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Couple Refuses To Take In Mother-In-Law After She Didn’t Help Them When They Were Homeless

Furious elderly mother
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images

All of us have experienced low moments in our lives, especially with the pandemic still visible in the rear-view mirror, and during those moments, sometimes we need some help from a loved one.

It really stings when they not only will not help, but also blame us for our circumstances, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Evening-Still2174 was still feeling angry with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law for how they had treated her and her family while they were on hard times during the pandemic.

When her mother-in-law attempted to ask them for financial help later, the Original Poster (OP) could not believe their audacity.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for laughing in my MIL’s (Mother-in-Law’s) face?”

The OP and her family went through a terrible time during the pandemic.

“My husband and I were financially well off in 2019. S**t turned sour in 2020 when I became jobless after having to homeschool our kids. We couldn’t afford the rent. We got evicted six months later.”

“My MIL, who offered us two bedrooms, backed out as soon as we became homeless, and we ended up living out of our van for four months with our kids before a homeless shelter opened up.”

“During said time, MIL had very little contact with us. SIL was also tense about us asking to come to her house to shower, despite our offering payment.”

“We were looked at like we were scum because we were over the age of 30, had three kids, and didn’t have our s**t together. We were told how we were going about life all wrong and that if we had planned better, we wouldn’t be in the situation.”

“This was coming from SIL mostly, though she was given her house after her father died and hadn’t paid taxes in four years.”

But the OP and her husband were able to turn their lives around.

“Fast forward, we were able to get back on our feet times ten. We built a house from scratch with our kids and gained a s**t-ton of experience for all of us. It came out perfect.”

“The kids are ecstatic because they built their own house. We are happier than ever. We even started our own business.”

“We did this together, without help from any of his family, despite their promises, and I will admit that I grew a nasty taste in my mouth about the whole lot of them, despite the end result turning out the way it did.”

Then it was the OP’s mother-in-law’s (MIL’s) turn to ask for help.

“Well, my MIL is down and out currently. She was moved to part-time employment due to her slow-paced work style, and her retirement was taken away apparently after the government stripped it from them.”

“She will likely be evicted soon, as she has already received two notices and a lease termination letter.”

“She came here yesterday afternoon and asked us if she could stay here if she became evicted.”

“I will admit that my first reaction was to outright laugh at her and her audacity.”

“She looked immediately offended and uncomfortable, especially after I stated there wasn’t a chance of that happening.”

“My husband just stood beside me with his arms crossed, glaring at his mother, as he is very resentful of her allowing her grandchildren to live out of a van and homeless shelter after promises had already been made.”

“Anyways, she left crying after saying the situation was entirely different.”

The OP’s sister-in-law (SIL) lashed out at them for their reaction.

“SIL, however, called us later and said that we were ‘f**king trash’ for not allowing her soon-to-be evicted, elderly mother to move in.”

“My only response was that a nursing home just opened up down the street and she can go there.”

“However, a few friends say it was kind of mean of me to say that.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some thought the MIL deserved what she was getting after her poor behavior.

“While it seems spiteful of you both to reject her in a time of need, the spite was well-earned on account of her rejection of your family in eerily similar circumstances. Even if you tried to be the ‘bigger person’ or tried to ‘model the behavior’ you want to receive, I can’t see how letting this viper into your home could possibly end well. She sucks moose dong.”

“I hope SIL can make some room. She sounds keen to assist. NTA.” – Effpop

“NTA. She had two empty bedrooms and instead chose to let her son, DIL (Daughter-in-Law), and three grandchildren live in a van. I don’t know that I’d ever even speak to her again after that.” – Jerseygirl2468

“NTA. I would have laughed too. She made her kids and grandchildren live in a van. Your MIL and SIL were cruel. I am surprised that you even talk to them anymore.” – murphy2345678

“She thinks she has valid, sympathetic reasons for being in a fix, and OP and her family didn’t. She simply assumed their problems were due to mistakes she would never have made.”

