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'My wife wants to leave me after my mom tricked me into missing our anniversary.' AITA? UPDATED 11X

'My wife wants to leave me after my mom tricked me into missing our anniversary.' AITA? UPDATED 11X


"My marriage is on the rocks because of my mother. I need some serious help."

I'm 36M and my wife is 28F. Been married for 4 years, together for 6, and have a one year old daughter who is the light of my life. My wife is an amazing mother and partner. My own mother on the other hand is absolutely ridiculous and my wife has made me realize over time that my relationship with her is not healthy.

My mom tries to control everything, including our wedding (which I convinced my wife to suck it up and go with my mom's ideas--she is still resentful of me for it). Passive aggressive behavior on my mother's part basically since we started dating has made my wife absolutely hate her. I'll admit I haven't been as firm with my mom as I should have been in the past.

This brings us to yesterday. Our wedding anniversary was last night. We're a little tight on money right now, being new parents and our jobs are not fantastic. So I suggested that a family friend watch our daughter, I buy us a nice bottle of wine, and we cook dinner and just relax. I could tell my wife was disappointed that we couldn't do anything bigger or better but she agreed this was the best choice,

and we settled to both be home from work at 6 PM. I was headed home from work when I got a call from my mother asking me to come over because it was an "emergency". I asked her what type of emergency it was and she just started crying frantically and begging me to come over.

It was already 5:30 PM but I live in a low volume traffic area so I figured I would stop by and calm my mom down before I met my wife. When I got to my mother's house she was literally sitting on the couch having a glass of wine and watching TV. I was livid. She was so calm too, not the frantic monster I was speaking to on the phone.

I started pressing about what the emergency was and reminded her that this was the night of my wedding anniversary and she said she had some house tasks for me to do that, in my opinion, she was 100% capable of doing herself. Things like washing the dishes, watering her houseplants, cleaning the gutters, etc.

So definitely not emergency material. But she guilted me into doing them (she was literally screaming to me at one point that I was a bad son) and I texted my wife letting her know that I was going to be late because I was at my mom's house. She didn't respond to my text.

Before I knew it, it was 7:30 PM. My mom kept trying to put more tasks on me but I put my foot down and let her know that I needed to get home. When I finally got home to my wife, she wasn't there. I was worried so I texted and called her many times, no response. I was able to track her phone and found out that she was at HER parent's house (they don't live far, around 20 minutes away).

She finally got back at 11:00 PM and as I greeted her with a glass of champagne she told me to save it for myself because she wanted a divorce. I was shocked and started breaking down. I asked her why and she said that tonight was the final straw in a long list of things that I've always put my mother first.

She said that she expected today of all days to be our one time together but even my mom is able to intervene on our wedding anniversary. I asked her what I could do, begged her to go to counseling. She is refusing. I asked her if there is someone else. She said the someone else is herself, and that it's time for her to start working on herself and stop worrying about me being able to put my mother first.

She has since moved into the guest bedroom in our house and hasn't talked to me much this morning. I tried to kiss her on the way out to drop off our daughter before work and she just moved out of my way. So, how do I save this sinking ship? I'm committed to doing everything for my wife to improve this but she says that this is past fixing. I'm at a complete loss.

I'm worried that she will see (or already has seen) a divorce lawyer, and I'd like to stop this in its tracks before it goes too far. I flaired this as "give it to me straight" because I just need people to be as honest as possible with me right now. I know I screwed up but I also need to know how to fix this.

Important comments:

Comment by [deleted]:

Honestly.... what you did is a pure slap in the face to your wife. I don't blame her one bit. Not only did you let your mother control your wedding, but, on your ANNIVERSARY you managed to let your mother manipulate you into being late. This would have been the final straw for me as well.

Your wife is sick and tired of the nonsense and is tied down to someone who doesn't put her first. She deserves better and honestly, your child deserves better too. You need to fix yourself before you can ever fix your marriage.

Answer by OP:

I am recognizing that now. Thanks for the honesty. I'm at work all day but I expect her to still be in the guest room this weekend, maybe even this month. I'm upset but recognize that this is my fault and my fault alone.

Update: My marriage is on the rocks because of my mother. I need some serious help.

My post was locked yesterday. I was able to give a small update at the end but I thought I'd give a larger one here. First I just want to say thanks for everyone who took the time to respond. Some of the responses were brutally honest but I did tag the flair as "give it to me straight" so that makes sense.

