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Guy Livid After Wife Refuses To Let His Hoarder Mother And Her Seven Dogs Move In With Them


Most spouses want to help with their in-laws as they age, but some requests can just be a bit too much.

A woman on Reddit found herself caught in this situation when her husband asked to have his mother, who is a severe hoarder, move in with them.

She wasn’t sure about how she’d handled the conflict that ensued, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by Dragons_Fire1974 on the site, asked:

“AITA for telling my husband his mother cannot live with us?”

She explained:

“I (F[emale]46) and husband (M[ale]40) have been together for 10 years and married for 3 of those 10 years. His mother lives in another state with 7 dogs that are not vaccinated and vetted. She is also a hoarder that lives in conditions that no person should.”

“Due to some recent health issues, my husband would feel more comfortable if she lives with us or at least closer so that he can help care for her should her health decline further. When he brought up the question of how I felt about her living with us, I said that she was more than welcome but , she would not be allowed to bring her 7 large breed dogs with her.”

“I compromised and said that she could of course bring her service dog, but if she wasn’t vetted recently I would find a vet to see her before she moved down to ensure the safety of the dogs we currently have. He said that I was insensitive to even suggest that she not bring her other animals.”

“I tried explaining as delicately as I could that his mother doesn’t care for animals in the same manner that do. Vetting them, letting them outside to play and do their business, enrichment activities, etc and that having an additional 7 dogs to the 3 that we have would mean I would be the one caring for them.”

“He is furious with me and hasn’t spoken to me in 2 days. AITA?”

OP then added a bit more context:

“When he told me he will not tell her to re-home 6 of the 7 dogs, I told him she cannot live with us.”

OP’s fellow Redditors were then asked to judge who in in the wrong in this conflict based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

And they were pretty much unanimous in thinking that OP’s husband was asking a bit too much.

“NTA. If she’s unwell enough to need to live with you, then she’s not well enough to look after 7 dogs and those dogs would probably be far better off in other homes with more responsible owners.”

“He’s probably furious in part because he knows you are right.”

“Not your circus, not your monkeys.” –Fernoohlala

“Let’s put the 7 dogs aside for a minute:”

“‘She is also a hoarder that lives in conditions that no person should.'”

“No. Just no” –PrideofCapetown

“NTA. MIL is going to hoard in your home just as she hoarded in her own.”

“Having a family member live with you is just like buying a house or having a child: it needs two yesses, not one. Your husband asked how you felt about having your MIL move in, you explained your conditions, and now he is sulking. He wasn’t really asking whether it was all right with you, he was asking you to agree with a decision he had already made.”

“No adult should sulk for two days. There is absolutely no excuse for that. He is not entitled to get his way about a major household change.” –ThingsWithString

“NTA Tell him if he wants to live with his mother he can move in with her. He’s expecting you to take care of her and her dogs.” –sueelleker

“… If he works a full time job, who exactly is he expecting to do all of the work of caring for his mom and 7 dogs? Idk if the wife stays home or works. Do they have kiddos? If they both work full time jobs, how is moving in going to be beneficial to his mom? Are they planning on hiring help? None of that really matters if both of them don’t agree to letting mom move into the house. NTA” –CapitalPhilosopher6

“NTA and as someone who cared for their aged parents let me ask:”

“is there room for a hospital bed in what is to be her bedroom? What about other medical equipment down the road?”

“what are her particular needs due to being disabled?”

“who will care for what needs?”

“is there room for one dog, much less seven? Who would clean up after them? Does your husband realize it will cost thousands to vet them, and hundreds a month in upkeep (monthly meds, food, toys, etc.)?”

“do either of you have any experience caring for the infirm? Do you know how to properly lift someone, change the sheets with them in it, etc?”

“do you have a vehicle that is disability/aged accessible?”

“People think wanting to care for someone is enough. It isn’t. I completely understand your husband’s POV. But he isn’t realizing the work involved, and I am scared he assumes you may do most of it.” –BendingCollegeGrad

“NTA. You can see the writing on the wall here, and it says you and your husband would gain seven large dogs and a dependent. I don’t know your finances or your marriage well enough to say whether this is even logistically possible for you and your husband to take on, but it would certainly impact the relationship and you are right to put your foot down IMO.” –Anonysognosia

“NTA. Adding an adult and 7 dogs to your home is a huge ask. You’ve offered a reasonable compromise, if he refuses to compromise, then that’s on him.” –photosbeersandteach

“NTA – taking in seven large, untrained, not well cared for dogs into a home that mil is only going to horde up anyway is a fine line to draw, and you made a great compromise. If these health reasons are to where she can’t live safely on her own, then it’s reasonable to expect she cannot care properly for her large pets.”

“Your husband is also fine to feel hurt and upset although the silent treatment and refusing to talk/ punish you for your contribution to the mutual decision is what makes him the ah versus a n a h.” –passingthroughcbus

Hopefully OP and her husband can come up with a better arrangement for his mom.

Written by Peter Karleby

Peter Karleby is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.