Usually, when the relationship we’re in ends, the people around us who love us the most will suddenly have a lot of negative things to say about our former partners.
But every once in a while, someone near us will seem to take the breakup as hard as we do, if not more so.
It can be a strange thing to witness, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor CherryBlossom7997 was fed up with how often her mother mentioned her ex-fiancé, especially when she started comparing her husband with him.
When it led to an argument at a dinner party, the Original Poster (OP) wondered how to proceed.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for refusing to make my husband apologize for what he said to my mom at the dinner table?”
The OP recently married her husband after being engaged to someone else.
“I (31 female) recently got married to my husband Scott (36 male).”
“Before I met him, I was engaged to my former fiance, Martin, but we broke it off because this relationship was sort of pushed by my family because he’s a doctor and comes from a wealthy family.”
“When our relationship ended, my mom was devastated.”
“She did her best to bring us back together, For example, she lied to Martin about me being pregnant to save ‘us.'”
“That was years ago now we’re all on good terms, including Martin.”
But the OP’s mother didn’t seem to be over the former engagement.
“Mom has a bit of tension towards Scott, she treats him well, but she constantly makes passive, nagging comments about him. She compares him to Martin all the time, which bothers both of us, but we try to let it slide.”
“Mom kept telling Scott about the diamond ring, new car, and bank account Martin got for his fiancee and kept sending him photos, saying how generous Martin is to his fiancee. Then she compared him to Scott and what he had done for me.”
“I told her to stop doing this and she apologized.”
The situation worsened at a family dinner party.
“Last week, we were over at my parents’ house for a social gathering. A lot of relatives came and we had dinner.”
“At the dinner table, my mom asked Scott if he saw the text she sent him the other day. He said he was sorry and that he didn’t notice.”
“She told him to check it right then and read it out loud so everyone at the table could hear.”
“He took his phone and started reading the text out loud. Her text mentioned how Martin got his fiancee a new house and how generous he was, then said that Martin is younger than Scott, yet was able to buy a house. Basically shaming Scott for his inability to buy a house.”
“She wrapped up by saying that Martin maybe wasn’t so bad for me after all.”
“I was shocked and Scott was p**sed obviously. However, he didn’t lash out or anything.”
“He just looked at the text, smiled, and said, ‘You know, what gets me about this entire text is how you were a public educator for 30 years, yet you can’t differentiate between the passive ‘you’ and the contraction ‘you’re.’ Good God! The thought of all the children that must’ve been left behind!'”
The OP was told to do something about it.
“Everyone at the table busted into laughter and my mom’s face went pale.”
“She decided to leave the table, and then she and my sister started yelling at me, saying Scott was being awfully rude, and I needed to get him to apologize immediately for embarrassing mom at the table.”
“I refused to tell him to apologize and then pointed out how she was being judgemental towards him.”
“She defended herself, saying she was just letting him know. She said he had no confidence and took it personally.”
“I left but kept getting told to talk to him and get him to apologize for what he did.”
“AITA for not making him?”
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 more concerned with what the OP was putting her husband through.
“WHY ARE YOU LETTING YOUR MOM TREAT YOUR HUSBAND THIS WAY?”
“Yes, your husband handled it like a champ, but grow a freaking spine and tell your mom in no uncertain terms to cut that s**t out.” – asdferdfas
“My response would have been ‘Why don’t you go try to bag him, your daughter made her choice. Oh, that’s right, your life is in the downswing, and the only happiness you have left is living vicariously through your daughter, and YOU’RE p**sed she’s not choosing the life you wish you could live.'”
“YTA, because it’s your responsibility to keep your family in line.”
“The only person who sounds awesome is your husband.” – JulesB09
“How long is your husband going to take feeling like s**t before he starts looking for appreciation and value elsewhere? I’m not saying he will cheat (maybe), but he may leave you because he is tired of how your family is making him feel.”
“Your mother is sabotaging your marriage and you are allowing it to happen, and one day you’ll wake up and wonder what happened but it’s pretty obvious.”
“Give your mother clear guidelines: ex. ‘If you ever speak about Martin, or text, email, whatever, to my husband, I will go NC (no contact). It is rude, bullying, and upsets him. You’d never allow your students to behave this way towards each other, to demean each other and compare them to make one feel bad, would you?’ or whatever and however.”
“Have a sit-down and talk to your husband. APOLOGIZE TO HIM for allowing this to go on for so long and let him know the limits and rules you set with your mother. Let him know you will support him and that you will go NC if this continues.”
“Give him space and encouragement to be actually honest about how this has impacted him and his feelings of self-worth, how secure he feels in the marriage. Some therapy might not be a bad idea either, for both of you individually and together.” – HelpStatistician
“I can’t believe the husband has stuck around either. If my husband allowed anyone to treat me this way, I would be rethinking my marriage.” – LiteralPersson
“YTA for even thinking Scott might need to apologize to your Mom.”
“YTA for not shutting your Mom down a long time ago.”
“Your Mom is a total raging AH who needs to be the one apologizing for her appalling behavior.”
“Your Sister is an AH for siding with your bullying Mom.”
“Scott is a gem and NTA. He’s brilliant!” – georgiajl38
Others agreed and said the OP had to set boundaries.
“You said, ‘She compares him to Martin all the time which bothers both of us but we try to let it slide.'”
“THIS IS WHY YTA. Stop letting it slide. Make it clear that if she doesn’t cut this s**t out, you won’t be communicating anymore.” – jules_abroid
“I have to say, YTA for brushing your mom’s behavior to the side. Stop being around that type of nastiness.”
“If I were your husband, I would have put my foot down. No more of your mom’s visits, if she comes over. And no more visiting, if you want to go, go alone…”
“You obviously haven’t done enough to put your mom in her place. If the tables were turned, you would want to be defended against your in-laws.” – ShelyChelle
“She’s absolutely enabled it. The fact the mom feels confident in being able to say these things every time says she’s enabling it. The mom’s had no consequences for what she’s been saying and that’s why she keeps saying it.” – lolzidop
“1. Your mom doesn’t treat Scott well. She is a passive-aggressive, condescending witch.”
“2. Scott was far kinder than I would have been.”
“3.Your mom is either a closet gold-digger trying to live vicariously through you or has a thing for Martin.”
“4. YTA for not stopping her crap years ago.”
“5. Your sister needs to learn to mind her own business.” – Sea-Path6713
“OP is enabling her mother’s abuse towards OP’s husband every time she lets it slide. MIL is demeaning, contemptuous, displaying outrageously toxic behavior towards OP’s husband and has the gall to say ‘she treats him well but…'”
“This is just pathetic. If that was me MIL wouldn’t have had a chance to ever do it again; she’d be cut off at the knees the first time.” – savagefleurdelis13
While the OP was fixated on whether or not she should convince her husband to apologize to her mother, the subReddit was more concerned about other details.
Not only was the OP allowing her mother to meddle in her marriage and repeatedly say demeaning things to and about her husband, it seemed she had been allowing it to happen for a long time.
The dinner party was simply the tipping point, and who knows what would be said next.