This may well sweep many an Indian husband off his feet — and evoke jealousy among some spouses — but a British survey has found that several married men felt their mothers-in-law were more attractive than their wives.

To be precise, more than half of married men found their moms-in-law attractive — and a quarter have a genuine crush on them, the poll of 1,500 men showed.

Eight in 10 men said they had a good relationship with their mother-in-laws, while three in 10 claimed there was a secret attraction. Eight in 10 men also admitted that they had a great relationship with their spouse’s mother.

While nearly half of men said their wife’s style and overall clothing taste was heavily influenced by her mother, one in eight claimed that their mother-in-law was more stylish than their partner.

"These findings are really interesting to see. I think because popular culture is so youth-biased, older adults can feel undervalued, even unseen," said psychologist and author Linda Papadopoulos, who worked with Peter Hahn for the study.

Unsurprisingly many women aged 50 and over often lack confidence — when really they should be celebrating their age and embracing their beauty.

"Many women feel let down by retailers who seem to only cater for one size and shape — more brands need to start celebrating the diversity of female beauty," said Papadopoulos who wrote the popular psychology books "The Man Manual" and "What Men Say What Women Hear".

The results show many men have high opinion of their partner’s mother and this goes against the old cliche of the mother-in-law being a bit of a battle axe, Daily Mail reported.

"Most women would actually take it as a compliment that their mother is thought of as attractive as it is a great indication that style runs in the family," the authors pointed out.

The study revealed how admired so many mothers-in-law actually are, both for their appearances, style and overall personality.