Here's the story:
I’m getting married soon and one of my best friends is a seamstress. MIL mentioned that her dress was too long and I recommend my friend but didn’t mention we were friends, just said I’d used her in the past. I have vented to this specific friend about MIL. We have a very tense awkward relationship though not openly hostile.
My friend took it upon herself to fish for information and asked MIL how she felt about her son getting married. MIL said it was kind of sad because it’s one more person she feels obligated to invite to holidays. She then said holidays have been fun for her in years and her husband is trying to convince her to just stop doing it.
Mil said she doesn’t feel comfortable around any of her child’s partners so it’s just cooking for hours to have awkward dinners with people she doesn’t enjoy. My friend asked if she was sad about losing her baby boy and mil said not really, she’s just annoyed because family gatherings have become painful for her, it isn’t fun, and it feels so fake.
My friend asked me if I wanted to know what mil said about me during her appointment and obviously I was curious. I said yes and she told me. I told my fiancé and he called mil and wasn’t confrontational but said her attitude was toxic.
MIL snapped and said I lied to her by not telling her that was my friend and I spied on her. I said my friend did that on her own and maybe mil shouldn’t have admitted those things to a stranger. MIL now feels we are punishing her for her feelings and her and FIL aren’t speaking to us. AITA?
YTA. Your MIL wasn’t being “toxic.” She was being honest about how hard it is for her to host people she doesn’t feel comfortable with. And who can blame her? Why would she feel comfortable with a sneaky, deceitful person like you? Like, you seriously just wrote a post saying, “I spied on my MIL and now she claims she doesn’t trust me! It’s SO UNFAIR!”
YTA - you should have told MIL about the fact it was your friend. Also, nothing your mother in law said was toxic. She was honest. She doesn’t have negative feelings about you. She just doesn’t enjoy the large family gatherings now. Your mother in law is entitled to how she feels and she did not say it you.
YTA: honestly not even for saying yes to your friend when she asked if you wanted to know but for running to your husband and telling him as well. I'm curious why does it even matter if she doesn't want to hold events anymore.
If you really wanted to build a relationship with her you would have used this information to your advantage. I.E. host the next holiday so your FMIL can relax. But instead you used this information to cause drama
YTA. I actually feel sorry for your MIL reading this post. She feels disconnected from her children's partners - wouldn't a nice thing have been to help her feel more included and connected? Instead of alienating her further?
And The__Riker__Maneuver said:
YTA and so is your husband. What she was feeling is totally normal. My guess is that none of her children's partners have ever tried to connect with her in anything other than a superficial way...and that her kids don't make her a priority or make her feel included in their lives anymore...and she probably feels lonely because of it.
And there is nothing worse than busting your ass for a family holiday only to spend the actual day feeling lonely and like you don't fit in...or that nobody appreciates all the work you did. You should have taken this information and made a point to try and spend some one on one time with your MIL...so that at the very least, she had one daughter in law that she felt a connection to.
You had a real opportunity to do a nice thing for someone and instead, you and your husband just called her toxic for being a human being and having feelings I sincerely hope that in the future, your kids aren't as unempathetic and uncaring to you as you were to your MIL.