Mr. Cornblow: [To the camera after the sheikh’s 28 gorgeous wives exit the bridal tent] Just remember every single one of those girls has a mother.Groucho Marx of The Marx Brothers A Night in Casablanca 1946 (deleted scene)
One of the first bits of advice I remember hearing on marriage came when I was a little kid talking to my Dad. He had told me that when he got married his father told him to make sure he treated his mother-in-law better than he treated his mother.
He lived this out In 1968 he moved out of the neighborhood full of his family to build next door to his newly widowed mother-in-law and helped take care of her as needed till the day she died.
Now you don’t have to go to this extreme but that advice remains good.
Remember your spouse’s family is a part of them, the better your relationship with them the better your relationship will be with him or her. There are a valuable source of information about what your spouse likes and dislikes if you want to set up a surprise or avoid offense. Furthermore unless there is a specific break those parents are likely the folks they will confide in case of trouble so they will likely indirectly clue you in if there is an issue that is a potential time bomb that you might be completely oblivious to.
And of course the better your relationship with your in-laws the more active they are likely to be when the children come along. Grandparents who are present and visible not only makes child rearing easier but will make for happier children.
Now there are some caveats here, if there is a big rift between your spouse and the folks then you have to thread carefully. If there is a divorce involved while you want to embrace both parents and/or step parents the advantages I speak of will only apply to the parent the spouse is close to and you want to be careful to be not to choose a side that will cause a split with your spouse.
Either way the old saying runs through, you ARE marrying the family when you marry so it behooves you to do your best to make not only a happy home but a happy extended family.
Your spouse will thank you for it…maybe even for 30 years.
The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far