When there’s a new little family member on the way, it’s totally normal to experience a wide array of feelings, from utter joy to nervousness.
But it’s not okay for a person to try to take control of a situation that isn’t theirs to control, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwaway679076 was fed up with his wife’s behavior as she repeatedly inserted herself into her son’s and daughter-in-law’s life as they prepared for the arrival of their baby.
When the couple decided to go low-contact, the Original Poster (OP) was not surprised.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for saying, ‘I told you so,’ when my wife got banned from seeing our grandson?”
The OP’s wife demanded to be in the delivery room with their son and daughter-in-law.
“My wife has been in constant contact with our daughter-in-law (our son’s wife) about plenty of things.”
“Their very recent argument ensued after my wife kept insisting on being present in the delivery room despite getting a resounding ‘NO.'”
“My wife was having none of it, and my son and his wife changed hospitals to throw my wife off after she threatened to barge into the room.”
“She eventually found out (I didn’t tell her) and got very mad.”
“I told her to stop and think because if she keeps this up, she will lose all chances to see her grandbaby.”
“She told me off and went to make a huge scene at the hospital my daughter-in-law was at.”
“It did not end well, and my wife came home crying hysterically after getting chewed out by our son and kicked out of the hospital.”
The son and daughter-in-law went low contact because of that.
“Things remained tense until my son called to invite me to see the baby for the first time.”
“He did not invite my wife, which sent her into a mental breakdown.”
“I had an argument with her after she tried to guilt me into staying home with her and to shame my son for keeping his mom away from her grandbaby.”
The argument got worse.
“I told her, ‘I told you so,’ and said that she had plenty of opportunities to get right with our daughter-in-law, but she blew them away because of her stubbornness.”
“She started yelling about how unsupportive and cruel I was.”
“She said I was being just like our son by siding against her instead of defending her and staying home with her when our son banned her from meeting her grandbaby.”
“I went anyway, and she kept arguing about me taking the wrong side instead of defending her.”
“I feel bad for her but at the same time, I think that she was being irrational and made this a competition despite knowing how our son and his wife felt about her behavior.”
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 found the mother-in-law’s behavior to be troubling.
“This is typical, overbearing, entitled, and self-important behavior from a mother-in-law. She seems to think she can just get whatever she wants, and my guess is her yelling and scene-making have typically worked for her. Now she f**ked around and found out.”
“Her complete unwillingness to see her role in the situation is HUGELY concerning. I mean she barged into a hospital after your son and daughter-in-law had to literally secretly change hospitals because of how crazy your wife was being. Think about that for a second.”
“NTA, but wow. red flags abound.” – DilbertedOttawa
“I seriously am curious. WHY does your wife feel this is her right to be in the delivery room? This is not her child. She has revocable privileges here, not rights.”
“NTA. She needs an evaluation of her actions because something is way off. She has made this a terrible experience for her son and it should not have been.” – ZealousIdealEditor66
“I’m guessing this isn’t the first holiday she’s ruined. Her reaction seems to indicate she has never been held accountable for not respecting boundaries.” – Nocoffeesnob
“Ugh, there’s an old saying for narcissists wanting to be the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral. Now we have to add them wanting to be the mother at every delivery, too!” – LeDayz17
“Still, this OP seems to have a good handle on how unreasonable his wife is being; he warned her that her continued behavior would bar her from contact with her grandchild, after all. One can’t expect him to control what she does – he can’t do that and shouldn’t try!” – Marzipan-Shepherdess
Others agreed and suggested how the OP might help his wife in the future.
“OP, I think you dealt with this in exactly the right way. But your wife sounds a bit disturbed—at the very least, unable to get out of her own way—and she reaped what she sowed.”
“You told her to stop, and she continued being a complete nightmare of a MIL. Everyone in the situation could see what was coming except your wife.”
“Next time she berates you for seeing the baby, just say:”
“‘Hon, there is no way that I am going to willingly subject myself to a punishment you received for your bad behavior. And instead of focusing on me, I suggest you think hard about the things you need to apologize for and the ways you need to act in the future so that you are granted a place in your grandchild’s life. That’s your path back from this situation. I hope you take it.'”
“NTA, completely.” – calligrafiddler
“I would divorce her, but it’s up to the OP whether to divorce her or not. And he’s obviously used to her nonsense.”
“But OP is NTA. It made an upsetting situation worse for the wife, but she needs the wake-up call.”
“Parents have a lot of power over their children, so it’s reasonable to think that grandparents have even more. But nope; it’s the other way around.”
“The daughter-in-law is totally in the driver’s seat. And the sooner the wife wises up to this, the better it will go for everybody, especially her.” – John_EightThirtyTwo
“I wouldn’t go so far as to say he should seek a divorce, but he is definitely not the a**hole.”
