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Woman Livid After Being Forced To Cut Trip Short When MIL ‘Fakes’ Sick To Get Son To Visit Her

Close-up of hands of senior woman lying in hospital ward.

Dealing with in-laws is a tricky situation.

Especially if the relationship was never that close.

And as they age, they can want to get more involved.

That leads to upheaval now and then.

A deleted Redditor wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for accusing my M[other]-I[n]-L[aw] of faking being hospitalized and refusing to let her stay with us?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My husband is 57 and I am 49. My MIL is 81.”

“She used to be very independent but since my F[ather]-I[n]-L[aw] passed away a few years ago, her health has been declining (she can walk and take care of herself, she’s just frailer) and she’s become much more softspoken and generally nice.”

“To be perfectly honest, she never used to be easy to get along with, and my husband agrees.”

“But anyways that’s alright.”

“I didn’t have much contact with her, and she had her own life; my husband visited maybe once every few months because we live very close to her, about half an hour.”

“Recently, though, she wants him to visit more often, and she gets upset when she isn’t invited to things we are doing.”

“For example, we recently went on a trip to celebrate my husband’s birthday, and he didn’t want to bring her as it would really limit the sorts of activities we could do.”

“She insisted we should have gone on a ‘chill’ trip and brought her.”

“Last week, we went to visit my family.”

“My MIL called my husband and said she was really sick and admitted to the hospital.”

“My husband obviously panicked and we both took a flight that evening back home to see what was wrong.”

“It turned out she was totally fine and apparently had a mild cold.”

“We spoke to the doctor, and she said my MIL had said she ‘couldn’t breathe,’ and when the doctor said she could go home, she insisted on being admitted.”

“I told my husband it sounded like she just wanted to be admitted so you would come back to check on her.”

“He was appalled, but later on agreed that it did kind of make sense and sounded like something she would do.”

“She wants to stay with us now because she is ‘sick.'”

“I said no, she is faking it and I don’t want to deal with her all day.”

“My husband thinks I’m being a selfish a**hole.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“Mixed bag. NTA for resisting having MIL move in.”

“But YTA for being generally cold and flippant toward her and her health (even if she ‘faked’ the recent scare).”

‘She’s an 81-year-old widower living alone.”

“She’s not feeling great, possibly has more fear about being alone given her frail condition, and she wants to see her son more.”

“Maybe her asks are too big or too much but seems like y’all could be more sympathetic and consider stepping it up a bit.”

“Make your own informed assessment of what she does need, and decide what you can reasonably do.” ~ Justsaying0000

“I’d warn your husband to be on the lookout for dementia.”

“My mom insisted for a decade that my grandmother’s increasing a**holish behavior and constant medical needs were her faking it, but it was all signs of her declining memory and need for more hands-on care.” ~ Ok-Vacation2308

“I came here to say the same thing, too.”

“What got me was the OP talking about how the MIL is more pleasant now.”

“My Mom was a very unhappy woman her whole life, but now that she has dementia she is so cheerful, and actually smiles when she sees me come to visit her every day.”

“She never used to smile at me like that.”

“81 is definitely the age when non-Alzheimer’s dementia can start to present.” ~ mspolytheist

“That happened with my husband’s aunt.”

“She was a terrible, racist, classist, and just really mean. I and our kids never actually met her because my husband said he wouldn’t put us through that!”

“Now, she’s in assisted living and sweet as pie to everyone.” ~ Worldly_Instance_730

“It’s something you should consult with a doctor about and track independently in a journal to establish patterns.”

“Write down what you know about your dad and his mindsets, and if things change, take it as a note to follow up on before it normalizes for you as a personality change creep you attribute to just being old.

“My grandma used to be a nice lady, but she slowly started saying more and more out-of-pocket s**t that she never would have dreamed of doing when she was younger and more with it.”

“I don’t remember all of what she’d do.”

“It’s been a few years since she was admitted to memory care, but the night she was taken to the hospital for a psychosis episode, I had visited during the day, and my grandma, always my supporter for not having kids until I was financially ready, made an uncharacteristic comment that I needed to get on having kids asap.”

