It would be amazing if we could all have wonderful, loving families where nothing could split us up. But sadly, that isn’t how the world works for some of us.
There are situations where it’s actually best to distance ourselves from our family members, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Dead_Daylight456 realized this years ago and decided to stand by his convictions, even when his estranged mother reached out for help.
When he was criticized for his boundaries, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he was being selfish.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for not letting my mother move in with my wife and I?”
The OP limited his contact with his mother.
“I (31 [Male]) have been with my wife (29 [Female]) for 4 years now. We have a 2-year-old daughter together, and we live in a fairly nice neighborhood.”
“When I was growing up, my mother was arrested for drugs and alcohol. She was released when I turned 18 and I’ve had very little contact with her since.”
“She’s met my wife a few times and each time made horrible remarks about her.”
“For instance, we went out to dinner once and my wife ordered a chicken dish. My mother looked at the dish being placed in front of my wife and said, ‘Are you sure you want to eat that?’ I got our food wrapped up and left. I made sure my wife knew that I would always have her back.”
“My mom also came to the dinner after the wedding and got very drunk. I decided to cut complete contact with her after the wedding dinner.”
The OP denied helping his mother.
“My brother (35 [Male]) came over for dinner recently with his wife and their son. My brother and I aren’t super close, but he was in town visiting some friends.”
“My brother let me know that our mother was struggling with health issues and could no longer afford to live on her own. He suggested letting her move in with my wife and me.”
“I didn’t even have to think about the suggestion, I told him that I did not want her moving in with us.”
The family did not respond well to this.
“My brother’s wife looked upset and practically begged us to let her stay.”
“I firmly told them both no and wanted nothing to do with her.”
“They left and a few days later, my phone was blowing up with messages from my mom’s family calling me a horrible son.”
“AITA for not letting my mother move in with my wife and me?”
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 were happy the OP put his wife and daughter first.
“NTA. Protect yourself, your wife, and your kid. They are so desperate for you to take her so they don’t have to.” – IAmGettingThePig
“You are not your mother’s keeper. You have given her fair chances to be a part of your life and she made her choices. Good for you for sticking up for your wife and having her back.”
“If your brother is so concerned about your mother, he should have no problem taking her in.” – windsongmcfluffyfart
“NTA. Good on you for having your wife’s back on this one! Too many of the stories on Reddit have the opposite problem, where the children bend over backward at their partner or spouse’s expense.”
“You know that letting her move in will harm your marriage, possibly irreparably, and will impact your mental health.”
“Your brother’s wife and your maternal family are just angry because one of them has to deal with her. Stand your ground, and keep polishing your shiny backbone.” – Anonymotron42
“NTA. Your child is in her formative years now. Her character is being developed. Children pick up many traits, behaviors, addictions, and even language and beliefs from the people they are exposed to when young.”
“Anybody living in your household is going to have a huge impact on the person your child becomes. It seems from your description that your mother is not a person you would choose to be a significant influence on your child’s development. If that is the case, this is a definite no.” – nothing2Chere4ks
“NTA – Not even close, you have no obligation to house her. Pretty telling that your SIL doesn’t want to have her live at her house. She would cause havoc in your household and you should not subject your 2 y/o daughter to that nonsense. Good on you for having your wife’s back throughout the dinner and reinforcing it with her.” – m0dera
Others agreed and said there were others who could take the mother in.
“If they’re so keen on her having help, then the other members of the family can take her in.”
“Her presence is not helpful to you or your wife or child. You are NTA for refusing to let her move in. Preserve your peace and sanity!” – macladybulldog
“The brother and his wife don’t want to have to take her in.”
“Tell everyone who is trying to make you feel guilty, ‘If you think she needs to live with someone, you take her in. She stopped being my mother 30 years ago when she refused to be a responsible, loving parent. Now it’s my turn, and I’m not responsible for her bad decisions. Do not speak to me about this again.'”
“If they keep it up, put them in a long time out and maybe they will learn to respect you.” – CJSinTX
“Your brother and his wife tried to pawn her off so they didn’t have to deal with it. You said no. Kudos to you!!”
“If your mom’s family is SO worried about her, they can take her in!! None of them offered up their home, so that tells you all you need to know.” – SnazzySusieQ
“Advise your brother to contact the local social services. They likely will be able to place mother in some sort of low-cost senior living arrangement. It won’t be fancy, but it will be shelter.” – MidwestNormal
“Funny how your brother is willing to volunteer you, but is unwilling to take her in himself. That’s why his wife was so insistent. She fears the burden will fall on them.”
“Maybe you agree to pay for a home with your brother, but only if you can afford it. You owe this woman nothing.” – GreekAmericanDom
The family may have criticized the OP, but the subReddit absolutely did not agree. The OP was estranged from his mother, and likely for good reason. To expose his wife and child to her behavior on a daily basis, just because it would be easier on the rest of the family, would hardly make sense.