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Woman's MIL turns on her when she gets pregnant; 'I am so afraid of this woman.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

Woman's MIL turns on her when she gets pregnant; 'I am so afraid of this woman.' AITA? UPDATED 2X

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When this woman is completely fed up with her MIL, she asks the internet:

"I am 22F and husband 27M and my MIL is psychotic. AITA?"

We found out we were pregnant before we got married and decided to postpone the wedding. We did eventually get married after baby was born.

We waited until I was around 9 weeks pregnant untill we started telling the closest friends and family. My now MIL was very upset at the time and after saying my baby will burn in hell she came with a long list of demands.

I ignored her for the first couple of months, it was easy not to see her because my husband did not allow any visitation during my pregnancy because he lost a lot of family due to Covid and simply didn't want to take any chances. We ended up filming a video of us announcing the gender and just sent it to everyone via texts, whatsapp and email.

MIL was furious that she wasn't the one who planned our gender reveal and had a huge meltdown. After finding out it was a boy, the first thing she asked is if we were going to have him circumcised by the church's doctor.

Hubby and I had a long discussion about this and decided that if it is not medically necessary we would leave him intact so that he can make his own choices about his body and religion when he is old enough to understand everything.

MIL said she would not acknowledge my child as her grandchild and did not want anything to do with him. This was the last I heard of her until my baby was born.

I went into preterm labor at 33 weeks and baby boy was born at 34 weeks via emergency C section after all efforts of natural birth failed.

We announced his birth on the family group chat and MIL had yet another meltdown about not being told I was in labor and that baby had been born. We announced his name and she cried even worse when she heard we did not pick a family name.

She showed up unannounced when we got home from the hospital and my husband told her to leave. She has been harassing us non stop and we eventually let her meet him. I exclusively breastfeed and she hates not being able to feed him and having to give him back to me when he's hungry.

When she came to visit again I let her hold him while I was quickly cleaning up the kitchen and when I got back into the room, there she was feeding him a bottle of formula that she snuck in without my knowledge.

I immediately took my son, and called our estate security to escort her from the premises.

My husband is supporting me all the way and has cut all ties with his mom. His brother has now been giving us hell and trying to convince us to fix the relationship because MIL "can't cope" with life anymore.

He has repeatedly told me I'm an AH and countless other names and says I should have just done what MIL wanted so everyone can be happy. So Am I really the AH?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

ksnomitt writes:

Absolutely, unquestionably, not even for one second, you are NTA. Your MIL sounds emotionally abusive, narcissistic, boundary-less, and unhinged. She said your baby would burn in hell and refused to acknowledge him as her grandchild! She fed him against your wishes! You had to call security to get her to leave!

Sorry she's sad and having trouble coping, but her behavior warrants a complete cut off. Your BIL is fully out of line, but his behavior makes a predictable kind of sense, if you know about narcissistic family systems:

Systems (families are a system) resist change, and will usually do whatever it takes to revert back to old ways instead of make uncomfortable change.

The first way this shows up is trying to get the change-makers (that's you!) to fall back in line and stop causing disruptions. All kinds of unhealthy tools get deployed: guilt, manipulation, name calling, tears, pleading, threats, intimidation, ostracization, shame. You name it, if they think it could get you to fall back into compliance, they'll try it.

This is useful to know, because it makes a previously confusing situation ("who would ever act this way?!") much more predictable ("ahh, here comes the guilt, I'm being tears are next, then maybe yelling"). When you understand that all these behaviors serve the system and keeping it in balance, you can understand fully it's not about you.

Your MIL is going to be terrible, your BIL is going to be her loyal foot solider, and they are going to use every unhealthy tool they have. Every time, without fail. You can't control it, you can just remove yourself and withstand the now-predictable fallout.

Enjoy that precious baby, and rejoice with your husband that he was strong and brave enough to break this family cycle!

shamster writes:

NTA - Your MIL has repeatedly & irreparably broken your trust in her! Please please please do yourselves a favor and permanently cut her out of your lives as she cannot be trusted to be around your child!

For context, my own mother was also extremely toxic like this. I finally kept all the voice recordings she left on my phone instead of deleting all the hateful irrational nasty voice mails (I wish I had kept them all!!!!) I kept most of the letters she’d send or leave on my car when it was parked at my home, at my work, when I WAS OUT SHOPPING!!!! (I wish I had kept them all!!!!)

I kept a file of everything because eventually I had to go to court and get a Restraining Order against her when her outbursts got even MORE toxic and scary and I was afraid that in her diminished mental state that she might angrily set our house on fire in the middle of the night (she had come to our home after midnight and left stuff right at the door- after leaving nasty messages on my voicemail).

