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Son, fearful of upsetting his parents, asks; 'AITA for preferring my wife's family?'

Son, fearful of upsetting his parents, asks; 'AITA for preferring my wife's family?'


"AITA for preferring my wife's family?"


Me (M33) and wife (30F) have been together for 11 years and have a 3-year-old son. My family is what they themselves call 'traditional'. That means I was reprimanded as a kid, my dad drinks too much and my mom is overbearing.

My oldest sister was parentified and is very resentful towards the whole family and my brother is a heavy drinker too. I cannot have an honest conversation with my parents without my mom overstepping or my dad berating me. My mom hates my wife and my sister's husband just for existing.

You get the picture. They're not bad people or anything and I do love them but we're not the happy family my mom pretends to be on Facebook. My wife's family, on the other hand, is just... nice?

She's best friends with her siblings and they're all very close. Over the years, I've become good friends with her sisters' husbands too. When we first started dating I was like wow, your parents are really good at controlling themselves and not quarreling in front of us during dinner.

She was like '???' It took me some time to really fathom that this is just how they are and that family relationships like this are possible. Anyways, from the very start they treated me like a member of the family and I feel very comfortable and enjoy spending time with them.

I used to feel guilty for spending more time with my wife's family than mine. It changed when our kid got seriously sick and nearly died. My wife's family stepped up and did all in their power to help us without overstepping.

Meanwhile, my mom acted like the main character, constantly calling my wife for updates and crying, expecting us to console her while my dad shut out and drank. I understand everyone reacts to stress differently, but this situation really made me realize what example I want to set for my kid.

So I no longer try to ensure 'equal time' for my parents during holidays. We go to in laws because the atmosphere there is good. I make sure to call my parents and visit them but I no longer drag my wife and kid along as neither of them enjoys it and it's not the right example for my son.

Now, my birthday is coming up and we have a trip planned. My MIL will be flying with us and babysitting. I'm really grateful because I was not comfortable leaving our son behind but we also wouldn't have been able to attend certain events there if not for MIL's help.

My parents wanted to come visit on my birthday and I had to tell them all about the trip because mom kept asking. This resulted in my mom disowning me for taking MIL on a trip when it should be her I'm treating.

However, she's not going there to be treated she's going there to help. Also, my mom is morbidly obese among other things and I wouldn't trust her with a toddler so I can't take her instead.

Honestly, I'd rather not go at all if my mom was going because nobody would be able to have a good time (I did not tell her that). I feel bad about things being the way they are but I also feel it's not entirely my fault. AITA for letting it happen?

Here were the top rated comments from readers in response to the OP's post:


NTA. Your decisions seem to be based on the well-being and comfort of your immediate family, particularly your young son. It's clear that your wife's family provides a healthier and more supportive environment, which is crucial, especially in times of crisis.

Your mother's reaction, including disowning you, reinforces your decision to prioritize your wife's family. It's important to create a positive and stable environment for your child, and it seems like you're doing what's best for your family.


This is a really good answer. I think yiu are totally right. You should not hang out with people who treat you badly just because they are family. OP, I think you are doing a great job! Follow your gut and spend time with people who actually treat you like family.


NTA. Your family is pretty toxic from your story, I would be surprised if you have no childhood trauma as it seems that strange for you to see a functional family. Both of them are pretty selfish, your father prioritizes alcohol over you and your siblings while your mother prioritizes herself.

Its a pretty good idea to break the cycle and keep some distance from them, so your son can have a healthy upbringing. I’d also recommend therapy, so you would avoid accidentally passing all this load to your son.


NTA - just because they're your family doesn't mean you're obligated to do anything with or for them, or even like them.


NTA. You're doing the right thing by minimizing time that your wife and son spend with your family. I get along better with my in laws than my parents. My parents were very young (and broke) when they had me, which led to a lot of fighting, threats of divorce, and anger issues all around. The older three of us kids, remember all that, the younger two, not so much.


NTA. It seems that through exposure to your wife's family, you've observed and adapted to healthy family dynamics. Dynamics that opened your eyes to the dysfunction you grew up with. And now as a parent, you're actively ensuring your child is protected from it. Your parent's refusing to engage in self awareness/reflection, and living with the consequences, is their plight.


One of the best things of adulthood is that you get to pick who you want in your life or not. You don't have to put up with people just because you share DNA. The same way foster families can be close without sharing bloodlines. You can break ties with biological relatives. Family is social construction, not a biological one. Just go ahead and enjoy your trip with the people you love. NTA.

So, what do you think about this one? If you could give the OP any advice here, what would you tell them?

Sources: Reddit
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