In-Laws Can Lower Your Chance of Divorce
So long as they're chummy with the hubby
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2012 3:33 PM CST
Hubbies, be nice to these people.   (©)

(Newser) – If you assumed the only effect in-laws could have on your marriage would be to put it on a path toward divorce, well, you'd be half right. In 1986, a researcher asked 373 newly married couples to rate how close they were to their in-laws. The good news: Husbands who had good relationships with the in-laws had a 20% lower chance of getting divorced over time. The bad: Wives who initially reported being tight with their in-laws had a 20% greater chance of ending up divorced, reports the Wall Street Journal. Terri Orbuch posits that in the former case, "these ties connect the husband to the wife."

But in the case of the initially chummy wife-and-in-laws, the closeness can translate into a lack of boundaries, which over time can make a tight-knit relationship feel like a meddlesome one. The woman may ultimately "interpret what their in-laws say and do as interference into their identity as a spouse and parent," says Orbuch, who notes that men don't take their in-laws' actions so personally. Her advice: The parents of a son should refrain from dishing out the advice, even if they feel close enough to do so; wives should learn how to say "thanks, but no thanks." On the flip side, the parents of a daughter should make an effort to be welcoming, while husbands should be aware that caring for them is interpreted, by your wife, as caring for her.

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Showing 3 of 5 comments
Dec 2, 2012 11:30 PM CST
This rings very true for me. My in-laws are very sensible, caring people, and I obviously get a lot of brownie points for getting along with them so well. Nor does it really bother me that my wife doesn't get along with my mother nearly as well--a big part of the problem, after all, is that they are so much alike.
Dec 2, 2012 7:24 PM CST
Correlation does not prove causation.
Dec 2, 2012 4:04 PM CST
My dad only encourages us and helps us see opportunity while my husband's mother just meddles in things like some jerry springer shit. she can't let go of her little boy. gross.