They say it takes a village to raise a child, but sometimes that village is less than cooperative.
Redditor Electronic-Snow6626 and his wife are living with his parents, causing some tension. Things come to a head when the original poster (OP)’s wife and mother get into an argument.
OP isn’t sure if he told his wife the right thing, and is asking the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit the titular question.
Here’s what OP told his wife:
“AITA for telling my wife that my mom really doesn’t owe us anything and though she sucks, she is not wrong?”
This confrontation had been a long time coming.
“My mom and my wife despise each other. It got really out of control a couple years ago, and I did stand up for my wife every single time.”
“My mom let us move in with her when shit hit the fan in terms of our finances, but my mom has not kept it a secret that she hates having us here, but I do appreciate her help.”
“We have little kids (4 and 2) so as any parent would know, meal time can be really challenging and little kids don’t always have the words to express themselves, which leads to crying and tantrums. We were eating dinner and the kids were doing pretty good.”
“My mom came home from the store around the time my stepdad came home from work and she had some caramel brownie cheesecake. They don’t eat dinner until much later and started eating some of that.”
“They were at the kitchen island, so semi in view of my kids. my kids obviously wanted it.”
“My wife glared at my mom and didn’t say anything. When my son asked my mom for some, my mom reminded him that we are two different households and she doesn’t eat our food.”
“My kids started to get upset and refuse their chicken and broccoli. My wife glared at my mom again and my stepdad asked if she had a problem.”
“Finally she blew up on them about how they shouldn’t be eating that in front of the kids and they are selfish and making her job as a mom harder.”
“My mom said she can do whatever she wants in her house and my wife needs to shut up and be grateful. I did snap at my mom for how she was talking to my wife, and my mom said she is sick of us and we can suck it up or we can go and pay for housing.”
“My wife continued to argue with her that she is a bad grandmother and selfish.”
“I took my wife aside and said i know why she is frustrated but ultimately it is their house and they can do what they want, and I know my mom sucks but she doesn’t owe us anything and has made it clear that she doesn’t want to give us anything, and really it just comes off as entitled to tell her she can’t eat in her own house.”
“My wife was really hurt that I took my mom’s side and said I was just playing devil’s advocate and being an a**hole.”
“I felt bad, but then my mom texted me later that night that if my wife gives her an attitude again we need to go, so I feel very stuck in the middle”
On one hand, OP did try to defend his wife, but he also told her that his mom was effectively right. Does that make him an a**hole?
The AITA commenters judged OP by including one of the following in their response:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The judgement that won out in the end was that OP wasn’t wrong to remind his wife that this is his mother’s house. She shouldn’t have to change her behaviors to appease OP’s wife.
And she’s kind enough to let them stay there.
“NTA: only AH here is your wife. Your mom is being completely upfront that she doesn’t want you and your family living with her but feel she has no choice.”
“So in that case you and your family should be adjusting to her rules and her life because she’s doing the favor to you.” – OneMikeNation
“Oh yikes, NTA. Your mom is letting you stay in her house (for free?) and your wife is yelling at her for eating food.”
“If your kids get fussy and refuse their food that isn’t your moms problem. You’re great for defending your wife, but it kind of seems like there’s a reason that your mom isn’t a fan of her.” – 83cupsofhotchocolate
“NTA for the question asked. Your mother is housing you and your wife for free. In her house. Where she gets to live as she wishes as long as no one is harmed.”
“Could well be she’s sick of you and being passive-aggressive by eating cheesecake in front of your family at their meal time. Sucks that you have to tell your kids no, but that’s how life goes.”
“Odds are good your mom is going to keep poking at your wife until the wife blows up and mom kicks you out.”
“You are in the middle. You put yourself there. And knowing that it’s not going to get better but leaving everyone in that place for more conflict, esp your kids, is an A H move.”
“You’ll move soon one way or another. Why not take control and get your family out?” – PolesRunningCoach
Some commenters were less kind all around. They pointed out that OP should be helping with raising the kids. Other comments thought OP’s mom was being a troll.
Basically, no one looked good.
“NTA. Your wife needs to learn how to parent, your children need to learn the word ‘no’ and your mom doesn’t need to adjust her eating habits in her own home.” – sickofdriving007
“So while I agree with some of that, I also have to ask why OP then isn’t helping the wife deal with the kids’ behavioral repercussions. Like…why does SHE have to be the one to ‘learn to parent’.”
“Sounds like he’s a bystander and wife is the one having to actually deal with the kids. He should Not be saying, ‘yeah, hon, the situation sucks, deal with it because my mom is doing us a favor’.”
“Instead, OP should be saying ‘how can WE deal with the kids, since my mom is the way she is and we are living in her house’. OP is saying he’s supporting his wife, but it doesn’t sound like he is being supportive in actions.”
“Mom shouldn’t have agreed in the first place, if she didn’t want to have them living there.”
“ESH” – IntrepidSplash
“Your wife is the A for trying to tell the owners of a home who are providing her free room what they can and cannot eat in said home.”
“Your mother is a giant A for intentionally trolling little kids. And I don’t believe for a second it wasn’t intentional.”
‘She raised kids. She knows what trying to get littles to eat a nutritious dinner can be like. Taunting children with sweets they can’t have is just….wow. What is wrong with her.”
“You’re the a**hole for pretending you’re somehow stuck. HELP your wife. You should have stepped in and shut that conversation down immediately.”
“Stood between your kids and your parents so they couldn’t continue to troll the kids (seriously what is WRONG with your parents?). Sent your wife away to breathe and taken over the dinner routine.”
“And you and your wife are both a**holes for continuing to stay in a home where you are clearly unwanted. Make a plan and move out.” – PrimishDirective
While we’re unsure what OP’s financial situation is like, he may need to try and find another option rather than living with his parents. Moving out may become a bigger priority sooner than expected.