Not every incidence of infidelity results in the end of the relationship.
But what would you do if you decided to make it work, but your in-laws remind you of your spouse’s indiscretion?
What if they put the reminder on their living room wall?
That’s the situation Redditor Nice-Adagio found themselves in. After getting upset with their in-laws, Original Poster (OP) Nice-Adagio took their story to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to ask if their reaction was justified.
“AITA for getting upset at my in laws after they put a Disney-style family portrait which includes the woman my husband cheated on me with/mother of his illegitimate son in their living room?”
The OP told their story, starting with how she found herself in this situation.
“I’m still emotional about all of this and I just want some perspective.”
“Background: Two years into our marriage, my husband Kyle cheated on me with one of his colleagues, Madison. Kyle immediately admitted what happened and he said that it was a drunken one-time thing that they both regretted.”
“We were having a rough patch in our relationship at that time because of the stress of being unable to conceive, so I tried to understand him and gave our relationship another chance. I was gutted when he later told me that Madison was pregnant, but what’s done was done and the only thing I could do was accept it.”
“They now have a son, Kit. Kyle’s parents adore Kit and they have him once a week every Friday. I don’t begrudge them for that and I myself care about Kit like a stepson because none of any of this is his fault.”
OP then explained what happened with their in-laws.
“Which brings us to the issue. For Mother’s Day my [Father-in-Law] (FIL) had an artist draw a Disney-style family portrait of their family. My [Mother-in-Law] (MIL) sent a picture of the portrait that they put in the living room of their house.”
“My parents in law are in the middle, and to their left is Kyle’s sister Karla. Beside Karla is her husband and in front of them are their two kids. To their right is me, beside me is Kyle, and beside Kyle is Madison. Kit is in front of Kyle.”
“My heart sank when I saw Madison. I have nothing against Kit being in the picture and I know that they my in laws are close to Madison too, but to have her in the portrait with Kyle between me and her… that just broke my heart.”
Then came the confrontation with her in-laws.
“I called my MIL and asked her if they could please keep that picture in their room or somewhere else in the house, not in the living room where I will see it every time we’re over because it reminds me that I will always share my husband with the woman he cheated on me with because she gave birth to the child that I don’t have with him.”
“My MIL apologized for hurting my feelings but said that they didn’t mean to upset me, they were just thinking of Kit and how they don’t want him to feel that their mother isn’t family to them. My MIL said that she will put the portrait in their bedroom instead.”
“I told her that frankly I don’t know how they didn’t think that it would upset me, but if they move the portrait elsewhere then I accept their apology and that’s the end of the issue for me.”
After what seemed like a peaceful resolution with her mother-in-law, OP’s sister-in-law entered the conversation.
“Hours later Karla called me saying that my complaining about the portrait made my MIL cry on Mother’s Day and now my FIL is also upset that his gift to her, which they were originally both happy about, is causing all of this drama.”
“Karla said I was out of line for telling my in laws what they can or cannot put in their living room, and that in reality Madison is part of their family because she is Kit’s mom. She said that I should learn to live with the fact that Madison will always be there as long as I’m married to Kyle because of Kit.”
“I told her that I know Madison will always be there, but is it too much to ask them not to rub it in my face with a portrait showing my husband between me and Madison?”
“Am I really the asshole here?”
The OP hoped to get feedback on whether or not they were in the wrong, using the AITA voting acronyms:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
However most Redditors fixated on the lack of any mention of the OP’s husband in the story.
His parent’s put up the artwork. His sister called to chastise his wife.
Why wasn’t he taking care of any issues that resulted from his infidelity?
“The husband is most definitely TA here. 1. He shouldn’t have cheated. And 2. He should have created boundaries between the baby mama and his family/parents.”
“It’s great that they are all so accepting of Kit but at some point the husband should have been sensitive to his wife’s feelings and ask the family be sensitive to it as well long before this picture became a thing.” ~ daisystayhere
“The obvious answer is that you should leave your husband but as many others have also stated, it’s obviously not what you want to do, especially since you forgave him for not only cheating but having unprotected sex.”
“You guys having trouble conceiving is not a reason to cheat, not to mention his dad and sister think you are in the wrong, whole family has issues.”
“The last thing I’m gonna say is that he’ll likely cheat on you again, but next time he’ll bring home an STD, and at some point he’ll probably leave you, either for the mother of his child or some other woman.”
“You deserve better than a man who cheats on his wife while they’re going through fertility problems. I hope one day you’ll know your worth.” ~ celaine16
“It’s amazing how the husband got out of this scott-free.” ~ _Ark_99
“I just want to point out that the husband has managed to have his cake and eat it too. Zero consequences for him, ultimately” ~ noseandtoes
“Yeah, he needs to be the one bringing this up with his mom and dad. It’s his mess.” ~ tacobelley
Although some people did vote.
Their responses varied, but everyone thought someone was the a**hole in this situation.
“NTA—there are ways to make Kit feel included without rubbing your husband’s infidelity in your face every time you’re at their home.”
“It was insensitive of your father-in-law. Your sister-in-law needs to mind her own business, You didn’t tell them anything. You asked them not to shove your husband’s mistress in your face every time you visit.”
“Until your sister-in-law and mother-in-law’s husbands cheat on them and father children with other women, they should keep their opinions about what else you should need to accept to themselves.”
“You’ve already accepted their lying, cheating son/brother back, instead of kicking him to the curb. What more do they want?” ~ LakotaGrl
“YTA and for several reasons”
“1- you stayed with a cheater without forgiving him, and the a**hole part is not the staying but the betraying yourself.”
“2- for pretending that you have any say in what other people decide to decorate their houses with.”
“3- after MIL agreed to put the picture in the bedroom you carried on telling her that she should have known that is going to be hurtful for you, that was just pushing it, she already agreed to your demand so no need to punish her.”
“4- number 1 again.” ~ Kchirula
“I’m a stepmom, my in laws don’t have pics of my step kids mom anywhere in their house. NTA” ~ Featherink19
“ESH. It’s pretty obvious the reason for most of your family.”
“But you specifically stayed with someone who f***ing cheated on you and [your only] problem is how someone else decorates their living room. Okay.”
“If you want to act like the fool and forgive someone like that, fine, but you’re quite happy to ignore the root cause (you know, the bit where your husband put his unprotected c**k into another woman’s v***ina to the point of completion) and a cartoon poster is the thing you’re blowing out of proportion.” ~ BushAdministration87
“YTA. I mean if you’re going to accept that your husband cheated on you, had a baby with her, and raises him jointly with said cheater while you are STILL married then yes, things like this will continue to pop up.” ~ orpheusoxide
“NTA. They want to put up something that will constantly rub your husband’s infidelity in your face, and don’t see how that could be offensive to you.”
“What is your husband doing, why isn’t he backing you up, how has he made any of this up to you?” ~ MissThirteen
Due to the response, the OP came back later to post an update.
“I’ve read enough. It was a mistake to post here.”
“There are comments that made me realize many things, but most just jump into conclusions and talk like they know things better than I do and everyone including me who don’t agree with them is wrong.”
“I already have enough toxicity in my life, I don’t need more thanks.”
The book After the Affair: Healing the Pain and Rebuilding Trust When a Partner Has Been Unfaithful is available here.