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In-Law Relationships

At one point in history, marriages were decided based on the advantages (e.g., professional, financial, social, or otherwise) the union would bring to the partner and his or her family. In this context, it was expected that parents and their adult children would continue to maintain a close relationship even after marriage. With such involvement, in-law relationships had a strong impact on one’s marriage. Traditionally, in-laws are defined as the family members of one’s husband or wife. With relational and societal changes the definition and function of in-laws has expanded. The family of live-in opposite-sex partners or same-sex partners (whether legally married or not) may be defined and treated as in-laws, and the role of in-laws may be prominent or next to nonexistent regardless of ...

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