The No. 1 reason for family rifts

A new study has found the No. 1 reason families split apart, and the answer isn't good for newlyweds.

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  • Families sometimes fight during the holiday season. It could be because the food is too cold, the table isn't set or the driveway isn't shoveled.

  • But a new study has found the top reason — and it's not good for newlyweds.

  • The study, done by Cambridge University and estrangement charity Stand Alone, found that families often lose contact with each other because of their son's new wife, according to The Telegraph. Specifically, the study found that parents lose contact with their sons more than their daughters because the parents often have issues with their new daughter-in-law, The Telegrah reported.

  • "My son and I had a very strong loving relationship for 25 years," one mother wrote in a section of the study. "He met his soon‐to‐be wife and our relationship and his relationships with everyone on his side slowly went away. Everyone that knew him including friends and family saw this and felt this. He disowned anyone that does not like his now wife. My relationship with him was the last one."

  • Those rifts between sons and parents last about a third longer than arguments between parents and their daughters, according to The Telegraph.

  • "The findings provide backing for the time-honoured saying that a son is a son until he takes a wife, but a daughter is a daughter all her life," according to The Telegraph.

  • Parents are also likely to cut off ties with their children due to traumatic events or because of a divorce, The Telegraph reported. Parents are also likely to stop talking to their daughters because of issues with their young one's marriages or because of "tensions with the in-laws," according to The Telegraph.

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  • Getting along with a daughter or son-in-law can be difficult for many families, especially around the holidays when social interactions between family members are encouraged.

  • In an article for The Huffington Post, Julie Weingarden offered a piece of advice that might work best — keep a little space.

  • "A relationship with your daughter-in-law minus tension may sound nice, but keeping a little space between you can be good for you both," she wrote.

  • Experts told Weingarden that mothers and their daughters-in-law tend to have very fragile relationships, which can become unhinged with the wrong comment or if a parent learns something about their child that they didn't really want to know.

  • "It isn't beneficial for you or your daughter-in-law to open up excessively because your relationship is more fragile than you may realize," Dr. Deanna Brann told Weingarten. "If you hear about your son's behavior, it can be hurtful, especially if it's derogatory in nature, and then what do you do with that information?"

  • And having too close of a relationship with your daughter-in-law could put a strain on your child's marriage, Brann told The Huffington Post.

  • "If your daughter-in-law reveals details about her marriage, it's a betrayal to her husband and it can significantly affect their marriage," Brann told The Huffington Post. "Men need to separate from their parents, particularly their mothers; if your daughter-in-law shares private marital woes or matters, it can impede your son's development in this area."

  • There are also a number of things that in-laws will want to look out for when they're dealing with their child's new husband or wife, Cambridge University Terri Apter told Newsweek in 2009.

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  • Parents will want to be weary of giving advice on how to deal with a marriage or parenting, since the new in-law could take that the wrong way, Apter said. Parents will also want to make sure they don't criticize their new child-in-law too much either, since that, once again, puts their child's marriage at risk.

  • "This should be obvious but it's worth highlighting how damaging this is, because the son is very likely to bring up the topic with his wife," Apter told Newsweek. "It's better to talk to your son and daughter-in-law together."

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Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.

Website: https://twitter.com/HerbScribner

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