Relationship with in-laws has effect on Missouri marriages

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in Family Law on Friday, December 7, 2012.

It is no secret that many do not always get along with their in-laws. Many times, a mother-in-law is accused of being too prying, while a husband is accused of being too distant when it comes to his wife’s parents. And while naturally the relationships with in-laws can become quite stressful, it also turns out that these relationships may have an impact on a couple’s risk for divorce.

The study followed 373 couples over a 26 year time period, starting in their first year of marriage in 1986. From this study it was found that in marriages where the wife has a close relationship with in-laws, there couple’s risk of divorce increases by 20 percent. However, in cases where the husband has a close relationship with in-laws, the couple’s risk for divorce decreases by 20 percent.

When looking at why there is an increase in a couple’s chance for divorce when a wife is close with in-laws, but a decrease when a husband is, some say this is due to the ways in which we value and look at these relationships.

For example, while a wife does want to have a close relationship with her husband’s parents, ultimately she will look at those parents as meddling in their relationship. However, when a husband is close with his wife’s parents, it is totally different. Rather, it is seen as a positive with the wife thinking that if he is willing to get to know her parents he must really care for her.

Of course, when it comes to why spouses decide to separate or divorce, there are normally a number of reasons. So while the relationship with the in-laws may play a role, it is also quite common for there to also be other issues.

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

  • Divorce can be a complicated and emotional time. Our firm handles the many aspects of it. To learn more, visit our St. Louis divorce page.

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