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Mom Forbids Husband From Doing Chores For Pregnant Widow Neighbor Who Disrespected Her

A pregnant woman building a baby crib.

Being a helpful neighbor is something many people strive to be.

Lending a hand for some yard work, signing off on a delivery, and hosting a BBQ, are all pleasant neighborly activities.

But sometimes boundaries can be crossed.

Especially when people forget to set them.

Lines can be blurred with the people next door.

And a bad neighbor relationship can get really awkward, really fast.

Redditor Substantial_Land_302 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for how I ‘checked’ my pregnant neighbor for how she was acting with my husband?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My family (me, husband, 2 daughters) live directly across from our neighbor, ‘Ade’ who is from what I remember, 6 months pregnant.”

“Our neighborhood grew close when her husband died 2 months ago due to a drunk driver.”

“The entire neighborhood basically came to help and even now the community still does semi-monthly-ish BBQs and stuff.”

“We know how it felt to have a parent absent.”

“Now, no, my husband did not die but he was still deployed when we were pregnant with our first.”

“I know that this is NOT the same thing she is going through.”

“So we often checked on her, invited her over, had conversations on how to handle being on your own while pregnant.”

“For a couple of weeks now, she’s been asking my husband to be her handyman.”

“My husband has no issue with this and neither did I until a week or so ago.”

“She asks my husband for help over the simplest things and barely talks to me anymore.”

“Most times she’ll knock, ask if my husband is home, and if I say no, she tells me to let him know she needs him and walks off.”

“No talking, having chai together, nothing.”

“I can admit I am a little bit jealous and felt weird about this.”

“It was like she was only wanting my husband around.”

“I tried to push these feelings aside until the first incident.”

“Basically she knocked on my door and handed me a covered plate of cookies.”

“I got excited and started to thank her, how the girls love cookies, but then she interrupted me and told me that these were STRICTLY for my husband.”

“Not for us.”

“I had a sour taste in my mouth and thanked her.”

“It made me feel like she was trying to have a Big House and Little House situation.”

“I let my husband know what happened and how I felt.”

“He assured me nothing was going on (no doubt), but he also agreed that what she did was disrespectful.”

“We agreed he would stop going over.”

“He would give her the numbers of men he knows who do maintenance.”

“Since then she has been cold with us.”

“The second incident happened when the community was having a BBQ in our neighborhood park.”

“The children were running around, and us adults were sitting with the lawn chairs talking about whatever.”

“Ade piped up and said how she is grateful to us all for helping her, even me after ‘It was strange how you basically forbid your husband to come over to help anymore.'”

“I got a little mad like I was slapped by God himself, and just said ‘Well, baking a gift for my husband only and saying his wife and daughters aren’t included is strange too.'”

“Another neighbor changed the topic, it was awkward.”

“I’m sure there’s gossip and whatnot now.”

“On one hand I know she must still be grieving and maybe she’s just looking to have someone to be there for her.”

“On the other hand, I feel like the incident with the cookies and then the BBQ makes me feel disrespected.”

“My husband is not happy with how I responded.”

“He says it is not my job to ‘check’ someone, and I should’ve just let her talk.”

“I guess I just want to know if I was a jealous a**hole through all of this.”

“I don’t really have anyone I could talk to about this personally.”

The OP was left to wonder:

“So AITA?”

Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

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

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. I get that she is grieving, and probably not in her right mind, but the cookies thing was weird.”

“If she’d said, I made them for your husband, as a thank you for all the work he’s done for me, that’s fair.”

“But to say they are strict just for him, that’s weird.”

“And you were basically politely letting it go until she called you out in public so I think it is fair to answer her in public.”

“Plus honestly, how much D[o]-I[t]-Y[ourself] or maintenance help does one house need?”

“It’s been two months since her husband died, and your husband has had to go over multiple times?”

“As a single woman who is useless at DIY and has to get someone in to fix almost anything, I don’t have people calling monthly never mind weekly.” ~ CheerilyTerrified

“Seriously if this was my partner that would never even have to say anything he would have stepped in and made it very clear that he was not okay with her behavior and that she was disrespectful to his wife etc.”

“The failure of the husband to create a unified front with his wife is honestly the most disturbing thing about the whole post.”

“The neighbor doesn’t have good intentions but she’s just a stranger she’s not required to have good intentions.”

