Dealing with family can be tricky, to say the least, but when dealing with a controlling mother or mother-in-law, things can go bad fast.
Reddit user @Next-Sympathy2561 is a first-time parent, as is his wife. And OP admits that his mother has control issues which he's used to because ‘it's been happening for decades at this point.'
Last fall, he and his son took a trip to a cabin with his mother. His wife opted out as she and his mother already had problems. During the trip, his mother continually made comments about his weight, which she knows is a tender spot for him.
Having had enough, OP called his wife to meet him so they could ‘get out…and let things cool off.'
When OP's wife shows up, his mother loses it and starts ranting about how “OP will be abusive like his father. She then continued her tirade about how he and his wife are terrible parents and always would be without her guidance.”
OP said he “didn't mind his mother saying those things to him, but his wife already suffers from confidence issues as they are both first-time parents.”
OP demanded an apology from his mother and when she refused, OP told her that they would “rearrange the babysitting schedule and she wouldn't see their son until his wife received an apology.”
It's been 4 months and still no apology. Also, OP says “I now have an aunt texting me daily to say I'm terrible for doing this to my mother. My grandmother also says my mother will never apologize, but that not seeing my son is breaking her heart.”
OP's grandmother called recently and said that if OP doesn't move past this incident he'll ‘lose his mother.'
Redditors Speak Out
User @watchmanlooker offered encouragement and advice. ”
I’m glad you took the time for introspection. It took marriage counseling and individual counseling for my husband to get there. You are a wonderful husband and father. It’s great that you are focusing on building an amazing family with your wife.
I would suggest not viewing it as trading one family for another. You have grown and developed healthy boundaries. Your mother refuses to grow and respect healthy boundaries. Until she’s willing and able to do the work, a relationship is simply incompatible.
If she ever does seem to be willing to change, I highly recommend that only you resume a relationship with her until you have a healthy and mutually respectful relationship with her.
If she’s been this way all your life then I would say she needs to prove it for at least a year and show that she understands why it has t be this way.
Then and only then allow your wife and child around her (if your wife agrees) with the understanding that she has to develop the same type of relationship with your wife if she wants access to your family.”
Another Redditor @SnooDrawings1480 reminded OP that even if they don't like it, grandparents have few ‘rights' when it comes to their grandchildren.
“This is a cycle of mistreatment. You've paused the cycle. Don't let her steamroll you into letting it continue unchecked.
Grandparents have little rights to grandkids (barring special circumstances like parental death) and if she wants to be around her grandkid, she needs to learn that in this situation its your way or the highway.
She doesn't get the best of both worlds. She had her chance to raise a kid. Now its your turn. NTA”
User @bmyst70 thinks OP's mother is ‘living the Dunning-Kreuger effect.'
“NTA Your mom has serious control issues and her insistence that she knows better than the doctors what's best for your baby is, to put it nicely, insanely reckless.
Look up the Dunning-Kreuger Effect. Your mom is living this. Basically, she doesn't know she doesn't know something. The net result is she's completely confident in totally wrong information. And when it comes to medical advice, it's far more important to listen to your doctors than your mom.
You are absolutely doing the right thing. You're putting the baby's needs first, here above your mom's want to completely control your baby.
And your baby, and your wife don't need constant argument and actual emotional abuse from your mother. So keeping her away from the baby is the best thing. It doesn't matter if your mom is depressed. And it doesn't matter if you lose her, frankly.
The only way you can “keep” her is by tolerating her control freak, emotionally abusive nature. It's too high a price to pay.”
In the End
Redditors definitely agreed that OP was NTA, giving him tons of kudos for standing up for his wife and removing his family from the toxic environment with his mother. OP admits that the change isn't easy, but that he will ‘fight for his family tooth and nail and will always choose his wife and son first.'
Do you think OP did the right thing? Would you have done the same?
You can read the whole story here.
This article is produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.