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Hanging Out With Your Mother-In-Law is the Key to Happiness

Know it all Mother-in-Law
Bob Ingelhart /Getty Images

Well, I think I’ve just about heard it all now!

A new study out of Deakin University in Victoria, Australia has found, are you ready for this, that married couples who see both their mother and their mother-in-law once a week are happier than those who never see either, or who just see their own mom.

Now I feel fairly confident in saying I’m sure there are plenty of men and women that would beg to differ on this subject. This contradicts everything we were ever taught. How could your mother-in-law possibly be the key to happiness? Logic dictates seeing one’s mother-in-law with any degree of regularity is the sure-fire path to misery.

I mean, we are talking about the same woman who drops in unannounced, talks behind your back and nit-picks everything you do right? How can this be?

The study found that people who see both on a regular basis had the highest sense of well-being. People who just see their own mother regularly were second, people who just see their mother-in-law regularly were third, and people who rarely see either were last.

Another benefit to seeing both is you’re getting two sources of maternal support, two people who can give you solid advice from experience and two people who can help with your kids.

Oh yeah, I did find another interesting tidbit of information on how women really feel about their mother-in-laws. 

According to a recent poll in Ivillage, 51% of women would rather do just about any distasteful task than being forced to hang out with their husband’s mother.  Some of the things mentioned were:

  • Having a really painful root canal.


  • Having to be rescued from a mine.


  • Visiting the Gynecologist every day for a week.


  • Staying on hold for an hour with a credit card company.


  • And being waterboarded!

Wow! Talk about having a lot of hate for your hubby’s mama!

I’d love to know, upon reading all this, how many of you are still willing to roll the dice and take your chances with your own well-being and happiness, rather than being forced to spend quality time with “mommy-in-law dearest” on a consistent basis? 

Of course, if my mother-in-law happens to read this, you know I love ya! That goes without saying. And can we please take another one of those 11-hour trips to the Black Hills in your RV again sometime soon?

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