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Improving relationships with mothers-in-law

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SALT LAKE CITY -- This Sunday is Mother-in-Law's Day -- a not-so-popular holiday to celebrate an often not-so-popular person.

It's a relationship with quite the reputation. But is it really as rocky as the movies make it out to be? A new study says yes.

Kelly Wallace, chief correspondent for iVillage says, "It's a joke. It's made fun of in pop culture. So many people say, ‘Oh, you can't choose your in-laws.'"

iVillage recently polled women on how they really feel about their husbands' moms. You could say dukes came out and gloves came off.

"We were kind of blown away by some of the results," Wallace says. "More than 50 percent - 51 percent - polled said they would rather clean their house than spend the day with their mother-in-law."

Thirty-six percent would rather have a visit with the ob/gyn than spend the day with their mom-in-law.

Only about 30 percent described the relationship as terrible to bad. Wallace says, "It shows you how this charged, complicated relationship can be really bad for a lot of women.

Some people KSL spoke with characterize it as "not positive," and "a kind of competitive relationship." Other say, "Mother-in-laws are made to be feared."

Some said they would rather hang out with their mother-in-law than prepare the taxes. Others prefer the taxes.

Joking aside, the study did reveal one sentiment that was the same across the board. "I am taken with how many women still say help me, I want advice. How do I do it? I think that's the take-away," Wallace says.

Much of the advice includes setting boundaries between yourself and your mother-in-law. Get your spouse involved. And be upfront.

"You can be upfront and honest, and that might lead to better relationships and not second guessing down the road," Wallace says.

To see more on the study, To see that, click here.

Studio 5 contributor Dr. Liz Hale says there are three things women can do to improve the relationship with their mothers-in-law:

  • Honor your spouse
  • Be kinder than necessary
  • Connect with commonalities

To see her interview, play the video.

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