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Man wants to spend Valentine's Day with mom, GF says, 'Am I your side chick?' AITA

Man wants to spend Valentine's Day with mom, GF says, 'Am I your side chick?' AITA


"AITA for Prioritizing My Mom's emotional well-being after her husband died suddenly and spending Valentine’s Day with her instead of my girlfriend?"


My stepdad suddenly passed away at the end of November and my mom has been a nervous wreck. So, I feel like I need to cut my mom some slack, right? So yesterday my mom called me crying and told me she’s heartbroken because her friend’s husband had asked her for help picking out a Valentine’s Day present for the friend.

For more context, my girlfriend and I have been together 3 years and we have argued about time spent with my family before. I’m in my mid-30s, my girlfriend is in her late 20s and my mom is in her early 70s.

She has gone through ups and downs in mourning, and I think the worst part about grief is the counting realization that someone will no longer be there to do things with you.

The same spiral happened during Christmas when she realized my stepdad wouldn’t be around to put up the Christmas lights. My girlfriend and I put them up for her. My mom asked me through sniffles on the phone if I would get her a present for Valentine’s Day and also take her to dinner.

Now, here's the problem. Money is really really tight for me right now. I over spent on Christmas presents (mostly to over compensate for the passing of my step dad) and if I get stuff for my mom, my girlfriend might be getting a DIY card this year.

My girlfriend over heard the phone call and is now FURIOUS with me, because she already knows that me getting my mom a present means my girlfriend won’t get one and that she won’t be taken to dinner.

I asked my girlfriend if she would be okay if I got her something small like a box of chocolates and took my mom to dinner on Valentine’s Day. My girlfriend got really mad and called me an ahole and told me that she is tired of me taking care of my mom over her constantly.

And that it was okay for Christmas and Thanksgiving, and even New Years, but she feels like Valentine’s Day is too much. I don’t think it’s too much, because she’s my mom and she just lost her husband.

Reddit, am I the ahole if I prioritize my mom's emotional well-being over the traditional chocolates-and-roses and dinner routine with my girlfriend? Is it cool to let my mom bask in a Valentine's glow while my girlfriend has to settle?

EDIT: sorry to clarify, I am also financially strained because of pipes bursting in my house a few weeks ago, not just the Christmas presents.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


This is hard, because your mom is going through a lot, but I also feel like she's putting you in a weird position. Your mom has to have some idea of your finances...and it just feels like a strange way to be treating your kid, even through grief.

It seems indicative of a parent/child relationship that's really not that appropriate. I can't really imagine my own parents asking me to spend money on them like that, for instance. Your girl says you take care of your mom constantly. Is this what your relationship with your mother has always been like?


Also how many times is OP’s gf supposed to tolerate getting swept aside in favor of his mother? And just to be clear, I have empathy for her; losing a loved one is horrible. But most people don’t enjoy being placed on the back burner by their own SO for months either.


YTA, cut the damn cord!!! So which one is the girlfriend, and which one is the side chick? From here, it looks like you plan on marrying your mom someday. Also, Valentines Day is a romantic holiday, so unless you plan on hooking up with your mom, I would take your gf out to dinner you weirdo.


YTA. Your mum is taking over too much. I get that you want to pay extra attention to her and spend more time with her because of her recent bereavement. But she doesn't need to spend Valentine's with you. That is not her day, but you and your girlfriend's.

If the choice is between buying a gift for your gf or your mum for Valentine's, you must choose your gf. Your mum is trying to make you her "little" husband, which is frankly rather gross, especially if you go along with it.

Get your priorities straight. Do you want a healthy relationship with your gf, or this semi-incestuous relationship with your mum? You are your mother's son, not her partner.


Maybe a little gentler YTA, because stepdads death was more recent and it’s totally believable that your moms grief is still fresh, but she’s going about it completely the wrong way here, and you’re enabling her.

Both the Christmas event you described and this current valentines situation make it sound like your mom, through her grief, is on the road to using you as a “replacement” for your stepdad, which you should not allow to happen.

Also you literally say in your post that your girlfriend is tired of you taking care of your mom over her constantly. I can’t imagine how often that means in only 2ish months. Let’s apply your logic to other situations.

Say you and your girlfriend were planning your wedding right now. If your mom came to you crying because the wedding talk was making her miss her husband and she asked if she could wear a white wedding dress to your wedding, and have the first dance with you, would you try to convince your girlfriend “for your mom’s emotional well being?”


YTA There are no circumstances where it would be appropriate to celebrate your mom on Valentine's day when the entire point is romantic. The fact that you would eve consider it is an indication that your relationship with your mom is not really healthy.

You already overspent on her for Christmas in your new substitute spouse role and you apparently plan to double-down? You need to back out of this right now.

Your girlfriend's upset is completely justified; if you keep this up you'll lose her and won't have another. Your manipulative mother needs grief counseling and you need to get your head on straight.


To me there is a big difference between stepping in and assisting with something your stepdad did and maybe mom can’t easily physically do- such as putting up the Christmas lights.

My husband and I would do that for my living parents if they lived locally just because they shouldn’t be on ladders. But asking you to stand in as a romantic replacement for her? That’s really weird. YTA if you do it.


I'm sorry, but YTA for sure. I get that mom feels lost and sad. It's not called grieving for nothing. But Valentines Day - really? What you are doing should be reversed. Gf gets the dinner out - mom should get a nice card and a phone call at most. If you let this go on as is, you will have all the time in the world to devote to mom cuz' GF is going to leave you.

So, do you think the OP is being disrespectful to his girlfriend or is he just worried about his mom? What would you tell him to do?

Sources: Reddit
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