“Continue to be honest and straight with her. She needs to stop her bulls**t and attempt reconciliation. But she shouldn’t be surprised if the damage is irreparable.”
“NTA.” – CrazieIrish
“If OP wants to stay in his son’s and grandchild’s life, he really should consider talking to his wife about reconsidering.”
“His wife somehow found and stalked the new hospital to make a scene while the baby was being born. Who’s to say she won’t just quietly follow OP the next time he goes to visit and make another scene there?”
“At that point, it’ll just be easier for the son to not invite either parent to have visits with his child.” – GoodQueenFluffenChop
“I’m thinking mom’s bulls**t is a well-known thing judging by how the son is like, ‘Yeah, I know how she is, you’re still welcome to visit.’ So hopefully this won’t affect their (son’s and OP’s) relationship too bad.” – YeouPink
A few entertained the possibility of a divorce.
“I’d consider a divorce over this because if she considered this to be reasonable, can you imagine what has led up to this moment?” – rak1882
“NTA. OP’s wife will probably make his life hell for ‘not taking her side.'” – Janetaz18
“NTA. I grew up with a very overbearing and abusive alcoholic for an egg donor. I lived with bruises and nail marks on the backs of my arms until I became too big to grab like that.”
“My father eventually divorced my mother and I finished my childhood in his house with the woman he married after and I have called mom for 41 years.”
“When I became an adult, she became worse. I finally told her I wouldn’t put up with her behavior if she were a friend, and I damn sure didn’t have to now. That was in 1997. I have not spoken to her since.”
“OP, I don’t know how old you are or what your circumstances are, but it’s never too late to get the f**k out of this toxic relationship. I hope you will continue to see your son and grandchild, regardless of the future tantrums you will face.” – Socrtea5e
“SO not the asshole! OP, you warned her. You *seriously* warned her.”
“Actions have consequences and she was being an overbearing witch. She did it to herself.”
“Do NOT feel bad for it and do NOT support her gripes.” – Bridget_Kielas-Fecyk
“My ex-mother-in-law did the exact same thing, she was ordered out of the room when I was in labor 4 times and by the time I was in transition labor I was out of it and she pushed her way into the room and refused to leave regardless of everyone asking her to and at that point is when I gave birth and at that point nobody cared.”
“It caused a huge rift in our relationship, and it was never repaired after that. She was always pushy.”
“What kind of upset me even further is that after we had our son and then eventually our daughter she snuck cell phones and cameras into the room and took photos of my children without my permission and then proceeded to share them on social media with everyone including sharing my children’s names, weight and height, et cetera.”
“To this day she hasn’t had any contact with my children since they were 4 and 6 with the exception of 1 weekend visit (when they were 12 and 10) where she scared my children to the point that my children refuse to have ANY contact with her.”
“My kids are now 23 and 21.” – zxylady00
“You are NOT the asshole.”
“I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I had to tell my narcissistic mother that my Hub and I decided that only us during delivery. Her ‘harrumph well that’s just fine’ was so upsetting as I’m in day 2 of labor.”
“FYI: we’d originally told her that hospital limited number of people in room. Our nurses backed us up…but, of course, Mom found a nurse outside our care group to ask and then came in to say she could stay.”
“That’s when we said no. Didn’t matter anyway; C-section occurred on Day3.”
“She is not going to change. Your son and daughter-in-law know this already (trust me on this one).”
“You have to make your choice of staying with her but I am SO glad you still have your relationship with your son and daughter-in-law.”
“Again, You. Are. Not. The. Asshole.” – calla1999
“NTA and your wife REALLY needs to apologize to your son and daughter-in-law for making their biggest day since their wedding all about her instead of it being about the baby and the new parents. (And an apology to you would also be nice.)”
“She disrespected their wishes, treating them like children instead of adults. She invaded their privacy in a very vulnerable moment.”
“She also made a huge scene at the hospital, making that day extremely stressful (as if it’s not stressful already).”
“Even if she doesn’t see her wrongs here, she might see how things will only get worse for their relationship (grandchild included) if she doesn’t apologize and back down.” – Missmatche
The OP was clearly aware of and fed up with his wife’s behavior around their kids, and the subReddit did not blame him for his feelings or for continuing to be in his son’s, daughter-in-law’s and grandchild’s life without her.
Rather, the subReddit suggested moving forward with the behavior that the OP really had two choices to pick from. He could sit his wife down and have a heart-to-heart conversation about her behavior and what she was potentially doing to their family, in the hopes that it could improve. Or, the OP could end things with his wife to remove the drama altogether.
As one Redditor put it, only the OP could make that decision. Fortunately for him, it looked like his grandchild would get to be in his life either way.