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In-law relationships could be one indicator of marital harmony

According to a 26-year longitudinal study conducted by a psychologist and research professor from University of Michigan, an individual's relationship with the in-laws can actually be rather telling. After following 373 couples over the course of the study, the author of this study found that there were some interesting correlations between divorce rates and relationships with an individual's spouse's parents.

According to this study, if a wife developed a close relationship with the parents of her husband, the marriage was 20 percent more likely to end in divorce. Often, women that spent a significant amount of time with their in-laws perceived them as interfering on the relationship, thereby placing a strain on the marriage.

Conversely and also according to this study, when a husband indicated have a strong relationship with his wife's parents, the marriage was 20 percent less likely to end in divorce. This was explained by the author by pointing to a pattern of behavior in which men were less likely to take the actions and deeds of their in-laws personally. Further, women tend to like their spouse taking an interest in their parents because they perceive it as further proof as a commitment to the relationship.

While these findings are interesting, there is certainly no direct correlation stating that any individual in Texas that is or in not close to the parents of their spouse will or will not get divorced. However, there are all kinds of challenges that every marriage will face. Sometimes there are challenges that a marriage cannot survive. Considering half of marriages end in divorce, there is certainly a portion of divorces in which exes have indicated that their former spouse's family was a significant stressor in the lead up to a divorce.

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

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