Published on:

In-Laws, Divorce and Lawyers

This month, Bristol Palin, the daughter of former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, announced her engagement to her son’s father, Levi Johnston. However, Johnston is facing a long road ahead with his future in-laws after making accusations about them over the past year and engaging in some questionable public behavior.

Johnston is not the only future son-in-law who needs to work to smooth over in-law relations, according to studies conducted by the National Marriage Project. Researchers report that married couples with more support from their in-laws tend to encounter less conflict in their marriages. Disagreements between spouses and in-laws usually arise when parents have difficulty letting go of their grown children. Unrealistic expectations from in-laws can also fuel arguments, particularly between wives and mothers-in-law.

For those suffering from in-law induced distress, there are dozens of online venting forums and Facebook groups available for spouses to complain and seek solace among fellow sons and daughters in-law. However, most marriage experts suggest that a spouse who dislikes his or her in-laws should address any problems with them directly.