Woman Criticized for Requesting Copy of Son and Daughter-in-Law's House Key in Viral Post

A Wednesday Reddit post, involving a mother's fight with her daughter-in-law, has piqued the interest of readers in the site's "Am I The A**hole" forum. The conflict, which centered around whether or not the mother-in-law should have a copy of her son and his wife's house key, has generated nearly 12,000 upvotes and over 3,300 comments at the time of writing.

Relationships between in-laws and their adult children's spouses are famously fraught—especially between mother- and daughter-in-laws. According to Fatherly, a 2015 study revealed that the most hurtful incidents between a woman and her spouse's mom were caused by "over-involvement" from the mother-in-law. "Personal attacks" followed closely behind.

In her post, anonymous Redditor u/Judy34535434 described the recent fight that erupted between herself and her son's wife.

"[Two] weeks ago my son [Ethan, 27] and his wife [Jess, 30] bought a small one story house in the town we live in. After settling down they invited us for a small party for the occasion," she wrote.

"Jess showed me the original key to the house and I asked if she made copies yet and she said no," said the mom. She then told Jess that she should make copies of the key—and give one to her.

The Redditor's daughter-in-law gave her a "funny" look in response and asked why she should give her a key. "I explained that it is necessary so that it could be used in emergencies," said u/Judy34535434.

According to the mom, Jess "rudely" replied: "I don't know what kind of an emergency...would require you having a key to our house."

"I pointed out that it's not just her decision because this is my son's house as well," wrote the Redditor.

The argument continued and "things escalated." The wife called the Redditor "pushy," and, in return, the Redditor accused her daughter-in-law of "being unnecessarily rude and disrespectful."

She added, "My husband and I left in a rush and I felt horrible."

"My husband went on and on about how paranoid and controlling I was to basically be 'demanding' a copy of the key to the new house," she said. "Again I stated that I was just trying to be helpful and taking extra precautions...but he insisted I overstepped and ruined Ethan's and Jess's joy for their new house."

"I [genuinely] do not think what I said was out of line and I'm not sure why Jess reacted so intensely," she concluded. "I think my request was innocent."

Readers seemed to have mixed feelings about the situation. Many noted that the Redditor's desire to have a spare key for emergency purposes was understandable—but criticized her handling of the situation.

"It's all about the attitude," said u/GoodGirlsGrace. "OP is both pushy and unnecessarily rude and disrespectful [of their boundaries]. It's their house—she doesn't get to demand copies of the key. That was out of line."

"You don't ask for a copy of a key to someone's house. Even if it is your [son's]," echoed ​​u/AimMick. "If they offer, fine...You don't ask. It is rude. And overbearing."

Some, however, also took issue with the daughter-in-law's role in the argument. "She was inappropriately smug," said u/Awkward_Ad_9466 of the son's wife. "But you can't keep pushing like that. It's best to let it go."

In the replies, the Redditor made note that her "main concern is safety." "I really didn't mean to overstep if that is what it was," she said.

Newsweek has reached out to u/Judy34535434 for comment.

Mother in Law
On Wednesday, a woman sparked debate on Reddit after sharing a recent conflict with her daughter-in-law involving a house key. Commenters were split on whether or not the mother overstepped. KatarzynaBialasiewicz/iStock / Getty Images Plus