When you get married, you're not just agreeing to a life with your husband or wife, but also a life that involves his or her family. If you've never gotten along or had a falling out with one of his parents or siblings, that can be a scary prospect. The best course of action? Make amends—or at least learn to be civil towards one another—ahead of the wedding. After all, who would want to start a marriage being on bad terms with a member of your new family? Check out the common-sense advice below if you're hoping to extend an olive branch to one of your soon-to-be relatives.
Start off by having a good attitude.
You should be sincere in wanting to resolve your issues; if you're only going through the motions, the other person will notice and won't be as receptive to you. It doesn't matter who started the issues, either. If you're not ready to fix things, this process will be far more complicated.
Begin your conciliatory speech with a general line or two.
Rather than dive in with, "I'm sorry that we argued about X," say something like, "It's been bothering me that we had a disagreement, and I'd like us to talk about it." Getting warmed up will help calm your nerves and gives the other person time to pick up on your genuine feelings.
Just like with wedding vows you write yourself, an apology is something you can write and rehearse. Being prepared will reduce any anxiety you might have in choosing the right words. There's no need to memorize it but the more comfortable you are with the words, the more comfortable you'll be when saying them out loud.
Do it to clear your conscience.
Since you don't know how the other person will react to your gesture, think of it as doing the right thing for yourself. That line of thought will come in handy if your apology isn't automatically accepted.
It's okay to worry that too much time has passed to try to right things.
Even if the ill feelings started years ago, it's never too late to apologize or try to negotiate a ceasefire. Who knows what tomorrow will bring? If you want to reconcile with someone, don't wait for the right moment—the "right moment" is today.