1.) Some people were commenting that me asking if there was somebody else that my wife was seeing was inappropriate. I really don't see how it was inappropriate but to each their own, and my wife definitely thought it was inappropriate too and was one of the tipping point comments that made her move into the guest room.

I know I said I'd give her space but the conflict was killing me so yesterday when she got back from work I knocked on the guest room door and tried get her to come down to the kitchen to talk to me, but she was still refusing to talk about all of this until she was ready. I asked her when she'd be ready and she just shut the door in my face.

2.) Late last night my mom showed up unannounced (which is unfortunately something she does) and my wife answered the door. I could hear my mom asking my wife how our anniversary was. My wife called for me to come down and "handle my mom" (her exact words) and my mom started interrogating her as to what "handle" means.

By the time I got down there ready to diffuse the situation it was already too late, my wife had poked the bear and my mom was laying the verbal smackdown. I asked my wife what she said to my mom (stupid, I know...) and she just went up to the guest room and slammed the door.

I finally realized that was going on and asked my mom to leave and but she was refusing. I had to threaten to call the police and then she finally left.

3.) This morning my wife packed her bags, a bag for my daughter, and left for her parent's house. I was surprised that she didn't even tell me beforehand. I was able to stop her and ask her what was going on as she was headed out of the door and she said she's had enough of the verbal abuse, that she's ready to find a partner that will stick up for her and her family.

She said that l will always put my mother first and last night was an example of that. That this relationship is cannot be salvaged and she will be seeing a divorce lawyer ASAP. As a last ditch effort I asked her what I could do to fix this. She just shook her head at me and then she left.

I'm a mess. I've lost everything meaningful to me within the span of 48 hours. I keep calling and texting her and getting no response back. I called one of my buddies to tell him what went down and he's on his way now. When I told him what had all happened his reaction was a mix of shocked and "congratulations, you played yourself." He called me denser than a block of bricks.

I told him that I still have some hope that this relationship can last and he laughed and said I need to put that idea to rest. I know I've got things I need to work on. Boundaries, for sure. My relationship with my mother (who I am working on blocking on literally every avenue of communication that I have). Myself.

To be completely honest I'm not a big believer in therapy but I know that I need it and I'm hoping it will make me a better person, and maybe if my wife sees me working on myself then there's some hope.

As for my marriage there's a part of me that's still optimistic but I know it will be hard for my wife to come back from this. As painful as it is for me I need to just play the next couple of days (weeks? months?) by ear and just see what happens.

You all were right and my mother is toxic.

Hello, it’s me again. My wife has officially collected all of her things (and my daughter’s things) and moved back in with her parents. I did the dumbest move ever and stayed with my mom for a few days to collect my thoughts.

It was dumb on a lot of levels but I finally saw first-hand the abuse that my wife was receiving because now it was directed entirely at me. She also did some really weird things like try to snuggle me to sleep (one night I woke up and she was snuggling me, I had to tell her to get back to her own bed).

I realized how counterintuitive it was for me to be there so I moved out one morning when she was sleeping and came back to my home. I went back through some responses on my first post and finally began to follow the advice. I’ve officially blocked my mother on everything and invested in a small home security system for my house.

She’s tried to show up a few times but I’ve locked all of our gates and she does not have a key. I also re-keyed the doors in our home just in case. I’ve had two therapy sessions and I stupidly thought it would be just a one and done type thing. In my first one I was given some really good advice and was told that if I’m just here to save my marriage then I look elsewhere because I also need a lot of work.

That really got me thinking. My therapist is fantastic too. As for my marriage I don’t know what’s next. We are going through a trial separation at the moment and she hasn’t spoken to me much except to talk about our daughter. I’m also realizing that I may have been a bad husband but I can still be a good father to my daughter.

It’s still tough. I feel immense guilt over everything that happened but not just to my wife, to my mom too. It will take me a while to get her feelings out of my head and disentangle her from my life but I’ll admit I’m excited for this fresh start. If it doesn’t work out with my wife I can still be the best dad that I can be. Thanks for the help, guys. I really appreciate it.

Re-post: Grandparenrs rights?

Hi there, me again. What the hell are grandparents rights and why is my mother hinting at them? I don’t know if this is more of an r/legaladvice scenario but the background at this point in time is that since I’ve cut off my mother from all avenues she’s decided to send snail mail to both me and my wife (with who I am currently going through a trial separation).

