London - Unlucky in love types may now have an excuse for their failed relationships.
If you’ve ended up with a string of ex-partners or can’t help yourself from bickering with your spouse, your mother may be to blame.
A study has found that the children of mothers who have had multiple relationships tend to follow in their footsteps.
The personality traits which make a mother’s relationships fail, such as argumentativeness and poor communication, may be passed to the next generation.
Researchers compared the relationship histories of more than 7 000 people with their mothers’ love lives. For every extra partner a mother had, her son or daughter was five percent more likely to have an additional partner too.
Professor Claire Kamp Dush, who led the study from Ohio State University, said: "Mothers may pass on their marriageable characteristics and relationship skills to their children – for better or worse.
"It could be that mothers who have more partners don’t have great relationship skills, or don’t deal with conflict well, or have mental health problems.
"They may pass these characteristics on, making their children’s relationships less stable."
The research is based on data from 7 152 people, whose mothers had up to nine partners, as part of a national US survey.
The relationships link was not explained by their financial situation, ruling out the theory that poorer families changed relationships for financial security.
And children of divorce were no more likely to have multiple relationships than their siblings who grew up with the same mother in a stable relationship.
This led the authors to conclude that being bad in a relationship can be inherited, along with issues such as depression or a lack of trust in romantic partners.
They state: "Individuals who are more agreeable, extroverted, conscientious, and less neurotic tend to have more stable unions. Couples that divorce have poorer communication styles, less provision or receipt of social support, and more undermining and destructive conflict, all of which may be learned by their children."
Those who lived with their mother while she was co-habiting for a long time had more partners. Professor Kamp Dush said: "You may see cohabitation as attractive. That may lead to more partners since cohabitating relationships are more likely to break up."Daily Mail