Sometimes, you need to look closer and see if the problem you’re worried about is even a problem.
An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for telling my wife our son’s ridiculous behavior was her fault?”. We need you to find out!
The Original Poster’s (OP’s) (48M) wife, Mary (50F), has always coddled their son Mickey (28M). Mickey was born premature and spent time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
Mary was very protective of him. She was a helicopter parent and constantly overextended herself for Mickey’s sake.
One thing that annoyed OP was that Mary constantly hugged and kissed their son. That wasn’t a problem. She would be sad and moody if he didn’t give her one. She also had a payment for a kiss thing with Mickey.
He (OP) thought Mickey would grow older and wouldn’t appreciate being coddled by his mom so much, but she was convinced her precious baby boy wouldn’t be a mean, nasty man who hated hugs and kisses.
“I guess she was right,” says OP.
A FEW YEARS AGO
Mickey got married a few years ago to Diane. She’s a stand-up woman with a good head on her shoulders. Diane is straightforward and logical.
OP was a little worried about Mary because everyone knows how mothers and daughters-in-law don’t get along, but she loved Diane until Mickey came to Mary with his marital problems.
IN THE PAST YEARS
In the past few years, Mickey told Mary that Diane was drifting away from him. They were very close to being separated, though OP doesn’t think his son would’ve ever divorced her.
LONG STORY SHORT
Long story short, Diane passed out at the wheel and got into a nasty accident. She was later told she had an autoimmune disease with fatigue as a side effect.
Diane needs a wheelchair most of the time, but she’s not paralyzed. Mickey has been caring for her and doing a pretty good job. They seem to have a happy, stronger marriage right now.
WHAT HAPPENED TODAY?
Today, OP’s wife was a nervous wreck. She told OP, Mickey, and Diane to visit. Their town is not wheelchair friendly, so Diane needs a lot of help. Mary told OP that Mickey asked Diane to pay him with hugs and kisses, and he was smothering her with affection.
He (OP) asked Mary if Diane seemed afraid, upset, or annoyed, to which Mary said no. OP told Mary he didn’t see a problem with an inside joke between a married couple.
THE FUSS AFTER THAT
Mary burst out that it was wrong because of how helpless Diane was. OP told her that, one, Diane wasn’t weak, and two, their son’s ridiculous behavior was Mary’s fault. Mary modeled that hugs and kisses were required to show love, and Mickey did what he had learned. Hell, he knew the whole payment with a kiss from Mary!
“She stormed off and has been giving me the silent treatment. Am I the jerk here?” asks OP.
IT WORKED OUT
“Not the jerk. Overall, your wife’s ridiculousness worked out. This arrangement of paying with affection would not have started when Diane got sick. It probably happened earlier in their relationship. If Diane didn’t like it, she would have communicated that at some point.
Your wife is butting into your son’s relationship. There could be several reasons, but ultimately, it should stop. Sit her down and tell her that Diane is ill, but she’s still of sound mind and can make her own decisions.
This relationship dynamic doesn’t have to do with her illness, and it should be between Diane and Mickey. While it is 100% your wife’s fault that Mickey does this, it’s not productive to point it out to her. So you should avoid that. Good luck, OP!”
“I don’t think she’s concerned. I think she’s more shocked that her thing with her little boy is now part of his and his wife’s relationship.”
SOUNDS LIKE AN EMOTIONAL RELATIONSHIP
“Not the jerk. But I’m a little concerned that there was a bit of an emotional relationship between your wife and son, which could explain why she’s upset about his and his wife’s relationship and the hugs and kisses payment system that your wife and son had.
Maybe talk to her and tell her that she needs to stay out of their relationship and mind her business. If they come to either of you with relationship concerns, that’s one thing, but she needs to respect their relationship and boundaries.”
YOUR WIFE IS OVERREACTING
“I thought this would be bad based on the title, but this is a non-issue. Your wife is overreacting, and it’s not a big deal. None of this is a big deal to anyone but yourselves.”
THIS IS A DUMB ARGUMENT
“Everyone’s a jerk. You and your wife are having a dumb argument about a non-issue. If Diane and Mickey are happy, getting along, and are affectionate, good for them.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.