Everyone in Little Rock has seen television shows in which a wife is constantly criticized by her in-laws and she can do nothing right in their eyes. While many people may think this to be a comedic interpretation of real life, it appears that this situation could actually be fairly true to form. After a 26-year study was recently published, researchers are finding that women who report having a close relationship with their in-laws are at a 20 percent higher risk of getting a divorce.

Though women hope to have a close relationship with their in-laws, they are also very sensitive to criticism. Many women in the study reported feeling as if their in-laws’ actions were a reflection on their strengths as a wife and mother. In addition, many women may feel that their in-laws are meddlesome and too involved in their families’ lives.

The study tracked 373 couples from 1986 until 2012, with researchers checking in with the couples periodically.

Oddly enough, when men have a close relationship with their in-laws the risk of divorce falls by 20 percent.

While it would be nice to assume that bad in-laws will not affect a marriage, they are often just part of the package. And, if they make a spouse feel unhappy, it is something that will need to be addressed. If it doesn’t, it could lead to divorce. Ultimately, every man and woman deserves to be happy in their marriages and if that can’t happen because of an in-law, it may be what eventually leads to the end of the marriage.

Source: The Huffington Post, “In-Laws And Marriage Study: Son-In-Law Key To Lasting Marriage,” Nov. 27, 2012

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