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Woman Devastated When MIL Excludes Her From Family Photo Album Because She Can’t Have Kids

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What’s worse than suffering through sad news or facing upsetting circumstances?

Being reminded of it by someone else.

One woman was forced to confront that situation recently. She explained the ordeal in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.

The Original Poster (OP), known as AloneInCali___ on the site, offered a preview with the post’s title. 

“AITA for how I reacted when my mother in-law excluded me and my husband from the family photo album?”

OP began with the good news. 

“My husband’s (Justin 34) family is big. His brothers and sisters have kids and they’re all sweet and vibrant.”

“My favorite part when I visit my in-laws is playing with the kids (I’m 32 BTW might be a bit embarrassing but I’m a kid at heart) and spending time with them.”

Unfortunately, one major factor makes those times as special as they are. 

“Justin and I can’t have kids due to infertility on my part which is very devastating for us but we’re blessed we have kids in the family to love on and spend time with.”

That situation was upsetting enough without other people calling it out. 

“Now generally, I’m on good with my mother in-law but she always brings up my inability to have kids and so far she’s excluded me and Justin from kid based events.”

“Recently she was gathering pics from her children and grandchildren to make a big family photo album.”

“Thing is she didn’t ask me noir Justin for any photo is, I offered her our photos once and she said something like ‘maybe later, I’ll left you know before I get done’ but she never let me know.”

OP cited the most recent example. 

“In fact, this week she surprised us by announcing that her family photo album was complete. She had a page with pictures for each of her children and their families. Everyone took turns to look at the album.”

“But once my brother in law handed it to Justin, Justin looked through it quickly then closed it and gave it back to mother in law.”

“I was confused and Justin just got upset but quiet. I asked mother in law to give me the album so I could look at mine and Justin pictures but she said ‘sorry, there aren’t any photos of you two in there.’ “

OP couldn’t take that lying down. 

“I was dumbfounded I asked why and she said since we don’t have kids or haven’t ‘started a family yet’ then we didn’t qualify to be in the family photo album.”

“I told her just because we don’t have kids doesn’t mean weren’t family to her, and that before she considers non existent grandkids family she should first consider me and Justin family.”

“She just shrugged saying no grandchildren no part in photo album no need to argue since no one can force her to do it.”

“I got real mad and called her cruel for excluding us. Justin told me to take it easy but I had an argument with her and walked out after she told me she doesn’t owe me her time and effort to include me in the album.”

But the spat has been on OP’s mind ever since. 

“We went home feeling awful!. Justin said I shouldn’t have called his mom cruel nor should I demand anything from her.”

“I asked if he was fine with what she did he said no but it didn’t make the situation any better, but insulted his mom in her home and acted entitled.”

“Did I overreact?”

Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:

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

Redditors assured OP she hadn’t been an a**hole. In fact, many were outraged on her behalf. 

“NTA. Your fertility business is no ones business but yours and your husbands, but in your shoes the ‘no grandkids no photo album inclusion’ would’ve made me lose my sh**…”

“…and say something along the lines of ‘I can’t have kids so thanks for making me feel like we’re not worthy of being in this FAMILY album because I’m in the percentage of women who can’t conceive.’ ” — WiseBad1

“I hate to break it to you but you are not on good terms with your MIL if she thinks reminding you of your infertility and excluding you from events because of it is appropriate behaviour.”

“You are NTA but the same can’t be said about her.” — Downtown-Law-3133

“NTA But you realize your reaction was exactly what MIL was fishing for, right? She was provoking you, deliberately.”

“She could have not invited you guys to look at the album, but she did, in front of everyone else. It was her way of shaming you for your infertility, and shaming her son for marrying a woman who has infertility.”

“Also your husband is a**hole for not standing up for you and himself, and then gaslighting you into feeling guilty for understandably losing your cool. this person is not a winner. i dunno but maybe it’s not a bad thing u don’t have kids with this guy.” — quantcompandthings

Plenty of people offered a common piece of advice. 

“NTA. That woman is vile and toxic AF. Please consider going NC with her.” — SufficientStorage924

“NTA. You should go NC. If Justin wants to keep seeing her, good luck to him. If she says anything to you, tell her you only speak to family.” — NinjaBabaMama

“NTA She sounds very cruel and like she wants to punish you for not being able to have kids. I would consider taking a long break from contact with her if it was me” — Quiet-Speech-56

“Absolutely NTA. Your MIL sounds very toxic, and I’m so sorry you had to put up with her BS. I’m glad you stood up for yourself.”

“I wouldn’t blame you for cutting off contact with her after the stunt she just pulled.” — WolfMaiden18

With Reddit providing the certainty that this past reaction was in line with the circumstances, OP now must decide how she’ll handle her mother-in-law in the future. 

Written by Eric Spring

Eric Spring lives in New York City. He has poor vision and cooks a good egg. Most of his money is spent on live music and produce. He usually wears plain, solid color sweatshirts without hoods because he assumes loud patterns make people expect something big. Typically, he'll bypass a handshake and go straight for the hug.