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Woman Livid After Her Overly-Critical Mother-In-Law Keeps Showing Up At Her House Unannounced

Drawing boundaries with your in-laws is difficult, but it can border on impossible if you don’t have your partner’s support.

Reddit user Norman_Libra found herself stuck over how to handle her partner’s mother, who insists on showing up and letting herself into the home unannounced. So she turned to the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit for their thoughts.

She asked

“Would I be the a**hole for telling my mother in law to stop coming over unannounced?” 

Before we get into the details (and woooo the details) let’s talk about how the AITA subReddit works.

The board is devoted to those moments in life where you’re not sure who the jerk in a situation is.

People share their situations as posts. Others use the comments to respond to the original poster (“OP”) and cast their votes.

Voting Options Are: 

  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Now that we covered the basics, let’s get back to the post. 

“Me (25F) and my boyfriend (30M) live together in a house that he bought last year.”

“I’m working on getting my PhD so I did not have the money to apply for a mortgage. However, I pay for the groceries and paid for furniture.”

“We made it clear that it would be OUR house and not just his.”

“My relationship with my mother-in-law is good, but recently she picked up the habit to come over unannounced.”

“For example:”

“I was napping on the couch and suddenly she entered the living room, asking me why I was asleep at 3PM and saying that I could have already started to make dinner for my boyfriend.”

“I told her that I had worked the night before but she didn’t think that was a valid reason to be taking a nap.”

“A few days ago she came in while my boyfriend and I were both at work and threw away plants I had bought. When I asked her why, she told me she thought they were dead.”

“They were not.”

“Every time I am home alone I fear that she will randomly show up and tell me that I should take care of her son or that I’m not doing enough.”

“I’ve talked to my boyfriend about this; he was very vague. Told me that she was trying to be nice, he thinks she is just ‘looking out for him’ and she has good intentions.”

“I feel like I’m being cast as a ‘bad woman’ for not cleaning the whole day & making sure my boyfriend has a warm meal when he comes home from work. And for trying to rescue plants.”

“It feels like she is checking on me or that she is gathering evidence to show her son that I will not make a good future wife.”

“Would I be the a**hole for telling her to stop coming over unannounced?” 

Reddit feels OP’s pain hard. 

“NTA, but confronting her isn’t going to work unless your boyfriend tells her she needs to stop coming over unannounced and is willing to take away her keys and/or change the locks if she doesn’t stop abusing the privilege.”

“The fact that he’s making excuses for her treating this like her household and you like a child she needs to correct (although throwing out your possessions would be seriously out of line even if you were her kid) when you need to feel safe and in control here means that your problem isn’t really with her – it’s with him.”

“You need to make sure he gets why it’s a problem before you make any further future plans together.” – mm172

“No, don’t let him get away with that.”

“She is trying to be nice to him only, and is ‘looking out for her little boy!’ She is not being nice to you at all, and you need to bluntly tell your boyfriend this, and that it needs to stop.”

“She wants you to be a good little subservient woman, who takes care of her boy, and is invading your space and judging you to try and guilt and criticize you into line.”

“Tell your boyfriend he needs to call her out on her overstepping and disrespecting you, and he needs to tell her she is no longer allowed to come over without prior approval.”

“She is not allowed to just let herself in, and you need to insist he get the key back if she doesn’t listen.”

“If your boyfriend doesn’t back you in this, this is definitely something to get upset with him over and push. If he doesn’t have a problem with his mother treating you this way, he may not be the person you thought he was.”

“No you’re NTA” – Permit-Extreme-117

“Definitely NTA but the issue is with the bf in the grand scheme of things.”

“Y’all need to be able to get on the same page about these kind of things and then back each other up otherwise life is going to continue to be maddening” – beyoncessister

“NTA – you have less of a MIL problem (though you have one of those too), than you have a BF problem.”

“He is totally fine with his mother continuing to mother him, even though he is an adult with a live in partner. He is totally fine with his mother trying to ‘teach’ you how to be a better spouse.”

“You need to have a come-to-Jesus conversation about whether you are in a partnership of equals, or whether he and his mother think you are signing on to simply be his helpmeet and to sublimate all your needs and desires to his.”

“You need to go into that conversation prepared to walk away if you don’t like the answers he gives, or if his actions don’t back up his words after the conversation.”

“Step one should be changing the locks and NOT giving his mother a new key.”

“She’s not going to simply stop coming around. She doesn’t think what she’s doing is wrong.”

“She will ‘forget’ she’s not supposed to, and then do it often enough that gets normalized again.” – Fraerie

“I won’t even answer the door if someone comes over without making prior arrangements – no way would I want to wake up to someone unexpected in my house.”

“Change the locks – problem solved. If BF disagrees then you all need to seriously discuss boundaries and how this relationship moves forward.”

“NTA” – tikanique

“NTA. And it’s a red flag that your boyfriend won’t tell her himself.”

“He thinks she’s ‘looking out for him’ by harassing you about dinner and throwing away your houseplants??”

“Sounds like he agrees with her, he wants you cleaning the house and making dinner like a housewife.” – WritPostWrit

“It really seems like the bf is just a child who needs a mother and that’s causing two problems:”

“his mother feeling the need to overreach (and how he sees no problem with it) and how his mom is harassing OP into becoming his mother.” 

“NTA. It’s gotta stop.” – ha_look_at_that_nerd

“This is a huge 🚩🚩🚩🚩🚩! You need to put her in her place and lay down firm boundaries. Like right now.”

“What she is doing is above and beyond disrespectful. It will only get worse.”

“If your boyfriend doesn’t back you up on this then you should break up with him. He should be mad about this too! It is not HER house.”

“You are an adult and she is not your mother. You are not subordinate to her at all.”

“Change the locks.”

“It is a power move on her part. She doesn’t need a key to YOUR house. She is doing this on purpose to dominate you and have control because that is how she is.” – yeahyeahyeah00002

“It would be completely appropriate for you to ask anyone to stop coming over to your home unannounced.”

“But your MIL is not the big issue here – your BF is. He doesn’t see her actions as a problem.”

“In his eyes, it’s fine for her to randomly show up and instruct you on what you should be doing, throw away your things, criticize your actions.”

“Focus on the real issue here and don’t waste time or energy on side issues.”

“Your MIL showing up unannounced and judging you in your own home is a big issue, but it’s a side issue to the Main Issue – your BF thinks it’s OK for you to be treated like this.”

“Until you address that, you’ll be playing whack a mole and never seeing any change because the root of the problem is your BF’s lack of respect and support for you.”

“NTA” – milee30

“Please don’t justify yourself next time! You could be taking a nap for no other reason than being lazy, and it still would be absolutely none of her business whatsoever.”

“I’m also not going to bother analyzing why every single thing she said in that sentence was insane. Just… does she think you’re earning your PhD so you can embroider your apron with the word ‘Dr’?”

“More importantly, though, does your boyfriend also think this? Because he should be telling his mother to stop, not justifying her invading your space like that.”

“He said she was just trying to be nice? That’s not trying to be nice.”

“But since she is his mom, maybe just point out that regardless of intent, she didn’t succeed in being nice. Regardless of intent, she succeeded in being invasive, misogynist, and condescending all in one.”

“Let him figure out what the intentions were, but the effect needs to stop.”

“If a toddler ruins a meal with too much salt, you forgive them, but you also take the salt away.” – rational_electron

Reddit doesn’t seem to put much weight into the boyfriend’s “just being nice” theory… or the boyfriend, for that matter.

Written by Erica Diaz

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