They say when you marry someone, you marry their family, too.
Marriage brings a lot of exciting changes: spending the rest of your lives together, going on adventures and waking up next to your spouse every day.
But spending more time with your S.O. usually means spending more time with their family, and for many people, the stereotype of problematic in-laws isn’t so far off.
A recent study by Porch explored how often in-laws cause issues in marriages, how much time spent together is too much time, and the lengths people go to impress their in-laws before a visit, according to over 950 people.
Nearly 71% of couples said their poor relationship with their in-laws caused strain on their marriage, and hosting the in-laws can be daunting.
Whether you’re worried about wanting to impress them, feel like they’re overly critical, or worried your home isn’t up to their standards, you aren’t alone. 30.6% of daughters and sons-in-law are anxious when it comes to hosting their in-laws.
The overbearing mother-in-law may seem like the plot to an overdone romantic comedy movie, but it’s definitely got some truth to it. More than 21% of women said they believe their spouse’s parents don’t approve of them, and about 13% of men feel the same.
But it may be all in your head. 94% of fathers and 92% of moms actually approve of the men or women their children married, so you may have more fans than you think.
If things got especially heated at the holiday table, you may be hoping for some time before their next visit. Most couples are happy with a little over eight visits in a year from the in-laws.
Don’t expect too much down time though—the majority of parents wish for about 23 visits per year.
Overkill? Maybe, but if you’re looking to make sure their trips are short and sweet, a hotel might be your best bet.
When visiting, parent in-laws spend an average of 3.5 days at a hotel, but will stay at their kid’s house when it’s 5 days or more.
Family bonding time
Sure, getting to spend time with your family is supposed to be a treat. But when it comes to your in-laws, you might be able to think of an entire host of things (some not entirely pleasant) you’d rather do instead of finding yourself locked away with your spouse’s family for an extended weekend or holiday.
As we found, while a vast majority of people reported having a good relationship with their in-laws, many were happy with both the distance between them and the frequency of visits.
And as we also discovered, women especially were more inclined to feel uncomfortable at the prospect of having to see their in-laws, feeling anxious and potentially going overboard with cleaning and preparations.