Even if their intentions are mostly honorable, hearing other people’s opinions on a private or personal matter is seldom helpful.
Especially if these opinions weren’t asked for in the first place.
More often than not, this unwarranted advice or help tends to only make you even more anxious and/or worried and doesn’t put your mind at ease at all.
Redditor Embarrassed-Shop9787 initially had a good relationship with her father-in-law (FIL).
However, ever since becoming pregnant with her first child, the original poster (OP) was growing more and more tired of his constant questions and advice.
Which he felt he was entitled to, owing to his profession. When things started to get a little too personal, the original poster finally had enough, resulting in a fairly tense exchange of words.
Wondering if she had gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for telling off my FIL after he asked about my weight post giving birth?”
The OP explained why they finally couldn’t take any more of her FIL’s so-called “advice.”
“Ok so I am a week postpartum and quite tired and in recovery.”
“My FIL is a retired doctor, a GP, to be precise.”
“He is generally a kindly man, and we haven’t had issues the ten years I’ve been with my husband.”
“When I was in the third trimester, I noticed he made a lot of unwarranted and unsolicited comments with regards to my condition.”
“For instance, I had gestational diabetes.”
“He seemed to disagree with the advice of my (highly regarded) endocrinologist.”
“Then he asked me when I was getting induced into labor and said I should be induced at 38 weeks because of my GD, age and that my placenta could degrade and result in stillbirth.”
“I found that incredibly insensitive and told my husband that if he says one more thing about my body and our birth choices (which are entirely conventional, by the way, I ended up going into spontaneous labor right on 40 weeks and had a smooth delivery), I would have a word with him.”
“Today, he came to visit the baby.”
“He asked me if I’ve started exercising yet.”
“Both my husband and I were surprised and said no, and my husband added that I needed bedrest, on the advice of both my OB and physio.”
“My physio advised half an hour on my feet per day, building it up gently and going for small walks with intense exercise from 6 weeks.”
“FIL said he disagreed.”
“Then he asked me if I’ve been weighed yet.”
“That threw us both for a loop.”
“We didn’t know why that would matter.”
“Not that it should matter, but I’m a petite woman and have always been skinny.”
“I look appropriate for one week postpartum.”
“Then he said I should be careful about diabetes down the line.”
“My husband asked him what that had to do with my weight, and he said well, you should look to getting back in shape.”
“I saw red.”
“I told him to keep his nose out of my body and that I already had a team of doctors looking after me, and he wasn’t one of them.”
“He said I’m coming from the point of a concerned FIL.”
“I replied that’s even more inappropriate and that any more unsolicited comments, I would consider not allowing him in my house.”
“He looked taken aback but apologized, mumbling about concern, and then left.”
“He has a history of depression and looked very sad when he departed, which made me doubt myself.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for silencing her FIL.
Everyone agreed that the OP’s father-in-law was completely out of line, and all of his advice was inappropriate and none of his business, so the OP had every right to clap back at him.
“Even if he meant well, the questions were incredibly invasive, inappropriate, and frankly none of his business.”
“As long as you’re listening to your doctors, your FIL shouldn’t be trying to insert his opinion into your recovery plan.”
“Congrats on the new addition to your family!”- nerdgirlnay
“He may be a doctor, but he’s not your doctor.”
“Just keep telling him that you are not his patient and that you don’t want unsolicited advice.”
“He’s just trying to exert control where he has no authority to do so.”
“I’d tell him to bugger off until he can treat you with kindness and respect.”- anonymous_for_this
“Oh lord, a GP thinking he knows better than your endocrinologist and OB.”
“So you’re supposed to put his happiness above your own?”
“You’re postpartum last thing you need is postpartum depression.”
“He can keep his comments to himself, or he can stay home.”- zadidoll
“NTA, but I disagree with a lot of comments saying his intent was malicious or controlling.”
“I genuinely think he may be trying to help in the way he feels he can the best.”
“Or at least, without further context, I can’t say his intentions were bad.”
“The way you implied that you and your husband were surprised makes me feel like this isn’t normal behavior from him.”
“Everyone likes to feel like their professional opinion is worthwhile and desired, but he pushed too far.”
“I don’t think you’re TA for telling him to stop, but I do think it could have been done in a more gentle way if he was genuinely just being overly vocal with unsolicited advice.”
“To his credit, he also seemed to have genuine reasons for his comments too, not just ‘hurry up and lose the baby weight so you’ll be nice and housewife shaped’ or some drivel like that.”
“I’m clearly not insinuating she should follow his unsolicited advice.”
“It says right there that I think she was right to tell him to stop, but that his comments were coming from a genuine place of concern for her health instead of a malicious or abusive intent and that people, in general, want to feel useful in stressful situations (and this was how he felt he could be useful, even if he was wrong).”- DoingMyLilBest
“FIL needed to be put in his place.”
“His comments were entirely inappropriate.”
“It makes me wonder about his bedside manner with his patients.”
“That is so sexist and out of line for him to make comments like that.”- woodsblueblanket
The OP later returned with an update, thanking everyone who took the time to comment and offering an update regarding where things stand between her FIL and herself.
“Wow thank you for all the comments, and I’m so sorry that with a newborn I don’t have time to individually reply. Thank you especially for the kind words and empathy.”
“For some more information, my gestational diabetes was very well controlled, and the baby had no blood sugar issues when born.”
“I’m an active person and even continued with a weekly Crossfit class until 38 weeks (with safe adjustments).”
“My delivery was smooth, but yes I had a few stitches from tearing.”
“Three nights ago, the sleep deprivation caught up with me, and I had an epileptic seizure which was quite violent.”
“I banged my head on the wooden floor a few times and did a little damage to the healing area as well as my back.”
“My physio therefore advised me to take it slow and only be on my feet to exercise for 30 minutes (the medication given to me temporarily to boost my base dose of regular anti-seizure medication is also a sedative).”
“I still get up and do things, but I’m back resting pretty quickly!”
“This is our first kid, and the pregnancy, delivery, and recovery was no joke.”
“The whole thing felt like an extreme sport.”
“We are in Australia, so my husband has three months of parental leave, and the support from him and my family has been fantastic.”
“I also am on leave.”
“My FIL has not retained his license, and I agree that his work was a big part of his personality.”
“He called up before to apologize and said he will stay away from giving any ‘medical’ advice or comments, so I am feeling a lot better about things and drawing a line under this saga.”
It would have been one thing if the OP was ignoring any medical advice and her FIL was trying to get her to listen.
However, considering the OP was listening very clearly to all her doctor’s advice, her FIL’s opinion was one more than she needed.
Thankfully, it seems clear that the OP’s FIL was, indeed, only thinking of her best interests, and his actions came from a place of misguided love — however harsh it may have sounded.
Hopefully he’ll live up to his promise and choose his words a little more carefully moving forward.