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Woman Gets Backlash For Telling Her Fiancé And His Siblings To Stop Enabling Their Obese Mom

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It’s a widely-held belief when you marry the person you love, you’re also marrying their family.

It makes sense, in a way, but marrying a whole group of people, even figuratively, is not the right fit for everyone.

One woman was struggling with this possibility on the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Imperpetuallysad wasn’t sure what to do when she and her future in-laws couldn’t see eye-to-eye.

So much so, the Original Poster (OP) reached out to the subReddit for a second opinion.

She asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my fiancee and his family to stop enabling his obese mother?” 

The OP has watched her potential mother-in-law transform over the years. 

“My fiancee and I have been together for 6 years, engaged for a few weeks.”

“He has a rather large mother whose only been getting bigger through the months.”

“When I first met her after me and the SO started dating, she was about 350 pounds (my guess), but still able to carry out most activities by herself and able to walk. I didn’t comment on her weight back then because I thought it would be rude and didn’t know if maybe she had a health issue that was causing it, or it ran in the family (turns out neither was the case).”

“Over the years, I just watched her get worse and the family didn’t really address it, just casually changed their lives to move around it.”

“I watched my SO (significant other) go from being a full-time Engineering student, to taking only 3 classes a term to work 2 jobs and help his family deal with the growing grocery bill it took to feed her. Which in turn made him graduate two and a half years late.”

“His mother is now somewhere around 500 pounds and is needing help to bathe, put on clothes, and walk more than a few feet.”

Now the OP’s noticing how much of a presence her mother-in-law could have in her life. 

“Well, when my fiancee was talking about us buying a house, he just casually brought up we’d need to have a big enough space for his mother.”

“When I objected to this, he just said if I was marrying him, I’d have to help what would become my family too.”

The same way of thinking came up at a family gathering. 

“A little while after that, his family had a BBQ and I was helping prepare a lot of the food.”

“I tried giving his mom healthier alternatives to the ribs and fried chicken, only to have her daughter hand it to her.”

“At the dinner table, his brother was telling my SO how his mom had a schedule and one of us would have to work part-time or not at all to accommodate it.”

“That’s when I got pretty upset and started telling them it wasn’t fair for us to have to change our lives to help his feed mother’s food addiction, instead of trying to help her, and that she was approaching a point of no return.”

The significant other’s family didn’t appreciate this. 

“His mother called me a ‘judgemental skinny bitch,’ and his siblings told me how selfish I was to not want to pitch in like everyone else had. My SO did try to defend me but I got so upset that I just got up and went back to our apartment.”

“It’s been a few days since and my fiance has apologized but still is barely speaking to me.”

“His sister has told me there’s no easy solution to their mother losing weight and that we just need to help her ‘get through it.'”

Fellow Redditors weighed in by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Many recommended the OP end the relationship. 

“NTA”

“Don’t marry him or buy a house with him. One day you’ll go out and come home to find her moved in and you’ll be washing her backside for the next 15 years. 15 years is a generous estimate as it’s likely she will die before then.”

“None of them want to face the hard truth. Because that means dealing with her when she doesn’t get what she wants. And I guess that’s why they all cave into her.”

“Think carefully before you make any more plans with your fiancee.”No_Elephant3224

“NTA, but this sounds like it might be a dealbreaker. Your fiance and their family are unlikely to suddenly change how they feel about this.”blissoblivion

“NTA”

“I would leave this relationship immediately.”

“No amount of love for a man would be enough to make me stop my life to cater to someone who has done this to themselves with zero give f!cl how it affects anyone else.”kalkiki

“NTA. Sounds like this relationship isn’t going to work out. At least you found out before the wedding. A lot of people wouldn’t agree to live the life his family is asking.”ex-inteller

Others agreed and said this could easily take over her life. 

“ESH, mostly the family for enabling her.”

“Please don’t marry into this family unless you are willing to help support the mom. If him moving his mom into your house is a deal-breaker for both of you, you need to break off the engagement. 6 years is too long not to have this discussion. His mom is really selfish for delaying his education.”

“Unfortunately, the picnic was not the time or place for a confrontational lecture. You need to stand by your ‘I’m not putting my life on hold for her’.”

“It’s not like she has cancer or some debilitating disease. She’s beyond morbidly obese and everyone is enabling it. I really don’t understand how people can do that.”Magj0y

“NTA. I don’t think things are going to work out with your fiance. Considering he wants to buy a house with enough room for his mother he either wants to be the caretaker while you foot the bill or make you be her caretaker. Get out while you can.”throw_away_800

“The family has normalized their mother’s condition. You have an outside view of just how messed up this situation is.”

“Your fiancee is completely on-board enabling the disabling and early death of his mama. You don’t have to put your life on hold for this if you don’t want to.”

“If you don’t think you can handle years of this, now is the time to bail, before you entangle your finances, get married, or have children. NTA”Servantofbosco

A few also questioned the family’s values and motives. 

“No, this is NTA. SO and his siblings are the AHs for enabling their mother.”

“They need to set boundaries with her before things get worse”anfea2004

“This is AH. Food addiction to the point of immobility is no joke. It’s deadly. At this point, it’s like bringing vodka to your alcoholic brother with kidney failure.”

“If his family actually cared about the mother, they would want her to be around a long time, not let her slowly kill herself and die of a heart attack.”

“If she can’t move around, then she can’t eat enough food to maintain 500lbs without enablers. If they cared more about her best interests than taking the path of least resistance, they’d be pushing her to get treatment and refusing to pay her food bill, rather than revolving their lives around helping her ruin her life.”

“Also, it sounds like he wants HER to take care of his mother in THEIR home, either by working extra hours so he can work time or (I Suspect) be the one to give up her career aspirations to work part-time to enable his mother.”

“That’s not accepting ‘family will be part of your life’, that’s coercing someone into being a caretaker and that is messed up.”FlahBlast

While it will be hard to make a final decision considering the person she’s been dating for six years, the OP needs to do what’s best for her and her relationship.

If ending the relationship is the way to go, that decision should probably be made before anyone hears wedding bells.

McKenzie Lynn Tozan

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.