Man's Account of Wife-Versus-Mother Showdown Leaves Internet Disgusted

Members of a popular internet forum were left shaking their heads after one man revealed how he ended up in the middle of an all-out war between his wife and his mother.

In a viral Reddit post published on r/AmITheA**hole, Redditor u/EffortPresent9645 (otherwise referred to as the original poster, or OP) said his mother lives hours away and explained how a "miserable" visit in 2019 sparked new conflict three years later.

Titled, "[Am I the a**hole] for siding with my mom over my wife, and telling my wife it was her fault for putting me on the spot?" the post has received more than 8,000 upvotes and 4,000 comments since August 26.

"My mom lives an eight hour plane ride away," OP began. "My wife made it clear when she moved that she needs to be the one to come to us as she made the choice to move."

Continuing to explain that his wife was adamant that their family would not alter their lives for his mother, the original poster said the last time she made the trek to their home, things ended poorly.

"My mom visited one time, three years ago," OP wrote. "We went to work as normal and she was alone...we did our normal chores/routine...had our normal blah week night meals, and by the end of the trip, my mom was clearly miserable, overtired, and starving."

The original poster also said that after years of pandemic-related travel restrictions, he invited his mother to visit again. Unfortunately, his invitation was declined—much to his wife's dismay.

"My mom said sorry but no. She said it was torture, and if we can't put in the effort to host her, she isn't coming," OP wrote. "My wife wanted me to confront her about how 'entitled' she was being.

"I refused, so she called my mom and accused her of being childish and needing constant entertainment...my mom [yelled] that we were s**t hosts," OP continued. "My wife demanded to know whose side I was on and I said my mom's...now she feels I betrayed her, and that I'm a mama's boy."

Conflict with mothers-in-law is common, in reality and on the internet.

Complaints about overbearing and nitpicking in-laws are strewn across numerous marriage and parenting forums and are frequently boiled down to one burning question: how much toxic behavior will be tolerated until somebody says enough?

Expecting subservience or special treatment is often a sign of a toxic mother-in-law, according to parenting website We Have Kids.

Forcing their child to pick sides and more specifically, forcing their child to side against their spouse is another indicator of toxicity, and a surefire catalyst for emotional warfare.

"If she can't get you to respect her authority, she'll tighten the reins on your spouse, her other kids, her grandchildren, and as many friends and family as possible," We Have Kids asserts. "She'll make simple things complicated just to prove to everyone she's the one calling the shot."

However, when both spouses and their in-laws are hellbent on calling the shots, there is even greater potential for cataclysmic meltdown between family members.

Couple arguing over phone call
Couple argues during phone call with husband's mother. Members of Reddit's r/AmITheA**hole forum called out multiple parties after one man detailed the tension between his wife, his mother and himself. Prostock-Studio/iStock / Getty Images Plus

Throughout the comment section of the viral Reddit post, Redditors acknowledged this potential and called out the original poster, his wife and his mother for their stubbornness and allowing their relationship to break down as far as it has.

"Everyone sucks here," Redditor u/Straight-Singer-2912 commented, receiving more than 7,000 upvotes. "Your mom 'was starving' because she expected someone to shop and cook for her. She's acting super entitled.

"[Your wife] was foolish to call your mom and argue with her...[and] you are the [a**hole] because you denigrated your wife in front of your mother," they added. "But your mother is the biggest [a**hole], she's driving a wedge in and she knows it."

Redditor u/Mrs_ghee_buttersnaps, whose comment has received more than 2,500 upvotes, offered a similar response.

"[Everyone sucks here]," they wrote. "Your wife for being so draconian and rigid...your mom for assuming you guys will entertain her...you for not taking any time to spend with your mom when she came down."

"Your wife just seemed to not just set boundaries but go out of her way to make your mother feel uncomfortable and unwelcome," Redditor u/jrm1102 added. "You should have stepped in when your mother first moved...so maybe [everyone sucks here]."

In the post's top comment, which has received more than 16,000 upvotes, Redditor u/KaNGkyebin remained focused on the original poster and the role he plays in the conflict between his wife and mother.

"It seems to me like your wife doesn't want to be expected to drop all her responsibilities to plan, prepare, and be the host, a role women have been conditioned to take automatically," they wrote.

"If you want your mom to come, have a conversation with your wife about how to ensure you can be welcoming and gracious hosts without overburdening your wife," they continued. "Aka you take on more of these responsibilities [because] it's your mom."

Newsweek reached out to u/EffortPresent9645 for comment.