“It’s kind of satisfying when the ‘just world’ fallacy comes back around to bite someone in the bum.” – AiryContrary

“The MIL thinks she is not to blame. That thinking miraculously never sees how she has made mistakes, etc.”

“Mom lost her job for her ‘slow’ work style. How did she rationalize that as not being something she could change? Yet she not only thinks her job loss was ‘different,’ but she apparently has also decided that she cannot ever work anywhere else.” – 2ndcupofcoffee

“Forget OP. What about the way they treated Op’s kids? Mess with me, and I’ll take it on the chin, but mess with my loved ones, and I’ll turn into all WWE fighters combined with all the Housewives (from every franchise) into one to protect them. Let alone let someone like that live with me.” – Whorible_wife69

“They were treated like scum and accused of ‘not having their s**t together’ at age 30. How old is MIL? Shouldn’t she have her s**t together?”

“NTA and good for OP’s husband for standing beside her.” – GardenSafe8519

“Karma and FAFO (F**k Around and Find Out) had a baby and dropped it right on MIL just like she honestly deserves.”

“I don’t blame OP for laughing and would have added a GTFO (Get the F**k Out) and shut the door in her face because I don’t have the time or ability to tolerate people like her.”

“Let her live on the street and learn what she did to her own grandkids. She shouldn’t get to see them again after this regardless, because they definitely need therapy to work through the issues of having their grandmother and aunt abandon them and treat them so poorly for something they in no way had control over.”

“NTA. OP should enjoy getting to be petty over this because it’s the bare minimum of offense to show someone who broke a promise or lied about giving them a place to stay in support of a bad situation.” – ITsunayoshiI

Others volunteered the SIL to take the MIL in after her passionate rant. 

“NTA. Your MIL and SIL know what you went through but are in denial. Let SIL take her in.”

“I really can’t blame you.” – Far-Cup9063

“The OP should say to her SIL, ‘SIL, it’s clear you care very deeply about MIL being homeless, so I’ll let her know she obviously has a free room at your house, bless your heart!'” – Animalime

“SIL has room until the county sells her house for back taxes. I guess the MIL should have gotten it together and owned her home by now.” – lisa_37743

“NTA. OP, tell the sister to let her dear mother move in and then go NC (no contact) or LC (low contact) with all of them. If they weren’t there for you when you were down, they shouldn’t have expected you to be there for them now.” – crystallz2000

“The homelessness fairy will be coming for SIL soon, too, if she doesn’t start paying the taxes on her house. NTA.” – bb3244

“NTA. ‘Do unto others…’ and so on and so forth. If she had planned better, she wouldn’t be in the situation.”

“If SIL is that concerned about it, let her know she’s equally capable of taking her mother in or find accommodations.” – garbageperson666

“NTA. SIL can take her in then.”

“I’m not a religious person (the opposite), but ‘treat others how you would like to be treated’ is something everyone can live by. She can’t throw the ‘family’ card down now because she is the one who needs help when she ignored it when it was you that needed help.” – alien_overlord_1001

“NTA! She’s right. The situation is different! You had children to provide for, which takes extra money and means their decision punished not only the adults but three innocent children!”

“She’s an adult and has no dependents, and is now being forced to face the consequences of her own actions. Not just against you, but more importantly against her innocent grandchildren, who she punished to make a point. When there really shouldn’t have been one to make.”

“Not everything can be prepared for, it looks like it’s her turn to learn that lesson. Give her the address to a homeless shelter and a nursing home and call it a day. She doesn’t deserve to be near your home or your children.”

“If your SIL has an issue with it, she can take her in.” – Few_screen_1566

While it might be nice to help loved ones out when they’re in a predicament, the subReddit pointed out that the relationship with a loved one can quickly change when they feel entitled to someone else’s favors without ever giving anything in return.

When this mother-in-law watched her son, daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren have to live on the streets in order to survive, she not only sacrificed her relationship with them but any chances she had of them helping her out if she ever needed it.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit