For as long as people have been getting married, there have been squabbles and friction points with in-laws.
It's hardly surprising. The happy couple fell in love and chose to spend their lives together. But they didn't have any choice with the family members that came along with that.
For one woman on Reddit, that all came to a head recently. She recounted it all in a post on the "Am I the A**hole (AITA)" subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), whose username has since been deleted, was up front about her part in the spat. Her title for the post made that clear.
"AITA for being overly snarky to my MIL making her feel unwelcome."
OP began with some comments about the relationships at play.
"I [27-year-old female] have been married to my HB [28-year-old male] for 3 years, together 5. Right away I noticed how his mother was so controlling and intrusive."
"He had to have a shared bank account with her, If she wanted something done he complied, If she made a demand he caved."
"Now I am a very outspoken person who doesn't take alot of crap so when she tried this stuff with me and I refused to bend to her will it did not go well. I swear she had never heard the word NO in her life."
But OP had some influence.
"My then BF started to notice and confirmed he hated how he was living and I helped him become more independent and confident. By the time we moved in together a 1.5yrs later he had no issue telling his mom No... So naturally she hates me."
"She is a massive boundary crosser, and while I get some pushback from my HB at times a civil discussion results in a compromise or him agreeing with me cause shes nuts."
And an ongoing issue demanded a solution.
"Eg: The main boundary was no unexpected visits. We left a key at her place for emergencies and she would use it whenever she wanted."
"We changed our locks and revoked her key privilege so she stole his keys to make a copy. We changed lock again and had the keys stamped with DO NOT COPY."
"She was FURIOUS and I explained she had crossed the boundary so much she was now on a 30 day time out & every unexpected visit restarts the clock. 74 days later she shes off timeout."
But that intervention was only effective for so long.
"Well with COVID HB got laid off and he takes care of all house stuff (easy, no kids) while I, a nurse, went from doing 5,2,2,5 = 84hrs Now the 2 off are 8hrs and 2 of my 5 off are also 8 hrs. I work 116hrs in 11 days and have been for months. I'm dead."
"I'm now back to taking my 5 off and got home to be met at the door with 'I'm sorry' I look and MIL is there. I ask if he invited her and he says no so I figure.. fair game."
"Now this day at work had been messy. A man pulled his cath and sprayed me with pee among other things."
"I need a shower and I say I'm going to shower she scoffs and says to come give her a hug and have a chat first and I said 'Ma.. I have another mans pee in my hair but, If you really want a hug..' and walked arms outstretched."
"She just went ew, disgusting. HB and I giggled."
But one more request from her mother-in-law sent OP over the edge.
"When I came down HB mentioned dinner in the fridge and I went to heat it up. She says 'What.. youre not going to make us dinner'.."
"'well usually when you have guests over this late you make them dinner'"
"I just went 'Oh mom.. You're not a guest... Guests are invited' and she lost her mind."
"'I'm not coming over anymore, I'm not welcome, I just wont stop by'"
"I just asked 'Do you promise' And she stormed out. HB thought it was HILARIOUS..."
Her quips weren't loved across the board, though.
"[Father-in-law], [brother-in-law], and [sister-in-law] all think I'm a huuge a**hole."
"But I figure.. You came uninvited into my home, knowing we hate it, and expected me to wine, dine and entertain you..."
"This is my house. I'm under no obligation to be nice when you AGAIN crossed the biggest boundary we have."
"But even some of my friends are saying I'm the AH so Reddit.. whats you're verdict."
Anonymous strangers on the internet were asked to provide feedback by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
Most Redditors assured OP that was not the a**hole. They totally agreed that her mother-in-law was overstepping.
"NTA, MIL had it coming big time." -- Animenerd92
"Definitely NTA. She has huge boundary issues. Keep sticking up for yourself like you have been. Glad your husband is on your side." -- Me2373
"NTA, your MIL seems to thinks she's still dealing with 15/16 years olds, not nearly 30 year old adults.. wtf" -- nicesunniesmate
NTA, you stick to what you say and you use humor. When my DIL works lots of hours I leave dinner on the porch and text her, not drop in and expect to be entertained."
"Keep it up. maybe she will learn." -- nannylive
Many applauded OP's spitfire approach.
"I 💘 this. No. NTA. This was very satisfying to read." -- Madmax0412
"You are all the NTA."
"And you were NOT overly snarky. You were exactly the right amount snarky." -- Pretend-Panda
"NTA, given the history that was a pretty awesome response. And you got peed on so she's lucky it was just sass."
"Pretty sure I'd be throwing stuff if someone asked me to make them dinner as an uninvited guest with that kind of day." -- Cactus9550
"You're not an a**hole, you're a bada** genius and your post made my day!"
"I usually think of the perfect things to say long after the conversation is over and I really admire how adroit you were at handling this bullsh** after having such a tough day. Applause!" -- benslady
"NTA - but your HB sure is. He should have never let her in the door, now she knows that if she comes while you're at work he'll let her in and you'll end up having to be the bad guy when you get home after a long day." -- BbyKittenGrr
"NTa, why did he let her in? Is she on a TO now? He is still part of the problem." -- Rgirl4
"NTA, but your husband needs to enforce the boundary, too. Or at the very, very least, tell his mother to leave before you get home."
"Suggestion: That 30-day time out should go up by 5 days (permanently) every time she breaks the no-dropping-by rule." -- NoxWild
If the Reddit comment thread is any indicator, it looks like OP's mother-in-law can expect more exchanges like that if she invites herself over in the future.