Tempers can run high and we sometimes say things we later regrets.
This may or may not be one of those times.
Reddit user d1rtyd33ds007 felt disgusted by the way her mother-in-law (MIL) treats her daughter. In a particularly heated moment, she told the MIL exactly what she thought. But will she live to regret it?
The Original Poster (OP) sought out the advice of anonymous internet users on the popular subReddit "Am I The A**hole?" (AITA) who could weigh in on who was in the wrong by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH - No A**holes Here
"Using a throwaway account because too many people in this story peruse reddit a lot."
"The title sounds bad, but hear me out. My MIL got pregnant at 18 and gave the baby up for adoption. Two years later she meets her first husband and has two sons with him that are the light of her life. Fast forward to 20 years ago and the daughter finds MIL-we'll call daughter Debra-so Debra finds MIL and it seems, at first, like a happy reunion."
"The problem is that MIL is one of those women that doesn't like other women. So MIL starts nitpicking about little things, like how Debra posts too many pictures of herself drinking with friends, Debra is overweight and flaunts herself, her friends look trashy, her son is a brat, etc"
"My husband and his brother had not yet met Debra in person. They all had families and busy lives, but they both talked to her often. During that time Debra's son died in a car accident which completely devastated her. Well, this was not okay with MIL who felt that meeting her brothers should've been Debra's priority."
"Debra told us that she had made herself a promise to meet her brothers no matter what, then she found out she had stage 4 colon cancer that had spread throughout her body. She had started chemo, but put it on hold to meet her brothers and both men just adore her and I do too, but MIL was bitter that it took Debra so long for her to meet them and decided she was done with her."
"So after hurling some really harsh words at Debra, MIL cuts off communication with her. Debra ended up having to block her on fb for posting hateful shit on her page about what a terrible person she is for not putting her family first and how she is only pretending to be a good person now because she's dying. Debra was heartbroken and couldn't understand why her mom was being the way she was."
"After about a month Debra tried to reach out to her mom again and sent her a friend request which MIL accepted but only so that she could look at what was going on in her life to judge her. About a week ago was the anniversary of Debra's sons death and she posted pics and talked about how much she missed him. MIL came by our home a few days later and started complaining about how tired she is of seeing Debra constantly posting pics of her dead kid."
"I had kept my mouth (mostly) closed through her hateful words but I just couldn't anymore and said "well don't worry, she'll be dead soon and you won't have to see anything from her at all. Isn't that what you want?" She just looked at me in open-mouthed shock and left."
"My husband says I should apologize to keep the peace. He completely agrees with me and hates the way his mom talks about his sister, but he says it's not worth making waves because it won't change anything. So, what say you, reddit? AITA?"
Reddit thought it was about time someone stood up to the MIL.
"NTA. Your MIL is a hateful AH, and your husband needs to stop rugsweeping her vile behavior." -TirNannyOgg
While the specific language she chose was up for debate, most agreed OP's honesty was a good start.
"Oh hell no, agree with TirNannyOgg 100% Your MIL had it coming & someone had to say something. She's upset & grief-stricken and dealing with stage 4 cancer and , 'Mommie Dearest' is pissed off daughter didn't drop everything to please her for not keeping original plans."
"Never mind human being but what mother would act like your MIL has been while her daughter is dealing with so much. Can't understand how your husband wants you to apologize to his mom while agreeing with you, its bloody mind-boggling I for one extremely proud you put your MIL in her place, ( not that anything i say matters) but I'm disappointed in your husband for not sticking by you and asking you to apologize. Definitely NTA by a country mile." -20MLSE20
Perhaps this outburst is exactly what the MIL will need to get her act together.
"Boy this was a roller coaster of emotions. Definitely NTA, where you maybe harsh with you words? Yes. Were they justified? I'm honestly going to say yes, you just took everything she had been saying and turned it back on her. Your MIL needs a big wake up call, even if she felt nothing towards her grandson. Her daughter still lost a child, and that's a heartbreaking thing to have to endure." -Alaee19
One Redditor thought it was time the MIL finally saw consequences for her behavior.
"NTA. 'I should apologize to keep the peace. 'I f*cking hate this line. It comes from enablers every time there's a sh*theel relative who ruins everyone's lives. NO, you shouldn't have to bow to this ugly, nasty, spiteful person just because 'it's what we've always done.'"
"You husband and his brother are old enough by now to know right from wrong, and the fact that he can't break his programming is his problem to deal with, not yours. Tell her how it is, don't back down, be the one in the family who is honest and stands up for bullied people." -itsallminenow
Ultimately, Debra is the person who deserves to be treated better in this situation.
"NTA. The MIL is poison. Family around her terrified of rocking the boat gives her all the power to continue to be as nasty as she is. You were right and stand your ground. Ultimately they wont fight you cause they don't want drama and they will just hope it goes away."
"I feel awful for Debra. What a horrible situation for her. First her son and now her own mother, who gave her up, Badgering her as she dies. What a hateful woman the MIL is." -happyzappydude
Many people online couldn't believe the MIL's behavior.
"Wait, wait, wait. So MIL gave this girl up for adoption, the daughter seeks her out, and MIL is unhappy with the life that the child she literslly gave away is leading? The f*ck is wrong with your MIL. She gave up any say in this womans life, the moment she gave her up for adoption. NTA, your MIL is a horrible person and karma is a real b*tch." -LindaFrmPortia
At least everyone could agree OP hadn't done anything that bad.
"NTA. Just.....wow. I am actually struggling to comprend what I just read. How utterly disheartening. Was your wording a little harsh? Maybe. But make no mistake: the harshness of your words don't hold a candle to the hatefulness and callousness of your MIL."
"The utter void, the lack of empathy or compassion your MIL had for her own daughter is frankly terrifying. This isn't just a woman not liking another woman, this goes far beyond that. It's like your MIL has gone out of her way to be as hateful and malicious as she can be, just to make up for lost time."
"What you said to your MIL, is basically a verbal summary of how she has treated her biological daughter since Debra found her. You weren't out of line to call her out on it. Maybe the open mouthed shock on her face was out of being startled that someone was willing to call her out on it at all, as opposed to the actual wording."
"Don't apologize. Your husband is right on one thing: It won't change anything. It won't make your MIL all of a sudden gain a heart, it won't cure poor Debra's pain or illness, and it won't make the fact that your MIL has been an absolute monster to her biological daughter disappear from memory."
"Your MIL needs to be the one to apologize to her daughter, and to the rest of her children (and you) for subjecting them to her hatefulness towards her daughter, but I highly doubt she ever will."
"I understand the possible reasoning behind your husband's wish to not rock the boat (it won't change anything, things are painful enough already, etc), but in keeping with the boat metaphor; he can consider this boat rocked, broken, and capsized."
"No amount of peacekeeping is going to change his mother, or her attitude. She has treated her daughter so poorly and cruelly for absolutely no reason. She doesn't deserve her son defending her and peacekeeping, Debra does. Your MIL is the one who should be pressed for an apology. But judging what I read of her here, I'd wouldn't hold my breath for one. I am so sorry and heartbroken for Debra's pain." -Netherborn_Druid
For now, at least, it seems Reddit is firmly on OP's side.
With any luck, her mother-in-law learned a valuable lesson from this situation.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*