See more of your mother-in-law

You may think she’s driving you nuts, but married people who have regular contact with both their own mother and their mother-in-law have significantly higher wellbeing than the average Australian.

The latest Australian Unity Wellbeing Index has found those who do the double — seeing both their mother and their mother-in-law at least once a week — are happier than other married people.

“Whatever their reputation, mothers-in-law are evidently an important resource in a person’s life. The reasons could be that the extra support she provides is seen as a sort of bonus beyond the expected assistance of a mother,’’ says report co-author Melissa Weinberg from Deakin University’s Australian Centre on Quality of Life.

But in an interesting twist, the report also finds that people who see neither their mother nor their mother-in-law on a regular basis are happier than those in contact with just one or the other. “This shows that being free of maternal influence from one or other side of the family allows it to develop its own equilibrium, and with it increased wellbeing,’’ Dr Weinberg says.

You can learn more about your own wellbeing by completing our Wellbeing Index Survey here.

Australian Unity accepts no responsibility for the accuracy of any of the opinions, advice, representations or information contained in this article. Readers should rely on their own advice and enquiries in making decisions affecting their own health, wellbeing or interest.