Brits say in-laws in blame for marriage rows

An argument

Millions of married Brits wish they could divorce their interfering in-laws, a new study has found.

Monsters-in-law and fathers from hell cause rows in 60 per cent of relationships and more than one in five (22 per cent) would divorce them if they could.

The top reasons for tension include in-laws criticising and giving unwanted opinions on personal or confidential matters, treating them like children and partners taking their parents side.

One in five (20 per cent) said their marriage had suffered due to a lack of privacy with in-laws dropping in unannounced or coming to stay.

Twenty-eight per cent of people confessed the problem was so bad that they had even thought about splitting up and around one in 10 couples (12 per cent) actually had.

Two thousand married Brits took part in the study by law firm Slater and Gordon who say issues with extended family are often cited as a reason for divorce.

People surveyed saw their in-laws at least once a week, but almost a third (32 per cent) said they would like it to be less. Around one in three (29 per cent) described them as interfering, with couples who clashed about their in-laws exchanging cross words on average once a month.

The rising cost of living means many children now borrow money from their parents for big purchases such as buying a house, but almost one in five (19 per cent) said in return their in-laws expected more of a say day-to-day in their lives.

Rows with in-laws led to one in 10 families (10 per cent) not speaking for weeks and nine per cent said it caused a permanent rift.

Arguments were mainly sparked by in-laws giving unwanted opinions (39 per cent), treating partners like children (25 per cent), the belief that they didn’t think their son or daughter-in-law was good enough (24 per cent) and how grandchildren were disciplined (22 per cent).

More than one in five (22 per cent) hid their true feelings from their partner for fear of upsetting them, with 36 per cent revealing that they made up excuses not to see their in-laws or deliberately went out when they came to visit.

Over a quarter (27 per cent) admitted that if they had known at the time what they know now they may never have made it down the aisle.

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