Cohabitation is tricky even when it’s planned.
People have their own preferences and habits that may not mesh well with others.
So when a man, his wife, and his parents all ended up in his parents’ home for two months, minor conflicts were almost inevitable.
But what happened was not minor for his mom. She turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for telling my daughter-in-law (DIL) she is a nuisance and to stop touching my sh*t?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“My son got married young—he literally went off to college for a semester and by Christmas got married. He dropped that bomb at Christmas.”
“Anyways she (21, female) is staying here with son for two months since their apartment is getting fixed for a water break. At first, it was fine but we are 17 days into this and it is awful.”
“She tried to help and she sucks at it.”
“Her help just causes a ton more work for me.”
“For example she wanted to clean the bathroom. She used an abrasive sponge and now the mirror is messed up.”
“She mopped when I was at work and she used boiling water and harsh chemicals and the stain lifted in some areas of the wood (I didn’t know you could do that).”
“She broke my vacuum, didn’t pick up big objects, and it ate a sock. Hubby is trying to fix that.”
“She left an iron on a shirt and it almost caught on fire, just left it there.”
“Drowned my garden, the cactus stood no chance and my bonsai tree is now fucked up ( really hope that doesn’t die that took forever to grow).”
“Was going to pressure wash the window (she said that) luckily she couldn’t figure out how to put it together.”
“Wasted a ton of rice. We buy a big bag and just have a little in the kitchen but she decided to carry the bag through the kitchen and it fell and got everywhere.”
“You know how in movies the laundry machine overflows with bubbles? She did that. She put dish soap in it.”
“I told her if she wants to clean so much, just put things away. Well a few days ago she cleaned the living room and removed every cross in that room.”
“She told me they didn’t match the room, she put them in a box and in the shed. There were 4 crosses—we have a shrine for my husband’s mom in that room.”
“Oh, that one made me mad, she can’t be that clueless. I’m happy my husband didn’t see that one since he is much more religious than I am.”
“It’s just basic respect in the home we are letting her stay in free.”
“The crosses seriously pissed me off, but I reiterated to just keep things tidy in their room unless it is obviously in the wrong place.”
“The only reason she didn’t get kicked out is because my husband doesn’t know about it.”
“My son has made it clear if we don’t let her stay he will go no contact and I don’t want to f’k with that. It’s just 1 1/2 months left.”
“But my God she is driving me up a wall.”
“Today I came home and she reorganized the whole kitchen, she moved all the pots, utensils, my table got moved. I told her she needs to put everything back and asked why she thought this was a good idea.”
“She told me she didn’t like it so she fixed it.”
“We got in an argument over it where I called her a nuisance and to stop touching my sh*t. She ended up crying and now my son is on my a**.”
The OP summed up their conundrum.
“I called my DIL a nuisance after she moved everything in the kitchen. I guess I could have been nicer, but she is not helpful at all and I think I am over it.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors almost completely judged the OP as not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA. WTH?? You don’t go into someone else’s house and move stuff around because you don’t like the way it is.”
“Boundaries people Boundaries!” ~ Youwhooo60
“Bruh.. I’m an a**hole on purpose most of the time and when i read stories like this im still just like ‘who tf raised these people‽‽’.”
“NTA and honestly just kick them both out. i know that’s your boy, but honestly.” ~ Tiffany_Case
“NTA, she is staying in your home for 2 months—temporarily. There is no need for her to reorganize ANYTHING to her liking or to ‘fix it’.”
“But more importantly, she should have asked you if it is okay to do this or not.”
“You are doing both of them a favor of harboring them during an emergency. That doesn’t give either of them right to try and change how you live just because they don’t like it.”
“If they don’t like it so much, find alternative accommodation.” ~ atealein
“NTA—’she didn’t like it so she fixed it’. Hoo boy. This is Not Ever something you do to somebody else’s home.”
“Much less the other ‘cleaning’ issues.”
“She sounds like she’s causing a lot of trouble and damage.”
“I do seriously wonder if she had anything to do with the water problems at their apartment.” ~ Meghanshadow
“NTA—who rearranges someone else’s kitchen?? Maybe she has never had to clean anything in her life but it sounds like she is deliberately causing damage and problems so you’ll stop asking her to help.”
“If I were you, I’d be telling her she has to find somewhere else to stay until she can go back to her own place. The disrespect is astounding.” ~ ThatWhichLurks782
“NTA. Sit both of them down and say, very clearly, ‘This is NOT your house. We have taken you in as a favour, that is all. You are not allowed to reorganize or throw away anything. The fact that you think you can is very disrespectful. I appreciate that you want to be helpful, but so far, your help is destroying our home. If you damage any further areas of our house, you will need to leave immediately’.”
“Are they paying to replace the mirror and restain the floor? Because they absolutely should be.”
“And if your son continues to whine, tell him that he is a married man now and he needs to act like a grown-up.”
“That includes respecting people who are doing you a favour.” ~ Cursd818
There were a few who felt there were no a**holes here (NAH).
“NAH. I have a different perspective on this. I don’t think anyone is purposefully being an a**hole. The outcome is sh*t but I don’t think there’s an intent here.”
“Look, I know 21 is technically adult but many 21-year-olds are still basically children cosplaying as functional, mature adults. What I want to highlight is that she’s trying to help.”
“So, even if she’s bad at it—or just dumb—at least she’s trying. You can work with this. This is a good foundation.”
“I would just assume that this is an awareness and subject area expertise issue. She knows things need to be clean and tidy but she doesn’t know how, for example:”
“‘She used an abrasive sponge and now the mirror’.”
“This is a subject area expertise issue. And we’ve all been there. I’m sure you f’ked something up that wasn’t yours out of ignorance, too.”
“But you don’t learn this without either trial and error or someone teaching you. She knows it has to be done and she’s trying. The result is just suboptimal.”
“‘Well a few days ago she cleaned the living room and removed every cross in that room’.”
“Is an awareness issue. She’s tidying it the way she thinks it needs to be tidied without the awareness to realize that her way is not necessarily your way.”
“But a little empathy can help here. You’re the actual adult here, right? You can feel resentful and mad about it and blame her for all of it or you can use this as an opportunity to help a dumb kid become less of a kid.”
“That said, I’m making assumptions here, and maybe she’s doing this to spite you. That’s certainly possible. But, I dunno, maybe have a real conversation with her, set expectations, show her how to do things, be patient, and see what happens.” ~ Comms
“Omg, your son married a ‘Kevin ‘!! I’m so sorry!! In case you don’t know, a Kevin is a guy (or in this case a girl) who’s literally too stupid to live. Your son will regret this.”
“Just be patient and calm. If you are up for it, teach her to clean. Laundry detergent in the washing machine not dish detergent.. a soft cloth for mirrors, windows and everything else ect…”
“It seems like she has good intentions and wants to impress you, yet doesn’t know how yet. NAH.” ~ JustAnotherSaddy
The OP provided a final update.
“I talked to my son, they will be paying for all of the damage. I talked to her and told her to explain—she has one chance—why I shouldn’t kick her out.”
“Well, according to son/her, she is off her medication. My new conditions for her staying is she gets back on it and if she believes it’s not the right fit to go to the doctor.”
“She left after screaming a bit. I don’t think she is coming back.”
“My son is unsure if she will be back. So that’s where we are.”
It sounds like these parents were at their breaking point with their houseguest.
For the sake of their relationship with their son, hopefully something can be worked out between his parents and his wife.