Woman to Overdemanding Mother-in-Law: You Want a Key? I’m Giving You What’s Yours
“For this reason, a man will leave his father and his mother and will stick to his wife, and the two will be one flesh.” Matthew 19:5
This instruction from the Bible, if followed, can solve most conflicts between in-laws. Understanding why God has given this order will especially help mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law who experience conflicts frequently.
But why are there more conflicts between mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law than with sons-in-law? According to Aleteia, it’s the sense of rejection that a mother often feels after being replaced by a new woman — the wife — in her son’s life. For a long time, a mother has been taking care of her son, forming a unique bond with him as he grows up. And this bond does not get completely severed as this son turns to his father to learn more about how to be a man.
However, it’s marriage that changes all that. The wife now becomes the center of the son’s attention. She rules over her household, and she now assumes the role that a mother used to play in her son’s life — she takes care of him and makes decisions about what’s best for him.
On the other hand, a wife may also resent her husband’s continuing devotion to his mother even though the older woman thinks it’s wise to keep her distance and let the new family grow. The son appreciates his mom’s wisdom, along with her other virtues and abilities like cooking, but this may irk the wife.
It’s a competition that either or both of these women get embroiled in. What’s worse about it is that it hurts not just the jealous individual who’s eaten by the negative emotions, but the son/husband and other members of the nuclear and extended families as well.
This is why SmartParenting advises wives to always go for kindness, love, and honesty. Accept the fact that mothers-in-law will always have something in mind to express, and this is because she can’t bring herself to stop caring for her son. Also, in-laws often share the same goal as that of new wives — the best for the new family. It’s the different perspectives and approaches that create the tension.
To deal with such differences, the husband and wife must work as a team. It’s their own family that’s concerned, and the primary responsibility lies on them, not on the grandparents or any other members of the extended families. The Bible itself is very clear on this matter of raising a family as much as about marriage.
In this viral post on Reddit, a wife gets fed up with her unreasonable mother-in-law. But the action she’s taken led to an even bigger conflict with her husband and in-laws. Was she right or wrong?
This story was posted by this wife under the username u/Throwwwwyr546 on Reddit’s r/AmItheA–hole forum: “My hubby and I recemtly bought a new home together. His mom started pestering us for a copy of the key in case of an emergency. I told her about the rule we have and that is ‘only residents get to have a copy of the key’. She kept complaining and even got the family involved.”
Well, things just got complicated when this wife decided to use the opportunity to finally get even with her MIL. It’s easy to discern from her post that the two of them never had a good relationship and there must have been something that her MIL did for which she’s been holding a grudge.
This wife continued to relate that her MIL kept on demanding a copy of their house key to be sent to her. What OP did was get a copy of her in-laws’ house key, which her husband has been keeping for years, and send it to her MIL with a note, “only residents get a copy, so this copy is for the home YOU reside in.”
OP described her MIL as being beyond livid in her reaction to what she did, which made her husband’s family even angrier. As a result, her husband was also criticized, and he had to tell his wife that she had simply made the situation more aggravating when she could have just stood by the word “no,” in accordance with their agreement as a couple.
Many Reddit commenters opined OP was NTA, but they did explain the importance of giving a copy of house keys to people they trust in case of emergency. People often lose house keys, and it’s a real advantage when there’s somebody you can immediately contact for help, especially at night. However, property managers do sometimes have rules against sharing keys.
One of the best comments?
From 1962Michael: “NTA. When I read the title, I thought you were going to pretend it was the correct key and see how long it would take for her to try it. Absolutely SHE is the AH for pestering you about this when it is clearly your choice. But yeah, your husband has a point about you stirring the pot.”Whizzco