Boundaries are necessary for any healthy relationship, but they can be pretty hard to put up when it comes to family. After all, our own kin tends to feel a certain entitlement and connection to us, that, often, come with a confusing insistence at overlooking barriers you try to set up.
A woman asked the internet for advice after an argument with her MIL that culminated with OP ditching her in a parking lot. Despite communicating a personal rule that she doesn’t want to be around her, the MIL demanded to be driven home and threw a fit when OP said no. The woman later posted a pretty significant update.
Conflicts between people and their in-laws are unfortunately common
Image credits:LightFieldStudios (not the actual photo)
But one woman wondered if she was wrong for ditching her ride-less MIL in a parking lot after she made some snide comments
Image credits:sloomstudio (not the actual photo)
MIL issues are as old as the idea of marriage itself
For many people, the three little letters, MIL, are enough to make them roll their eyes. It’s already a cliche that the mother of your spouse tends to have expectations that you will not meet and a pretty strong desire to communicate her disappointment either directly or indirectly, through a massive campaign of passive aggression.
Case in point, OP, who even had to set a pretty strict no-contact boundary. Unfortunately for her, she still lives near her MIL, which can complicate things when it comes to childcare. It’s worth noting that MIL jokes date back to ancient Rome and most likely were around even before that. While it’s not direct evidence, it is one indicator that this sort of family drama dates back to the ancient world.
Unfortunately, the very nature of the in-law relationship means that there will be some degree of mistrust and jealousy involved. Both parties, the spouse and the parent, might end up feeling like they are competing for attention with the person in the middle. However, as this story demonstrates, sometimes your partner doesn’t even understand that their parent really needs to back off.
Image credits:Anna Shvets (not the actual photo)
Family dynamics are complicated when it’s not technically your family
It doesn’t always have to be bad, however. Some studies indicate that healthy communication can contribute to what sociologists call a found family. This is particularly true if a person isn’t close with their biological parents. After all, some families are better off left behind. However, this is irrelevant in this particular case, since OP has made it quite clear that she wants nothing to do with this woman. And who can blame her, a nagging MIL is a pretty significant thorn in one’s side.
After all, a MIL isn’t some random stranger who can be completely rejected and cut out of one’s life. Even if you are avoiding her, there is a chance that your spouse doesn’t feel the same way, which is pretty visible in this story. Many of the comments centered on advice for OP, as some netizens thought her entire situation toxic.
It’s worth noting that many readers also thought that OP didn’t exactly do the right thing either. Giving the MIL a ride would realistically only take a handful of minutes and, truth be told, give OP a bit of the moral high ground. If she can walk back in 15 minutes, then the car ride should be done in under five.
Image credits:Timur Weber (not the actual photo)
There are a few unknowns in this story
However, we were not there and we don’t know the entire context. After all, this citation may have simply been the straw that broke the camel’s back. The fact that OP feels like her husband (who is the child’s biological father, as confirmed in the comments) doesn’t have her back might indicate that she simply doesn’t have the support system to “do the right thing.”
If you are the kind of person who craves an update, then thank your lucky stars, as OP did, a year later, share what happened next with the internet. That post can be found below. In the comments, which are also below, people debated and disagreed on who really did the right thing in this situation. So feel free to add your thoughts to the comments section.
People wanted to know if her husband is the father of the child
Most folks thought everyone could have handled the situation better
But some saw OP’s point
While other’s thought he was just being rude
A year later, OP shared a pretty significant update