Navigating the mother-in-law/son-in-law relationship is a challenge.
Most people just want to feel appreciated and included in the family. But, sometimes people take advantage of their new family.
Redditor ThrowawayKev135 encountered this very issue with his mother in law. So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for moral judgment.
“AITA For telling my mother in law I married her daughter and not her?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My mother in law is a kind and funny woman. Though she does have few problems with boundaries, and is a little too involved in my marriage. Especially now that my wife’s pregnant.”
“My wife’s family aren’t well off financially and it’s the opposite with my family. My family own a factory, I’m an engineer. My wife has a job that doesn’t pay well but she’s happy with it.”
“Every time I get my wife something nice, especially jewelry, I’d get a call from my MIL complaining that she got nothing once she finds out, even if it was my wife’s birthday or our wedding anniversary.”
“Holidays and other occasions aside, She’d throw a fit about how I was treating her as less than. She always comes over and when she notices a new piece of furniture or any new items she’d complain I didn’t get her similar stuff.”
The, Mother’s Day happened.
“She sent a picture of a very expensive necklace that she wanted me to get for Mother’s Day. I called her to ask about it and she said that she’s been wanting it for a while, and only I could afford it.”
“When I told her I may not be able to get it she replied that I already got my wife an expensive necklace on Sunday and I can afford this one.”
“I didn’t get her necklace and instead I decided to get her some fresh flowers that I picked from my late mother’s garden that I trimmed/organized myself then put them in a nice vase.”
“We visited Sunday evening and my MIL kept smiling til it was time for gift opening. I handed her the flowers and talked about how much time and effort I made to put everything together.”
“She was shocked and said she thought I loved and cared enough to get her something nice, just like my wife who technically isn’t even a mother yet and she’s been a mother for 32 years.”
OP was not having it.
“I got annoyed and said that I did not appreciate her harsh response to my gift but she argued with me and kept talking about how much she wanted the necklace and that I could afford it just like I was able to afford the one I got for my wife but instead chose a thoughtless crappy gift to give her. That pissed me off.”
“I said that I married her daughter and not her.”
“Of course I was putting my wife first and It’s crazy she thinks I’m obligated to treat her and my wife the same. My wife looked at me and was astonished.”
“MIL replied that I was being mean and nasty to her on purpose and rubbing my financial stability in her face treating her as if she was greedy instead of showing her appreciation.”
“She went inside looking so upset she was almost crying then my wife followed her. Suddenly, Everyone was staring at me, it was awkward as hell.”
“My wife snapped in the car telling me I was way out of line for making her mom cry on Mother’s Day and said that she will not let my attitude cause a rift between her and her mom.”
“I asked if she agreed with her mom’s demands and she said no, but I went over the top and shouldn’t have spoken to her that way. She said I deeply hurt her mom’s feelings and should apologize”
“I really don’t want to ruin my relationship with my MIL but I’m worried that I just did”
“Edit: I saw a question about wether this was a cultural thing and I don’t know for sure. My wife’s family come from Venezuela and my MIL always tries to get me to learn more about the place she originally came from.”
Redditors gave their opinions on the situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Most Redditors agreed OP was not the a**hole.
“Your MIL obviously thinks of you as a piggy bank. Asking for all these expensive goods now that you married her daughter just isn’t what a MIL should be doing. So NTA and don’t indulge your MIL by buying her expensive sh*t.”
“Edit: Well I never expected to get 15,000 upvotes. Holy sh*t. So, uh, thanks for the stuff my internet peoples.” ~ MostestSoberTabuu
“NTA, but also ask your wife why she didn’t step in then when your MIL was being beyond rude about your gift. If she’d rather be a rug sweeper, she’ll have to deal with it if you’re not.”
“Edit: thank y’all for the awards.” ~ Worldly_Science
Some argued OP’s wife should talk to her mom.
“Yes, his wife should have nipped that in the bud way back. My wife handles her family and I handle mine.” ~ roberto487
“Wife is probably used to the behavior, since she grew up with it. Same thing happened with my mom and my brother’s wife, sort of. Took an outside perspective to be like “hey, this behavior is really weird?” to make us all question it” ~ Mudslingshot
“Double standard too. Usually when mother in laws are horrible to the daughter in law . Every one says the son needs to step it up. Same here, his wife needs to put an end to it instead of enabling her gold digger mom.” ~ ilovemybackyard
“But wait, I understand that OP shouldn’t be pressured to buy MIL expensive jewelry.”
“However, maybe since he and his wife are MARRIED and since his wife doesn’t have a well paying job, maybe he could buy it WITH his wife for her mom.”
“INFO: do they split finances? Why didn’t wife buy HER mom the jewelry?” ~ Ibyx
OP should talk to his wife about his boundaries.