Many people advise against mixing business and family. When money and obligations collide with those already complex relationships, it’s hard to predict exactly what comes out.
One Redditor got an up-close look at one version of how that can turn out. The situation eventually become bad enough that he ended up posting on to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by EqualAd4766 on the site, laid out the situation pretty clearly with the post’s title.
“AITA for taking my mom’s side and telling my wife that my mom did not verbally abuse her?”
OP began with a subtle dynamic that would prove important.
“My mom and my wife have never been close, but i don’t think either of them have been in the wrong until this situation, they just don’t clique.”
Then he got down to business.
“My wife is really into making soap. She sells it on social media and recently quit her job to sell soap full time.”
“My mom has literally never said anything negative about the soap, but when she was asked to buy it she declined.”
But according to OP, one “No” only meant so much to his wife.
“My wife is like a dog with a bone, trying to get my mom to buy this soap. She asks her every time we see her and when my mom declines, my wife starts listing the virtues of the soap and trying to force my mom to smell it.”
“She has also brought my mom’s finances into it and argued that my mom and stepdad both make good money, and speculated about how much my mom spends on her wardrobe, which really isn’t our business.”
Those harsh words were unbeknownst to OP’s mother, who was a sitting duck.
“Well my mom stopped by the other day to see the kids. Before she left she used our bathroom, and my wife stood outside the door yelling the whole time about how is the soap in there, and don’t you like it.”
“My mom came out looking pissed, and my wife immediately offered her a friend’s and family discount.”
But OP held her own.
“My mom screamed ‘I don’t want your f***ing soap. If you aren’t making enough money from the soap that isn’t my problem, and I don’t want to hear about the fucking soap again’ and then my mom left.”
“My wife immediately asked what I was going to do and I said that i would talk to my mom, but my wife should have dropped it with the soap.”
For OP, it was no decision time.
“My wife said that wasn’t good enough and that my mom had committed verbal abuse.”
“I replied that I don’t consider that verbal abuse, and now my wife is very upset and feels like I’m taking my mom”s side and that I should set boundaries with my mom…”
“…but i feel like my mom kind of set a boundary when she said she didn’t want to buy the soap and my wife didn’t give a f*** about that.”
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
Most Redditors sided with OP, calling him NTA. They highlighted his wife’s sales approach.
“NTA. So your wife can make soap. She should learn how to sell it. Spoiler alert it’s not by irritating people into submission. If she sells it at a farmers market does she chase people screaming at them to buy soap?” — millenialbullshite
“Right, well your wife was verbally harassing her so she got what she deserved. NTA, your wife needed to hear that. She’s probably up all her friends’ asses about her soap and driving them away too.”
“Your wife needs to learn that no means no.”
“It could be the best soap in the whole world but nobody is going to buy it from an annoying nag.” — Lipstick_On
“I understand promoting your business but… Shouting at someone while they’re in bathroom? And then being surprised they didn’t like it?”
“NTA” — amrush_
“NTA, trying to guilt your relatives into buying something from you is beyond tacky.” — [deleted]
Others emphasized the importance of boundaries in the in-law relationship.
“NTA, your wife crossed the line by talking about your parents finances and wardrobes. That’s none of her business.”
“If your mom doesn’t wanna buy the soap she doesn’t wanna buy the soap. CASE CLOSED. You can’t nag people relentlessly and then get upset when they finally snap.” — My-Username-Is-Dis
“NTA. Your wife crossed multiple lines here. Your mom had said no repeatedly. Your wife stood outside the bathroom door verbally assaulting your mom. I feel your mom was within her rights to lose her sh** at that point. Your wife has no leg to stand in here. No means no.” — sassybsassy
“NTA. You need to talk to your wife about how she treats your mom. She’s been harrassing her. Your mom was overly nice until she couldn’t keep it up anymore. Your wife is the AH. She needs to apologize to your mom and never bring up the soap again.”
“You should have stopped your wife a long time ago. If you are the AH, its because you didn’t stop your wife sooner.” — AttemptedAdult
“NTA – Your wife has some serious boundary issues as well as entitlement issues.”
“Somebody needs to tell her that you don’t get new customers by harassing them and screaming at them about their finances.” — HowardProject
And a few compared it to another classic, sinister example of family and business colliding: the multi-level marketing scheme.
“NTA. And tell your wife she sounds like she’s working for an MLM right now, only without even the explanation of the brainwashing most MLMs provide.” — merramac
“NTA. Is your wife an MLM aficionado? Talk about harassment. I’m surprised that your mother is still visiting at your house after the constant harassment by her [daughter-in-law].” — wind-river7
“NTA Please tell her to never fall for a MLM scam, she’ll be insufferable if that happens” — SoakingLentils
If Reddit is any indication, OP can feel he was on firm ground when he decided to side with his mom.