March 19, 2024 at 1:38 am

Her Mother-In-Law Wanted A Hug From Her Grandson, But She Set Boundaries Over Text. Now She’s Upset That She Wasn’t Told This In Person.

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Reddit/AITA/Shutterstock

Holding boundaries can be challenging for people who struggle to hold their line under pressure.

Technology can oftentimes ease that pressure, but others who don’t struggle often prefer to have tough discussions in person.

OP has a boundary with her kids that they’re not to be guilted over other people’s feelings.

My (28F) oldest son is 3yo.

My fiancé’s (32M) Mom came over few weeks ago & when leaving, asked my 3yo for a hug. He initially said “no” & walked away.

Came back unprompted & hugged her. She said “oh good bc I was going to be sad”.

When she held this with her MIL over text, the older woman said she preferred to talk in person.

I sent her this: “We’re teaching 3yo that he’s in control of his own body & self-defined boundaries regardless of how it makes someone feel. If he’s trying to make someone upset on purpose, that’s a different story. We don’t want him to go against his boundaries to make someone feel better. I’m sure you just want to show he’s important to you but we’d appreciate it if you could show it in a different way.”

FMIL: “OP, I’d appreciate you not sending me these kinds of messages and we have these conversations in person. Thank you”

OP said she wasn’t sure why, she had nothing more to say and the issue wasn’t up for discussion.

OP: “I don’t really see a difference to be honest. I would’ve said the same things in person. I didn’t see this topic as one that needs to be discussed too much.

If you have a response I’m obviously open to hearing it, but it won’t change the fact that saying things that could make my kids feel guilty & responsible for other’s feelings will be accepted.

Again, you can show that you care for the boys but not in ways that make them feel bad.”

FMIL: “Bc having adult conversation via text I believe are pretty cowardly. When you address me or any other adult, via text, it’s not really appropriate, so I will end this conversation with if you can’t talk things over with me instead of telling me what “not” to do then that in itself is a problem. So I’m done.”

OP: “Again, I would say the same words to you in person, nothing cowardly about the method I choose to say these words. The reason I didn’t see it made sense to do it in person is bc I’m essentially asking you a favor & it’s your choice to acknowledge it or not. I wasn’t looking for a debate about it, just asking that you please not make certain comments to my babies.”

Later, her MIL texted her husband about the conversation and threatened to just make herself scarce.

I’m alright if she’d prefer me to discuss something like this in person, but why ignore my initial message? Seems like blame shifting/diverting to me.

She then went to my fiancé & txted him “so by now I’m sure “OP” told you she was messaging me, if you guys have something you need to say to me just say it”. They had a 30min phone call & my fiancé told me she said:

she’s already distanced herself from coming over & she’ll distance herself more if she has to

it’s not something she was doing intentionally (I never said it was intentional, just bringing her attention to this and potential repercussions)

OP is truly wondering whether she should have cowed and done it MIL’s way.

Chose to message her bc I’m HORRIBLE at having deep/stressful convos in person. I have ADHD so can’t process what I want to say & what other person is said & formulate responses,etc.

Also this is a boundary so not rly up for discussion or debate. Either she chooses to stop or doesn’t.

AITA for asking this or how I brought it up?

The top comment says it does sound like OP is being a coward.

Source: Reddit/AITA

But this person thinks texting is just a red herring.

Source: Reddit/AITA

And this commenter says OP can hold her boundary how she likes.

Source: Reddit/AITA

Even more so because she has a stated disability.

Source: Reddit/AITA

More than a few were sticking up for MIL, though.

Source: Reddit/AITA

I personally don’t see anything wrong with this.

Just like the other person doesn’t get a say in your boundary, they don’t get a say in how you hold it, either.

If you enjoyed that story, read this one about a mom who was forced to bring her three kids with her to apply for government benefits, but ended up getting the job of her dreams.