Whenever I write about mothers-in-law, I always hear from a handful of wives who say they get along fabulously with their husband’s mother. But the overwhelming majority of readers confess that the relationship with their mother-in-law is less than ideal, if not downright tumultuous or even in some extreme cases, non-existent.
Now a survey from across the ocean, or Australia to be exact, says it proves that the idea of having a monster-in-law is definitely no myth.
According to the Daily Telegraph survey, “more than 70 per cent of couples have a tense or terrible relationship with one of their mothers-in-law.”
What specifically irks the otherwise calm and mild-mannered Australians?
Ironically enough, it’s many of the same things that drive us American wives insane:
Accusations against the in-laws run from the milder “always trying to interfere and run our lives” and being “selfish and controlling”, to the more annoying “loving the ex-wife” and the extreme of being “the world’s most bitter human”.
Many MILs were seen as being passive-aggressive and gossips, and more than a quarter of respondents said their partner’s mother had actively tried to break up their relationship.
Other stress factors included:
—Talking in languages not understood by their child’s partner
—Ran their child’s spouse down
—Visited unannounced (even to to their child’s honeymoon!)
—Inviting son’s ex to family functions
—Being hostile because the partner had children from a previous relationship
The number one complaint was the criticism of housekeeping skills, jobs and lifestyle (42 percent), followed by offering parenting advice (40 percent).
Are you surprised that our complaints about mothers-in-law are so similar? What is your number one complaint about yours?
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