For the newlywed daughter-in-law, here are five more simple (but not always easy) strategies to follow. You will soon reap the benefits of this advice. For example - want to lose weight? Forget Atkins! Make friends with your mother-in-law! She'll come over, watch the kids, and YOU can go to the gym! Want better sex? Less stress? Make friends with your mother-in-law! Your husband will get all warm and cuddly when he sees the two most important women in his life are FINALLY getting along! Let's proceed.

1. Put all your MIL’s special dates in your Calander and Send Her Cards Without Fail––and don’t be late!

In fact, mark down the three biggies – her b-day, her anniversary, and Mother’s Day in your date book, but here’s the secret – write them a week early and be sure to get those flowers out at LEAST twice a year – her b-day and Mother’s Day. Here’s another insider trick – get your husband to pen the card or Mom might get the impression that her son has forgotten her special days (he probably has). So buy the cards yourself and have him sign it from the both of you. Consider yourself a ghostwriter – all guts no glory.

2. Be as Unassuming as Possible

Whatever you do, try not to act sarcastic or standoffish with your MIL! She might get the mistaken impression (or not) that you are somehow making a clear distinction between the two of you and you might get D.I.L.Z.ed (daughter-in-law zinged) – OUCH! Rather over affect everything from gracious guest to light and breezy wallflower.

3. Avoid Being Defensive with Your MIL

This is tough, because your MIL makes it so easy for you to get defensive. But this is where the deliberate strategizing comes into play. Let’s say you’re looking for a missing item in your house – keys, for example. Your MIL might react like so: Don’t look at ME! I didn’t take them! Rather become self-deprecating with a simple, “Oh silly me, last week I found those things in the fridge –I must be losing my mind!” Then, make yourself a nice cup of tea, and graciously offer your stymied opponent her choice of beverage as well.

4. Be Objective When It Comes to MIL Criticism

Let’s say your MIL tells you your hair looks better the other way. Okay, so your first reaction is to feel like complete @$%^&#. Let’s change all that! Simply style it the “other” way while she’s there, and change it back when she leaves. However, you might actually find that other people start to compliment you on your new style, so be open to the possibility that Mother knows best!

5. Follow All Compliments With a Self-Deprecating Comment

So, she’s just given you a compliment – try not to have a heart attack, ladies! But just make sure that you don’t agree with her! She will be in her glory when you respond with such self-deprecating statements such as, “Oh, I tried to give myself a look, but I’m really not sure I succeeded very well at all. But thanks for noticing!” And be truly glad she did!

Okay, you’ve gotten through the honeymoon phase. But beware, because you’re about to enter the realm of the ridiculous – a lifetime of wedded bliss with your MIL! Want to be armed with the impenetrable shield? Let Sally “The MIL Manager!” Shields prepare you with the ultimate Rules Shield! Please visit for information on 96 more surefire ways to manage and make friends with your MIL, contests, giveaways, free bonus gifts, the DIL Rules newsletter and lots of other great stuff!

Author's Bio: 

Sally Shields is an award-winning pianist, composer, speaker, and author of The Daughter-in-Law Rules: 101 Surefire Ways to Manage (and Make Friends with) Your Mother-in-Law! She graduated with honors from the New England Conservatory and was a recipient of the Boston Jazz Society Award. Winner of the 17th annual Great American Jazz Piano Competition, her articles and transcriptions are featured regularly in Piano Today Magazine and her book, Modern Jazz Piano, is the standard theory manual for several music programs, including Princeton University. Her children’s song “It’s Christmastime, Once Again” was a finalist in the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and her music is currently featured on the ABC TV daytime drama All My Children. When not traveling and performing around the world—most recently with bestselling author and musician James McBride—Sally (a vegetarian) lives in New York City with her husband (not a vegetarian!) and their two children.

Note: Although the relationship with her MIL was rocky at the outset, with the implementation of the devices outlined in The Daughter-in-Law Rules, the two now enjoy a special bond—which got even better, interestingly enough—after her MIL found out she was writing this book!