Admitting you have a problem with drugs or alcohol can be a hard thing to do.
But what if someone tries to force you into admitting to a problem you don't actually have?
Redditor drinkydrinkymotion recently found herself in one of those situations with her mother-in-law.
She decided to turn to the subReddit "Am I the A**hole" (AITA) to figure out if she was in the wrong for how things went down, asking:
"AITA for 'dramatically' running away from an intervention my MIL threw for me?"
The original poster (OP) explained the sordid story.
"Husband (28m(ale)) and I (28f(emale)) live in Colorado. We love beer, and we live an active lifestyle (hiking, snowshoeing, skiing)."
"No beer hits like a beer after climbing a 14er, and I love a glass of wine in the bath on a lazy Sunday afternoon."
"My MIL loves to clean her kids' houses as a gift quarterly. This works because we're notoriously lazy 'deep' cleaners. This is important."
"A week ago, she asked to meet her at the park. I showed up to find a (bizarrely socially distant) group of my in-laws waiting for me with a box."
"She started, saying 'Kaylie, this is an intervention. We're here because we love you,' etc. It was awkward and I got nervous."
"She opened the box and showed three empty bottles of wine and two full bottles of wine, plus an empty 16oz beer can."
"She looked at me pityingly and said 'Sweetie, I found your stash. I know you have a drinking problem.'"
"I was caught off guard and looked at the pile and it clicked."
"A few months ago the bathroom sink backed up and we were rushing around trying to clear things for the plumbers to take care of it. I must have shoved my empty wine bottles and a shower beer can in my closet."
"The full bottles were purposely hidden, because they were going to be Christmas gifts for my husband."
"I tried explaining everything and she put her hand on my shoulder and said 'I know it's hard to accept you have a problem, but everyone here is here because we love you.'"
"Look. I drink a beer with dinner or after work a few times a week, a beer or two at a brewery (not lately, obv) with friends, and occasionally have some wine while taking a bath. I haven't even had a hangover since college."
"THEN she smashed the wine bottles that were for my husband, saying it's for my own good! I started yelling at her that they were presents, she just looked me in the eye and did it again."
"So I ran back to our house sobbing. She called/left messages saying I can't hide from my Problem, and that she would be talking to my Husband about sending me away for detox."
"She was tired of me hurting everyone by forcing my choices on everyone (ie, not giving her grandkids, the one sore spot between us I thought she'd gotten over)."
"She didn't explain to my husband what the 'stash' was, just that she found one, and he turned on me for running away from the 'intervention' saying that made me look guilty as hell."
"I felt so alone. The issue became that I 'made myself seem guilty' by running. My husband understands what happened now but he's told me that I need to find a way to put it all behind and maybe just not drink around his family for a while."
"I don't agree. I'm not going along with this."
"Fine, I won't drink around his family, but I'm not apologizing for running away when I felt scared and cornered, and I'm absolutely NOT copping to a drinking problem when I DON'T HAVE ONE!!!"
"AITA for not just going along with this to make everyone happy?!?"
"I FEEL LIKE I'M GOING CRAZY."
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You're The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
They made it crystal clear that the OP is NTA.
"I wouldn't apologise, two bottles is hardly a stash, she's just way outta line."
"She could have asked you privately about it, but jumping to conclusions and involving the whole family is just a dick move imo. Talk to your husband about how you feel alone and wronged and see what he has to say."
"The MIL is just ridiculous for blowing this out of proportion."—topfm
"That's incredibly toxic and it's going to be a long road to come back from being so betrayed and gaslit."
"Your husband should be supporting you, not allowing her to intervene in your marriage that way and you both should move away from her or at least turn down her offers to 'help' in the future because it's just cover for snooping."
"How did she know that wasn't your husbands stash?"—subversivesocialite
"Don't buy your husband those bottles of wine-again-for his gift. Give him an empty gift bag designed to hold wine with a note saying ask your mother where the bottles are!"
"And hire a house cleaner-if you must-but don't let that woman touch *anything* in your house-ever again ! And change your locks. Somebody *that* controlling will have a copy made before she gives hers back."
"I am so, so sorry. NTA"—Servantofbosco
The post also raised a bunch of red flags and questions for the OP to consider.
