The family dynamic is a lot more complicated when people don’t get along. Whether it’s a clash of personalities or someone did something to the other, simple matters become much angrier when the people involved don’t like each other.
A Redditor who has since deleted their account asked for judgement in how they handled a confrontation between his wife and his mother. So the original poster (OP) took his story to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to see if he was wrong.
“AITA for telling my wife that it is her fault that my mom called her the C word?”
He explained his situation:
“My mom and my wife hate each other. I spent a lot of time feeling like I had to pick my wife, before I realized they are equally at fault and I should not have to take anyone’s side.”
“My mom babysat my kids the other night so we could have a date night.”
“When we got home my mom was asleep and my wife freaked out about how irresponsible that was, but a couple of important things 1) the kids were also asleep and it was almost eleven 2) my stepdad was there and awake 3) she was just resting with her head on his lap, so probably not even in a deep sleep.”
“My wife screamed at my mom and called her a b*tch. My mom said my wife was acting crazy and then said oh my God you are such a c*nt.”
“My wife freaked out because that word triggers her and told them to get out. I thanked my mom for babysitting and hugged her, so we left on good terms, but my wife said that I should have defended her.”
“I said she overreacted, didn’t thank my mom, and if you call someone a b*tch, you might get called a name you dont like in return.”
“My wife called my MIL in the morning, and my MIL lectured me about how my mom is irresponsible and the kids could have died, which I think is crazy dramatic. My wife and I sleep every night and if one of the kids needs us, we wake up.”
“My wife said that I should call my mom and lay down boundaries about how she can speak to her, but I said it is her fault for calling her a b*tch.”
On the AITA subReddit, people are judged for their stories to find who’s at fault in the altercation.
This is done with one of the following acronyms:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The board determined no one here was great and rendered the judgement of ESH.
“Omg you let your wife talk to your mom like that?”
“Your wife for treating your mother so abusively, and you for enabling it. Your mom is just a victim (as are your kids, if they are witnessing this).”
“Not sure what your mom and wife are like in other situations, but in this post your mom did literally nothing wrong. Your wife found a reason to nag, called your mom a terrible name after she was doing you a favor, and now by not shutting it down you’ve enabled this crap to the point where your MIL is lecturing you about your mom??”
“Are you just never supposed to fall asleep then?”
“Normally I’m all about partners supporting each other, but your wife is on a different level. Like, ‘I’m packing up and staying at my parents house for a couple weeks’ kind of level.” – anchovia_macncheese
“You are living in an episode of the Jerry Springer show. This can’t be enjoyable for you or good for your kids if this sort of behavior is normal in your house.”
“And your decision to not be involved is also a choice; a choice that’s allowing this to fester and grow.”
“Wake up, man up and start working to dial down the drama on all sides. Nobody should be yelling obscenities at anyone else, no matter what happens. Basic respect as a goal would be the place to start.”
“ESH” – milee30
“Your wife for freaking out because your mother was asleep. Does your wife stay awake 24-7, or does she sleep while the kids are alive?”
“Your mother for responding in kind.”
“You for not intervening the moment your wife started going off on your mother.”
“Your MIL for sticking her nose in.” – Cent1234
Others also felt the wife was wrong, but didn’t blame OP for his part in the story.
“NTA… seriously wtf man. It’s like you married a whole box full of red flags.”
“She walks in screaming and calls someone a b*tch who she is not paying and did her a favor? She expects no one to nap at 11pm?”
“guess is you mother is older. Play stupid games win stupid prizes, call someone a b*tch and you get called a word that ‘triggers’ you.”
“Sounds like the kid that flips the monopoly board when they start losing. Your wife is definitely TA in this situation and anyone that says that YTA over not feeding into irrational and obnoxious behavior because your wife got triggered shouldn’t be trusted with sharp objects in the kitchen.” – Frethinker_86
“You’re entirely correct, your wife was being incredibly disrespectful towards your mother, so why should you suddenly jump in to defend her when your mom is disrespectful right back?”
“All your mom did was fall asleep, but sure, your wife can disregard the fact that there was another person in the house with her! Your wife sounds like she has serious issues with your mother that need to be sorted out asap in my honest opinion.” – _Reva
Even when people argued OP was the one wrong, it was because of how he let his wife talk to his mother.
“YTA because your wife shouldn’t be speaking to your mother like that.”
“So two adults were babysitting, the children were in bed, and one adult was awake. There is ZERO problem with this arrangement, as you laid out here.”
“Not only is your wife totally wrong to be upset, she is also a total AH for speaking to your mother like that.”
“You need to have this out with your wife. What she did is extremely rude, and no, you don’t have to defend her no matter what.”
“I don’t know what else has gone on between the two, but that is so completely uncalled for and the rest of your life will be like this unless you put a stop to it. If they don’t like each other, fine, but they need to be civil.”
“In this instance, your wife was totally inappropriate and needs to apologize and you two need to have an agreement about how she acts going forward. It’s impossible to support her if she is going to act like this.” – mfruitfly
OP’s course of action from here is direct, if not very easy. He needs to talk with his wife and mother and see if some kind of peace can be made. OP’s wife was right about one thing, boundaries need to be set, but not just for OP’s mother.
Communication between both parties and a genuine wish to bury the hatchet can go a long way to resolving this issue.