There are few relationships as notoriously difficult as those with one’s mother-in-law.
Particularly when some mothers-in-law are so obstinate, they never fully accept their sons and/or daughters-in-law, no matter how hard they might try.
Redditor Sad-Investigator-218 found herself in such a situation, who’s relationship with her mother-in-law went from tense to absolutely fraught after her mother-in-law continued to make insensitive, to bigoted remarks.
But after being scolded by her husband for how she handled the situation, the original poster (OP) took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for calling my Mother-in-law a “racist b**ch”
The OP first revealed that her mother-in-law’s had extremely antiquated views towards her marriage, views which her mother-in-law was either unable or unwilling to change
“I 32 female (black) am married to my husband 34 male (white).”
“We’ve been married for 6 years.”
My mother-in-law (MIL), let’s call her Lisa, has always made sly comments about me that I’ve tried to ignore over the years.”
“At one point she called my hair ‘nappy’, suggested I relax it which I shut down immediately.”
“At one point she made a comment about an Asian cashiers eyes and justified it by saying ‘my daughter-in-law is black, how can I be racist’.
“When I was pregnant she kept mentioning how she wanted our daughter to have my husbands blue eyes.”
“When my daughter was born she had brown eyes, Lisa did not even try to hide her disappointment.”
“My son was born with hazel eyes and his hair is also tighter than his sister’s.”
“she made a sly comment saying ‘you can’t have the best of everything’, insinuating that my daughter was blessed to have lighter skin and looser hair and my son was blessed to have ‘pretty” eyes’.”
Making the situation even more frustrating for the OP was her husband either didn’t notice, or chose to ignore how hurt his wife was by his mother’s behavior.
“I’ve bought my concerns up with my husband and he just brushed it over and told me that she’s ‘a product of her time’.”
Things came to an unfortunate head at a recent family gathering, dividing an even further wedge between the OP and her mother-in-law, and also putting a strain on her marriage.
“A week ago my husband and I were holding a party to celebrate our 6 year anniversary and naturally Lisa was invited.”
“She asked if she could invite her friends and I agreed.”
“After all, it would have been a bit boring for a 56-year-old woman to engage in conversations with a bunch of 30-something year olds.”
“Anyways when her friends showed up she introduced me as her ‘black daughter-in-law’, which made me uncomfortable so I pulled her to the side and told her I didn’t want to be addressed as such.”
“She shrugged me off and said ‘you’re my daughter in law and your black, you people are so sensitive’.”
“In that moment, all the pent of anger I had towards her came flowing out.”
“I don’t remember exactly what i said but I remembered calling her a ‘racist b*tch’.”
“She walked away from me and went into my kitchen and started to cry naturally everyone went to see what all the commotion was about. she told them I was an ‘evil woman who was trying to ruin her relationship with her son and grandchildren and told them that I called her a racist b*tch.”
“Everyone at the party became very hostile towards me and told me I went too far.”
“That night my husband and I got into a huge fight and he told me I needed to apologize to his mother.”
“When I told him I would never apologize to her unless I received an apology, he lashed out at me and went to stay at his mom’s house.”
“Am I the a**hole?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
The Reddit community stood firmly behind the OP, unanimously deciding that she was not at all the a**hole for calling out her mother-in-law.
At least one Redditor suggested the OP see how her mother-in-law might feel if the tables were turned.
“Maybe start introducing her matter-of-factly as your racist mother-in-law.”-NotThisAgain21.
Others expressed their disgust not only at the behavior of the OP’s mother-in-law, but also her husband.
“Holy shit are you NTA!”
“And please set things straight with your husband… “
“A product of her time?”
“She’s 56, not 96.”
“I’m enraged for you.”
“NEVER apologize to racists unless it’s to say ‘I’m sorry you’re a f*cking racist.”-Petit_Corbeau.
“Your MIL is definitely a racist a**hole.”
“However, the biggest a**hole here is your husband.”
“He is spineless and happy to watch you endure blatant racism while he excuses it with the ineffective ‘she is a product of her time’ trope.”
