How to Deal With Your In-Laws

o Treat your spouse well. Nothing pleases parents more than knowing that their son or daughter is being well-loved and pampered.

o Present a united front. Never squabble with your spouse in front of his or her parents. If you think hot issues may come up, discuss how you will deal with them ahead of time. If they erupt, stifle yourselves until you can duke it out in private.

o Recognize the fact if you were raised in a different family structure. Realize that a proper New Englander may have difficulty being comfortable in an outgoing Hispanic family. Remember, his or her mom believes her baby is perfect.

o Ask mom-in-law to teach you how to cook a certain meal that he comments on while visiting her house — even if it’s stewed possum. And if her cooking is terrible, forget about honesty being the best policy.

o Pray for your mother-in-law. Do this for two weeks until you are feeling better about her. And remember, you’re married to her child, not her.

o Frequently ask their advice, even if you don’t plan to take it. They’ll be glad to feel they still have influence on their child’s life — even if they don’t.

o Discover what their likes and hobbies are. Even if it’s hunting and you’re an animal rights activist, show interest and don’t start an argument.

o Don’t clog the toilet. If you stop up their toilet by accident, clean it yourself. Overflowing sewage doesn’t impress anyone and they’ll be pleased with your effort.

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