Start early to develop a relationship with your MIL. Invite her to join you for lunch just to get acquainted and talk. Meet at a comfortable restaurant and keep the conversation upbeat and explore neutral, non-controversial topics. Start to be involved in family events and celebrations and make a point of offering to help and assist. Everyone always appreciates a helping hand, and your MIL might be pleasantly surprised by your thoughtfulness. That’s a great way to start building a good relationship.
At this point, it’s probably best to avoid any wedding planning talk and by all means stay out of family feud discussions. Don’t let her draw you into this trap. If a topic or issue arises, just say that “I appreciate your sharing that and I hope that this situation can be worked out” or something like that.
Listen to her suggestions, if offered, and smile. Just say, “That’s something to think about” and let it go or if you feel it’s a good idea, just acknowledge that.
No matter what, there can be no divided loyalties. When you get married you are starting your own family and that is where you loyalty lies. If touching issues arise set up boundaries and talk to her about it. Elicit your future husband support – remember no divided loyalties. And, no matter what, don’t criticize your spouse for his relationship with his mother. After all that’s the first woman in his life.
Many couples struggle with mother-in-law issues, but handling it wrong can derail a good relationship between you and your husband. It’s up to both of you to find a way to make time with extended family as enjoyable as possible.