Debate as Man Begs Wife To Not Confront His Mom for Rejecting Her Food

A frustrated husband has taken to Reddit to ask if he is the a**hole after describing a frustrating situation involving his wife and his mother.

In the post, user SeaworthinessLow8759 wrote, "My mom is currently visiting us. This is the first time since we moved three years ago. She is not one of those intrusive MILs so sometimes I just wish my wife would let the little things slide.

mother-in-law
A stock image of a family row. A study by the Mother-In-Law Project questioned 807 women from 49 states across the U.S. found that 20 percent of daughters-in-law said that they were unhappy with their mother-in-law relationship. Zinkevych/Getty Images

A study by the Mother-In-Law Project questioned 807 women from 49 states across the U.S and found that 20 percent of daughters-in-law said that they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with their mother-in-law relationship.

Newsweek spoke to family therapist and relationships expert Jennifer Kelman. She told us: "These types of situations are quite common and someone always feels like they are pulled into things and caught in the middle.

"It does make me wonder why your mom might not be eating. Is she upset about the type of things that your wife has been buying? Or do you think it is a way to undermine and get under the skin of your wife?

"My mom and my wife had some issues years ago, but my mom has been fine during this visit. The only issue is she isn't eating, and I mean literally isn't eating anything."

The original poster describes how they believe their mother is going out and buying food and eating it elsewhere, borrowing the car in the evening to go and get 'coffee', "so I am sure she is going out, getting what she wants, and binge-eating enough to get through the next day.

"Personally I don't care. She is being a good guest, it's nice for me to see her, and she isn't being careless with my car, so no problem."

The poster goes on to explain that their wife is furious and is not speaking to the mother-in-law, and saying that the OP needs to speak to her, or she'll do it herself.

"I broke down this morning and begged her to just let it go," the poster writes: "She accused me of wanting her to just shut up and endure for my sake and is now mad at me. She says she has to do it as I am being a mama's boy. My mom is flying home tomorrow and I just do not see any reason to make this an issue."

"Perhaps there is a way to get through this by all coming together to come up with a shopping list and to meal plan so everyone feels included and everyone can have their needs met without anyone's feelings being hurt.

"I would sit with your wife and let her know that while you understand her feelings, it is difficult to be caught in the middle and you want to support both of them, but even while supporting both, it doesn't undermine or take away from the feelings and care that you have for her as your wife and for your mom.

"Supporting your mom doesn't make you a mama's boy either. It makes you a caring and feeling individual for both in a conflict that might be harboring some deeper feelings underneath. I might try for all of you to sit together to see what the underlying issue was around this and see how things can be made better for the next time you are all together."

Users in the comments expressed their concern about the situation.

User VirtualPorpoise said, "I think the bigger problem here is that she doesn't feel like your home is a safe space, which your wife has clearly picked up on and is upset about, and you seem okay with both of those things."

User level 5 DirtThat4303 commented, "Why is your wife pissed about this? Bc your mom isn't eating her cooking? I simply don't understand why this is bothering your wife so much."

User ResourceSafe4468 wrote, "Sounds like your wife is upset because she is (correctly) interpreting your mother's behavior as "MIL does not like me and does not want to be around me."

Newsweek has reached out for comment.

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