“I wasn’t getting any younger.”

“That combined with how much weight she’d lost since my last visit and her fall just a few months back prompted me to tell my mom and dad that they needed to get her looked at because it wasn’t sitting right with me as ‘just old people things.'”

“But because they’d basically been the frogs in her pot for the past 10 years of her escalating behavior, they shushed me and told me that’s how she always is nowadays.”

“That night, she busted into their room looking for her husband who had passed 15 years ago, and tried to fight my mom thinking she was her husband’s affair partner.”

“She ended up taken away in an ambulance and diagnosed with dementia within the week.” ~ Ok-Vacation2308

“I work as a caregiver for dementia patients and this is very true.”

“Not always the case, but something to look out for.”

“When someone they love very dearly passes, and they suddenly find themselves rattling around alone most if not all the time, you’d be surprised just how rapidly that mental decline can occur.”

“Thinking deceased loved ones are alive again, that they’re in their 20’s, in college, etc.”

“And she will be needy because she’s afraid.”

“For a lot of them, when it starts, they know something is wrong.”

“They don’t know what, but they can tell something is off.”

“So that lack of knowledge creates fear and neediness.”

“I don’t know when the last time she was seen by her General Practitioner was, but might be worth checking out.” ~ Wendi1018

“Agreed. Even her seemingly becoming nicer could be a sign of this.”

“But NTA for pointing out the manipulation.”

“Your husband is in a difficult place.”

“He’s not the a**hole for disagreeing with you, but would be the a**hole if he actually resorted to name calling.” ~ Alternative-Job-288

“YTA. I wouldn’t let her move in either, but you lack compassion.”

“She’s elderly, has lost her husband, and has probably never lived alone before.”

“This was my mother a few years ago.”

“She kept saying she was fine until she wasn’t.”

“She moved into a retirement home, and she is much happier.”

“She has no bills to worry about, she comes and goes as she pleases, has her new and old friends and she’s not lonely.”

“And there is medical attention if she needs it.” ~ Historical-Goal-3786

“I’ll get dinged for this but NAH.”

“Your MIL is scared, alone, and facing her own mortality.”

“Is she handling it well? No.”

“What she did was an AH move but she deserves a little grace. And communication.”

“Your husband specifically needs to have a heart-to-heart with her.”

“Figure out what she needs and help her get it. “

“Maybe independent living.”

“Maybe moving closer to you.”

“She’s used to having another person to bounce ideas off.”

“You are not the AH for being mad.” ~ Sufficient-Produce85

“NTA. If she doesn’t want to live independently, I recommend getting your hub to lay out all of her actual options with her (which doesn’t include moving in with you).”

“Also, as her son, he can call a hospital for an update on her condition, so if she does this again, you can ask for the hospital social worker to look at her case and avoid running to her side (which is what she is manipulating you both into doing).” ~ Specific_Yogurt2217

“NTA. She sounds like she can be a giant pain in the rear.”

“She’s also 81 and alone.”

“This is really a husband problem.”

“She only lives 30 minutes away and he only sees her once every few months.”

“He needs to step it up.”

“It would not hurt him to make a standing weekly appointment with his mother.”

“They could go to a local diner or sit in her kitchen so she can fawn over him with desserts or whatever.”

“It wouldn’t even have to cut out of your time together.”

“Make it a weekday dinner thing on whatever night that you guys routinely don’t have anything scheduled.”

“You don’t have to go and can spend that time on something you enjoy- even if that’s bringing something dumb on TV.”

“There’s a good chance that if he puts in some time with his mom, the dramatics will slow down.”

“It’s not like she’s going to change at this point and there’s not a ton of time left to even worry about this at her age.”

“In any case, this isn’t your problem. It’s a him problem.” ~ StacyB125

Well, OP, Reddit is with you. This is a situation that sounds like it could get worse, fast.

Perhaps you could have a sit down with a spouse and read through the comments to help you gameplan how to handle her MIL’s care going forward. We wish you all well.