Redditor Cuts Off Mother-in-Law After Some Particularly Horrible Comments to Her Child

Imagine a 6-year-old hearing her grandmother wish death upon her mother.

<p>Zinkevych / Getty Images</p>

Zinkevych / Getty Images

Fact checked by Sarah Scott

We've written a lot about toxic family relationships on this site. But this one may take the cake.

A mother of two was involved in a car accident. Thankfully, she's OK physically. However, some utterly inappropriate comments from her mother-in-law have taken a completely avoidable emotional toll on the family—including a 6-year-old girl.

It's all detailed in a since-updated Reddit thread. This one is a wild ride. Buckle up.

"AITA for cutting my MIL off because she told my daughter she hoped I had died when I was taken to [hospital]?" asked u/Exciting-Ice-9119 in the AITAH subreddit.

The obvious and immediate answer is no. However, further details really drive home why the mother-in-law in question is the true anti-hero of this story.

The original poster (OP) is a mother of two girls, a 6-year-old and a tween, who was recently in a car crash. She was not seriously injured but needed to be cut out of the car. OP spent the night at the hospital so doctors could monitor her for concussion signs. That's all very scary. The good news is she was discharged the following day. Her husband brought their daughters along for the ride home. The reunion was emotional for all the wrong reasons.

"Upon seeing me, my 6-year-old [burst] into tears and said, 'I don't want you to die,'" OP continued. "I comforted her and said, 'I'm not dying, and I was very lucky.'"

Lucky to be alive? Sure. However, OP drew the short stick for mother-in-law. While it's natural for kids (and adults) to assume the worst when they hear about car accidents and hospital stays, a certain someone put the idea in this poor child's head.

"She then said Granny said she hoped I die so that [they] and my husband can come live with her," the Redditor continued. "Me and my husband were shocked, and my 12-year-old confirmed she heard her say that. My husband said he was going to ring MIL."

A call confirmed that she did, in fact, wish death upon her daughter-in-law—out loud and in front of her grandchildren.

She couldn't just splurge on a $1 get-well-soon card? The OP obviously wants to cut her MIL off, though she did tell her husband that she'd understand if he wants to keep a relationship. The husband let her know it was okay. Now, this might shock you, but the MIL did not take it well.

Predictably, she invited herself over for a further explanation.

"She just got hysterical and started crying and saying she always wanted daughters, but my husband was the only child due to her not being able to have any more after him…that the girls are more like her daughters than granddaughters, and she wasn't [thinking] properly when she said that to our 6-year-old," OP continued.

In a further update, MIL is still cut off, no longer invited to an upcoming trip to celebrate the 6-year-old's birthday, and the couple is looking into therapy for the husband and daughter (who is now having separation anxiety issues).

She wants to know: Is she in the wrong?

Commenters Were Clear: No, You Are Not

Reddit can be a polarizing place, but more than 300 commenters quickly came to OP's defense. They held little back.

"MIL sounds like a poisonous person," wrote one. "Just because she's family doesn't mean you owe her anything. She chose to treat you like crap and is now reaping her rewards. When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences. Ergo, she deserves no contact with you and yours for being a garbage mother."

Another echoed these sentiments with a similar tone.

"Your MIL has no respect for you or your family," said another. "She disrespected you, traumatized her son all over again, and said harmful things in front of her granddaughters. There's no coming back from this at all."

People with longstanding poor relationships with family members often hear, "Oh, but they're family."

Well, if OP hears it, one person gave her the verbiage to shut down this toxic sentiment quickly.

"We, as a society, need to get over this notion that because someone is blood family, their bad behavior must be accepted or tolerated," the person said. "No, family isn't an excuse for crap behavior."

Here, here.

In an ideal world, no one would say these things. Sadly, OP isn't the only one who has been on the receiving end of such harmful comments.

"I cut off my mother and brother after they said, 'I should have died in the car accident,'" wrote someone else. "If someone wishes you dead, do them the favor and get outta their life."

Do yourself a favor, too.

Wait, What?

Words like "toxic" are overused these days. Spend enough time in parenting Facebook groups (which I did a lot of, particularly during the isolation days of the pandemic), and you'll see many mother-in-law posts. Some relationships and issues seem fixable with boundaries and empathy (at least based on the information provided). You know, like mothers-in-law who are shell-shocked when they learn that Mother's Day is no longer only a celebration of them once their adult child has a small child. The situation described in this Reddit thread is not it.

It's hard to know where to start here. The obvious one is that, again, there's absolutely no rhyme, reason, or place for these types of comments—period, but especially in front of a small child. The second is the troubling issue she seems to have with how her nuclear family turned out. Specifically, that she never had daughters.

I get it. "Gender disappointment" is not something I experienced (I did not learn the sex of my children, have two wonderful boys, and am done having kids.) However, some people picture their life with children of a particular sex, and there can be a letdown when that doesn't happen. I'm not here to shame that. I am asking that my fellow adults take a giant step back, breathe, and remember that gender is a social construct and that genitals should not define a person, their interests, or relationships.

Imagine if this woman kept trying until she had a baby who was assigned female at birth, only for that girl to identify as something else along the gender spectrum? The weight of knowing mom really wanted a "girl" might be extremely harmful mentally. This woman has now projected this onto her granddaughters while telling her son he's not enough.

Do you know what's not enough to demand loyalty or a relationship? Blood. As someone who has had rollercoaster relationships with specific family members, nothing is more invalidating than someone insisting, "They're family."

So? Family is more than blood. Family is about people who love you, which sometimes means calling you out for your own good. Family doesn't wish death upon you at all, and they especially don't do so in front of your small children.

A proper filter, some therapy, and an order of flowers from the hospital gift shop would have saved everyone a whole lot of trauma here.

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