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How to Bond With Your Mother-in-Law


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We’ve all seen the movies that portray your mother-in-law as an evil figure who refuses to be replaced. It’s you vs. her, right? But just like in the movies, it’s probably just a misunderstanding. You can have a happy ending, too! Read on to get some tips on how to establish a bond with your Mother-in-Law along with some events you can take advantage of this Mother’s Day.

Helpful Tips

Find something you have in common.

Think about all of your best friends. Think about getting to know your fiancé. Usually, we feel the most comfortable around others when we know there’s something we share interest in. You probably have a friend you vent to when your favorite character from Grey’s Anatomy dies, or a friend who calls you with updates for every member of One Direction, or someone who stands by your side as you fight with someone on a fan discussion board about whether Jake Gyllenhaal or Taylor Lautner was the better Taylor Swift boyfriend. The best relationships are built on shared interests, so find that common ground with your Mother-in-Law.

Ask questions and show interest in their lives.

Along the same lines, show interest in what they’re doing. Whether it’s their job, a vacation they’re planning, their book club, or a new exercise regimen, ask them questions! Offer her some tips on which moves you like to do at the gym; share stories of the time you visited New York and got lost on the subway; Mention a book you recently read and really enjoyed. Knowing that someone is interested in what you’ve got to say goes a long way in establishing a healthy relationship.

Mother-in-law | As seen on

Include them in your life: invite them shopping, out to lunch, or to run wedding errands.

Your MIL wants to know that she’s not losing a son, she’s gaining a daughter. If you’re constantly excluding her from wedding plans and distancing her from your life, she may harbor negative feelings toward you. Invite her along to your mid-morning brunch with your mom so they can get to know each other better. Get her opinion on which font you should use on your invitations. Take her to a Today’s Bride Show to meet with potential vendors.

Visit often.

Even if you want your fiance to start to distance himself from the “Mama’s Little Boy” dependency, don’t completely take your MIL’s son away from her. Again, she wants to gain another family member, not lose one. Visit her as a couple, and alone. This goes back to showing interest in her life. If you visit, she’ll know that you care about her and will be willing to make an effort to strengthen your relationship.

Start how you want to finish…be yourself!

Every family is different, and that’s okay! You don’t have to fit in perfectly with your soon-to-be husband’s family dynamic. They may have different levels of sarcasm, might prefer to sleep in later,  or may insist on praying before a meal. How awkward will it be 10 years down the road when they realize that you don’t actually like meatloaf and you only ate it because it’s your MIL’s specialty? Don’t try to put on a mask or be someone you’re not. Just be you!

Show her you respect her.

This is a hard time for your MIL, so respect that. Show her that you know everything she’s done for your fiancé, and that you appreciate her hard work in raising such a wonderful man. Show her you respect her and are grateful for her. No one wants to feel slighted, under-appreciated, or neglected. Give her the respect she deserves, and in turn, she’ll return that respect.

Mother-in-law | As seen on

Things to do on Mother’s Day

Cleveland metroparks and zoo

Mom’s get in free! How can you say no? Experience all sorts of wildlife and enjoy the spring weather.

Spa Day

Who doesn’t love to relax with a day at the spa? Bond over mani/pedi’s, facials, massages, and hair blowouts! Check out some of these local spas for packages and availability!

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Winery Tour in Geneva-on-the-lake

Sample the original creations at some of our local Northeast Ohio wineries and pick your favorites! Don’t forget to stop by the extravagant Lodge for a Mother’s Day Buffet.

Shopping and Brunch!

For a less extravagant – but equally as fun! – option, stop by one of Northeast Ohio’s outdoor shopping centers. You’ll get to soak up the sun, and who doesn’t bond over spending money?

Keep in mind that your Mother-in-Law raised the man you’re in love with. He gets a lot of his beliefs and qualities from his parents, so if he loves you, odds are they will, too! Don’t try too hard to gain her affection– you already have it by loving her son. Simply show interest in her life, include her in yours, and be yourself!

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