While we would love to see all of our family members get along, the hard truth is not some people simply don’t like each other.
But how we handle that information is especially telling, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor ExcitementMuch9527 was at odds with his mother when he confronted her about not displaying a single photo in her home that included his wife, while all other in-laws were represented.
When they couldn’t come to an agreement, the Original Poster (OP) made the ultimate move.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for demanding that my mother display photos of my wife in her house?”
The OP’s wife wasn’t particularly accepted by his family.
“I got married 2 years ago to the love of my life.”
“I feel like my mom doesn’t really like her, but the relationship is mostly ok.”
“Honestly, I have had a feeling since I got married that I’ve been left out of a lot of stuff, but the only one I can prove is my mom’s birthday trip.”
“To be clear, no one is straight-up rude, but it is clear my mom and wife don’t vibe, and the rest of the family seems meh about her, which does make me sad.”
Then his wife noticed something at her mother-in-law’s house.
“My mom has a wall with a lot of pictures on it. There are plenty of pictures of my sister’s partner and there are pictures of extended family but not a single one of my wife.”
“My mom has pictures of her, because some of these were taken at events we were at, but she just chose the ones without my wife.”
“Honestly, this is not something I would have picked up on, but my wife did and it bothered her.”
“My wife’s family is HUGE on family, and while I don’t think my MIL loves me, she definitely includes me in everything.”
The OP tried to talk to his mom about it.
“I brought it up to my mom and she said she hadn’t noticed.”
“I said I didn’t really believe her and she shrugged and said my wife isn’t her daughter.”
“I pointed out that my sister’s partner isn’t her son or my aunt’s husband isn’t her brother, but she has pictures of them.”
“My mom said it was her house and the whole conversation is dumb.”
“I said she can’t exclude the love of my life, and my mom said this is a really pathetic thing to care about and we are being weird.”
The OP gave his mother an ultimatum.
“My wife was upset and feels like it was a clear statement, so I told my mom she could either put up some pictures of my wife, or we wouldn’t be coming over.”
“My mom said ok, don’t come over.”
“That was probably 4-5 months ago.”
“I checked up about Christmas and asked if she had put up even one picture.”
“My mom said no, she wasn’t going to, we can’t make her, and just don’t come to Christmas and see if she cares.”
“Well, we won’t be going to Christmas.”
“My sister is super p**sed at me and thinks I’m an entitled a**hole and I heard my stepdad was making fun of us.”
“I don’t feel too bad because everything I’ve read online talks about how you have to be a united front.”
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 said the mother was overly petty about including the OP’s wife.
“When your own mother says she’d rather not see you at all than put up one lousy photo, that’s really the next level of awful.”
“And for people who feel fine with speaking their minds, it sounded like the mom wouldn’t admit why there wasn’t a photo… just stuff about not being a real daughter, even though OP pointed out how hypocritical that supposed reason was.”
“NTA but I feel for you that your family treats you this way. I wonder if you were always the less important kid?” – rainyhawk
“When confronted about the whole thing she says it’s pathetic and weird and said I’m not doing it and I don’t care if I see you again.”
“Those are all pretty clear that this mom is definitely hating on OP’s wife and that she is willing to lose contact with her son over such a small request.” – ZapRowzdower69
“My question is, if your family doesn’t care for your wife why do you even want to show up for family events? Their opinion of her is obviously not going to change, it’s been 2 years, so do your own thing.”
“I mean, the fact that your mom would rather you not show up for Christmas instead of putting out a photo or two is very telling.” – OrchidGlimmer
“OP’s mom thinks she’s winning. She sees this as a competition against the daughter-in-law, and by being a nasty person she thinks she’s showing strength. That’s a bully mentality.”
“I’m sure if OP moves on with his life, especially if they have kids, his mom eventually will try to crawl back into their lives.” – Spiritual-Check5579
“NTA. You are doing everything right.”
“Time to show them how much better your life is without them. I know with current events, travel can be tricky, but you should try to do something special for Christmas and take lots of photos.”
“Also, never take or post another photo of yourself without your wife ever again.”
“If you really want to get petty: if you know there’s something your mom wants, but your stepdad hasn’t delivered, for example, a piece of jewelry she wants, buy one for your wife and make sure your mom finds out indirectly… and take/post photos.”
“The part about other SOs being included and not OP’s wife really p**sed me off. If all SO’s were left out, I’d just say, ‘let it go,’ but if OP’s wife is going to be singled out, I say, ‘unleash the petty kraken and give it a camera.'” – NinjaBabaMama
Others argued the OP and his wife shouldn’t demand anything of his mom in her own home.
“I think OP believed in the moment that the ultimatum was for his wife’s sake. The problem is that he really didn’t do much thinking before issuing the ultimatum, because if he had, he would have realized how wrong he was.”
“If his mother had relented, she would not have gotten nicer to his wife. She would have gotten hella resentful, and that doesn’t mend already broken relationships.”
“She didn’t relent, and because OP made the ultimatum about pictures of his wife, there’s a good chance that family members are going to blame his wife, at least partially, for this mess. His wife did nothing wrong. She didn’t make this mess.”
“All and all, the only person I feel bad for is his wife.” – KnowAKniceKnife
“I’m not a fan of OP’s mom but it seems a bit much to dictate her décor. She doesn’t want pictures of OP’s wife… that’s her choice.”
“Insisting someone hang your wife’s picture on their wall is a bit AH behavior. Just stop visiting them.” – Awkward-Wasabi-9262
“I don’t think OP can tell his mom what to do in her house, but he’s NTA for sticking up for his wife when she’s being treated differently from the other SO’s… not to mention the other family members disregarding the wife’s feelings (ex: stepdad making fun)… and this kind of stuff brings out my petty side big time.” – NinjaBabaMama
Though the OP felt the need to stand up for his wife, the subReddit was a little divided about how the OP went about it.
On the one hand, the OP’s mother was being terribly petty in the lengths she was willing to go to in order to not include an in-law, but on the other hand, trying to tell someone what they should do in their own home isn’t the best look.