Most marriages begin with a loving relationship between the bride and groom, but unfortunately, such a warm relationship is not always a given between the nearweds and their future in-laws. Family harmony will certainly help to bring more joy to your marriage, so it is always a worthy goal. Even if you can not achieve it at first, it is worth putting the time and effort into it. And along the way, always remember that a good marriage is the best revenge!
There can be a variety of reasons why a young man or woman's family may not welcome their intended with open arms. Sometimes there are cultural or religious differences which may seem insurmountable to the older generation, but are of no importance to the bride and groom. In this case, the best way to overcome objections is by assuring your parents that your choice to marry a person from a different faith or heritage is in no way a rejection of their beliefs or how you were raised.
It helps if you and your fiancé can sit down beforehand and come up with a clear list of answers to the most likely questions and concerns. When you present a united front, it will make it more difficult for family members to use touchy subjects like religion to drive a wedge between you. For instance, if the bride is Jewish and the groom is Catholic, one of the first questions that their parents may ask is in which faith the children of the marriage will be raised. The last thing you want is to be ambushed by the objection, and have the bride blurt out "Jewish!" and the groom insist "Catholic", only to look at each other and realize they have a problem. Arriving at a mutual decision before dealing with family pressures will be very helpful.
Sometimes family approval is based on less clear concerns. Perhaps the groom was very nervous the first time he met the bride's parents and made a fool of himself. Or maybe the groom's parents have the impression that the bride is self-centered or too high maintenance. Oftentimes these misunderstandings are based on not knowing the person well enough to see all of their wonderful qualities. It is up to each person to tell their own parents all about the special things that made them want to spend the rest of your life with their intended.
A gracious gesture can often go a long way towards getting family relationships headed down a better path. Maybe your mother-in-law loves flowers, and she would love to help you design your centerpieces. So what if her taste is not exactly like yours? Accepting her input and maybe even taking a few of her suggestions will make her feel valued. Another nice idea is to give your future mother-in-law a gift of wedding jewelry from the bride and groom. Jewelry along the lines of a strand of pearls would be a very thoughtful gift that she will love to have as a memento of your wedding.
At times, there is no one thing that you can do to improve family relationships; often it is simply a matter of time. As your families see how happy your marriage makes you, ever they will come to see the good in your spouse that you knew was there all along.