The return address was my mother’s house and the handwriting was hers. My wife and I decided to meet up to discuss the letters and she and I both received different ones. Not going to go into details of mine because it was mostly “come home to mama” type crap but my wife’s letter came in a large envelope that was mostly unmarked.

No postage on it and no evidence of it going through the post office so she must have dropped it off herself (my wife is staying with her parents and my mom knows the address through family gatherings, holidays, etc) but the handwriting matched and she still wrote a return address on it.

The letter itself included information about how my mom was thinking of pursuing grandparents rights but if that’s not far enough she’ll have to get “creative” in order to spend time with our daughter.

As for the grandparents rights thing my daughter is too young to have any type of serious relationship with my mom but she has watched her on some occasions. My wife refused to let my mom have unsupervised visits when we were still together but she would have some supervised play. As the for the “creative” thing I’m not entirely sure what to think.

It doesn’t sound like a total threat to me but it does sound super ominous. My wife is freaked out. I let her know that I’d support her in any way possible but we honestly don’t know where to go from here. Restraining order? Cease and desist letter? Should we just document that we got this in order to keep a paper trail but ignore the letter? I personally think we need to document this to the police.

Re-post: Update - Grandparents Rights

Thanks everyone for your help from the other day. I’ve blocked my mom on all communication and so has my wife. We can also confidently say we’ve got everything on lock from my in-law’s house to our pediatrician to my daughter’s social security number.

As for the threat, we are following through with the legal proceedings with a lawyer following my mother’s threat but my wife, daughter, and I are doing okay and just taking it day by day I guess.

At the moment I’m preparing for the worst from my mom. This morning she attempted to see my wife at work. Literally just showed up and asked to see my wife. When my wife’s secretary refused, my mother demanded to see her and it got bad enough that they threatened to call the police.

We are documenting everything and also looking into moving too. The space from my mother would be good. I’m worried she will come to my work next but I have told my boss about the situation and he’s pretty understanding (I guess as understanding as a boss can be).

In the meantime is there anything else I should do? A kind redditor recommended we get the house CPS ready and we are in the process of doing that. Better to be safe than sorry.

Thanks again. It might have been a rough go around in the beginning but I’m starting to see the light. My mother may have come between my marriage but I refuse to let her hurt my family any further, especially since she has threatened taking my daughter away.

A quick update before we head to the mountains:

My wife’s birthday is this weekend so we are about to go off the grid. Thought I’d update you all on the situation before we high tail it to nature. Nothing crazy has happened (thankfully) besides a few unmarked letters in the mail to both me and my wife, which we have made photocopies of for our personal records and then sent them straight to the lawyer.

Some people have recommended that we get our house CPS ready just in case. We’ve got that handled in case it ever gets to that. We are still absolutely no contact with my mother regardless of her attempts to get in contact with us.

Lastly, we are serious about moving and are considering viewing homes and apartments next week. However, my wife is still adamant that she does not want to jump ahead and assume we will stay together after this boils over. If we purchase or rent together and then decide to divorce or legally separate,

that would bind us to a living situation that I don’t think would be good for anyone involve (including our daughter). I respect her decision and although it’s not ideal, I agree that we need to maybe let this settle and revisit the trial separation at a later date.

So, things are slowing down a bit. I’m happy that things are returning to a bit of normal. It’s still a rough road and I’m working on myself and my family every day.

Mom has (I think) taken to try and catch us during shopping trips, how do I proceed?

Basically the title—still no contact with my mom, still not answering any of her attempted communication. It’s not confirmed, but my wife has a hunch that now mom is trying to confront us in a public place like when we go out shopping. It happened three times over the past two weeks and at first we thought it was incidental but since it’s happened twice more we are a little concerned.

An example: we go to a nearby grocery store that’s close to our home but farther away from where she lives. I’d say it’s about 25-30 minutes from her home and also not the closest grocery place for her. Wednesday is our grocery shopping day since we both get off from work a little bit early.

My mom knows this, as sometimes she would request for me to get her something and I’d go out to her house and bring groceries to her (I know, I mom is fully able to go grocery shopping herself, I thought I was being a good son, now I know it was manipulative).

Two days ago we arrive at said grocery store and find my mom pacing around outside looking like a crazy person. We decided to turn around and go to another grocery store.

