In laws & Outlaws: How Your Extended Family Affects Your Marriage! (Pt. 1)

The snake plant is sometimes called the mother in law’s tongue, because it’s sharp and barbed.


Ever heard this one before? Two men were sitting in a pub together, drinking. One says to the other, “My mother-in-law is an angel.”  His friend smiles grimly and replies, “You’re lucky. Mine is still alive.”


It’s true. There are probably more mother-in-law jokes out there, than daughter-in-law, son-in-law or father-in-law jokes. However, the fact is, the term “in law” tends to come with the expectation of disappointment and frustration for many people. And while this isn’t always true, (some people have wonderful relationships with their in laws) the reality is that for many folks, their marriage is a much more complicated relationship because of their in-laws.


Studies show that in law interference affects women more than men!


Interestingly, studies conducted by Dr. Terri Orbuch, a psychologist and research professor at U of M’s Institute for Social Research, show that men who are close to their in laws are 20% less likely to pursue getting a divorce than women, who are apparently 20% more likely to call it quits on the marital front.


Part of this, Dr. Orbuch believes, is the result of how differently men and women perceive their relationships and interactions. Men, he says, tend not to take what their in laws say too seriously or too personally, allowing them to shrug off interference more easily. But for many women, relationships are more pivotal and personal. Therefore interference from in-laws can be perceived as meddling and can cause enormous anxiety.


Interfering in laws can set a marriage up for failure at the start!


As Dr. Orbuch explains, “In law ties are especially stressful for women. And, when they’re close to in laws, especially early in the marriage, this may interfere and prevent the formation of a strong bond with their husband, making it impossible for newlyweds to establish clear emotional boundaries.”


Problems develop in a marriage when the relationship with the in laws on either side impinges on the marital relationship. This usually happens in one of two ways. Either there’s enormous dislike between one of the spouses and their in laws, or one spouse takes their parent’s side in arguments, which makes their partner feel excluded and emotionally isolated.


Sometimes divorce feels like the only solution!


In the next segment, we will be discussing some of the problems people face when their marriage is suffering as a result of their relationship with their in laws, and what can be done to manage the situation. Until then, if you or a loved one need help with your divorce, or any other family law issue, we are her to help.


The skilled attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have spent decades helping the people of Michigan with their family law neds. Whether it’s divorce, child custody, alimony or personal protection orders, we are available to assist you. Call us today at 866 766 5245, or come in for a free consultation. Whatever you are dealing with, chances are, we can find a way to help.