Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Women 'criticise mothers-in-law'

Many British women think their mothers-in-law are bitchy and domineering, according to a survey
Many British women think their mothers-in-law are bitchy and domineering, according to a survey

Comedian Les Dawson referred to his as Hitler - now a new study has found that many British women think their mothers-in-law are "bitchy", domineering and even a cause of marital breakdown.

The poll of more than 2,000 women found that a quarter of respondents (25%) think their spouse's mother is "controlling".

Many confessed they see their mother-in-law as "bitchy" (16%) or "rude" (22%).

And one in 20 (5%) told the study for Netmums parenting website that they blamed their mother-in-law's meddling as a factor in a break-up.

Siobhan Freegard, co-founder of Netmums, said: "Mother-in-law jokes are as old as time but it's usually men who do the complaining.

"Our results show that mums are suffering in silence when it comes to their mother-in-law who they feel looks down on them, criticises their parenting skills and interferes in their relationship."

The study identifies seven different types of mother-in-law, including the "I-know-best", the "uber-nana" and the "I-think-the-sun-shines-out-of-my-son's-bum" mothers-in-law.

The difficult relationship between women and their mothers-in-law was highlighted recently when a vicious email from Carolyn Bourne to her future daughter-in-law Heidi Withers went viral.

Mrs Bourne panned her son's partner, calling her out for her "staggering uncouthness and lack of grace".

But Miss Withers hit back by sending the email to all her contacts, from where it made its way into the news across the globe.

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