This Redditor’s in-laws always made negative remarks and snide comments about his mom. After they repeatedly insulted her during dinner, he decided to stand up for her and asked them to leave!
OP’s (Original Poster) mom and his 12-year-old brother visited him and his wife a week before this story was posted. They were invited for dinner at home by OP’s wife, along with one of his sisters and his wife’s parents, who live in the same city.
Time for a Get-Together
His wife wanted all of them to get together because their parents hadn’t seen each other since their son was born six years ago. So, even though OP didn’t like the idea, he didn’t have that much choice since his wife was already set on it.
A Huge Class Gap
OP’s and his wife’s parents never got along well. His in-laws are wealthy, whereas his mom has always been poor, and he and his brother are helping to support her.
The Younger One
Aside from their financial status, OP’s mom is 51 years old, which is young compared to his in-laws, who are in their 70s. In the past, his in-laws had also said some upsetting things about his mother, but he tried not to let it bother him.
His Father-In-Law’s Annoying Remarks
The night wasn’t off to a great start when OP’s wife asked his mother about her boyfriend. His father-in-law then started asking questions as to why she didn’t invite him that night or what his job was.
Judging His Mother
OP’s father-in-law became more invasive with his questions. He basically implied that single mothers shouldn’t date and made a suggestive remark about his mom’s kids having different fathers.
OP was already annoyed at that point, but his wife was able to change the topic of the conversation.
Was That an Insult?
Throughout the night, OP’s in-laws continued to make negative comments directed at his mom. Even when his mother-in-law congratulated his sister for getting into law school, she used it to “backhand” his mom by saying how impressive it was, considering “where OP’s mom came from.”
His mother-in-law was also trying to interfere in disciplining OP’s son, and she kept trying to “police” how OP’s mother was interacting with her grandson.
OP wrote, “A couple of times, she told my son off for how he was playing with my mom despite the fact I was there if he needed disciplining.”
Negatively Affected by the Comments
OP noticed that his mother was getting upset but couldn’t even leave because she was staying with them for the night. When he was able to talk to his mother privately and asked if she was alright, she said she was fine, although the look of distress was evident on her face.
OP noted, “My mom has a history of mental illness and has an anxiety disorder that often leads to her struggling in social situations. My mom silently went to our spare room without saying anything to anybody else.”
It’s Time for You to Go
After that, OP gathered the courage to politely ask his in-laws to leave, explaining that he wouldn’t tolerate them speaking and commenting about his mother the way they did that night. In response, his wife and father-in-law tried to talk to him about it, but he told them that he didn’t want to discuss it at the moment and just wanted them to leave.
He added, “I didn’t want to talk because I was already very angry and didn’t want to lose my temper. After they left, my wife and I started arguing.”
On Her Parents’ Side
During their argument, OP’s wife tried to “downplay” how her parents treated his mother, making it seem like he was “reading too much” into their words. She also argued that even if OP wanted her parents to leave, he should’ve discussed it with her first and that he was disrespecting her by not getting her permission.
OP noted, “She was ignoring the fact that I couldn’t have done that without extracting her from a conversation with everyone.”
She Knew What They Were Doing
OP’s wife thinks he is treating her family poorly when, in fact, it was her parents who wouldn’t stop “disparaging” his mother. However, he knows for a fact that she noticed what her parents were doing because she kept trying to intervene.
Redditors’ Two Cents
The community was on OP’s side, saying he was right to defend his mother from his in-laws’ negative and insulting comments. They treated her poorly, and even if his wife defended her parents, it was obvious she knew what her parents were doing.
A commenter wrote, “You’re not the a**hole. If your wife didn’t think her parents were doing anything wrong, why was she changing the subject or direction of the conversation when they were insulting your mother?”
“You were right to stand up for your mother and ask your in-laws to leave when they were making derogatory comments towards her. It’s understandable that you were angry and didn’t want to discuss it at the time, and your wife should have been more supportive of you at that moment. It’s not disrespectful to her family to address their hurtful behavior towards your own family member. Your wife should have taken your concerns seriously and been more understanding of your feelings. It’s important for partners to have each other’s backs in situations like this,” another Redditor said.
Respect Begets Respect
Many people also said that OP’s mother deserves respect as much as everyone in their family, and she shouldn’t be treated that way just because she’s a single mother and not wealthy.
“Your mom deserves respect just like anyone else and is as much a part of the family as your in-laws. Like you said, your wife clearly saw how their comments were affecting your mom because she tried to deflect. It sounds like they’ve done this before, and you set a boundary that hopefully will stop it from continuing. I can understand why your wife might feel defensive of her parents since they are her parents, but it is your household as much as it is hers. It is not okay to treat your mother like that, and she was clearly affected by the conversation since she isolated,” commented one user.
Is His Mom Dependent on Him?
Some Redditors questioned why OP and his brother were still financially supporting his mom and pointed out that this might be an issue for OP and his wife.
“Is your wife cool with this? Because I think she isn’t. I think she and/or her parents may be thinking about the fact that your mom is 50 and going to be needing money for 30 plus more years and if that might be coming out of your wife’s inheritance. You may want to find out if this is part of what’s going on because you said your in-laws were especially nasty toward your mom, and your wife insisted on them all being there,” a commenter shared.
Another person added to the previous comment, saying, “This stood out to me, too. OP’s mom is early 50s. Why can’t she support herself? But OP needs to say something ‘in the moment’ if his in-laws are criticizing his mother’s interaction with their child. Otherwise, it’s a game of he said, she said later on. If the mother is doing nothing wrong, then tell the in-laws to back off. Both OP and his wife seem to be trying to brush stuff under the rug until someone is uncomfortable enough to leave the room. Call it out as it happens.”
Was OP right for kicking his in-laws out? What do you think OP should have done?
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This post first appeared as He Kicked His Judgmental Parents-In-Law Out After They Belittled and Insulted His Mom for Being a Poor Single Mother. His Wife Tried “Downplaying” Their Disgusting Attitude, but Enough’s Enough! on Quote Ambition.