- "Interesting, and telling, that she threw an intervention without your husband involved. That means she knows it's shady. *Or* it means something else, which is both sh*tty and shady."
- "Why assume that stuff was yours? Why not her son's? Why not both of yours?"
- "That 'loves to clean her kids' houses' is a trap. She's snooping. It's an excuse. I've heard it many, many times."
"NTA, for sure. Yet, I would start asking some questions if I were you."—SwiggyBloodlust
"3. Is so true and what my first thought was too. It's guaranteed so she can snoop. NTA, and I'm surprised OPs husband isn't angrier with their mom for this mess."—_WhatamItoYou
"And that actually sort of explains the whole situation, like she was basically there looking for something to drag OP with and this was her best find."—TheJujyfruiter
"Also the fact that the husband heard that the mom was having an intervention and he didn't even think to ask 'for what?' or 'why the hell would you do that without talking to me', and instead took her word for it is such a moronic betrayal."
"He should have stood up for her from the get go. What a sh*tty thing to do."—SlickStrick
"THIS! OP *this*!"
"Keep this woman out of your home!"
"Or better yet f*ck with her and start planting weird sh*t for her to find. Stash sex toys in the back of your refrigerator and hot sauce and other condiments in your closets and dressers."
"You can get a 50lbs bag of potatoes for about $15 get like 200lbs and fill your linen closet so when she snoops and opens its it's like a tidal wave of potatoes rolling down on her."
"Buy a life size cardboard cut out of Leonard Nimoy and have it standing behind a door she had no business opening so she has Spock looking disapprovingly at her when she opens it."—APotatoPancake
Given that the OP's MIL is desperate for a grandchild, one person gave her some key advice.
"Someone else said this and I'm recommending so you'll see it--make sure your birth control is secret and safe (in addition to taking away her key)."
"She's shown to have literally no boundaries and you wouldn't be the first person whose BC was messed with because someone else thought they should be pregnant."—Catinthehat5879
According to the OP, snooping had never been an issue before now.
"So regarding the deep cleaning thing, we've never had a problem with this before. But I guess this isn't as normal as she said it was, so yikes on our part for going along with it."
"She always said it was just something she liked to do because she likes cleaning."
"In past instances where she's cleaned she would do stuff we would never think to do like fluff comforters and pillows, clean baseboards, run lemon peels down the disposal, etc."
"A few times we were home when she was cleaning (yeah it was awkward, haha) and she really didn't do anything or snoop weirdly. It could've just been because we were around."
The OP may need to be prepared to stage her own intervention—for her MIL.
"In case this comes up again, I'd suggest having some prepared questions for MIL."
"First, ask her how alcohol has negatively impacted anyone around you. Demand she name specific incidents where you hurt someone, were negligent, or put your job in jeopardy because of your drinking."
"Ask for concrete evidence. You want dates and proof you were drunk."
"It's not a drinking problem if it doesn't hurt your life. I don't drink, so I'm not saying this as excusing my own behaviors. I genuinely don't find anything wrong with responsible alcohol intake."
"Ask your MIL why she staged an intervention as step 1. Demand to know why she decided that a civil conversation with you or your husband was not the obvious response."
"Ask her why she inconvenienced family and friends for a lie that she concocted."
"She's going to turn it back on you."
She's going to refuse to answer and say bs like 'this isn't about me, it's about you and your problem.'"
"Tell her to define your problem, to prove that you spend excessively on alcohol or make unsafe decisions when drinking. You're not denying, your asking for evidence."
"And when she can't produce it (she will claim it's because you were covering your tracks), you can point out that if you covered your tracks, there wouldn't be a stash for her to find."
"Or, ya know, go no contact and tell her to f*ck right off with her presumptive savior bullsh*t."
"And tell your husband that if he thinks you have a drinking problem then he should either move out or stop drinking in solidarity with you. Then every time he tries to drink, take it away from him, pour it down the sink, and tell him that his mother said you have a drinking problem and so he can't have any."
"(I'm a vindictive b*tch at times. Wouldn't actually recommend the husband hating part, but feel free to fantasize)."—SquiskyButStrong
It sounds like the OP definitely has some things to consider, but at least she can rest easy knowing she did nothing wrong.
We suggest she celebrate with a nice cold shower beer.