“He absolutely needs to stand up for you.”
“Girl, you deserve so much better.”
“If you don’t act quickly and decisively, her racism will extend to your children.”- Trialanderror2018.
“We don’t apologize to racists.”
“But it’s very concerning that your husband doesn’t see this.”- TheDuchess5939.
“Oh dear god, no.”
“You are NTA.”
“She probably did that dog-whistle intro in front of her friends assuming you wouldn’t say anything, but knowing if you did she’d weaponize it.”
“She put you in a bad spot to make you look bad no matter what you did.”
“She doesn’t deserve you or your children.”
“You and your husband should get counseling.”
“There’s no reason for him to be siding with her, but I imagine she’s been doing this sort of thing all his life and he thinks it’s normal.”
“But for the sake of your kids, get couples counseling.”
“They should not be hearing this kind of othering from any relatives, and your husband should be talking to his mother about how she talks to them, and how she talks to you.”-mybloodyballentine.
“She’s racist but your husband is an even bigger issue.”
“‘She’s a product of her time’?”
“She’s 56, not 106.”
“Your husband not having your back is not okay.”- nibbler981.
“NTA- but go to counseling ASAP or divorce this man.”
“Because if you don’t, you will raise 2 children w internalized racism that will impact their LIFE forever.”
“When you marry someone of another race respect is the baseline.”
“The second respect isn’t shown.”
“Your partner should show a united front of cutting that sh*t the f*ck out.”
“This is absolutely not ok.”
“Honestly she would have caught hands at the ‘you people’ comment.”
Just about everybody couldn’t believe the OP’s husband even thought to use the fact that his mother was a “product of her time” as an excuse.
“She is 56 years old.”
“She was born in or around 1966.”
“‘Racism is bad, actually’ was not a new concept in the 60’s.”
“It had actually been around for quite a while! “
“People of color were pretty damn vocal about their human rights in that time period.”
“And while the majority of whites may have been racist back then, it wasn’t all, by any means.”
“By the time she was eighteen and making her own way in the world, it was the 80’s.”
“Again, ‘racism bad’ was a pretty common concept, not some obscure notion circulating on the fringes of society.”
“And if she somehow managed to miss it, she’s had several decades since then to catch up.”
“She’s not a ‘product of her time’, she’s just racist and happy to continue to be racist.”
“You were absolutely right to call her out.”- ArcanTemival.
“As a 56 year old woman, I call bull on your husband’s stance on her being a product of her time.”
“Her behavior is unacceptable no matter what the ‘excuse/reason’ are.”
“There is never a suitable reason/excuse for such behavior.”
“You have a husband problem he should be defending you and have your back.”-cancergirl-peanut65.
“The i’m-a-racist tagline.”
“‘But i know a black person so i cant be racist’.
“And a ‘product of her time’?”
“When what she born? 1860?”
“She IS racist b****.”
“Good for you on calling her ass out on it.”
“NTA, she’s 56 so she’s not a product of her time.”
“She’s a racists and it sounds like your husband is racist or at least ok with them.”
“It’s like that saying they have at Germany, if you have one nazi and 5 others at a table you have 6 nazis.”
“Demanding you apologize because you don’t want to put up with her racism is beyond messed up.”-TimelordATX.
“You are absolutely NTA.”
“The ‘product of their time’ defense is old, tired, and a bunch of bullsh*t.”
“Racists are racists because that’s who they want to be, and their enablers are their enablers because they care more about who they are enabling than the people they should be defending; in this case your husband, enabling his mommy instead of defending you and your children.”
“Take them, get that divorce, and never look back.”- ShinyBonnets.
The almost complete lack of concern from the OP’s husband towards his mother’s behavior is concerning to say the least.
Here’s hoping he and the OP have a serious conversation about the pain that his mother’s behavior has caused her.
Possibly beginning the long overdue first step towards the OP’s mother-in-law learning to give her son’s wife the love and respect she deserves.