When a son brings home his future wife, it may be difficult to accept he has a new woman in his life. As a mother may feel replaced, this is not true. Often the struggles between staying the main woman in a son's life lead to conflict and can hurt feelings. Avoid hurting anyone's feelings and make a daughter-in-law feel less like a stranger. She will soon be part of the family and should be treated as such.
Invite a future daughter-in-law over for a visit. Whether a meal or just a snack is served, be sure to keep it only immediate family. Meeting the family is a high-pressure situation and can backfire easily and quickly. Try to avoid a formal situation and keep the mood light. Offer to show old photo albums or invite her to view family videos. This will help her feel part of the family and form a connection.
Introduce her by her name and then her status. Do not introduce your future daughter in law as "my son's fiancé" or "my son's girlfriend". This will make her feel unimportant. She has a name and offer it to guests or other family members. Say, "This is Heather, she is Bobby's fiancé". While this may seem trivial, your future daughter in law will feel less of an outsider and more welcomed.
Invite her directly to a family gathering or event. Instead of relaying a message through your son, call your future daughter-in-law directly. This such a sign of respect and consideration. Avoiding talking with her will leave an awkward feeling between the two of you.
Offer to meet your son's in-laws before the wedding. As early as possible try to form a relationship with your future daughter-in-law's parents and siblings, if any. If everyone hits it off, then holidays may be easier and the wedding will be a joyous celebration, not a meet and greet. If there is any conflict between families, the earlier the meeting the better. This will allows for problems to be worked out well in advance of the wedding.
Back off. One thing a future daughter-in-law will want to do is take care of your son. As much as this may sadden any mother, it is a good thing. She shares the love for your son that only you know and is not replacing you. A future daughter-in-law will feel insulted if a needy mother-in-law invades a couple's space. Avoid constant calling or voicing negative judgments to your son. Not only will this alienate your future daughter-in-law, but hurt your son's feelings. After all, he loves this woman and probably hopes his mother will too.
Avoid judgment or harsh words.Take it slow, do not plan any lunch dates until you and your daughter-in-law seems ready. Compliments go a long way.
Do not comment on her appearance unless it is positive. Do not voice concerns to your son about his future wife, because it will backfire. Do not exclude her or cause embarrassing situations.