Getting married is super-fun. The clothes, the dancing, the parties and the man!!! But remember, all this comes as a part super-important unit – his family. As a smart, intelligent Indian bride of this century, you must realize that the path to long-term happiness with your man also depends on how well you get along with his parents. Now if they are like Kirron Kher in Hum Tum, then you are sorted. But if they happen to be quite not-so-chilled-out, then read on – we have coping strategies that you will thank us for!
The path to happy in-laws begins way before he pops the question. Take our word for it. The first time he mentions you to his mom or dad, they are already forming impressions. Make sure they are good ones. You don’t need to be the ideal bahu from a saas-bahu serial, but you should be respectful and polite. Call them aunty and uncle by all means (calling them mom/ dad would be WAY weird). Neither do you have to wrap yourself up in a 9-yard-sari, but do dress appropriately!
The moment he pops the question, think about the kind of daughter-in-law you wish to be. If you are the bubbly type who’s happy to call his mom every day, then by all means do that. If you are a bit more reserved, make sure she understands that and knows you are thinking of her. Maybe send her fav sweets over once in a while, or ever so often call and say you are in the neighbourhood, and you would like to see her for a cup of chai.
If your man has siblings, then they are the best allies you can have. Nothing makes a mom happier than to see her bahu-to-be getting along with her beti dearest. Meet them as often as is practical, take them out to the movies, stay in touch with them. Let the family know that you are delighted to be part of the whole shebang.
Even a simple WhatsApp to your mom-in-law with two sari options, asking her which ones she prefers, will keep her engaged with the manic planning process. Let her feel her opinion is valued. And mean it genuinely. Obvs – send her two options you like and then go with the one she chooses! Ask her things like “I’m taking cooking classes…” (IF you are!) “…which dishes should I learn?” etc.
Like birthdays, anniversaries. And call to wish, drop by with cake and flowers. Thoughtful touches go a long way.
Once in a while, inviting them to dinner is also a good idea. Choose a restaurant where they are comfortable.
No matter how annoyed you might be, don’t vent to your man, unless you are happy for it to get to your in-laws. Even with the best intentions in the world, he will let something slip – and then you are down a rocky path. If you do have serious concerns, you are way better off politely talking to your mom-in-law-to-be.
If your fiance mentions even in passing that so-and-so is unwell, definitely call and ask after them. Small things are the molehills that become mountains. Remember one important fact: you want to have a great relationship with them – and so do they. Giving the benefit of a doubt is always a great idea, as is never, ever assuming the worst or jumping to conclusions.