how they would like to be addressed.

As the future groom, if you want to earn brownie points with the brides father, go back to tradition, asking for her hand in marriage. Typically, you would call the father and ask for a time when the two of you can sit down and chat. Unless he is clueless, he will know exactly what is coming. Then, as a man, tell him why you love his daughter, how you plan to support her, and then ask for her hand in marriage. You will gain his respect.

Another very important thing to remember is to send cards on your in-laws anniversary, birthday, and the holidays. Again, this shows that you are paying attention to their lives and that milestones are important to you. Without being obvious, try to learn as much as you can about your in-laws. This can be done simply by listening.

When you are out to dinner, pay attention to the conversation and ask innocent questions. Again, by showing interest, your in-laws will open up, which provides you with valuable insight to their lives. Just imagine learning that your mother-in-law loves miniature red roses and you how up with your wife for dinner with a miniature red rose bush for her garden, or learning that your father-in-law loves car races and you call saying you have an extra ticket to Saturday nights race.

Always be polite and respectful. That does not mean you have to agree with everything but you do need to say please and thank you, provide a nice written note thanking them for a wonderful dinner, or simply acting mature when you go out in public for dinner or some type of function. If you do find that there is conflict over something, respect your in-laws point of view and then avoid that subject. If the problem is bleeding over into your marriage, sit down with your in-laws to understand why they are so bothered and try to work things out for the sake of your marriage.

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