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8 easy tips to form the initial bond with your father-in-law

When it comes to people’s relationships with their in-laws, mothers-in-law hog all the limelight; the fathers-in-law are hardly anywhere in the picture. While they might seem to be the less threatening of the two, it doesn’t mean that they have to be ignored. It might be a little awkward at first, especially between men and their wives’ fathers, but with a little effort on either side, this can turn into a positive relationship, even extending to friendship.

The time immediately following your wedding is a crucial period for your relationship with your spouse as well as his family. It doesn’t help that all eyes of the extended family are on you too! During this time, it is very important to play it very safe, as you take time to assess your spouse’s father and understand his personality better.

Nevertheless, that’s not to mean that you stay aloof without making any effort to bond with your new father-in-law. Don’t worry, even if you don’t see immediate results, consistent effort is bound to work. After all, constant dripping does wear away the rock! Here are some tips for you to create an initial bond with your father-in-law.

1. Always show respect

family at a restaurant

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This is a no-brainer; he is your spouse’s father, which automatically makes him a father figure to you. So even if he appears to be a very casual and informal person, be sure to give him the respect due his position in your life.

2. Praise your spouse

This never fails! Every parent loves hearing good things about his child, doesn’t matter who says them! By praising his child, you are subtly praising his parenting skills. Make sure you don’t overdo it; almost everyone can differentiate between sincere compliments and blatant flattery.

3. Celebrate his birthday and wedding anniversary

celebrating father-in-law's birthday

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In fact, you need to do this for all your in-laws; it’s one of the best ways to get over the awkwardness! If he’s not really into grand celebrations, have a small one at home with cake, family, and presents. He’ll appreciate the effort you took to make his day special.

4. Get him a gift when you buy your father one

If you’re returning from your honeymoon or another trip with gifts for your father, be sure to get one for your father-in-law too. When presenting it to him, explain how you bought it; maybe you saw it and something about it reminded you of him. Little things like this make a gift all the more thoughtful.

5. Do some research


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And who better to help you than your spouse! Ask about your father-in-law’s interests, things he likes to do, people he admires, etc., This will give you a good idea about him, which will come in very handy when buying gifts or having conversations. While you’re at it, also find out about topics which irritate him, so you can steer clear of them!

6. Spend time together

daugther-in-law with her father-in-law

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Now that you’ve done your research, you’ve probably found out where he goes for his regular walk or some similar activity. Make an effort to accompany him one day and talk about his specific interest. Ask intelligent questions to know more about it; he’ll feel good that you consider him an expert and that you took the effort to come. Caution: ensure he’ll appreciate the company; you don’t want to butt into his me-time!

7. Call often

With whatsapp and what not these days, staying in touch is literally just at the click of a button. So you have no excuse to not communicate with your father-in-law, even if it is just a general check in call. Call up once in a while and especially in case of any specific event – he’s been ill, he’s won an award or he’s just back from a trip.

8. Don’t contradict him

family dinner

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While having a conversation with your father-in-law during the initial days, it’s best to let him speak without interruption, even if you feel he’s got something wrong. Unless what he says is directly conflicting with your or your spouse’ life, let it be, especially at this critical stage in your relationship. Even if you do have to contradict him, do so very respectfully and explaining using facts rather than emotions.

In general, fathers-in-law are more laidback than mothers-in-law, and are easier to bond with. As with any relationship, this one too needs work, and you’ll often have to take the first steps. But with time, your relationship will evolve and you’ll find you have an unexpected ally in your father-in-law. And of course, your spouse will love you all the more for it!

Featured image source: Shutterstock

Article Name
8 easy tips to form the initial bond with your father-in-law
A marriage is between two individuals as much as it is between two families. Fathers-in-law are usually relegated to the background. How to bond with him?
Fabida Abdulla

Fabida Abdulla

Fabida is an erstwhile Software Engineer and current Freelance Writer cum stay-at-home mom to her boisterous 6-year-old. In between all the writing, baking, nagging, reading, and cuddling, she manages to blog a bit about her crazy life at Shocks and Shoes. []