Reddit Can't Decide on the Best Way to Handle This 'Possessive & Controlling' Mother-in-Law
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Spending time with your mother-in-law shouldn't be that difficult over the holidays. Just let her set the schedule, spend no time with your family at all, and let her insult you whenever she feels like it. What's so difficult about that? Jokes aside, this one MIL on Reddit actually believes her son and daughter-in-law should follow these guidelines, and that's amazing. The situation is so complicated that Redditors don't even know exactly how best to handle the situation.
The final straw was Thanksgiving, though they've struggled for years, according to the woman who wrote in Am I the A Hole? underreddit. In her post, she shares the story of her "possessive and controlling" mother-in-law.
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“My MIL is quite possessive and controlling. She doesn't like me because I took her son from her and all that, but she hasn't been honest with me or my husband about her dislike for me," the mother began to write. You have to love passive aggressiveness!
The woman continued: "She's just going to throw my husband at me with some masked insults but she punches me in the face like an angel and says how much she adores me and sees me as her own daughter etc. Behind my back her and my SIL says the most horrible things.”
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Some people can be so rude! The woman goes on to say that she will not focus on the "many terrible things" her mother-in-law has done; Instead, she complains about "how she acts in relation to us when we're trying to balance time between families."
Figuring out how to break up the holidays is one of the hardest parts when you have a partner, even more so when kids are involved. Most parents are generally understanding (they've probably been through it too!), but this mother-in-law thinks the world should revolve around her.
"From the early years my husband and I were together, MIL always had the expectation that she and her family should be given more priority than my family," she wrote. "In some cases she spoke as if I had no family, even though my family is fine and I have a great relationship with them."
It's annoying! That doesn't sound equal or fair (or even respectful!) at all. She continued, "She always demanded that we spend every single holiday with them and whenever we balanced things between them and my family, she would throw tantrums and keep crying to my husband because he loved his mama for his 'new family' leaves. ” Excuse us while we throw up.
Thankfully, it didn't take long for her husband to notice her manipulation. "At first my husband felt sorry for her, but then he understood her theatrics and every time she throws a tantrum he tells her, 'Like it or not, this will happen, go cry now and deal with it'. We still try to be fair and compensate for public holidays.”
She continued, "Another example is how she demanded that I get dressed in her own house for our wedding day because I'm like her daughter and she deserved me getting ready more than my own parents did . When I decided to get ready for my parents' house, MIL was upset and said I didn't respect her and that I didn't consider her family for doing that. So we've firmly established that this woman is out of control, got it.
“So this year my husband and I made the plan. Thanksgiving lunch with his family. Thanksgiving dinner with me. Christmas with his family and New Year's with mine," she continued. That sounds like a pretty fair plan. They won't even see Christmas with their family!
But her mother-in-law is a controlling dictator, and that wasn't good enough for her.
"Guess what. MIL didn't like that. Just as we were about to leave Thanksgiving lunch with her, she started making comments again about how we choose my family over her and that she'll now be spending new years without us too , because we prefer my family more," she wrote. "I completely ignore the fact that we will spend Christmas with her. My husband even tried to accommodate her once and asked her if she would prefer it if we spent Christmas or spending New Year's Eve with her and I told him no, she won't dictate our schedule enough."
It is ridiculous! These people are all adults, they're trying to make things work, and she throws a tantrum at not being able to claim every second of her time. yeah no That's definitely a - holey behavior of the mother-in-law.
From there it escalated.
"After she made that comment my husband ignored her and was like 'yeah ok you're going to start crying again' and she started yelling at my husband for preferring me to her and preferring my family to her," she wrote . The woman decided to stand up for herself after her mother-in-law began verbally attacking her family. "She started insulting my family and I couldn't help but disagree with her and tell her that she is a selfish person who expects the world to go around her and that she needs a wake up call, that she isn't the only person in our lives."
She continued: "My husband told me to get in the car and drive off. On the drive home he said that while I was right I shouldn't have interfered and I should have been the bigger person instead of acting like an AH like them.
Now, Reddit is at odds over whether this daughter-in-law should just stay out of it and deal with her husband, or continue to speak up for herself.
"NTA. Her husband doesn't have it easy, he understandably cares about pleasing his mother," one person wrote. "But ultimately you're right, and it's okay for you to interfere because it clearly affects you."
Responding to this comment, she wrote: "The main reason I got involved this time is because of the direct insults she said about my family. Sometimes she's an angel in front of me and says horrible things behind my back or when she thinks I can't hear her. But this is the first time she's openly said very nasty things about my family."
It's a little easier to let things go when you're not being told directly, but this mother-in-law took it too far, so I totally understand why the woman felt she had to defend herself. Honestly, the fact that she held back and kept it to just words was impressive!
"Normally I would say it's up to a partner to take care of the in-laws, but her insult to your family crossed a line and your reaction was appropriate at that moment," another person wrote.
Although the same person had greater concerns for the OP's husband. "As for your husband, did he stand up for your family at all or was he just brushing off his mother's tantrum?" They continued. “You need to have a deeper conversation with him about this. Their behavior is no longer just demanding and justified, but directly aggressive towards you and your family.
You and he understand the dynamics better than internet strangers and can probably figure out the most appropriate solution, but you might want to set the line that you won't be comfortable if this happens again without him coming to your and family's defense accompany him to his family celebrations.”
The woman clarified in another comment, "My husband is on my side on this but what he wants is for me to keep quiet to his mother while he takes care of it so my MIL doesn't have a reason to shit on me." to talk." She continued, "The thing is, this woman has known me for 7 years. Since day 1 I have always respected her and even sacrificed my own time and happiness several times to please her and be accepted by her and all of it is in vain. At this point I think there is no point for me and my husband to worry about whether or not I will give her a reason to hate me. She's doing it for no reason. She has no trouble finding reasons.” That's so true. Why worry about what the mother thinks when she's obviously already looking down on your wife?
But others made another valid point. "Your husband has good intentions but makes a big mistake," they wrote. "If he tries to do it 'alone' it will backfire. it's EXACTLY what his mother wants. She gets upset that you're "stealing her baby," even though she may not be able to articulate it or recognize it herself. So she tries, whether intentionally or unconsciously, to break you up. Her petty and abusive behavior and the way she treats you and your family is a way of making you so uncomfortable being around her that you 'walk away'."
They added: "Your husband needs to present a united front with YOU to affirm that the two of you are now one. that is a marriage.”
Setting yourself limits is so important, but this commenter is right! Her whole goal is to have more alone time with her son, so if the wife stays out of it, the mother-in-law wins. That would be reason enough for me to keep going at the family celebrations.
Another wrote: "Your husband is both right and wrong. He's right about dealing with his mother, you shouldn't have to deal with her meanness. But at this point he's going about it the wrong way. He can't argue with crazy people. You and your husband should retire from Christmas, New York and other holidays. No need for explanation or argument.”
Sometimes the only way to find peace on earth during the Christmas season is to shut out all family members who are causing chaos in your life. Consider skipping Christmas with the in-laws, a gift for yourself!
Before you go, check out some of Reddit's most breathtaking Thanksgiving stories.
Launch gallery: The worst mother-in-law horror stories from Reddit's AITA
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