Family dynamics are difficult. Your relationship with your parents changes as you become an adult and, in some cases, a parent yourself, and you realize that some behaviors from your childhood don’t work for you as an adult. One new dad took to Reddit after realizing his in-laws were treating his wife with minimal respect as she took care of their newborn.
He began by explaining that he’s always seen a double standard in the way his in-laws treat his wife compared to her two brothers. “Before it would be little things, her parents would give brothers new things and give her their old ones. Or if they had tickets to any event they would give them to brothers,” he explained. “My wife didn’t mind and could overlook it.”
He left his wife to deal with it the way she saw fit. Now that they’re parents themselves, however, he feels more compelled to intervene with the problematic behavior he sees. His wife recently gave birth to their first child, a baby girl.
His in-laws often drop in and give unwelcome criticism that this man feels is detrimental to his wife’s well-being.
He explained: “When my wife is trying to eat meals, they’ll say stuff like ‘now that the baby is born, you [can’t] still use her for an excuse as to why you’re fat.'”
He went on to note that he thinks his wife is fine the way she is: “My wife is not close to fat at all, and their comments are making her diet when she doesn’t need to.”
They also criticize the new mom for being exhausted. “[When] my wife is tired they say stuff like ‘wow you can’t even handle 1 child, maybe if you pushed yourself to be a better mom, you wouldn’t need to call your parents to bail you out,'” he explained.
“We have never called them to come over, they just come over.”
He described how his in-laws have been critical of the couple’s decision to take some time off work:
“My wife decided to take a break from work and be a [stay-at-home mom] for a while, and I bought her a Lexus because it was top-rated for safety,” he explained. “My [mother-in-law] said, ‘wow isn’t it nice your husband treats you like a trophy wife when you aren’t even a trophy.'”
“They don’t say these things when I’m in the room, but I hear them over the baby monitor, sometimes I overhear them, sometimes my wife tells me,” he explained.
“I want them to stop and I would like to talk to them but my wife doesn’t want to start any ‘drama.’ But this is OUR house and I hate the energy they bring inside of it, and the way they make my wife feel. After they leave shes always down, she’s less happy, she isn’t as fun.”
Now the new dad finds himself in a predicament he’s unsure of. “I want to ban them from our house until they learn to respect my wife but my wife thinks I’m creating unnecessary drama,” he said. “But I cannot raise a family with the energy they bring into our house, it’s toxic.”
He’s asked around for advice, but it hasn’t helped ease his mind. “My sister told me that I would be overstepping, and that this should be agreed on by my wife,” he explained. “But I feel like my wife is trapped in an abusive relationship and she can’t control things.”
He wants to ban his in-laws from the home until these issues are dealt with. “I think [it’s] my place as her husband to step in and put a stop to this behavior,” he wrote.
“It wouldn’t be a permanent ban, just temporary until they are able to apologize and act polite in our house.”
Many people suggested that the man’s wife needed to get therapy, which he assured she that has. “She has been to therapy about this, I pushed for it and we have also been together,” he explained.
“She understands that this isn’t okay, we won’t allow our child(ren) to be raised like this, but she doesn’t want to cause drama in the community, alienate her family.”
“She does not want to have this discussion with her parents because she can’t see the benefits in the long run, and doesn’t want to be a bad child in the short run,” he continued.
“So that’s why I feel like I need to take this on because when you’re in an abusive relationship, [it’s] okay to get help from others when you can’t help yourself. She doesn’t want me to do anything that might damage my own relationship with her parents by sticking up for her.”
Many people supported the man’s decision to stand up for his wife. “Hard to ‘stir up drama’ when it’s dumped on your front doorstep,” one commenter noted.
“That behavior is unacceptable and you would be entirely in the right to call it out. I mean if anything that house is also half yours as part of the whole marriage thing right? As such you at least have the right to not welcome such absolute toxicity into your home.”
They also noted the significance of him getting his wife on board with his actions. “Now of course you do need to somewhat honor your wife’s wishes so I would fully warn her beforehand. But even still like, sorry honey but I’m putting my foot down on you being called fat and useless. Sorry if that somehow offends you,” the commenter continued.
“I’m just dumbfounded here but yes. Lay down some smack and let them know that in that house folks respect each other. You absolutely no NOT need your children being possibly exposed to that as well. Family doesn’t mean you put up with being treated like trash.”