Call for an attorney consultation.
Epperson Law PLLC

Relationships with spouse's parents could affect divorce rates

The relationship that spouses have with their in-laws is a famously tricky one. It can be so contentious that it's become a mainstay of TV comedy- as seen in the husband who groans when his wife's mother comes to visit, or the mother-in-law who disapproves of a wife's cooking. Outside of television, however, it seems as though the relationship between spouses and their in-laws can have some interesting- and surprising- effects on divorce rates.

Many North Carolinians may assume that a strong relationship with the in-laws would have a positive effect on the relationship as a whole. A recent 26-year study, however, suggests that notion may only be half correct. The study found that while a close relationship between husbands and their in-laws does result in lower divorce rates, sustaining a close relationship between a wife and her in-laws actually raises the odds that a marriage will end.

Overall, marriages in which the husband is close with his wife's parents experienced a 20 percent lower risk of divorce. Conversely, marriages in which the wife held a close relationship to her husband's parents had a 20 percent higher risk of divorce. The author of the study has offered some insights into why this might be.

She claims it has to do with perception. A wife may view a close relationship between her husband and her parents favorably, as it suggests that the husband cares deeply for her. On the other hand, wives may view their in-laws as meddlesome or intrusive; it is possible that a husband's parents could be viewed as judgmental or otherwise intrusive on the wife's identity. Men, by contrast, do not value relationships with in-laws very highly, and tend to focus on providing for the family.

The study's author suggests that women should therefore take care not to interpret their in-laws actions as meddlesome, and men should take time to build a close relationship with their wives' parents.

Studies such as this one can provide useful insights into some of the underlying causes of divorce, but readers should approach them with a wary eye. A slight increase in the odds of divorce does not mean a marriage is doomed if a woman doesn't like her in-laws. Rather, studies such as this one provide us with an opportunity to reevaluate our relationships and examine the effect they may be having on a marriage.

Of course, in some cases, divorce is inevitable. Whether it is influenced by the in-law relationship or not, spouses often feel that their happiness and long-term fulfillment could best be served by a separation. Spouses in such a situation should be sure to obtain as much information about the divorce process as possible before moving forward, as proper planning can lead to a smoother and simpler separation.

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

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Tell Us About Your Experience:

Why We Are The Firm You Want On Your Side
  • 24

    24/7 Access To Your Attorney

  • Honest

    Honest And Practical Advice

  • Aggressive

    Aggressive Advocacy

  • Regular

    Regular Status Updates

  • In-depth

    In-depth Knowledge of The Local Judicial System

  • Caring

    Caring Service For Your Difficult Family Law Issues

Email Us For A Response

From Start To Finish -Our Attorneys Will Be Here To Guide You Identifying good and bad decisions in difficult family law matters is what allows you to take the best possible steps forward. Protect what matters most with Epperson Law PLLC.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Weddington Office
13657 Providence Road
Weddington, NC 28104

Toll Free: 888-805-8163
Phone: 704-288-1359
Weddington Law Office Map

Boone Office
184 North Water Street
Boone, NC 28607

Toll Free: 888-805-8163
Phone: 704-288-1359
Boone Law Office Map