Redditor alt_account_ad is a 31-year-old woman who with her 30-year-old husband purchased their first home together.
But because her husband travels a lot for work, she was unable to handle all the new furniture orders being delivered to their new home.
Enter the woman’s mother-in-law (MIL), who happily volunteered to lend a helping hand while the Redditor was at work.
When she returned home, she was mortified at what the MIL had done in her absence.
So when she did what she thought was necessary after the debacle, she got into an argument with her husband.
So she visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for banning mil out of my house after she hung a picture of my husband’s ex on the wall?”
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
“My husband and I have just bought our first house together, we’re loving it and we’re excited to decorate it together.”
“Unfortunately my husband travels a lot for work and we’ve already had new furniture orders arrive but I couldn’t do it all myself. My MIL (mother in law) offered to help and I agreed.”
“yesterday, I got back from work at 8 and was shocked to see one of the wall was full of framed pictures that mil put there, that is not the main problem because these pictures were from his childhood, graduation, birthdays and then I saw the biggest framed picture of them all and is him and his ex on their wedding day.”
“(context: MIL ‘adores’ my husband’s ex, she brings her up all the time and reminisces about the past years with her.”
“not only that but she includes her in events and holidays which caused issues between us) I lashed out at mil asking what the hell she put that picture on the wall for and how she thought it was an appropriate thing to do.”
“I told her to take it down in that instance but she was defensive and said ‘this is part of Derek’s life and you can not erase it’. then went on about how many hours she spent working on this wall and how I should try to be a little bit more appreciative.”
“I lost my cool and flipped out on her, I took a share and removed the picture. she started arguing with me asking what’s wrong with me and calling me crazy.”
“I told her to take the picture and leave but she tried to say that it wasn’t just the ex in that picture but my husband as well but I told her I’d throw it out if she won’t leave.”
“She left but started texting me saying stuff like jealous, bitter, overbearing, controlling etc. I responded telling her she disrespected me in my own home by what she did and proceeded to ban her from the house.”
“she called my husband and forwaded a screenshot of the ‘ban.’ He called me and we talked.”
“he then said his mom ought to know better but she didn’t and I was right to be angry but banning her from the house was an overreaction – like a crazy overreaction.”
“he tried to get me to call her and cancel the ban but I refused. he then ranted about how unfair I was being to make such decision when it’s our house not just mine.”
“conversation got nowhere and am now waiting for him to get home to talk. my inlaws are upset with me saying I went overboard with this reaction and urged me to let mil back into the house and drop this whole thing like it never happened.”
“Aita for banning after this?”
Strangers online were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors weighed in with their thoughts–many of which favored the OP was not the a**hole here.
“NTA – It was a super inappropriate thing to do, MIL knew exactly what she was doing and now she is succeeding in driving a wedge between you and your husband. He should 100% have your back on this and his mother should apologise.”
“Good luck for the future. If this is an indication of how things are going to be, you may well need it!” – Catatomical
“MIL was the a**hole for putting pictures on a wall without asking. It’s not her home to decorate. No matter how nice it might have looked, no matter how much effort she put into it, IT WAS NOT HER PLACE. AND SHE DIDN’T ASK. MIL = AH”
“MIL was an huge next-level asshole for putting up a wedding picture of the ex on the wall as part of her a**holish picture display project. It was inappropriate, rude, and clearly meant to goad OP, and possibly her husband as well. MIL = huge a**hole.”
“MIL was an even worse a**hole by attacking OP to justify her previous assholery and calling her jealous, overbearing and so on. This woman is toxic and either lacks any self-awareness or is more likely just a malicious biddy. MIL = toxic, malicious AH.”
“Also, you’re not erasing someone’s past by putting wedding pictures from a previous marriage that ended in divorce in storage with other past memories. You’re preserving them, but in their proper place.”
“OP is NTA, though she made two mistakes under extreme provocation, which is understandable. She should not have lost her cool. That’s what MIL wanted and MIL clearly felt empowered by it.”
“And OP should have discussed the matter and agreed upon a response and solution with husband first, rather than decide unilaterally and is now in the position of having to enforce or give up on an ultimatum, which is damaging to the marriage.”
“These kinds of serious decisions should be made jointly. Her husband is right that it was unfair of her to decide that by herself. In an ideal situation, husband would have handled communicating that to MIL, but OP didn’t get that opportunity here due to MIL’s machinations.”
“Husband seems to agree with the inappropriateness of it, just not the punishment, and that may be partly because he wasn’t included in the decision making.”
“But ultimately, this was an attack on his marriage, and his and his wife’s autonomy and dignity and he should have sided with his wife. If his mom doesn’t know better, he needs to educate her and be firm about it.”
“How to fix this: the whole picture display needs to come down. MIL ruined that, and it sounds like it was just about husband’s past, not his and OP’s life together.”
“If they want a picture wall, they should design it together and put it elsewhere in the house. OP and husband need to work on amending the ban to a compromise they can both live with which recognizes the absolute invasiveness in inappropriateness of MIL’s acts.”
“Like an agreement that the ban stands for now, but they will revisit it every six months/or whatever, and if MIL has apologized by then in a way that makes it clear that she understands why what she did was wrong and will be on good behavior going forward, then maybe there can be occasional trial home visits.”
“If MIL can’t appreciate her wrongdoing due to cognitive or mental/emotional issues, that’s a much bigger issue, but worth identifying.” – Curious-One4595
“yeah especially in OP’s home, unless I read the post wrong, is just insane, did OP and OP’s husband not take wedding pictures or something?”
“NTA but OP’s and her husband needs to have a long talk about boundaries, maybe on being if the ex is there they won’t go to an event and force mil to choose between her son and son’s ex and who matters more being there because I doubt it’s the ex.” – _ac3_0f_spad3s_
“I think this requires professional mediation, frankly. Husband’s view of baseline appropriate behavior is so distorted that OP probably won’t be able to get him to see his mother as unreasonable without an objective opinion, and soliciting that opinion from mutual friends would be cathartic, but could make husband very defensive and resentful.”
“If husband reflexively resists counseling/mediation, well, sh*t, you have your answer about how seriously he takes the marriage.” – yet_another_sock
“Yeah, OP doesn’t have a MIL problem, she has a r/JustNoSO problem. If he doesn’t change his tune, and install some healthy boundaries vs his mum, he may just as well move back to her because he isn’t ready to be in an adult relationship.”
“I’d read up on emotional abuse because this kind of immaturity that her husband is showing is a major red flag that is often followed by other kinds of abuse.”
“OP, please don’t have babies with him until he is firmly by your side. Imagine spending your life coparenting with your MIL, and generally having a spineless partner. Is this the life you want?” – Darktwistedlady
Overall, Redditors sided with the OP and understood her frustration, but many also suggested the husband have a serious discussion with his mother about her affections towards his ex.