How To Get Along With His Mom

The guys from the Plunge give an inside look into what men are actually thinking while wedding planning

Updated 09/01/18

Tanya DeSelm

Ever found yourself wondering what thoughts are running through your groom's mind during the wedding planning process? Even if you haven't, the women at Brides certainly have (wait, does he actually care about dahlias vs. peonies?! Unclear.). Thankfully, we've got the guys over at The Plunge to give us some insight into the (often cryptic) inner workings of the soon-to-be-married male brain.

If you’ve been worried about how you’re going to get along with your soon-to-be mother-in-law, imagine how we feel. Sure, guys act like we don’t care about this issue, but the fact is, it’s making us nervous. This is you (the most important woman in our life), and our mom (formerly the most important woman in our life). We want you to get along. We need you to get along. If you don’t get along, our lives are going to be hell.

So how can we ensure that the two of you hit it off famously? We certainly aren’t crazy enough to think we can control either one of you, but we can at least prep you. We can give you advice on how to interact with our mom, and what to talk to her about. Perhaps even more importantly, we can tell you what not to talk to her about. Here's the guy's guide to topics to avoid when trying to get along with his mom.

Sex

This one should be obvious, but don’t talk to her about our sex life. Our mom is not just “one of the girls.” No good will come of her being party to what happens in our bedroom. Think how awkward that would be for you. Think how awkward that would be for her. Think how awkward that would be for us if we found out. You can talk to your girlfriends about us all you want—we feel pretty confident—but not our mom.

Money

This topic is a little more complicated. Until you really get to know her, you should probably steer clear of financial discussions, especially if there’s a big income disparity between our families. If you talk too much about money, there’s a chance she’ll peg you as either a gold digger (if our side has more money) or a snob (if your side does). On the other hand, if you can subtly convey to her that you’re responsible with money, that will be all to the good.

Drugs, Alcohol, and Your Wild Party Days

It’s a cliché, but even the most open-minded mother will be wondering, in the back of her mind, “Is this woman good enough for my baby boy?” Maybe we find it endearing that you can shot-gun a Colt 45, but we’re pretty sure our mother won’t. Don’t talk about the first time you tried shrooms, or the wild antics you got up to on Spring Break 2009. You don’t have to pretend you’re a saint, but there’s no need to show how much of a sinner you can be either.

Our Annoying Habits

We know we do some things that annoy you. That’s inevitable. Maybe it’s as simple as leaving kitchen cabinet doors open, or as complicated as being emotionally distant at the wrong moment. You should talk those things over with us—don’t complain about them to our mother. It’s not that she thinks we’re perfect. She was around when we were teenagers, after all, and has had the parental privilege of seeing us at our worst. But she probably wants to believe that you think we’re perfect (even if she’s knows that’s unrealistic).

Your Mom’s Annoying Habits

By all means discuss your mom with our mom. But maybe don’t get too deep into any of the complications of your relationship with her. Our mom will know those complications exist (she has, or had, a mom herself, after all) but at this stage she’ll be trying to assess how you deal with it, as it shows a lot about your capacity to understand other people’s point of view. If you can get along with your own mother, you stand a better chance of getting along with ours.

OK, so those are all things you shouldn’t do when meeting your future mother-in-law. But what should you do. Well, you can follow a lot of the same advice we give the groom for getting along with your parents: carve out some time to spend with her, maybe doing something you both love; include her in the wedding planning process; give her a job to do, some responsibility to acknowledge her status.

Most of all, be yourself: that worked pretty well on us.

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