Members of a popular internet forum shook their heads after a man revealed how he got caught in the middle of an all-out war between his wife and mother.
In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITeA**hole, Redditor u/EffortPresent9645 (aka Original Poster or OP) said his mother lives hours away, explaining how it was one “miserable” visit of the year 2019 sparked a new conflict three years later.
Captioned: “[Am I the a**hole] for siding with my mother about my wife and telling my wife it was her fault for embarrassing me?” The post has been running since April 26.
“My mother lives an eight-hour flight away,” OP began. “My wife made it clear when she moved that she has to be the one who comes to us when she decides to move.”
He went on to state that his wife was adamant that her family would not change her life for his mother, and said on the original poster that the last time she made the trek to their home, things ended badly.
“My mom came to visit three years ago,” OP wrote. “We went to work as usual and she was alone… we went about our normal chores/routine… had our normal blah weeknight meals and by the end of the trip my mom was clearly unhappy, overtired and starving.”
The original poster also said that after years of pandemic-related travel restrictions, he invited his mother to revisit. Unfortunately, his invitation was declined – much to his wife’s chagrin.
“My mother apologized, but no. She said it was torture and if we can’t make the effort to take her, she won’t come,” the OP wrote. “My wife wanted me to confront her about how ‘entitled’ she was.
“I declined, so she called my mom and accused her of being childish and needing constant entertainment… my mom [yelled] that we were crappy hosts,” OP continued. “My wife wanted to know whose side I was on and I said my mother’s…now she feels I cheated on her and that I’m a mama’s boy.”
Conflicts with mothers-in-law are common, in real life and on the internet.
Complaints about overbearing and petty in-laws are scattered across numerous marriage and parenting forums and often boil down to one burning question: How much toxic behavior is tolerated until someone says enough?
According to parenting website We Have Kids, expecting subservience or special treatment is often a sign of a toxic mother-in-law.
Forcing your child to choose sides, and more specifically forcing their child to oppose their spouse, is another indicator of toxicity and a surefire catalyst for emotional warfare.
“If she can’t get you to respect her authority, she will rein in your spouse, her other children, her grandchildren, and as many friends and family members as possible,” claims We Have Kids. “She will complicate simple things just to prove to everyone that she’s the one in charge.”
However, when both spouses and their in-laws absolutely call the shots, there is even greater potential for a catastrophic meltdown between family members.
Throughout the comments section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors acknowledged this potential and called out the original poster, his wife and mother for their stubbornness and for wanting their relationship to collapse as much as possible.
“Everyone sucks here,” commented Redditor u/Straight-Singer-2912, receiving more than 7,000 upvotes. “Your mother ‘starved’ because she expected someone to shop and cook for her.
“[Your wife] It was foolish to call your mother and argue with her…[and] you are the [a**hole] because you slandered your wife in front of your mother,” they added. “But your mother is the greatest [a**hole]she’s driving a wedge in and she knows it.”
Redditor u/Mrs_ghee_buttersnaps, whose comment received more than 2,500 upvotes, offered a similar answer.
“[Everyone sucks here]”, write. “Your wife for being so draconian and rigid… your mother for assuming you will entertain her… you for not making time to spend with your mother when she came down.”
“Your wife just seemed to not only set boundaries but also make an effort to make your mother feel uncomfortable and unwelcome,” added Redditor u/jrm1102. “You should have stepped in when your mom first moved… well maybe [everyone sucks here].”
In the top comment on the post, which has received more than 16,000 upvotes, Redditor u/KaNGkyebin continued to focus on the original poster and the role he plays in the conflict between his wife and mother.
“It seems to me as if your wife doesn’t want to be expected to drop all of her responsibilities to plan, prepare and host, a role that women have been conditioned to automatically take on,” they wrote.
“If you want your mom to come, talk to your wife about how to make sure you’re welcoming and gracious hosts without overwhelming your wife,” they continued. “Aka, you take on more of those responsibilities [because] it’s your mother.”
news week contacted u/EffortPresent9645 for comment.