Again, I’m not a detective but this seems suspicious to my wife and is starting to seem suspicious to me too. Are we overreacting here? A small part of me thinks we are being hypersensitive to this because of all that has went down, but between everyone telling me my mom is dangerous to wanting to protect my family I just don’t know what to believe anymore. Any advice is appreciated.

Had to call for a wellness check on my mother

So my mother showed up at my house in a frenzy. Thanks for the suggestions for the lock on our front gate and the Ring, they’ve been super helpful up to this point and especially helpful now. Anyway my mom shows up at our home unannounced and screaming. Crying for me and saying how she just needs me. She’s crying and banging on our front gate demanding to speak to me.

If this were the old me I would have let her in. And to be honest I almost did. But the new me decided to call the police. When they came, the police immediately told her to leave our property. It took a few moments but then she finally left.

I don’t feel good about this. She’s my mom, I feel obligated to speak to her. But she has also been so terrible to me and my wife. I’m going to try to go to sleep and do my best but I’ve got a lot of thinking to do, and maybe some more to share with my therapist.

Mother in a hospital

Hello everyone! I thought I’d give a quick update on my mother. Without going into too much detail she drove to our house one evening and had a psychotic break in front of our home that involved self harm. It was enough for us to call the police (again) and she is now spending time at a mental facility. That’s all I’ll speak about on that matter.

With grandparents rights not really on the horizon anymore, my wife has approached me and said she still wants the trial separation and the divorce. She feels like these last two months or so we have been “playing house” in order to keep up a good look in case my mother decided to pull something and that she’s put up with the crazy for too long.

This is starting to impact her own mental health so she has moved herself and our daughter back in with her parents for the time being and wants to speak about our options with our lawyer on Monday. So I guess we will start that process soon. I can’t say I’m not disappointed but I also can’t blame her.

I asked her if all of the bad really outweighed the good and she gave me the most stern look and said “our relationship has been almost nothing but bad” and walked away. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I know these are things I need to bring up to my therapist. Thank you for listening.

What I’ve learned in counseling

I’ve learned that my mom has very likely never properly grieved the death of my father. I’ve learned that almost every girlfriend I’ve had—including my wife—has never been good enough for my mom because only she believes that she’s good enough for me.

My therapist believes that at the risk of protecting me after my father passed away that my mom went ballistic and turned me into her husband (my therapist calls it a “sonsband”).

I’ve learned that years of mental and emotional manipulation on my mom’s side has gotten me here. Up until I had my first reality check I really did believe all of this was annoying, but normal and “just how she is”. I still feel slightly guilty over everything that has happened but my guilt has turned into anger. I feel like I’ve been robbed of a normal life.

However, being in therapy has opened my eyes to what can happen next though. I’m only in my 30’s. I still have time to live a great life and be a great dad to my daughter. As always, thanks for listening. I’m always thankful for the advice and the support. As you’ve probably guessed, my normal meter is still a bit “off” so it’s good to hear other perspectives.

Trial separation is happening now.

My wife and I decided to go through with the trial separation. She and our daughter are at her parent’s house for the time being, while I am at our home. It’s the most awful feeling and I’ve never been this empty before. Divorce is coming. I guess I should start calling her my ex-wife.

I’m continuing with counseling so I can work through not just my personal feelings but also what next steps are going to be. I’ve always wanted to move out of state and maybe try out a new career but I don’t want to be far from my daughter. We’ll see how it goes.

I’d also like to thank all of you for your well wishes on my last post. I tried to respond to all of them but I really just couldn’t. I break down crying every time I see support. They’re happy tears, but they’re also a reminder of what could have been. Thank you for listening.

Ex-wife has informed me she is going to begin dating other people

I guess I should have seen it coming, but I almost wish she hadn’t told me. She said that it was more of a “heads up” in case I see her out and about on a weekend or something. We’re separated so it’s not against the rules for her to date or anything and we’re in a no-fault state for the divorce that’s inevitably coming our way.

I’m not in a place emotionally where I’m ready to date. I’m not even close. But hearing that she’ll be meeting up with an old flame for dinner next weekend rocked me to my core. It means I really can’t get her back.

I did try one last time and it did not go well. She said she’s done with coming second to my mother and now second to the “drama” that’s been going on in our lives, and that she doesn’t want to raise our daughter in an unhealthy environment. Understood.

Sources: Reddit
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