If your son-in-law hates your cooking or your daughter-in-law resents you, take heart.
It's no surprise that most people get along best with their own mothers, but as time goes by they're far more likely to get along with both their mother and mother-in-law, a new national poll found.That's good news on Mother's Day for women with married children, said Barbara Ames, an associate professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing.
"As people mature, maybe some of the issues that they dealt with when they first get married get worked out," Ames said.
People also tend to spend more time with their extended families as they age, when they are less busy with their careers and raising their own young children, she said. That togetherness can bring added closeness.
The shift seems to come as people enter their late 30s.
After that, the percentage who get along with both sides of the family grows as they move through their 40s, 50s and 60s, according to an April 11-14 national poll of 1,000 people conducted by EPIC/MRA of Lansing.
Among 30- to 35-year-olds, for instance, 59 percent get along better with their own mother while only 19 percent get along equally well with their mother and mother-in-law.
Those aged 36 to 49 are evenly split over whether they get along best with both moms or just their own. Among 50 to 55-year-olds, the balance tips decidedly toward both, with 36 percent saying they get along with both, compared to 28 percent who still like their own moms best.
By age 65, only 14 percent say they get along with their own mother best, while 33 percent get along with both.
The margin of error is 3 percentage points either way.
Men are more likely to get along better with both their mothers and mothers-in-law than women, the survey showed. The number of people who preferred their mother-in-law seldom breaks into double digits.