- She knows I care – Nothing matters more to people than knowing they’re valued. I understood from day one that I wasn’t just marrying my wife, but I was also being taken into her family. I put time and effort into my relationship with my mother-in-law, including regular calls, sharing gifts during occasions such as Mother’s Day, and spending time with her when we’re visiting. My effort, good intention and care for her well-being have gone a long way in making our relationship a positive one.
- She cares about us – I married her eldest daughter, and as a parent myself, I know how strong that bond is between parent and child. She wants to see her daughter happy, and she knows that I try my best to make that happen. She respects that, and it means a great deal to her that my relationship with my wife is so strong. This in turn, has meant our relationship has also grown stronger.
- I give her and my wife space – I also understand how important the relationship between her and my wife is to both; they speak every day and they see each other every month despite living in different countries. I know they both value their time together, and I don’t encroach on that, but rather encourage it. It’s important for them to talk and be together, and I’m happy to take time out for them to do that.
- We involve her in our lives – This may not be to everyone’s taste, but every chance we get, we involve her. If we go for a weekend break, we ask her to join us. We’ve even taken week-long vacations and asked her to come along. She doesn’t always say yes, but she does appreciate that we care enough to consider her a part of our household. And both my wife and daughter love that she’s there as well.
- She didn’t lose a daughter, she gained a son – Our relationship is so strong that she’s often said that I’ve become a son to her. Much of the fear and negativity around the mother-in-law relationship is based on a fear that they will lose their child to their child’s spouse. From day one, my wife and I made it clear that we would always be there with her, to support her and be with her. And as time has gone on, she’s seen those words come true.
I know how lucky I am to have such a strong relationship with my mother-in-law, which in turn has made my marriage stronger. I cherish that I didn’t only marry an amazing woman, but I also formed a friendship with her family, especially her mother. I don’t need to be the exception here; I hope that you’ll be able to take some inspiration from my own words and find a way to love your mother-in-law just as much as I love mine.