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'AITA for not sticking up for my wife to my mother?' 'My mom has always been a little nit-picky.'

'AITA for not sticking up for my wife to my mother?' 'My mom has always been a little nit-picky.'


"AITA for not sticking up for my wife to my mother?"

My (32M) mother lives out of state and comes twice a year to visit my wife (31F) and I, as well as my sister who lives nearby too. She usually spends like 4-5 nights here. While she’s here, she tends to make some off the cuff judgmental comments.

My mom has always been a little nit-picky about things and I’ve handled it by ignoring her - it’s a few comments per trip and otherwise she’s ok and helpful to us. For example, I picked her up at the train station and she immediately said “oops, looks like someone needs a car wash.”

My wife feels that more comments are directed at her because she is the woman, especially about home decor and cleaning, despite my wife also working full time. For example, we have a junk drawer that has admittedly got overfull lately. My mom said “it’s too bad I’m not here longer, I would help you organize that. I noticed it hasn’t been done.”

Or she will come in our house and immediately start cleaning something and say she saw it was horribly dirty. Or last visit, my wife’s suitcase was still out from a trip the month before, and she said “hm I see someone doesn’t like to unpack right away.”

My wife takes these things really personally and is hurt. I usually try to support her behind the scenes, tell her my mother is kind of an old crone (true) and that we all just ignore her and she should too, but she recently got upset with me for not saying anything back in the moment.

I do want to stick up for her but my mind is kind of slow and my mother always slips these comments in when I’m not paying attention. I can’t respond well within a few seconds when I was expecting it. My wife is upset with me and says my mother can’t come anymore unless I’m planning to stick up for her. AITA for not saying something to my mother?


My wife has asked me not to confront my mother outside of these comments as she feels she’ll receive blowback for it, and it’ll look like it came from her. She wants me to respond when my mother says something in the moment. I guess I am slow because I have trouble doing that. Also, my family is very passive aggressive and we almost never confront things head on - I’ve tried to change that, and it ends with them just refusing to speak to me for a few months.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

AgnarCrackenhammer said:

YTA. Your mother's behavior is upsetting your wife. You can't bury your head in the sand and pretend its not happening and that your wife just needs to deal with it. Be a husband and have a conversation with your mom that her comments aren't appreciated and won't be tolerated.

Look at this way, would you walk into someone else's house and start commenting on how clean it is? If no, then you already knew the answer before you came here.

KronkLaSworda said:

"I usually try to support her behind the scene." YTA and enabling your mother's poor behavior. This is your wife and partner your mother is belittling. Your family is your problem to solve. "Says my mother can’t come anymore unless I’m planning to stick up for her." At least one person in the relationship has a spine.

Excellent-Count4009 said:

YTA. "My wife is upset with me and says my mother can’t come anymore".. This is reasonable.

AutomaticDealer75 said:

How long does it take to come up with the words, "Mom. Stop it. That's rude." Maybe write it down if it's too complicated in the moment. YTA.

Agreeable_Rule_7768 said:

Yta for letting your mom be so abusive. Are you really that blind and dumb about mom's behavior or are you just as bad an ahole as your mom? Sound like the apple did not fall far from the tree. Bad husband.

MyTh0ughtsExactly said:

YTA. Your mother’s behavior is unacceptable. Your wife doesn’t want you to have a bigger conversation because you’ve allowed this behavior to go on for so long, it may be clear that she is the only reason you would confront your mother. So you already dropped the ball on this one.

Pick one statement and use it over and over. Like “I don’t appreciate your judgemental comments.” If she tries to reply or argue with you, just repeat yourself- “I don’t like your judgemental comments, please stop.”

You cannot use being “slow” as a reason not to deal with this. If you really cannot respond to your mother in the moment then you need to tell her she is no longer welcome to stay with you. And that you would love to visit her at your sister’s place during her next trip.

Everyone was unanimously against OP for this one. What's your advice for this couple?

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