Oddly, however, women who enjoy a good relationship with their in-laws have a 20 percent greater chance of separating.
The researchers of the American study suggested that wives who like their in-laws may find it hard to set boundaries, and in the coming years may feel they are meddling but men do not seem to share such anxieties.
Researchers at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research studied 373 same-race couples over 26 years and found that husbands who made the effort to get on with their mother-in-law were the ones most likely to stay married.
All the couples were between the ages of 25 and 37 and in their first year of marriage when the study began in 1986.
Lead researcher Dr Terri Orbuch, a psychologist and research professor, asked each of the couples to rank how close they felt to their in-laws out of four. She has followed them ever since.
According to Orbuch, it’s a good thing if men get along with their in-laws because ‘these ties connect the husband to the wife’.
For women, however, the situation is rather different.
“Because relationships are so important to women, their identity as a wife and mother is central to their being,” the Daily Mail quoted Orbuch as saying.
“They interpret what their in-laws say and do as interference into their identity as a spouse and parent,” she added.