A mom has been backed online after complaining about the lack of support her son is providing for her and his pregnant wife.
In a viral Reddit post shared by u/ThrowawayDIL26, the mom explained her son felt “disrupted” by his partner who has been suffering excessive nausea and vomiting known as hyperemesis gravidarum (HG).
The post, which explains that her son only stays with her 26-year-old daughter-in-law (DIL) on weekends, received over 5,000 upvotes, while the top comment received more than 7,300.
Newsweek spoke to a relationship expert who said: “All partners should be supportive and sympathetic for their partner carrying their baby.”
The original poster (OP) explained she “immediately obliged and was happy to help” her daughter-in-law as her parents live in Sri Lanka.
“Unfortunately, my DIL has mild paranoia that stemmed from her HG and thus sometimes feels unsafe and unfamiliar in our house and often shouts to see my son or gets really angry at times.
“I don’t fault her for any of these things because I know she can’t help it. I accompany my DIL to her appointments and stay by her side throughout when she is having severe nausea. I also sleep beside her for the night because I’m worried sick if she feels dizzy and falls while getting up in the night for a pee.”
She is now taking anti-psychotic medication but still suffers from “bouts of anxiety” and often asks for the OP’s son. He visits on Fridays and leaves on Sunday mornings.
The mother explains she often gets into arguments with her son as he states he doesn’t have time to call his partner despite finishing work at 6 p.m.
On November 5, the mother asked her son if he would allow his in-laws to live in their home as a “familiar face would help.” But he refused and said it would be “an inconvenience and he’d have to pay for their living expenses.”
“I countered that I would chip in a bit. I was also absolutely shocked to find out that my son and DIL minimized her HG issue and were lying to her parents that everything was still ‘manageable.’ My son said it was not happening and that he would not be able to function properly with everyone in the house.”
The OP stated she felt “frustrated” so rang the woman’s parents who were eager to help. As a result of this, her son was “extremely angry.”
“We both think that he needs to be more involved and empathetic because once the baby arrives it’s only going to be worse and we are getting old as well and can’t be there every step of the way,” she said.
Newsweek spoke to marriage and family therapist Jamie Schenk DeWitt based in Los Angeles.
Commenting on the OP’s predicament, she said: “Based upon what you are sharing, I can state that you are a complete saint, great mother, mother-in-law, and soon-to-be grandmother. You stepped up to help your son and daughter-in-law in their time of need only to realize that your son is neglecting his responsibilities to his wife and child.
“When we commit to a partnership like marriage and having children, we typically promise to not abandon our partners in sickness and in health. Unless your son and daughter-in-law have some other arrangement, it sounds like he is not living up to his responsibilities as her significant other and the father of his child.
“I think your instinct to sit your son down and talk to him about his behavior in this situation is absolutely correct and necessary. If he is capable of abandoning her when she is this sick and needs him I would be concerned about how he manages her and his child on a daily basis too.
“As the saying goes, ‘Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.’ You, your husband, your daughter-in-law, and in-laws have every right to want to try to resolve this issue with your son, and attempt to make plans to prevent this type of neglect and abandonment from happening in the future.”
Tina Wilson, a relationship expert, told Newsweek: “This is exactly the opposite of how a partner should act or treat their other half in pregnancy. It is completely natural at this time to have a mixture of emotions. After all, your lives are both going to change and the relationship dynamic will be forever different.
“Feeling anxious, scared, and uncertain are all natural feelings when a pending baby is due. There are also big changes happening inside as a baby is growing with lots of emotions and pregnancy hormones.
“All partners should be supportive and sympathetic for their partner carrying their baby. The couple’s relationship usually becomes stronger as the bond grows and they become a family with children. A caring partner will be there both emotionally and physically, through the highs and lows.”
What do the comments say?
Hundreds of people have commented on the post to support the mom.
The top comment said: “That can not be real. My word…You and your husband sound pretty great for helping her so much. Your son on the other hand is a major a******.”
Another comment that received 2,000 upvotes said: “He doesn’t want his sick wife in the house, doesn’t even want her there with her parents as caretakers, and is ‘too busy’ to call during the week, even though you know he’s off work by 6? He’s got another woman.”
“Even if he’s not cheating, he’s completely opting out of any caregiver role (even a give a f*** role) with his wife, which is a major red flag. It’s supposed to be ‘in sickness and in health,’ not ‘in health or get out of here so I don’t have to even see you be ill,’ wrote another.
Newsweek reached out to u/ThrowawayDIL26, for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.
Correction 11/11/22, 8:56 a.m. ET: The headline and first paragraph of this story have been changed to more accurately portray its content.
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