Falling in love and saying a big giant “yes!” to the idea of sharing a life with someone else means saying "yes" to their friends and family members and is an exciting time if you're to become a mother-in-law. Hopefully, your families can come together to build solid relationships, but it’s not always so easy. For the newly-weds, getting along with some of their partner’s loved ones isn't such a simple task.
One relationship that might be a bit hard to figure out is the relationship with your son or daughter's new spouse. Becoming a mother-in-law might make you feel like you’ve just earned yourself a second child—someone who you're there to support and love . But at times, they may feel like you say too much and try to do too much, and they could become annoyed, angry, and unsure of how to handle the situation.
If you have a daughter-in-law or are about to get one in the coming months, it’s best to know that there are some things she wants to tell you but just doesn't know how to say them. Read on to find out the 30 things your daughter-in-law wants you to know, but might be too scared to tell you.
She’s Not Your Identical Clone
Don’t treat her like she’s a mini you. She has her own personality, her own life experiences, and her own ideas for how to maintain a marriage and start a family.
This Isn’t a Competition
If there are moments you feel like you’re one-upping the bride-to-be in order to get your child's attention, she can sense that. Remember, this isn’t a competition.
She’ll Ask for Your Advice When She Needs It
You are appreciated and she does value you. But be wary of just handing out advice. Only give advice when she asks for it, especially during the first few years of knowing each other.
She Values Your Opinion—Sometimes
Your opinion does matter to her but only in situations where she feels open to suggestions. Be sure to ask if she wants feedback or your opinion before dishing it out.
Her Son or Daughter Loves Her Differently Than You
The love your son or daughter has for her is a different kind of love than the one he or she has for you. Try not to feel jealous or like a third-wheel in their relationship. Even if you feel that way, don’t let it be known.
She Wishes You’d Pay for More of the Wedding
If you're following the tradition of having the bride’s family pay for the entire wedding, she might feel a bit resentful toward you, especially if her guest list is long and so is your wedding request list. Offer to pay for more of the wedding if there’s an invitation to do so.
She Wishes You’d Reach Out
If you’ve noticed that there’s a gap in the relationship you have with your daughter-in-law, it might just be easier to take the lead and reach out. Make plans with her or make the first move to give her a call or text once a week.
Compliments Mean the World to Her
She might be a little intimidated by you and your opinion of her. A compliment goes a long way, especially if the relationship has been rocky in the past.
Criticizing Her Decisions Never Helps
She can sense it if you're critical of her every move. Even if that’s how you feel, keep it to yourself.
She Wishes You Weren’t So Self-Absorbed
Try to put the couple first, especially when it comes to giving suggestions about their wedding or their future plans together.
She Wants You to Understand Her Differences
Rather than compare or contrast her to you or your other children, revel in her differences, understand them, and try to appreciate what makes her unique.
Remember Your Child Has Faults Too
Nobody is perfect. Your son or daughter has their faults, too. So if you’re brought into an argument, don’t take sides.
She Wishes You’d Accept Their Goals as a Couple
Even if the goals the couple have are different than the goals you had when you first got married, try to be less judgmental and more curious and accepting.
She Wants You to Think Highly of Her
There’s no better feeling for a daughter-in-law than knowing that her mother-in-law regards her in a positive way.
She Wishes You’d Communicate Better
One easy way to build a better relationship with your daughter-in-law is to better understand the way she communicates. That way, you can figure out how to speak to her during challenging situations without coming off too brash.
She Wishes There Was More Respect
Respect is something that truly goes both ways. If you’re feeling like your daughter-in-law isn’t respecting you, show respect to her first and see if her attitude changes toward you.
She Wishes You’d Let Her Make Some Mistakes
You might have your judgments about the life she and your child are living, but after giving advice, let them go off and make some mistakes on their own—especially if those mistakes are harmless.
She Wishes You’d Stop Testing Her
Take a step back and see if you’ve been doing things over the years to test her. If so, put an end to it because it’s leaving dents in your relationship.
She Wishes You Didn’t Judge the Unique Wedding Choices She’s Making
Even if you don’t agree with the type of flowers she picked out or the wedding dress she fell in love with, work on being more accepting and less critical.
She’s Wishing You Wouldn’t Show Up Unexpectedly
A simple way to foster respect with your daughter-in-law is to call before you swing by and say hello, or make them aware that you want to come with them on an appointment or to see a wedding vendor.
She Wishes You Worked Harder on Cultivating a Relationship
Relationships take two people who are willing to put in the time and energy to make them thrive. If the relationship is feeling stale between you and your daughter-in-law, find ways that you can work a little bit harder to make it great again.
She Wishes You Wouldn’t Make Her Partner Pick Sides
When arguments arise, try not to put your child in the middle. If you notice that’s happening, put an end to it, since it’s extra damaging to the relationship.
She Wishes You Could Keep a Secret
As much as you might not think this to be true, your daughter-in-law does want to confide in you about certain things. She just wants to make sure you’re not going to tell her partner exactly what she said.
She Wishes She Could Host a Holiday—or Two
One of the biggest joys your daughter-in-law might be excited about is hosting a holiday at her place. Talk to her about that and if it’s true, let her host a holiday or two next year.
She Wishes You’d Stop Pushing Your Family Traditions on the Wedding
Write down a list of all your meaningful family traditions and choose one or two that you’d like the couple to have at the wedding, but that’s it.
She Wishes You Understood She’s Not a Child
Just because she’s younger than you, don’t discredit her life experiences and how she’s wise in her own ways as well.
She Wishes You Wouldn't Talk Behind Her Back
Being a good mother-in-law is just like being a good friend. Resist the temptation of talking behind your daughter-in-law's back.
She Wishes You Wouldn’t Invite an Extra Crew of People to the Wedding
Talk to the couple before you automatically send wedding invitations to a bunch of people. If they say you can only invite a certain number of guests, listen to them.
She Wishes You Wouldn’t Try to Be Like Her Mother
While it might be hard to agree to this, being a mother-in-law isn’t exactly like being a mother. Be there for your daughter-in-law only in the ways she needs you to be there for her.
She Wishes You Two Could Just Get Along
In the end, a happy daughter-in-law and a happy mother-in-law equals a really happy relationship and a better marriage.