Supporting your soon-to-be daughter-in-law is a huge way to support your son. Not only is she the bride, she's also your son's first priority. You're not the main female in his life; nor should you be. This is a good thing because he has a companion to share his life with -- someone to make the good times even better and someone to share the load of hardships and burdens.
Maybe your daughter-in-law is the daughter you never had. Or, perhaps she's a mini you! If you don't have it so easy, you're not alone. MOGs and their daughters-in-law are notorious for not getting along. But this unique relationship doesn't have to be an uphill battle of the wills.
The key is to accept her for who she is, even if you'd have chosen a different woman for your son. We're all doing the best we can. She may not have all the tools in her tool belt, so to speak. For example, maybe she's a passive, poor communicator. Well, she obviously doesn't have that skill or tool. If she did, she'd use it! Cut her some slack, and assume she's giving her best. You're not perfect, either.
Acceptance is the foundation for any good relationship. Here are some ways you can support your son by strengthening your bond with his bride-to-be:
Get along with her.This is one of the best gifts a mother of the groom can give her son! Whether you tolerate her or embrace her wholeheartedly, keep things positive. This way, you avoid putting him in a position where he has to choose between you and his fiancé. (You won't win that fight.)
Be the authentic you, like always. Family dynamics can change when there's a new addition like a baby or daughter-in-law. Be your same self. If you're carefree and like joking around a lot, honor that. If you're fairly private and serious, stay aligned with the authentic you, regardless of whether your soon-to-be-daughter-in-law is more outgoing. A good rule of thumb: Whatever you do or say, be kind, flexible and forgiving.
Offer to help with wedding planning. This practical act of service can go especially far if she's extremely busy or overwhelmed with the planning process. Follow her lead (and tastes); otherwise, you're just taking over.
Keep your opinion secondary to hers. If you're fortunate enough to get invited to shop for a wedding gown with her, for example, approve of whatever she likes. It's her day, not yours. Give advice or feedback, but don't be critical.
Encourage and compliment her. Don't fake it, but focus on things to celebrate about her, such as all the work she's done on the wedding or the support she's given your son while he finished his graduate program. Maybe you admire her kindness or are proud of her accomplishments. Whatever it is, convey that you're excited for her to join your family.
Make the introductions.She'll be meeting a lot of new people, including your extended family and friends, so serve as her social chair! Set the stage for introductions by throwing her an engagement party or bridal shower.
Choose a keepsake. Give her something special to show you love her and to welcome her into your family.
There's one more person you shouldn't forget when approaching your duties as MOG. Can you guess who?