This user is blasted by her mother-in-law for being selfish after she refused to let her move in with her. But she’s just protecting her kids from her bad smoking habits!
A Stable Arrangement
OP (Original Poster) met her husband in 2020. In 2019, he bought a home and was on the road most of the time, so he let his 54-year-old mom live there for free and paid for her expenses until he sold the house during the housing boom in 2020.
A Difficult Situation
OP’s mother-in-law had been through a divorce and had spent the $30,000 she had been awarded quickly, leaving her with nothing. She got no alimony or anything and had experience with business accounting, but she didn’t work while she lived with her son.
As far as OP knew, she used credit cards to pay for the few necessities and luxury items her son didn’t provide her.
Not a Sudden Change
Her husband gave his mother a six-month warning that he would be selling the house so that she could figure out other arrangements. When she lived there, OP’s husband had paid for everything: the place, the bills, and even her groceries and other items.
He didn’t want to sell the home and kick his mom out, and he knew she would need time to figure out other arrangements.
In 2021, the house that he had bought was sold, and OP’s mother-in-law was made homeless. While OP’s husband moved in with her, her mother-in-law found some relatives to live with.
Not Going to Work
Ultimately, it didn’t work out, and OP’s mother-in-law overstayed her welcome and got kicked out. In November 2021, she begged OP and her husband to take her in, which they agreed to.
A Single Condition
Before they let her move in, OP and her husband had laid out their one rule, which was that she stopped smoking. OP’s son had severe asthma, making it a non-negotiable point.
Deceit and Lies
OP’s mother-in-law told her that she had quit smoking and it wouldn’t be a problem. A little while later, OP and her husband discovered that she had lied and she was sneaking cigarettes and had even used his credit card to buy them.
OP and her husband had no choice but to kick his mother out. After this occurred in February of 2022, they had no idea where she went or what arrangements she made.
Trying to Help
During the first time OP’s mother-in-law stayed with them, OP tried to help her get assistance, like Medicaid and food stamps. They sat down together and went through everything, but her mother-in-law would never follow up and go to her appointments.
Life on Repeat
Then, after a while, she contacted OP again and wanted to know if she could live with them. She had overstayed her welcome with family again and was homeless.
The Same Problem
The issue that OP had was that she still hadn’t quit smoking. Now, in addition to her son with asthma, OP and her husband had a baby girl, and she wasn’t going to let her mother-in-law smoke around her either.
Reasonable or Not?
Because she hadn’t quit smoking, OP couldn’t see a way to let her live with them again. Her mother-in-law told her she was being “selfish,” but OP didn’t think she was unreasonable.
What the Community Thinks
Redditors came to OP’s defense, assuring her she wasn’t being the a**hole in this situation.
One noted that her mother-in-law seemed to have a problem, saying, “Not the a**hole, seems she’s continuing to burn every opportunity offered to her, so she’s not learning and not willing to change. You’d set yourself up for a fall by allowing her back in your home.”
Other Redditors also noticed that taking the credit card that belonged to OP’s husband was stealing, saying, “Not the a**hole. You are not ‘keeping her homeless.’ Your mother-in-law is an adult who chose to steal from her son and lie about quitting smoking. We don’t keep smokers out of our homes but do require them to smoke away from our house, wear an only-for-smoking jacket that remains outdoors, and wash their hands immediately when done. Still, your conditions are acceptable for your home and were clear before she moved in. She lied, and she stole from your husband. She did this, not you.”
Life Is a Struggle
Redditors noted that OP’s mother-in-law seemed on a downward spiral and was unwilling to change her behavior or life.
One said, “Not the a**hole. You aren’t keeping your mother-in-law homeless. She is. She has options: get a job and a place or quit smoking and stay with you. She is choosing option three: being homeless. She is also banking on making you feel guilty enough about her life decisions to give in, but I hope you don’t.”
Do you think OP should take her mother-in-law in despite the issues? What else could she do to help her mother-in-law, or should she just let her remain homeless?
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This post first appeared as She Mercilessly Kicked Her Irresponsible Mother-In-Law Out After She Caught Her Smoking Around Her Asthmatic Son. Now She’s Accused of Being “Selfish” for Leaving Her Homeless! Was She Being “Unreasonable?” on Quote Ambition.