He loves the person he married, but what about her family? Well, that’s another story. The question is, will the relationship be tense or can you actually become “one big happy family”?
In hopes of the latter, here are some ways to strengthen your husband’s relationship with your parents.
1. Never criticising their child
One thing he definitely shouldn’t do is tell your parents how annoying or bothersome you are. It’s never right to discuss the negative traits of a child with their parent, and this applies here too. Talk it out amongst yourselves. They are your parents and no good can come out of complaining about you to them. Also, generally, ensure he keeps your marriage out of the discussion when he interacts with your parents.
2. Being respectful
Keeping in mind that they are his ‘other’ parents, apart from being your actual ones, treating them with respect, just the way he would treat his own, would say a lot about him. This won’t go unnoticed and will reassure your parents of their decision of letting you marry him.
3. Spending quality time with them
This might not be an easy task, especially if work keeps him busy. But, if it helps in bonding, it is definitely worth a shot. Tell your spouse about your parents’ likes, dislikes, and hobbies, and get involved in what they like to do, be it playing some sport, meditating, going to the park, gardening et cetera. Reminding him that if he’s around more often, it might actually bring him closer to the family.
4. Talking openly, but carefully
He always needs to make sure that he talks candidly with them. For instance, if he disagrees with your father-in-law’s views on politics, religion or some recent news, it’s better he steers away from talking about such topics with your parents. Instead, finding some generic topics, like family, his first job, or work may keep the conversation healthy. Also, instead of actually talking, just listening to what they have to say forms an impression of him being a really empathic person.
Small gestures like remembering the birthdays of your in-laws or specifically, events that even closer relatives would tend to forget, means a lot. Along with coming off as being thoughtful, he’ll secure a soft spot for himself in their hearts. Surprising them with small gifts like a nice watch for his father-in-law, a fancy biker’s helmet for your brother or even a small cake will help him win them over.
6. Being likeable
When at your parents’ place, he could try being more appealing. Everyone’s got work problems and getting work off his mind might seem difficult. But forgetting office for a few hours while with your family might bring him at ease. Little things like wearing a smile on his face, laughing at your father’s jokes and enquiring about your mum’s health will strengthen his position as a member of the family.
A final piece of advice: Bonding with the in-laws will not happen overnight. But with time and patience, things will definitely work out.