8+ Tips on Managing Mother-in-law Relationships.

Are you ready for your Mother-in-Law?

Wedding season is on it’s way and don’t forget to add this item to your wedding to do list. Getting ready for marriage also means managing and getting ready for your future in law relationships.

The Mother-In-Law/Daughter-In-Law relationship is one of the challenging
relationships because it is naturally prone to misunderstanding and contains too many ambiguities ranging from cultural nuances, personal expectations, assumptions and much more. Naturally, men struggle understanding the full intricacies of this relationship and often are lackadaisical about ensuring it’s success.

According to Dr. Deanna Brann, author of “Reluctantly Related,” the daughter-in-law/mother-in-law relationship is innately prone to conflict.”[Women’s] relationships, in general, are more intimate and emotional in nature [than men],” Brann told ABC News. “They focus on whether they feel connected to their in-law. There is also a competitive aspect that comes into play. They are both competing for the influence they have over the husband/son. Although women are not really aware of this, it plays such a huge role in their ability to get along.”

There are additional complexities if race, culture, children, religion and age are existing factors because those have the tendencies to be additional threads of conflict or conversations.
Here are some tips to consider as you get ready for your Mother-in-Law.

  1. Do understand the natural tendencies of humans especially when roles and responsibilities are altered or changed
  2. Do understand the personalities of your In-Law .
  3. Discuss with your spouse how to navigate the personalities and potential conflicts from #2 above.
  4. Find a mentor to bounce ideas and discuss
    with preferably someone with a deep understand of the cultural nuances.
  5. Do you know how to apply conflict resolution techniques?
  6. Observe and engage your future In-Laws from a consistent position – pre and post marriage. Oftentimes expectations are set much earlier in the relationship that are unrealistic to maintain in the future.
  7. Give and let your spouse(s) know that they have your permission to assist and guide you on how to engage your in laws.
  8. Be yourself – true, honest and sincere.

Additional tips from Dr Brann include:

  1. Address the Issue Early On
  2. Recognize Your Mother-in-Law as an Individual
  3. Don’t Be Afraid To Set Boundaries
  4. Don’t Plead Your Case
  5. Check in With Your Spouse

For more details on Dr Brann’s recommendations, click here:

Additional Sources:


Photo used under a Creative Commons license owned by stockarch

Remember Relationships Do Matter.