From criticism over fashion choices to interfering parenting advice… why four out of ten women have an 'uneasy' relationship with their mother-in-law
18:17 GMT, 12 November 2012
You can choose your partner but you can't choose their family – and for four in ten women, that means they have a mother-in-law who they don't always see eye-to-eye with.
Forty per cent of wives have admitted in a recent survey that they have an 'uneasy' relationship with their husband's mother.
The research revealed millions of women
find themselves in daily battles with their other half's mother over
everything from style and fashion choices to how they are raising their children.
Mother-in-law knows best: Sharing their opinions on how to raise children was women's biggest gripe with their mother-in-law (posed by models)
Other bones of contention include implying they are not looking after their son well-enough because he looks thin or taking credit for all her son's good points because 'he takes after her'.
The report found relations have become so bad for one in ten women, they are currently not speaking to their mother-in-law following a particularly bitter bust-up.
Sharing their opinions on how to raise the children topped the poll on a mother-in-law's worst traits.
Constantly stating 'in my day, we did it like this…', acting like they know best and criticising mothering skills also ranked highly.
Meanwhile, those who have yet to give their mother-in-law grandchildren are wound up when she regularly points out, 'you need to get started on my grandchildren, you aren't getting any younger.'
Aside from parenting, references to weight and fashion sense also cause friction, as well as them 'making out they know their son better than you do' or cleaning your house when they visit.
Battle of wills: Four out of ten women have an uneasy relationship with their mother-in-law like Jennifer Lopez and Jane Fonda's characters in the film 'Monster-in-Law'
The issues emerged following a study carried out among 2,000 adults by OnePoll.
A spokesman for OnePoll said: 'There are many good things about mother-in-laws, such as them always being around to lend a hand with the babysitting.
'But the report seems to suggest they also know exactly how to push the buttons of their daughter-in-law, if they want to make a point.
'Raising children is always going to be a contentious issue, but this emerged as the most common cause for arguments.'
The study also found 41 per cent of women have asked their partner to have a word with their mother because of something their mother-in-law has said or done.
And 18 per cent refused to speak to their mother-in-law following something they said or did which upset them.
Around 50 per cent of women have argued with their partner about the mother-in-law, with 38 per cent admitting their partner's mother puts a strain on their relationship at times.
More than one in twenty have even broken up with someone because of their mother-in-law, and another 15 per cent have come close to ending time on a relationship over it.
MOTHER-IN-LAWS' WORST TRAITS
1. Sharing their opinions on how to raise your children
2. Acting like they know what's best
3. Declaring: 'In my day, we did it like this… '
4. Criticising your mothering skills
5. Giving your children too much junk food
6. Acting as if she knows what your children like and don't like
7. Not listening
8. Making out they know their son better than you
9. Tidying up on arrival at your house
10. Interfering in financial matters
11. Taking credit for her son's good points because he 'takes after her'
12. Asking her son 'are you eating well enough, you look thin'
13. Telling you: 'You could do with losing a bit of weight'
14. Insisting on talking on a landline rather than a mobile
15. Declaring: 'You need to get started on my grandchildren, you aren't getting any younger.'
16. Asking your partner to keep a secret from you
17. Criticising your outfit
18. Refusing to listen to your tips when she is babysitting because 'she's had her own children'
19. Criticising meals you serve because you 'don't cook enough from scratch'
20. Buying a plug-in air freshener when she is staying with you