(WWTI) – She is your partner’s mom and she requires a little love today, it’s National Mother-in-Law Day.

In-laws have been around as long as marriage has. In the 1920’s, American attitudes toward the in-law relationship shifted as young people were encouraged to break with their parents and forge their own path as a couple. Thus the “meddling mother-in-law” stereotype was born. Since then, research shows that women have strained relationships with their mothers-in-law, with 60% of married American women experiencing mother-in-law-related stress.

In other countries, in-laws actually have legal obligations to each other because of their relationship through marriage. Also known as affinity in law and anthropology, the relationship between in-laws has been historically agitated, making an entire genre of “mother-in-law jokes” and infamous literary and film characters. American actress Jane Fonda portrays a particularly difficult mother-in-law for the bride-to-be played by Jennifer Lopez.

Bride’s story blog has some tips for building a great relationship with your mother-in-law, so you don’t end up in the same situation as Fonda and Lopez’s characters did:

  • Always remain polite: Under no circumstances should you ever be rude or act in a snide way regardless of your current feelings.
  • Don’t forget your manners: Show her that you know your manners by saying your please and thank you.
  • Speak nicely about her kid: Don’t talk badly about her kid in any way no matter how comfortable you feel with her, she is their mother and you will get her protective mother instincts if you try.
  • Get to know her: It is good if you show interest in her, don’t just answer her questions, show her that you want to get to know her more and be closer to her.
  • Compliment her: When she cooks or organizes something be sure to let her know how great she is and say these things with a warm and genuine smile.
  • Ask for her advice in life: Doing this will show her how much you respect and value her opinion there is nothing better for a mother-in-law than knowing you want to know her opinions on things that matter.
  • Bring gifts occasionally: You can never ever go wrong with bringing gifts during an event and the more personal the gift the better.
  • Always offer help: Offering to help is always a great gesture to offer and it will show her how much you are trying to be involved.
  • Be confident: If you show her that you can stay true to yourself and be proud of who you are, despite any tests she may challenge you to, she will be more trusting of you.
  • Act like you like her at all times: This is your partner’s mother, you cannot escape her so it is best to just put on that friendly face of yours and act like you like her, even if you can’t stand her.

Happy National Mother-in-Law Day!