I got the Restraining Order for 1 year for my then preschool aged son and myself. And then let it lapse thinking she understood to stay away from us. Nope.

She escalated stuff when she realized I hadn’t gone back to court to extend the Restraining Order.

So I went back to court - got the Restraining Order AGAIN for myself AND my son AND added she couldn’t go to my place of work as well after she tried to get me fired because she was nuts.

Also: she got a court appointed lawyer who tried to guilt me into removing the restraining order: But she’s your mother and loves you HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO HER??? He had followed me into the parking lot afterwards WHICH I INFORMED him was a VIOLATION of Her RESTRAINING ORDER and could get her jailed AND HIM DISBARRED!!! He ran off saying he was sorry!

The reason you want to keep EVERYTHING is because you WILL need it!!!! Letters, videos of her trying to trespass your property or confronting you in public, and all the angry weirdo vile messages she leaves on all your voicemails.

When I went to Court, my mother put on this HUGE act of being a loving mother who did everything she could for me. It was QUITE the Performance! She almost had ME convinced that I was wrong to try to get a Restraining Order.

The people in court waiting to get their cases heard were eating all this up and looking so angrily at me like I was this HORRIBLE daughter. Even the Judge was giving me looks.

I just stood silently there. Letting her have her moment to shine showing off her AMAZING acting abilities pretending to be a warm, loving, caring & giving mother and grandmother who would NEVER do anything or say anything to hurt me!

Then it was my turn. I’m completely embarrassed because I worked in the Town the Court was in so likely many people in the “audience” knew me from where I worked.

I took a deep breath and presented my evidence to the Judge. I gave him the horrible letters she had written, explained the physical & emotional abuse I had grown up with including a cigarette burn on my leg when I was in Kindergarten.

I then asked permission to play the voice tapes. Her lawyer jumped in and said NO. My client did NOT consent to being recorded DO NOT LET HER PLAY THOSE TAPES!

The Judge started to agree with her lawyer, but I interrupted and said that she WILLINGLY left the voice messages on the phone KNOWING she was recording her own voice to be played back after we got home.

So I have the right to submit them as evidence. And the Judge said he would allow it but he kinda looked like he had already made up his mind against me getting the Restraining Order.

And then I played the tapes… And there was an AUDIBLE GASP across the court room. And the Judge’s FACE just… he was completely shocked at the VILE horrible things my mother was saying!

And my mother started laughing like it was the funniest thing she had ever heard. And the Judge was just INCREDULOUS- he looked at her and said WHY are you LAUGHING??? Do you think this is funny??? This is your daughter and you are saying all these horrible things to her?? You LIED to me in MY Courtroom!

And I didn’t even play all the tapes! He stopped me midway - and I said But there’s more! (holding up a bunch of mini tapes in my hands) And I don’t even have the tape of the worst message she left because my Fiancé erased it & wont tell me what it said because it was SO BAD - but my 3 YEAR OLD heard it! because he was right there! (I was at work).

The Judge said he heard enough and granted me the Restraining Order. The next year I made sure to go back and ask for it to be extended HOWEVER I had learned that you CAN ask the Judge to make a Restraining Order permanent and so I asked for that.

It is VERY RARE for ANYONE to get a Permanent Restraining Order. It’s only used for the most extreme cases (like your case & mine). I was granted a Permanent Restraining Order. Can I just say HOW MUCH PEACE WE FINALLY HAD!!!

It was the ABSOLUTE BEST DECISION I have EVER made!!! She passed away a few years ago - and I felt complete relief. I thought I would feel sad or have regrets, but the relief that my abuser could no longer hurt me and that I no longer had to fear her harming my beautiful child! That relief was wonderful. I have NO regrets!

My child is now in his 20s and we have spoken about this a few times in his life. He has told me multiple times he does not hold anything against me for getting the Restraining Order. He knows I was abused growing up (not the details). He knows there are letters and tapes & he’s said he’s not interested in hearing them.

So I don’t think your child will resent you at all for trying to keep them safe from someone as abusive as your MIL. It’s our jobs as Moms/Parents to protect our children from unstable toxic people. There are too many parents that give in to that concept of: “But it’s your MOTHER!!! Can’t you FORGIVE her???? She LOVES you!!!!”

NO!!!! CUZ THAT IS NOT LOVE!!!! This is NOT how LOVING FAMILIES ACT!!!! This is how TOXIC people act!!! And I want NONE OF IT NEAR MY CHILD!!!!!!

