Husbands Happy with In-Laws Have Happy Marriages


The risk of divorce decreases by almost 20 percent when husbands have close relationships with their in-laws, according to researchers at University of Michigan.
The conclusion is based in part on a 26-year study that involved 373 couples who applied for their marriage licenses in 1986. Researchers followed the 746 people as couples or as divorced individuals. The findings are excerpts from the full report, which will be published in the journal Family Relations in 2013, according to a recent article.
Psychologist Christine Fernandez says men who get along with their wife’s family show that they’re putting in an effort to make the marriage successful. That effort is crucial during the first years of marriage to keep the relationship strong in the long run, she said.
The in-law/spouse relationship is not the same for women, however. The findings were reversed by gender, according to researchers. When wives were very close to their in-laws, especially early in the marriage, the likelihood of divorce increased by 20 percent. Researchers attribute this to the different way in which men and women deal with in-laws. Men appear to let go of potentially hurtful comments from in-laws more easily than women, who tend to view comments as intervening in the marriage, researchers said.