The old cliche of the mother-in-law being a bit of a battle axe, as seen in the film Monster-in-Law, where Jennifer Lopez's character and her mother-in-law played by Jane Fonda came to blows, is sidelined by a new study.

London - It will hardly come as news to millions of married women – or, indeed, to their husbands.

Four out of ten women have an “uneasy” relationship with their mother-in-law, a survey has found.

Millions find themselves in daily battles with their spouse’s mother over everything from dress sense to the household finances.

And one in ten women are currently not speaking to their mother-in-law following a particularly bitter row, the study found.

Sharing opinions on raising the children was the most common cause of arguments, the poll found.

Frequently saying “In my day, we did it like this...” also ranked highly on the list of top bones of contention, as did taking credit for all her son’s good points because “he takes after her”.

Mother-in-laws giving children too much junk food or interfering with financial matters were also common, the study by online researchers OnePoll found.

About half of women respondents said they have argued with their partner about his mother.

And 15 percent have come close to ending their relationship over friction with her.

A OnePoll spokesman said: “This report seems to suggest mother in laws know exactly how to push the buttons of their daughter-in-laws.” Daily Mail


1. Sharing their opinions on how to raise your children

2. Acting like they know what's best

3. Declaring: 'In my day, we did it like this... '

4. Criticising your mothering skills

5. Giving your children too much junk food

6. Acting as if she knows what your children like and don't like

7. Not listening

8. Making out they know their son better than you

9. Tidying up on arrival at your house

10. Interfering in financial matters

11. Taking credit for her son's good points because he 'takes after her'

12. Asking her son 'are you eating well enough, you look thin'

13. Telling you: 'You could do with losing a bit of weight'

14. Insisting on talking on a landline rather than a cellphone

15. Declaring: 'You need to get started on my grandchildren, you aren't getting any younger.'

16. Asking your partner to keep a secret from you

17. Criticising your outfit

18. Refusing to listen to your tips when she is babysitting because 'she's had her own children'

19. Criticising meals you serve because you 'don't cook enough from scratch'

20. Buying a plug-in air freshener when she is staying with you.