So PLEASE get a Restraining Order against her for yourself AND your son cuz she is toxic and her behavior will NEVER get better! Please DON’T subject your son to her abuse! Because that’s not fair to your child’s mental well being.

akreeed writes:

NTA. Your MIL is a creeper. Just because she's suffering mental health problems is not a reason to put yourself and your son under stress. Your BIL would be a lot more good-looking with some duct tape over his mouth. "So everyone can be happy"? No, so HE can be happy and hand MIL over for y'all to babysit and deal with her tantrums.

I just want to address something that twanged my feelings - that sentence about getting a caesarean after all attempts at a natural birth had failed.

Could be just me projecting, but I'm sensing some stress about choosing to go with a C-section. C-sections are a totally legitimate way of giving birth instead of dying in labour or having severe complications.

We're lucky to have this option in case things don't go as hoped. Sorry if I interpreted this through my own lens, but if you're getting flak for choosing this route, tell 'em to take a long walk off a short pier, with my compliments.

puzzdesk writes:

OP you are NTA! That said, 6 years ago, my daughter tried breastfeeding her 1st born but baby (G) was always hungry and wasn't gaining any weight and crying constantly. At at 3rd pediatric visit, the pediatrician told my daughter that he would have to call CPS if baby didn't gain any weight but to keep breastfeeding.

My daughter came to me directly after that visit bawling her eyes out saying she don't understand why her baby wasn't gaining any weight cause she was feeding her almost every two hours. I had to explain to her that "NOT" every woman can produce enough breast milk to fill a infant's tummy.

I told her to go get some formula (one that I recommended) and she did. She called me the next day and told me that baby finally stopped crying and seemed to go to the 3 hour schedule before next feeding.

The next week visit to the pediatrician's office, the baby had gained 3 pounds and the pediatrician asked her what she did.

She told him "My Mom said some women can't produce enough breast milk and that the pediatrician should have realized this when baby wasn't gaining weight and should have recommended supplementing breast milk with formula".

She said pediatrician turned red and got quiet and she then told him that she will be finding a new pediatrician.

Fast-forward to present, she now have a newborn son, she still can't provide enough breast milk but now knowing this, she supplements breast milk with formula. But baby son can't handle regular formula and have to be on a formula that is rice based.

And now, OP's 1st update:

I've had a lot of trouble with my MIL but this is probably the most upset I've been.Today MIL invited me to spend the day shopping with her (we've had a lot of ups and downs and I really thought this was her way of reaching out and we could start to rebuild the relationship)

We sat at a coffee shop and barely ordered our drinks when she asked me who my baby's Godparents are and where would he be going if something were to happen to us.

At first I thought she was just concerned and maybe a little nosey. I politely told her that we have not made a final decision yet because there are a lot of things that need to be taken into consideration before we can make a final decision.

Before I could finish my sentence she ambushed me with the topic of adopting my baby so that there will be "less problems and procedures" the day that something happens to us.

I was basically too stunned to speak and sat there in silence for a while with my mind racing. Why is she so concerned? Hubby and I are both perfectly healthy and stable financially and physically so the chances of something happening to BOTH of us are very slim.

I thought by changing the topic she would eventually forget about it but the next thing I knew she burst into tears in the middle of the coffee shop asking why she isn't good enough to look after my baby and what she's done so wrong that we hadn't even asked her if she'd take care of him if something were to happen.

I just told her it isn't any of her business, paid the bill without even drinking my coffee and left. I came home to Hubby being upset because MIL has been blowing up his phone and has been saying I denied her any and all rights to see my baby in the future and that she tried to reconcile with me but I'm just too much of a monster.

I left Hubby at home while I went grocery shopping so we both could cool down and when I got home I told him what really happened.

He didn't really say much after I told him, but he's been ignoring MIL and now she wants to come have a family meeting at our house tonight. Hubby doesn't think it's a good idea but I on the other hand would love to put her in her place and let her know exactly where she stands when it comes to MY baby. What do you think I should do?

Update 2:

We decided not to have the family meeting. Hubby sent MIL a short text in which he said that no family meeting will be held. She called him about 2 minutes after the text and we blocked both her and FIL as wel as BIL on everything so that no one could contact us.

We decided to consult with a lawyer to find out exactly what our rights are and what the right way would be to handle things legally.

MIL did threaten that she will take us to family court for visitation but luckily grandparental rights aren't really a thing here if the party which is suing for visitation does not already have a safe established relationship with the child in question (my son is still a baby so she has nothing to go on)

Thank you all for your words of advice and encouragement on my previous posts. I do not think that I will need to post any more updates in the future as we are now completely sure what we want to do and have finally found the strength to do so.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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