In-law relationships can be a tricky balancing act, often requiring diplomacy and patience.
In this collection of stories, individuals reflect on their conflicts with their in-laws and pose the question: “Was I the AH (a**hole) in this situation?”
Join us as we delve into the complex dynamics of family and see if you can weigh in on who might be in the wrong.
All content has been edited for clarity.
That’s Definitely A Crime
“Almost a month ago, my husband (33M) was in a car accident that left him bedridden due to a back injury. I’ve taken on the role of his primary caregiver, but the pressure has been mounting from my mother-in-law (MIL). She constantly insists that I care for him and be by his side at all times. She even persuaded me to take time off work initially. In the first two weeks, she requested hourly updates on his condition, and if I failed to provide them, she’d become upset and cause issues. While she visits daily, she doesn’t actively help, instead opting to offer a laundry list of dos and don’ts. Family members explain that she’s simply worried about her son, so I’ve been trying to remain patient.
A few days ago, she called to scold me for not promptly changing the bedsheets. I was puzzled because my husband hadn’t informed her of this. Later, my sister-in-law revealed that her mother had secretly installed a camera in the bedroom to monitor how I was caring for her son. I was shocked and confronted my MIL about it, leading to a heated argument. She eventually admitted her actions, claiming she was deeply concerned and only wanted to ensure her son’s well-being, despite his daily calls to her. I raised my voice, informing her that she was no longer welcome in my home due to this invasion of privacy.
In response, she erupted into a tirade, accusing me of keeping her away from her son, which she claimed would make her physically ill. The family later contacted me, urging me to reconsider my decision. They argued that I was taking things too personally and that a concerned mother had the right to ensure her son’s welfare, especially since she had pointed out what she believed I was doing wrong. I ended the conversation, but my husband is upset. He believes I’m being vindictive and has threatened to move in with his mother if she’s not allowed to visit. We argued, and he’s been silent ever since.
Am I in the wrong?”
That’s A Hilarious Move
“I (28F) have a sister-in-law, ‘Amy’ (26F), who frequently visits from out of town and stays with us instead of opting for a hotel. Amy has a habit of wanting to dine at expensive restaurants during her visits. She conveniently ‘forgets’ her wallet or comes up with excuses to avoid paying her share. Furthermore, she has implied that I should cover her expenses because I earn more than she does, specifically targeting me for payment, not my husband. While I do make a decent income, it’s not to the extent where I can treat someone to expensive meals every time they visit. Despite this, in the past, I have paid the bill and asked her to reimburse me, but she never does.
On the most recent occasion, Amy made a reservation at an outrageously expensive restaurant, and before we left, I explicitly stated that I wouldn’t be covering her bill.
Now, here’s where I might be in the wrong. I must admit I got this idea from an episode of Two and a Half Men. As we were leaving for the restaurant, Amy and my husband went to the car. I pretended to have forgotten something and went back inside. To my surprise, I found Amy’s wallet sitting conspicuously on top of her suitcase. Without hesitation, I placed it in my purse and joined them for dinner.
When it came time to settle the bill, I asked for separate checks. Amy refused, insisting on a single bill because she had, once again, ‘forgotten’ her wallet. Swiftly, I reached into my purse and presented her with her wallet, asking, ‘You mean this wallet?’
Needless to say, she was absolutely livid and accused me of crossing a line by touching or handling her wallet.
So, AITA for taking her wallet and bringing it to the restaurant?”
Please Kick Them Out
“I (30M) live with my wife (30F) and our two children, an 8-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl.
Currently, my in-laws are staying with us temporarily because their home is undergoing extensive repairs due to a freak accident, not their fault, thankfully covered by insurance. These repairs are expected to take another two months to complete.
I’ve never had the best relationship with my in-laws, especially my father-in-law. Still, I agreed to let them stay, assuming the time would pass quickly, but here I am posting, so my assumptions were clearly wrong.
My mother-in-law doesn’t work, while my father-in-law works late shifts until around 11 pm. Upon returning home, they both engage in watching YouTube and playing music on our speaker system, with the volume set at a level that, while not quite ‘college house party’ loud, is still disruptive.
This noise wakes up our children, who, while not particularly light sleepers, get disturbed enough to come wake me up. My kids need adequate rest for school, and I have to be up early to drop them off and get to work.
My wife works overnight shifts, so she’s not present during this commotion.
I’ve tried discussing this issue with my in-laws, asking them to keep the noise down after the kids’ bedtime, which is 8:30 pm. I don’t expect absolute silence, but I do believe they can enjoy their activities without the TV blaring late into the night.
My father-in-law pushed back, arguing that he doesn’t finish work until 11 pm, and I can’t expect him to give up the things he enjoys right after work. I suggested he do it before work or on his days off but essentially said it’s tough luck.
He complained to my wife, who is now taking his side, claiming that our children need to learn to sleep through ‘a bit of everyday noise.’
I countered by explaining that it’s not just everyday noise; it’s excessive and inconsiderate behavior on their part. However, my wife doesn’t witness it firsthand because of her work schedule. My father-in-law has even started sending me links to buy earplugs for the kids.
I’ve grown extremely frustrated with the situation. This isn’t their house, and they are guests staying with us. I believe they are acting selfishly.
In response, I decided to set parental controls on the TV. The TV can’t be used after 8:30 pm until 6 am the following day without entering a password, which only I know. This change doesn’t affect my wife since she doesn’t get home from work until 6 am and isn’t typically present until around 6:20.
My father-in-law is now furious with me and keeps demanding the password. My wife is also upset with me for upsetting her dad.
I’m simply tired of the entire situation and would like to know if I’m justified in my actions.”
Someone Had To Say It
“I (24F) have a sister (32F) married to a husband (38M) who can be described as the epitome of weaponized incompetence. They have four kids (10F, 8M, 5M, 3F) with another on the way. My sister works full-time, cleans the entire house, cooks, and takes care of all her children, with him not contributing anything. It’s mind-boggling that she handles everything, even waking up at 4 am to cook breakfast, do chores, get the kids ready for school, and take them to school and daycare, while he stays home to work and play video games when the kids are home. She actually earns more than him!
My fiancé (26M) and I had to stay with them for six weeks during our home renovation. Since we both work from home, we helped her out, and it’s astounding how much happier she is with assistance. We took care of the kids, and my fiancé even drove her to doctor’s appointments. However, her husband only acts like a parent when his family is around, portraying himself as a hardworking, devout father of five. He’s the one who wanted more kids, despite my sister wanting to stop after their last baby.
I’ve never gotten along with this man, as he’s been acting this way since their oldest child was born eight years ago. I’ve tried discussing leaving with my sister, but she’s hesitant because she doesn’t want her kids to grow up in a broken home, and her own experience with our parents’ divorce was different from mine. She doesn’t understand that a divorce might benefit her children in this situation.
Recently, at a pre-Thanksgiving potluck they hosted for our entire family and his family, I stayed with my sister for a few days because I knew he wouldn’t help. During dinner, I mentioned that my fiancé and I were trying for a baby, and my brother-in-law made a flippant remark about how challenging fatherhood can be. I snapped and told him he wouldn’t know because he makes my 8-month-pregnant sister do everything for their family. I vented my frustration for a solid 10 minutes, and he sat there, shrinking in his seat. I eventually left.
My sister later called and thanked me for standing up for her. However, today, I received a very nasty text from him, accusing me of being a terrible person and claiming I ‘lied’ in front of his family, leading to his mother moving in with them to help her out. He believes I made him the laughingstock of his family. He certainly thinks so, but AITA for doing this?”