You are getting married. You are going into a new family. As a bride, you the groom are also getting married. You are taking a wife, and getting yourself attached to a new family. Once the idea of a wedding and marriage is formalised between two people, we often underestimate the way the dynamics of a relationship will change. There are now expectations. For the individuals getting married it is a whole new experience. There is the general presumption by both families that these young people starting out their life know what is expected of them within the frame work of the family’s the couple are going to be part of. The bride’s mother in-law expects that the values in her home would be the values in the bride’s home. The groom’s mother in-law will also have her own expectation.
What are the expectations from me as a bride when I am joining a new family? We will for the purpose of this article start with the bride. How do I treat my in-laws? What do I call my mother in-law to be? What will be considered bad manners by my in-laws to be and the larger family, my new family? One must bear in mind that as we are getting married this is who we will be joined to for the rest of our lives. It is not a short holiday and one goes back home after the ceremonies.
As diverse as our culture is good manners apply and are similar in most countries. You walk into your in-laws home and you are invited to sit down, elders walk into the same room you are in, good manners demand you stand up. If there is a shortage of chairs good manners would expect you go offer your chair to elders in the room. You will watch the culture you meet in the home. It may well be a very formal home where when food is going to be served the female members of the house assist. Good manners demand that you offer your assistance even when you may assume that it may not be needed. It is bad manners to sit with your legs crossed and swinging in the in-laws living room. It is helpful to keep a smile on your face. As you address your new family to be. It is helpful to be positive in all comments. It is helpful to see no evil hear no evil and to do no evil. It is helpful not to be boastful about your parent’s bigger, nicer home no matter how tempting this can be.
No matter how at ease you have been made to feel you must never forget yourself enough to pass negative comments. Example, we all eat our meals together in our home not like this house where you eat where ever! Thus implying that your in-laws are somewhat deficient. Going out socially you will meet members of your new family, you have been seen, already, do not pretend you have not seen your in-laws, say hello. More accurately say a very clear good morning sir, good evening sir or good evening ma. It will save you from storing up enemies. As you are introduced to members of your new family you are immediately being assessed.
When planning the wedding your dad is going to give you, be mindful how you treat your in-laws over the ceremony, these are the people you will be stuck with for the rest of your life. The ceremony is just the beginning of your new life. Your husband to be will probably say to you honey don’t mind these people I don’t care for these things. A few months or years down the line you may find he really cares. It would be wiser to just keep good manners to every one you come across. Remember if you are blessed with children, this is who they are. Through your children there is now a tie that cannot be broken! The in-laws are your family, even when your mother in-law to be appears to be a monster in-law. Do not be dismissive of your in-laws, you just never know when you will need the new family in your future life as a member of that family.
You are no fool if you are helpful and respectfully it is a sign of good breeding and excellent pedigree. To be saucy and prideful shows a distinct lack of breeding and refinement. It shouts to the public, look at me I have no home training!
The groom to be. What is expected of me? No matter how financially successful the groom may be, these are members of your new family to be. It is helpful to put the in-laws at ease by being respectful polite and humble in all encounters with the in-laws to be. It is helpful in making life easier when you finally get married to in subtle ways introduce your wife to be to the prevailing culture in your family. This is how you greet my dad. This aunt of mine expects us to curtesy when we see her. My dad doesn’t like that chair sat on. Take courage to be honest with your fiancé so you give your union a good chance. You don’t want bad comments about your fiancé behind her back. It all eventually influences you when snide comments are passed about your fiancé all the time. When you have a happy fiancé you have a happy home and you are in a peaceful environment.
Marriage is tough but with good manners all round it is amazing how far this can go in ensuring you are off to a good start in your new life as a married couple.