Is it appropriate to respond to someone’s bad behavior with the same level of intensity?

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for calling my boyfriend’s mom fat at dinner?”. Let us know what you think in the comments section.


2. Fresh fruits and vegetables grocery shop couple
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The Original Poster (OP) (22F) met her boyfriend (24M) about 2 years ago. They have a great relationship and get along really well and OP could really see herself spending the rest of her life with him.

“There is only one problem… his mom (I will call her Mary throughout this story).”, says OP.

OP’s First Meeting With Mary

mother in law with couple fight
Image Credit: Motortion Films, Shutterstock.

After almost a year of their relationship, OP wanted to meet Mary and her boyfriend’s dad but her boyfriend kept pushing it off. Eventually, he decided to set some things up so they could all go out to eat.

“When I first met his dad, he was nice but I kinda got the feeling Mary didn’t like me.”, says OP.

Mary’s Rude Comments To OP

Problems between generations concept. Teen closed his ears with his hands while her mom yells at her.
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Eventually, as OP started to get to know them more, Mary started making really rude comments to OP about what she was eating. She would say things like “Are you really going to eat all of that?” or “Don’t you think you should watch your figure a little bit, my son doesn’t like fat girls” etc.

OP would laugh it off as a joke but her boyfriend and his dad never said anything.

“This happened every time we would eat with them and I started to lose my patience. This went on for months.”, says OP.

When Everything Came to a Boiling Point

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Everything came to a boiling point at tonight’s dinner they had. Mary started with her usual comments but something about this one comment made OP lose it.

What Did She Say

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“I didn’t cook a lot of food today so please try to restrain yourself. I know it’s hard for your kind”.

She made OP feel like some kind of child and OP lost it. OP slammed her fork on the table, stood up, and yelled “Maybe you should consider restraining yourself. Last time I checked, this is the second plate you’ve got, fat woman?”

The Awkward Silence

couple sad upset fight
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Mary and OP’s boyfriend’s dad were shocked. Mary started crying and OP immediately felt bad. Before OP could even say anything, OP’s boyfriend grabbed her hand and took her to the car and they went home.

It Was Silent

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It was silent on the way home and OP asked if he wanted to talk and he said “Let’s just talk about it tomorrow”. He then went to bed but OP can’t help but feel bad.

“I need to know if I was out of line. So, am I the jerk for calling my boyfriend’s mom fat while at dinner?”, asks OP.

Some More Context

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A few people have been asking what she meant by “your kind”. I don’t want to jump to any conclusions because I don’t know for sure what she meant but I assumed it’s because I’m black and the percentage of obesity is high in the black community.

You Must Raise A Few Questions

pretty blonde woman shrugging with a dumb, crazy, confused, puzzled expression, feeling annoyed and clueless.
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“Not the jerk. Your boyfriend’s mother has been body shaming you for months while your boyfriend and his father have done nothing.

When it finally boiled over in your incident in question, they continued to do nothing while your boyfriend gave you the silent treatment for the rest of the day.

You should question what position you will be in your boyfriend’s life, is his mother more important or are you more important to him.”

Every Woman Has A Boiling Point

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“Not the jerk. She shouldn’t dish out what she can’t stomach herself. What’s really amazing is how her rude and abrasive behavior was ever countenanced in the first place. Don’t feel bad, OP. Every woman has a boiling point.”

Why Are You Tolerating This Man?

Don't know, sorry. Portrait of clueless uncertain confused curly-haired woman in urban style hoodie shrugging shoulders in questioning gesture, looking with indifference. indoor studio shot isolated
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“Not the jerk. But the bigger problem here is your BF, not his mum. Why are you tolerating a man who allows his mother to speak to you like this? Girl, show yourself some respect and leave that man.”

Everyone’s In The Wrong

Close-up portrait of her she nice attractive lovely pretty worried terrified, scared brown-haired girl biting finger phobia isolated on bright vivid shine vibrant blue color background.
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“Everyone’s in the wrong. She’s a jerk for how she’s treated you and what you said, but I think this was just about the worst way to deal with it.

You and your boyfriend’s mum can’t co-exist, but he obviously cares deeply about you both. If you want it to work forever then you need to find a way to minimize this problem, not call her names after she’s made you both dinner.”

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