“The husband vowed to forsake all others for his wife, and it sure doesn’t seem like he’s doing that here if he’s upset that she checked her neighbor and stood up for herself.” ~ Obv_Probv

“I thought the husband was just a dufus who enjoyed the attention until OP posted he said he’s fixing ‘plumbing and ventilation.'”

“Now I think he’s doing something more.”

“You don’t ask your neighbor to do an intensely involved repair for free of the major plumbing and ventilation (really? Two major systems are broken?) right after your husband dies.”

“Highly sus.”

“That comment made me think he’s literally taking care of the neighbor’s plumbing needs by laying pipe if you know what I mean.” ~ AffectionateWay9955

“I think something happened between husband and neighbor, and it was at that point that the neighbor stopped interacting with the wife.”

“The plate of cookies was her marking her territory.”

“The fact that the husband left the neighbor with the idea that the wife was forbidding him to come over is a huge red flag.”

“The fact that the husband did not want the wife to defend herself from those accusations at the party- another huge red flag.”

“Your neighbor doesn’t owe you loyalty, but your husband sure does… and he is failing. YNTA.” ~ Diligent_Hedgehog999

“This right here OP.”

“I hope your husband didn’t undermine you in everyone’s presence.”

“I’d take him to task for his comment to you.”

“The neighbor’s behavior is not that of a grieving widow.”

“It’s the behavior of a widow in search of a new husband.”

“You mark your territory however you deem fit.”

“She’s crossed the line twice now.”

“No apologies due from you.”

“And your husband should understand and support you in that regard.”

“In the event he doesn’t, I’d certainly be interested in what he was ‘fixing’ when he was at her residence.”

“Please keep us apprised.” ~ Tight-Shift5706

“Oh, I’m sure there are issues with her plumbing, but hopefully, he’s not helping her with that.”

“Seriously is he saying plumbing and ventilation?”

“That’s a massive red flag my friend.”

“It’s super weird.”

“All of a sudden her husband dies and she undergoes ventilation repair? C’mon…”

“NTA… and your husband needs to draw a huge boundary there from now on.”

“It’s clear as day your neighbor wants your husband.”

“I just fear that he’s been giving her more comfort than he’s letting on to you.” ~ AffectionateWay9955

“NTA… she’s trying to steal your man, and if not, you shouldn’t take the chance.”

“Trust your gut because men are clueless until it’s too late.” ~ WallabyOk7448

“OP’s real problem is with the husband.”

“Yes, the grieving widow was being weird and then downright rude, but how exactly did she come to know that OP forbade him from going over?”

“Seems like he didn’t communicate, ‘I don’t feel comfortable helping you out anymore based on your behavior’ and instead communicated, ‘I’m a good guy with a meanie wife who won’t let me come over anymore.’” Big difference.

“It also sounds likely the husband is upset at his wife standing up for herself and doesn’t like that she didn’t just roll over and accept being cast as a controlling spouse.”

“It ruins the narrative to have OP point out that the widow’s behavior was outré.” ~ myironlions

“NTA, she tried to embarrass you and was counting on your silence due to her situation.”

“No one’s going to comment on the husband being TA for not standing up for his wife?”

“This is Reddit, how many stories is this the first red flag and then it turns out stuff was going on.”

“She took a shot at OP, OP fired back, husband sided with NOT HIS WIFE!!”

“OP you seem completely convinced your husband is innocent, maybe he is, but why did he choose HER?!”

“Does he like the attention and secretly resents you interfering?”

“I know you will say no, but… he didn’t choose you in a public moment when this lady took a nasty shot at you.” ~ ResponsibleHold7241

“NTA in the slightest.”

“Grief is not an excuse for blatantly overstepping boundaries that shouldn’t even need to be explained — the absolute audacity to try and police you and your daughter over cookies is beyond me.”

“You also didn’t confront her, she went out of her way to attack you and you shut it down as one should.”

“To be honest I’m appalled your husband didn’t speak up and shut her down before you did especially since he was an active participant in making the decision to step back and help her less.”

“Like c’mon now.” ~ sbgkhzhd

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You have every right to defend yourself and your family.

Your husband may just be trying to calm the situation.

But it’s best to set up boundaries with this woman now.

What she is going through is terrible, but you can’t fix it for her.

Good luck.