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Grieving mom's hostility towards DIL after losing her sister leads son to walk out. AITA?

Grieving mom's hostility towards DIL after losing her sister leads son to walk out. AITA?


"AITA for walking out of my mom's house on Mother's Day even after she lost my sister not too long ago because she was disrespectful to my wife?"


My sister died 6 months ago so yesterday was my mom's first Mother's Day after the loss of one of her kids. And the kid who made her a mom at that. I (24m) wanted to make it special for mom and my wife was more than happy to help me, even though Mother's Day is rough for her because she was not given a good or even a "tries her best" mother.

So the day is a painful reminder that my wife didn't ever have a healthy maternal figure in her life. Father's Day is similar but she never knew her father and never had a good father figure either.

My wife still wanted to help make mom's first Mother's Day without my sister special. We went around getting all my mom's favorite things (favorite flowers, ice cream, chocolate, a reservation for her favorite restaurant, a scarf in her favorite color because scarves are her favorite thing ever).

We also compiled a little video of my sister. Mom talked about Mother's Day being more difficult without her and wanting to watch some home movies of her so we did something special with that.

My wife also helped me recreate a dance I did for my mom on Mother's Day when I was a kid because she talked about that a lot. Basically it was just meant to show how much we love her and help her through this not so easy Mother's Day. My wife played a very big role. She even suggested bringing breakfast to her and serving her breakfast in bed.

Yesterday morning came, we made her favorite breakfast and brought it to mom at her and dad's. After she came out of her room, things went terribly wrong. Mom saw my wife and asked what she was doing there and didn't look like she wanted my wife there.

It surprised me because my wife was with us last year too. Mom was grumbling and hostile to my wife. I told mom that we'd planned some special things for her. This didn't change anything and she told me she didn't want my wife there.

Then she told my wife she had no right to intrude and why would she want her there. My wife said she was sorry, she hadn't wanted to upset her. I told mom that she was being rude and it wasn't right to take her sadness out on my wife.

Mom said she just wanted us to spend Mother's Day as a family and I told her my wife is family. My mother grumbled and dad asked me to lay off. My wife said it was fine.

But then mom started on my wife a few minutes later and, after she'd opened most of her gifts, she said she was tired of her being here and her own mother hadn't even wanted her so why did she think she'd be welcome?

That was too much for me. I told mom I should have left earlier but I wanted to be understanding and supportive but she had crossed a line and I was done. That she could celebrate Mother's Day without us.

My wife and I left. She felt bad and I told her not to and I apologized for not leaving sooner. She told me I didn't need to leave and I told her I did. Mom and dad both texted me countless times yesterday saying I should go back and how could I abandon mom after she lost my sister. AITA?

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


NTA. Your mother’s grief doesn’t give her a blank check to be absolutely vile to other people. While fresh I’d write down the top three or five awful things she said and send them back to her and your dad and the boundary would be that until mom gets therapy, understands why her behavior was way over the line.

Sincerely apologized and actually acted motherly that you would not be seeing her as your job is to love and protect your wife above all others. Seriously, the things your mom said to your wife were just awful.


This is a great idea. NTA and your wife is a saint.


His wife was conditioned to be that way, it seems. It's terribly sad.

NTA, OP. In fact, good for you for doing the right thing.


Yeah the consequence of a neglectful childhood is often people pleasing to the extreme and internalizing everyone else’s issues as your fault. I feel so, so sad for OPs wife.

I wish I could just give her a hug and tell her that she’s a wonderful person who did a nice thing, and that kindness was repaid with hurtful, untrue words. That reflects extremely poorly on OPs mom, but not on her. I hope she (wife) is in therapy. Trauma therapy would help her so much.


“Your mom didn’t even want you, why would I want you to stay”. That’s genuinely breathtakingly evil to say to anyone, no matter what the situation is. No wonder vile and evil have the same 4 letters.


NTA. Your mother is grieving but that’s no excuse for her actions. If anything you’re a saint for tolerating her actions as much as you did. I would cut my mom out of my life if she disrespected my wife like that.


NTA. I lost my brother (and mom's first child) a few years back due to an OD. My mom had a very hard time with it and ended up in the hospital during the height of Covid so the best we could do was knock on her window and wave/send small gifts through Amazon. She was thrilled because we made the effort. I know your family is going through a lot but that doesn't give her the right to be nasty to your wife.

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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