Mothers-in-law can be hard to deal with. Most of the time, they just want what's best for their child, but sometimes they can be extremely over-bearing. One mom learned the hard way that there are over-bearing in-laws, and then there are downright psychotic ones.
In an advice column letter to Slate, one mom revealed that her mother-in-law forced her son to change their baby's name, and she didn't find out until two months later.
Dear Care and Feeding,
My son is 2 months old, and I just discovered my husband spelled our son’s middle name as “Finlay” instead of “Finley” on all of his legal documentation. I, of course, am furious, because I told him I was fine with the middle name but it had to be spelled Finley—and he agreed before our son was ever born.
His mother even sent a Christmas gift to middle name “Finlay,” and when I made a comment to my husband he didn’t even have the decency to tell me! He just let me keep believing for two months that our son’s middle name was spelled Finley when it legally isn’t! I discovered this all when I went looking for his Social Security card and birth certificate to file them away properly. He says he regretted it as soon as the card came and has been afraid to tell me.
Now here is where it gets tricky. Apparently his mother guilt-tripped him into doing this while I was asleep after my emergency C-section. Keep in mind she lives a few states away, so this was all over the phone. She tried to convince him to give our son a first name that I very much hated, saying that I would “get mad, but get over it.” My husband thought changing his first name was too much but apparently gave in to spelling his middle name the way his mom wanted. She thinks that “Finlay” is more masculine than “Finley.”
His mother has always been a manipulator and I have always known she doesn’t like me. But she blatantly disrespected me and the name my husband and I had chosen for our son. I really think she put his whole name in his Christmas gift as a jab to me, knowing I would see it.
She manipulated my husband into thinking it was all right to lie to me about something as serious as the spelling of our son’s name. My husband is very much also at fault for doing this in the first place and we are working through that together, but I feel as though something needs to be said to my mother-in-law.
Do I approach her about this? Do I let my husband approach her about this? Do we approach her together? What should I say? I have no desire to have any sort of relationship with her moving forward, so I am not worried about playing nice.I will be legally changing my son’s name to the correct spelling.
UM. EXCUSE ME? I've heard of mothers-in-law doing some crazy things like off-hand comments about cooking, shaming wives for a dirty house, or even being downright mean to their child's spouse, but this is NEXT LEVEL outrageous.
The advice columnist agreed. After a few choice words about the mother-in-law, they turned their attention to the husband.
Purposefully changing the name of your child on a birth certificate behind your back is pretty close to a fireable offense if you ask me. I mean real close.
I don't take divorce lightly, and I'm recommending it on the strength of this one event alone, but a thing like this gets up to a good 65 percent on the Potential Divorce-O-Meter, and if I were you I would need some time to get over this.
He owes you a significant and full-throated apology, and if he doesn't see why then it's hard for me to imagine that you are in a relationship with a trustworthy partner.
I’m mad just reading about this. You and your kid deserve so much better. Your husband needs therapy, your mother-in-law needs to kick rocks, and you need to be as angry about this as you feel like being for as long as you feel like being angry about it. Be honest with yourself about how you truly feel and don’t be afraid of that feeling. Good luck.
Personally, I agree with the columnist. This is a level of distrust that I don't think I could ever get over. Sure, mothers are a big part of our lives and they have our unconditional love, but if my husband ever did something so slimy without standing up for me, I'd have to seriously reconsider my marriage!