This Redditor and his wife often host their mother-in-law at their home. When she overstayed her visit by three months and got angry because of a dirty dish on the counter, he kicked her out!
Duty and Responsibility
OP (Original Poster) is a 40-year-old man married to a 43-year-old woman. They live in Florida with their two children.
Though he doesn’t have a great relationship with his own family, he gets along well with his in-laws in California because his wife’s parents were both Marines like he was.
OP’s wife is close to her family, which was foreign to him since his dad was a narcissist, and his mother went along with whatever he would say. This led him to be the black sheep of his family because he “wouldn’t keep putting up with the bulls***.”
OP had always welcomed his mother-in-law and even paid for her to travel. He had done it to surprise his wife several times and was used to her staying around for weeks at a time, which had never caused any trouble.
Last May, OP’s mother-in-law returned to their home to help them plan and prepare for their daughter’s sweet 16th.
The party would be taking place the following month, so she made sure to get there early.
Crowded to the Brim
OP and his wife had a large house, so space wasn’t an issue most of the time.
However, they’d been hosting his wife’s cousin while she went to school this time, so accommodations were a bit more cramped than usual.
At first, OP had no complaints about the situation. His mother-in-law would help with cooking, cleaning, even doing laundry, and helping out with groceries.
The Dark Side
The party came and went, and his mother-in-law stayed into August. Over this time, she began to change.
Instead of being friendly and helpful, she had become snippy, easily riled, and had rearranged things to suit her.
Deal With It
OP brushed off the rearranging as it hadn’t been a big deal. He did start to get irritated when his mother-in-law and wife began complaining about upgrading their television.
If It Ain’t Broke
OP was a simple man and had a TV from 2009, back when 55-inch VIZIO TVs had become cheaper. It was still in excellent working condition.
He also had a ‘73 Jeep that he had fixed up on his own and was his “pride and joy,” other than his daughters.
Smoothing Her Feathers
While he didn’t want a new TV, he did relent and went along with it. He thought that would placate her, but a few weeks later, he would discover that it was not the case.
The Straw Meets the Camel
OP’s mother-in-law had returned from the grocery store and started in on them. She claimed she messaged his wife and daughter to open the garage for her, but his daughter hadn’t been home, and his wife’s phone had been on silent.
Trying the High Road
OP again brushed off her irritability, but it wouldn’t help this time. When they took the groceries in, his mother-in-law saw a dirty dish on the counter instead of in the sink.
An Overload of Emotions
When she saw the dish, OP’s mother-in-law exploded. She accused OP and his wife of not raising their kids right and said they weren’t doing enough around the house.
Rising to the Challenge
OP, in his own words, “lost it” and fought with her. While he and his mother-in-law fought, his wife stayed in the other room and didn’t say a word.
Pot Calling the Kettle
OP pointed out that his mother-in-law still had both her sons, who were in their 30s, living with her. Meanwhile, he noted his daughters were honor students who either had jobs or played sports all the time while in school.
My Way or the Highway
OP ended the argument and told his mother-in-law if she disapproved of how they raised their children and lived, she could stay in a hotel.
Two days later, she left and went and stayed in a hotel until she returned to California.
Complete Radio Silence
OP and his mother-in-law don’t speak anymore. He tried sending her holiday pictures and texts on “Christmas, New Year’s, her birthday, and other times,” telling her that he loved her and hoped she was doing well, but she hadn’t responded once.
On the other hand, OP’s wife still talks to her mom regularly. He said, “My wife took her side and said I should’ve handled it better. I agree, but it kinda bugs me that she didn’t say anything to her. They still talk on a regular basis.”
The Community’s Reactions
Reddit had mixed feelings about this, but most were on OP’s side.
One summed up the situation by pointing out, “Not the a**hole. Mother-in-law needs to understand that even if she gets to stay for several months, she’s still a guest in your house and should behave like a guest, not like she owns the place. She probably feels you owe her an apology, which you don’t—at least not unless she’s willing to apologize, too—and you have made the first step to patch things up several times.”
Another noted that time together can be difficult, saying, “Not the a**hole. She overstayed her welcome and her personal limit as to how long she could be ‘nice in front of others’ line. If she wants to hold a grudge for judging you and criticizing you in your own home, then enjoy the silence!”
Though OP might think he ruined his relationship with his mother-in-law, Redditors were quick to jump to his defense.
One said, “It sounds like your mother-in-law is just punishing herself by this point. If she wants to keep doing that, then that’s on her, as long as she’s not cutting off your wife as well.”
Another person commented, “Not the a**hole. Your mother-in-law was way overstepping her ‘guest’ status. And she needs to understand that. She should also apologize, but that might be expecting too much.”
What do you think? Was OP wrong for kicking out his mother-in-law, or was she wrong to blow up and criticize them?
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This post first appeared as He Booted His Mother-In-Law Out of His House After She Accused Him of Not Raising His Children Right, Just Because of One Dirty Dish. Now She’s Giving Him the Silent Treatment! on Quote Ambition.