OP (Original Poster) has had enough of his mother-in-law, who kept pressuring his son while he was recovering. He knew she meant well, but he didn’t want her to make it hard for his son!
OP’s son got into a car accident a week before this story was posted, and they found out he would not be able to walk again.
Not Here for Sympathy
He clarified that he didn’t post this story on the thread to gain everyone’s sympathy. Instead, he wanted a sounding board after an intense exchange with his mother-in-law.
OP said, “It’s distracting me so much from the things I really need to be focused on. I figured some strangers with no skin in the game could settle it outright.”
A few days after the accident, OP’s mother-in-law flew in and did her best to be helpful.
OP wrote, “She has been wonderful—cooking, cleaning, keeping track of the calendar, and all the other things I’ve just been unable to do.” He also added that his wife wasn’t in the picture, but the extended family was.
Crossing a Line
Everything had been going well until the day OP posted this story. He said, “Today, she crossed a line with me.”
He explained that this happened while they were sitting with his son, who was understandably “extremely depressed and in shock.”
OP shared that his mother-in-law had been making it a point to tell his son how “lucky he was because he survived” and that he should be very “grateful” about things.
Not the Right Time
He understood that she was coming from a good place. He said, “Perspective has its place in the grand scheme, sure.”
However, the problem was that he was sure his son was in “no mood” to hear something like that at that particular moment.
Change the Topic
Because OP saw how it affected his son, he tried changing the topic multiple times. However, his mother-in-law would always come back to the same discussion.
So, he told her to give it a rest.
She Was Insisting!
Even with OP’s warning, his mother-in-law was not stopping.
He shared, “She persisted, saying he was chosen and blessed, and the circumstances warranted a celebration, and he had a duty to pay it forward.”
At this point, OP cut her off. He didn’t want his son to internalize or feel any survivor’s guilt.
So, OP told his mother-in-law to get some air, but again, she refused and said she was fine. At this point, OP explicitly told her she needed to go home for the day.
OP’s mother-in-law got worked up by what he said, so he explained that what she was saying was not something his son wanted to hear.
He added, “She said, ‘Maybe not, but it’s what he needed to hear.’ I said it was too soon, and that’s that.”
You’re a Jerk!
OP’s mother-in-law got even more upset and told him he had just asked her to visit to “boss her around and use her as a maid.” She also accused him of not caring about her “opinions on any of the important aspects regarding recovery.”
His mother-in-law also said he embarrassed her in front of her grandson. OP said, “In short, that I’m an a**hole.”
I Don’t Know What to Do
Now, OP’s contemplating whether he did the right thing because if he were honest with himself, he wasn’t sure what to do.
He said, “I’m worried there’s some truth to that, and I was wrong to ask her to leave because I don’t know what I’m doing in this situation any more than she does. She’s been the most supportive person, and she is right that she’s older and more experienced.”
Was I Wrong?
Since their argument, OP’s mother-in-law had been upset, distant, and guarded. He said the tension was eating away at him, and he didn’t know where to stand.
He said he might have been wrong to embarrass her when she had been very supportive and possibly right to express her opinions. Should he have asked her to step out to discuss things privately?
What Redditors Think
A Redditor who had a similar experience reassured OP that he did the right thing as his son’s dad.
He said, “Hi, I was in a coma and woke up paralyzed. That is absolutely not the thing he needs to hear. I was told that a lot, and it always felt patronizing and like I should not be able to mourn my mobility. Let him be sad; he doesn’t need to be happy right away. Just do the work in physical therapy and everything else and celebrate his milestones. To cut the long story short, not the a**hole.”
Not Her Place to Lecture Him
Another user also pointed out that his mother-in-law did not have a right to lecture his son, especially since she hasn’t experienced anything similar.
“I also think it’s wrong for someone who hasn’t suffered a great physical loss to lecture someone else who has to ‘cheer up’ and ‘get over it.’ It’s really gross to dismiss the patient’s need to mourn the loss of his previous normal,” wrote one Redditor.
People Need to Mourn
Overall, Redditors advise OP to allow his son time to heal on his own.
One wrote, “It’s easy to tell someone to be grateful and positive for the things they have, but unless you’re in someone’s shoes, you have no idea how they may be suffering. It’s incredibly mean to make someone feel like they are wrong for feeling bad in a terrible situation. I have no sympathy for people who do this.”
What advice would you give him? Did he do the right thing?
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This post first appeared as He Kicked His Mother-In-Law Out of the Hospital Room After She Kept Pressuring His Paralyzed Son to Be Thankful, Even if He Could Never Walk Again. He Said, “She Crossed a Line!” on Quote Ambition.